Travellers' Tales: Cycling across the Irish border

Carlingford to Omeath Greenway
Cycling UK member Frances Wilson toured the Irish border counties, wondering how Brexit might affect them

From our bed and breakfast in Greencastle, County Down (Northern Ireland), we cycled a short distance and boarded the Carlingford Lough Ferry. Fifteen minutes later and we were in Greenore, County Louth (Republic of Ireland), having crossed the border mid-way. To cope with this situation, we could pay our fares in either Sterling or Euros.

On a glorious April day, we meandered around the Cooley Peninsula, first following the coastline and then parallel to the N1 Motorway, which carries the heavy traffic from Dublin to Belfast over the ‘invisible’ border. Approaching Newry, we needed to cross the Cooley Mountains, which form the spine of the Peninsula, to return to Carlingford Lough.

As we climbed, we were suddenly aware from the road signage that we were no longer in the Republic but back in Northern Ireland. A short distance later and we were back over the border as it twisted and turned through this hilly terrain. As we descended from the mountains, we were in the Republic, cycling through the small town of Omeath. Here the former railway has been turned into a greenway, and we followed it to Carlingford before a short leg on road to Greenore for the ferry back to Northern Ireland.

How many times did we cross the border? At least four but maybe more. How these will be policed post-Brexit is anyone’s guess. Will we have to show our passports at every crossing?