Mythic cycling tours in soulful Sperrins

By ELEANOR MCGILLIE 8 October, 2015

A CLUSTER of tourism businesses based in the Sperrin Mountains are collaborating to launch Cycle Sperrins next week – a tourism led initiative to attract touring cyclists from across the globe.

The Cycle Sperrins Consortium, which is made up of speciality food producers, farm businesses, tearooms and quality accommodation providers based along the world-class four day cycle route, will welcome Tourism NI chairman, Terence Brannigan, to officially launch the initiative.

Supported by Derry’s rural tourism project Discover Faughan Valley and also the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Cycle Sperrins aims to attract touring cyclists from across the world to this undiscovered jewel in Northern Ireland’s crown.

The consortium was brought together by Far and Wild, the adventure company behind Cycle Sperrins, which provides bike hire and guides for the route.

Lawrence McBride, director of Far and Wild, said the archaeology, scenery and rustic charm of the Sperrins is already capturing the hearts and imaginations of cyclists from Holland and Germany.

Touring cyclists using the routes around the Sperrin Mountain range - Cycle Sperrins

Mr McBride said: “This is a powerful example of a cluster collaboration where 10 small experiential tourism businesses share a strong interest in working together to promote a top-quality product to the rest of the world.

“This cycling experience includes Glenelly Valley which listed in the National Geographic magazine’s Top 10 Drives in the World. The key behind Sperrins Cycle Consortium is the idea of each business passing on customers to the next point along this attractive route. It is local people who tourists want to meet and whose knowledge will help touring cyclists experience the many flavours and hidden delights they otherwise might miss.

“As a consortium, we plan to raise the profile of the Sperrins so people will come here, cycle our moderate hills in the centre of historic Ulster and leave with an enchanting story to tell.”

Mr McBride said the launch event at Broughderg Tourism Centre on Tuesday (October 13) will showcase the Sperrins as an off the beaten track route for touring cyclists.

He added: “We are delighted with the support of Tourism NI and look forward to welcoming Mr Brannigan. We also look forward to attracting cyclists from overseas to come and explore the beauty and flavour of the Sperrins along our 160km multi-day cycle route.”

Live It Experience It’ is a group of journalists and travel writers who tell the story of our members. We work  collaboratively with our members, which are tourism businesses, to promote Northern Ireland through water, air and land based activities, food and drink and great places to stay. Together we let our visitors know of all of the amazing things Northern Ireland has to offer.  To become a member business in of ‘Live It Experience It’ call our office on 028 3756 8436 or please submit your information through our online form. T&Cs apply –  Sign Up Here Let us tell your story! Live It Experience It is the NW200 tourism partner for 2018. 

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Eleanor McGillie

About Eleanor McGillie

Eleanor spent eight years working in the south west of England - one of the UK's most popular tourism hotspots. During her stint working with key players in the tourism sector she developed a love for all things outdoor adventure. As a journalist she got to travel to remote corners of the world to write travel features about the experiences of a particular place. Northern Ireland's story needs to be told and needs to reach new audiences. Live It Experience It aims to attract tourists from outside Ireland, people from Ireland and people who live in Northern Ireland but aren't aware of the extent of the adventures on our own doorsteps. Eleanor is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) at Associate Level