Home > Our Services > Arts and Recreation > Greenways > About


Footy's Bridge

Greenways Westmeath

Welcome to Greenways Westmeath, home of the Royal Canal Way and The Old Rail Trail. The Royal Canal Way is a pivotal link of the much anticipated Galway to Dublin Cycleway. The Old Rail Trail forms part of the proposed Galway to Dublin Cycleway, which will be Ireland’s first dedicated inter-city coast to coast route for cyclists.

County Westmeath is located in the heart of Ireland amid rich agricultural lands dotted with sparkling lakes giving the County its title as the ‘Lakelands Country’. The tranquil Royal Canal is fully navigable through Westmeath and meanders around the town of Mullingar on its way to the majestic River Shannon. The county hosts numerous historic houses and gardens set within an archaeologically rich landscape, in particular Belvedere House and Gardens that overlooks the unspoiled beauty of Lough Ennell to the south of Mullingar.

The existing Royal Canal Greenway provides an attractive waterside greenway that not only provides a scenic route for cyclists and walkers without the hassle of motor traffic, but creates a safe and attractive destination for the cycling enthusiast and the novice alike. You can cycle long distances or a short ride as part of a longer route to enjoy the relaxed and friendly environment – Royal Canal Greenway Leaflet (9,369kB)  

The Old Rail Trail is a rural route through the heart of the Irish Midlands, starting in the bustling town of Athlone and continuing on a converted stretch of the Midlands Great Western Railway. The 40km journey takes us through rich fertile farmland, away from the hustle of towns, in a beautiful rural setting to the market town of Mullingar. – Old Rail Trail Brochure (14,780kB)

This section of greenway travels along the old railway corridor between Athlone and Mullingar. Like the canal greenways, the wonderful aspect about cycling along old railway corridors is that they are virtually flat and thereby suitable for all levels of fitness and all ages. Additionally, such routes offer safe and traffic free routes running through some of Ireland’s most spectacular countryside and farmlands.

Furthermore, the character created by old railway industry is unique - allowing for the quiet mix of the former rail industry intertwining with nature and resulting in lush green corridors through embankments and cuttings that are a visual treat to cycle through. The remnants of the railway era are evident at the old stations and crossings, many of which have been afforded a Protected Structure status and that will also benefit from refurbishment works as part of the Greenway development scheme.