A Welsh-Irish cycling initiative to rival the famous and popular Lands End to John O'Groats route through England and Scotland will be launched next week by CTC and the Welsh Assembly.

Celtic Circles cycle route aims to boost cycle tourism in Wales and Ireland

The Celtic Circles project could create at least eight cycle routes

ranging from 20 to 500 miles. The full loop will take cyclists through

north and mid-Wales, down the east coast of Ireland and back up Wales’s

western shore.

The aim of the scheme is to boost tourism, reinforce historic links

between Wales and Ireland and provide cycle routes for both experienced

and novice cyclists. Celtic Circles routes could take just a day or up

to ten days to ride.

Assembly Member Alun Pugh, vice-chairman of the Assembly’s All-Party

Cycling Group and David Bathers, CTC Councillor for Wales, will sail

from Holyhead to Dublin Port to deliver a letter from Rhodri Morgan,

First Minister at the Welsh Assembly, requesting the Irish Parliament’s

support for the Celtic Circles project

Bathers said: "The Celtic Circles will create a magic cocktail combining

the charm of Ireland and the Welsh coastline. It will take cyclists

through some of the most beautiful parts of Europe highlighting the

Welsh language and customs and Irish language and traditions and

appealing to a broad range of cyclist.

"It will be imaginative and evocative and will give cyclists the

opportunity to visit many famous and historic venues. We have every

confidence that the Irish government will support the scheme."

CTC Cymru hopes to secure backing from the EU’s Interreg IIIA Fund and

has already won sponsorship from Celtic Offshore Wind Limited (Cowl) for

next week’s visit. Bathers said: "We are delighted by COWL’s support for

the project which will encourage an environmentally friendly form of

tourism between two countries. Cowl’s help is appropriate because the

company will soon be generating wind power from the Irish Sea."

The delegates will meet at the Pantri Bach Café, Pensarn Beach, Abergele

at 10am on Monday, September 9th. They will spend the day cycling the 54 miles

to Holyhead and will sail to Port Dublin on Tuesday.

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