Visiting Athy

What to see and do in Athy, Ireland

Athy is known as the town that gave birth to motor racing in the UK and Ireland. In 1903 the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland was proud to announce the holding of the first Gordon Bennet cup in the city of Athy. This event was organized in honor of the famous Selwyn Edge who has won the cup of Paris an year earlier and was held in Athy because racing was considered illegal on the roads of the British Isle. Even though the race start was chosen in Kildare at the Ballyshannon crossroads, due to the geography of the land, Athy was an important segment of the course as drivers had to pass twice through the city. The first course race held in the British Isles was won by the Belgian pilot Camille Jenatzy representing the Mercedes Benz automobile company, and the competition was a success that attracted around three hundred newspapers and lots of spectators from across the region. Although Athy is remembered as one of the cities that made motor racing possible, you should know that it also includes very interesting and well preserved castles, ruins and ancient bridges that will make your visit worth while.

Getting to Athy

Athy is situated right between the M7 and M9 motorways, being about 10 miles or so from each, on the N78 road. This makes it very easy to reach from Dublin.

Nearest ferry port to Athy

The Dublin and Dun Laoghaire ferry ports are the nearest.

Quickest Ferry Crossing

There are plenty of ferry crossings to choose from when travelling from England or Wales to Dublin or Dun Laoghaire. The quickest is the Holyhead to Dub Laoghaire ferry crossing, which takes around 2 hours.

Distance fom Ferry Port

Adare is about 50 miiles from Dun Laoghaire.

Driving Time from Ferry Port

It takes around 1 hour to drive from Dun Laoghaire ferry port to Adare.

Moving on from Athy

Athy is faily close to Dublin, and in fact could be done as a day trip. However, it's much better to take in Adare on your way from or to Dublin, as part of a longer road trip; 100 miles round trip is quite a trek for a day trip to a village. Nearby Athy there are plenty of places to move on to, such as the Wicklow Mountains National Park, or Wicklow itslef, which is on the coast. Wicklow is directly east of Athy. If you are travelling south, then you will stumble across Kilkenny, or further west, Cashel and Cahir.

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