Our Inspiration

The Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally

Our Inspiration William Bulfin was a journalist, travel writer and proud Irish Nationalist, who was born in Derrinlough, Co. Offaly in 1864. Having returned from Argentina in 1902, where he worked on the pampas amongst the native gaucho or cowboy tribe, he set off on a journey that took him through the highways and byways of Ireland, on a steel framed bicycle made by Pierce of Wexford. His book “Rambles in Eirinn” is an insightful account of his experiences along the route, with each captivating page telling a story of Ireland’s ancient past. The travelogue was first published in 1907, and proved to be a resounding success, extending to a fourth edition, published in 1915.

In previous years the Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally has followed some of the routes, as outlined in Bulfin’s remarkable book; through Offaly, Laois, Kilkenny and Tipperary. In 2018 we mapped our own route, concentrating on the history and heritage of Co. Laois, taking in such wonderful places as the Irish Fly Fishing & Game Shooting Museum, Heywood Gardens, Timahoe Round Tower & Heritage Centre, Emo Court and the magnificent Rock of Dunamase, to mention but a few! Each year we travel in vintage attire, on High Nelly bikes, and our journey is punctuated by heritage site visits, heritage talks, historical re-enactments, music and food; so ours is a gentle paced leisure cycle, despite the odd difficult hill!

It’s about parking the mountain bike, the 24 gears, the carbon fibre, the racer, and mounting a bicycle from another era…something made of steel…maybe even something a little bit rusty! It’s about dressing up for Ancient Ireland, sharing our heritage in the company of the overseas guests, that regularly join us, and generally enjoying the Craic. Whether you cycle on an old time butcher’s bike, a restored High Nelly charmer, with a stylish wicker basket, a 40’s or 50’s Raleigh, or a modern replica, it doesn’t matter. What does matter, is that you get involved in a novel heritage event where cycling is only part of the fun. The theme for The Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2019, is ‘Meandering Monks & Medieval Miles’ and we will forge a trail through Ireland’s rich monastic and medieval history. So if you are interested in cycling, history, heritage or just having a wonderful fun filled, couple of days, The Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, really is for you! It is a leisurely cycle, along a route that promises to be full of hidden history, and heritage, so chalk it down on the calendar – August 24th & 25th 2019!

And Remember, All You Need Is A Bike!

The Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018

Two wonderful days in August!

In the end it all came and went so quickly! After months of preparations the big day finally arrived on August 24th, and the Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018, was finally under way.
We have so much to share, from an event that truly touched the hearts and minds of all who took part. So many wonderful places were visited, wonderful people were met, new friendships formed, histories and heritages imparted, battles re-enacted, and the fun and camaraderie that abounded was amazing.
We will over the coming weeks feature the stories, photographs and video footage of every aspect of our journey, and what an adventure it was.

At the Pavillion, Castle Durrow, as registration for the event commences.

See all Pictures from this post

Slight schedule change!

Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018.

Slight change to Schedule!

1)  Our guided tour of Emo Court has been changed to 11am on Saturday 25th instead of 11.30am.  This necessitates a change to our planned breakfast time at Treacy’s Restaurant. This will now be served at 9.30am and not 10am as previously described.
2)  For those of you who wish to leave your cars overnight in Durrow; secure parking will be available at Castle Durrow. (gates will be locked at night time)
This car park is located at the first entrance on the left (top of the hill and left  through big white gates).
Hopefully we will have someone there to direct you to the Pavillion, located at the rear of Castle Durrow.
Please do not park or leave your car overnight in the Main Car Park at the front/side of Castle Durrow as this is reserved for wedding guests and customers.
Should you require last minute information, don’t be afraid to give me a buzz on 086 8694691.
Otherwise, relax now! and look forward to a leisurely couple of days of cycling, eating, drinking, dancing, singing and acting? but above all, immersing yourself in our hidden heritage.
Wishing you all a happy and safe event!

Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018 – Information Pack

Celebrating National Heritage Week

Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally

(In the “Wheelrims” of William Bulfin 1864-1910)

(A 70k 2 day Cycle)

Friday August 24th & SaturdayAugust 25th 2018

Irish Country Roads & Culture Trails would like to welcome you on this novel cycle through the history and heritage of County Laois. Inspired by the cycling exploits of William Bulfin in 1902, the organising committee have invested a great deal of time and effort in mapping out an interesting and varied programme of historic re-enactments, heritage information and fun events for your enjoyment.

The following are a few pointers to help you enjoy your cycle journey with us.

Our Route Map

We will assemble at The Pavillion, Castle Durrow at 9.30am sharp, on Friday August 24th where cyclist will sign in for registration and have your personal luggage deposited in our event van.

Event souvenir “Passports” will be issued and first stamp assigned.

Bicycles will undergo a safety check. Please ensure that your bicycle is in good working order and fully roadworthy

Introduction to the event will be presented by Matt Doyle, Chairman, Irish Country Roads & Culture Trails.

A short extract from William Bulfin’s book “Rambles in Eireinn” will be re-enacted to set the scene for our cycle.

At selected sites throughout the entire event, the persona of William Bulfin will be enacted by Sean Conroy.

We will depart Castle Durrow for the Irish Fly Fishing & Game Shooting Museum at Attanagh Co. Laois at 11am. Here we will be greeted by Museum Curator, Walter Phelan for a guided tour of the Museum taking in some of its 7000 exhibits. A Fish & Game breakfast will be served here;

In celebration of this unique venue and also, the medieval theme of this year’s event.

We will depart Attanagh Museum at 1.15pm on our outward journey.

Full information, regarding Route Details and Times is in our event brochure, available to all participants on morning of registration.  (more…)

The Rock of Dunamase – Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018

Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018.

The Rock of Dunamase.

On Day Two of this year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, we will visit the magnificent Rock of Dunamase. It is here that we will merge with our visitors from Kerry, who will arrive with seven torches, each representing one of the Seven Septs of Laois.

The Tarbert Historical Society, will carry the torches, representing the families, that were banished from Co. Laois in 1601, by Crown forces, and relocated in Co. Kerry. Under Sentence of Death, should they ever return to the county, their descendants remain in Kerry to this very day. But the time has come for the Seven Septs to finally make their return! The seven torches will arrive at the former O’More stronghold of Dunamase, to light up a Ceremonial Laois Sept Vessel, at a very special, and unique Heritage gathering on the Rock of Dunamase.  (more…)

Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018 – Event Menu

The Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018.

Event Menu.

All cyclists need sufficient fuel to keep those pedals turning! And for this year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle, we supply all participants with an amazing variety of food, along the route.

So once you’ve purchased your ticket, and start preparing for the journey, the one thing you need not worry about packing is food. Each day the Heritage Cycle route is punctuated with stop-offs at the many wonderful heritage sites we will visit, and refreshment will always be readily available.

We also supply participants with a fully packed lunch each day. On Day One, there is a Fish & Game Breakfast, all served up at the Irish Fly Fishing & Game Shooting Museum, in Attanagh, followed two stops later by scones and G’s Gourmet Jams!! (more…)

G’s Gourmet Jams – Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018

G's Gourmet Jams

Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018.

G’s Gourmet Jams.

Day One August 24th, 2018.

As part of our Heritage cycle, on Day One of this year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, we make a courtesy call, to the award winning G’s Gourmet Jams, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois.  Our stop off to see how jams are made the good old traditional way, stirred and poured by hand from a boiling open pan, is pencilled in between our visits to Heywood Gardens and Timahoe Round Tower & Heritage Centre.

G’s Gourmet Jams, Abbeyleix Co.Laois was founded by Helen Gee in 1998 and launched in 1999. It was set up as an alternative farm enterprise and is family run. Helen moved from Abbeyleix, from her hometown Bagenalstown Co. Carlow after marrying Cyril and quickly became involved in the local Community.

Throughout the years Helen has had one burning ambition – to own her own food business. From an early age she developed a love for making traditional home made food, thanks to her mother Elizabeth. (more…)


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