Meander along the medieval miles of Laois and Kilkenny on the Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally

Leinster Express Reporter


Leinster Express Reporter

This year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally is entitled ‘Meandering Monks and Medieval Miles’.

The event is inspired by William Bulfin, who toured Ireland by bicycle, in 1902, and published the story of his travels, in a book entitled 'Rambles In Eirinn.'

Each year the Bulfin Cycle, explore the hidden history and heritage of Ireland, on High Nelly bikes, in vintage attire, following in the wheel-rims of William Bulfin.

The 2019 edition takes in the medieval heritage of Laois and Kilkenny. The landscape and landmarks will be explored, along with the connection that existed between the counties in the medieval period.

Coupled with the lives and ways of the associated Saints, namely Fintan, Canice and Fergal, it promises to be another cycle of enlightened discovery. 

Highlights will include a visit to Aghaboe Abbey in Laois, and St Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny. On top of all that, the Medieval Mile in Kilkenny will be explored, and a rich theme of monks, saints and general medieval-ness permeates the entire two-day agenda.

The cycle is divided over two days, with an average daily distance of approximately 35 kilometres. 

All cycling is at a very relaxed pace, punctuated with many breaks, as each heritage site is arrived upon.

Talks, re-enactments and pageants are on the itinerary; all of which afford the cyclists some recovery time, whilst they soak up the history, with plenty of food and refreshments to hand.

“Ours is not an endurance cycle, but one of appreciation! Heritage on a High Nellie. Perhaps it’s time to dig out, that old vintage bike, and hit the road with the Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, on August 24th and 25th, 2019, and for the very first time, we are offering the option for non-cyclists to join us, by availing of our Heritage Bus option," say the organisers.

The event takes place during Heritage Week 2017.

All details on




William Bulfin, returned to Ireland in 1902, having worked in Argentina. He purchased a steel-framed bicycle, made by Pierce of Wexford, and set off on a road tour of his beloved Ireland. His journey would wind and weave a route of over 3,000 miles, along the countless byways and country lanes of all four provinces. He recorded the details of his venture, cataloguing all the places he had visited, the people he encountered, and the histories they imparted; both whimsical and factual. 

These writings were published in 1907, in a book entitled, Rambles In Eirinn, and it is considered one of the most important social and historical documentations of Ireland in that era. Reading it is also a pretty astute way to time travel!