The group on the Connor Pass. Our impromptu tour to Ireland after we were unable to go to Italy & Switzerland proved a real success – a great group, some great roads, hotels, hospitality & food made for a fab trip.

We all meet at Fishguard

“Stoner” & Adrian arrive

Arriving at the port

All strapped down

“Hi to everyone; for John and Jen to organise the trip at such short notice and with so few problems can only prove how accomplished they are at what they do. We were disappointed the Italian trip was cancelled but jumped at the opportunity of Ireland when John told us. Of course, we were not disappointed.  Great roads, great company and of course great weather! We liked Ireland and the people were so friendly and hope to return one day. Thank you to all for your company and especially to John and Jen for all their efforts and care.

Gordon (6 trips) & Alison (5 trips) Barr, BMW R1250 GS, Essex

We’re off !

Lovely weather

Ken & Sue (our “Backmarkers”)

Fun on a jet-ski

We circle an abandoned dinghy

Pre-tour briefing

Arriving at Rosslaire

“Hi all,

First may I compliment John & Jen on having the patience of putting up with everything the past 18 months has thrown at us & come up with this tour being unable to do all of their usual research! 

Vicki & I were blown away by the awesome scenery, superb roads (in the main), great routes, great group on the tour and super food, I wasn’t sure about the Guinness Museum, but was sold on it after the visit. 

All in all 10/10 – well done and thank you both – a great tonic after a very trying 18 months.”

Jeremy Davies (3rd tour) & Vicki Barley (2nd tour), BMW R1200GS, Worcestershire

Unload our bike & luggage goes in the van

Our bike won’t start !!

Phil & Veronica

Another ferry to Waterford

“Hi Guys, I can’t thank you all enough for your company in the Emerald Isle and it certainly was a fantastic trip to be included in and well worth a 2 year wait due to Covid. It certainly didn’t show that this was the first time you had run a tour in Ireland as I thought it all went rather well. The hotels were all good and the food was very good, as was the location and parking of all the hotels we stayed at.

For a newbie to touring I think it could be advertised as a starter tour to dip a toe into the touring world as it’s the same side of the road as the UK and you get a feel for what you need to pack on a 7 day trip (I got that sooooo wrong as I didn’t use half the crap I packed – dressing gown, pyjamas and my security blanket never saw the light of day!) The plus side for me was the amount I learnt about how to ride a bike and the support, tuition and encouragement I received from a couple of the guys was invaluable – by the end I was almost competent and I even stopped trying to find the kick-start on day 2 !!

I met so many great people who I intend to keep in touch with and saying goodbye at the end was almost heart wrenching…I will certainly re-book a tour with B&N and I can honestly say that I haven’t enjoyed myself that much in years and the fact the company was so perfect was an added bonus!

Thanks for a wonderful experience and the chance to meet some super lovely  people and  I can’t wait to go again !!!!”

Barclay Hoare, 1st tour, BMW R1250 GS, Dorset

Our first hotel

Is right on the waterfront

“Hi John and Jen, thank you SO much for an amazing bike tour around southern Ireland.  This was our second tour with you and as always you both were fantastic tour leaders and Ken and Sue were excellent backmarkers.  Being an “off the cuff” tour to cover for the Italy and Switzerland tour you really went out of your way and did an amazing job. The scenery was stunning especially around the coast of the Wild Atlantic Way. The hotels you chose were great and all the staff were so friendly and helpful…actually all the people in Ireland were like that!!  As for the food at each hotel…let us say no more about the size of the helpings! I would highly recommend this tour to anyone if you decide to add it to your list of tours.”

Phil & Veronica Allen, 2nd tour, Yamaha Tracer 900GT, Kent

Dinner is included tonight

A lovely morning

Brenda needs fuel !!

“Hi All,

Fantastic trip, great roads, too many favourites to mention to be honest. As always the organisation was spot on with cracking hotels (Killarney and Oranmore really stood out for me) and of course lots of excellent food. Good company as well and good riding with some brilliant places to stop for a brew. 

I’d like to have spent more time in and around the Wicklow Mountains and even ventured into the North West or Northern Island, although of course it’s impossible to do everything. I thought the Guinness “Brewery” experience was a bit of a disappointment…

Many thanks John and Jen for providing us all with such a fabulous trip which had all the hallmarks of one you’ve run many times before, never mind on your first attempt. I hope to ride with you all again some day”

Charles May, 9th trip, Moto Guzzi V85TT, Wiltshire

Always a morning briefing

Great scenery

“Hi John & Jen, a big thanks from me for a  great tour of Ireland. It certainly exceeded my expectations, helped by good weather, mostly excellent roads (a few bumpy ones too…) and above all very welcoming friendly locals and extra large portions of very tasty food. Having a sweet tooth did not help as the cakes in the coffee stops were too tempting to ignore!!

Loved the south and west of Ireland the most, very well kept, so beautiful with crocosmia and fuschias in many hedgerows and in particular the Ring of Kerry… gorgeous scenery, which as a pillion I could enjoy more than Jon! Westport was a lovely coffee stop as were many others. My other highlights are Blarney Castle on a very hot day, kissing the Blarney Stone, the view from the top of the Healy Pass… breathtaking and of course a night to remember in Dublin… I so enjoyed the Black Velvet… much to my surprise. My favourite hotel… Coach House, Oranmore… it had everything for me… and the food was lovely too. Great atmosphere.

A big thanks for a very memorable trip…. Great to have been on tour again with you and to have met some lovely people too. A big shout to Barclay and Steve on their first BN tours… great company. Looking forward to more biking adventures and making memories next year too. Very best regards”

Jackie Watson , 4th tour, pillion with Jon (below)

“Hi John & Jen, thoughts on the tour…the cliffs of Moher were no different to any other rugged cliffs so were a miss for me. Ring of Kerry brill, Dublin good fun, Guinness visit great – too many highs to list. One big miss would be Blarney Castle – after Jackie kissed the Blarney Stone I can’t shut her up!! A great holiday with loads of highs and some brilliant memories to cherish. Stay fit and well, ride safe and see you soon.”  (an abridged version of Jon’s comments)

Jon Watson, 4th tour, Yamaha Tracer 900GT, Berkshire

Morning coffee stop

Pauline, Vicki & Jeremy

Live music at lunch

Pavement parking

Adrian & Stoner go for a ride

While we visit Blarney Castle

Climb the tower to kiss the Blarney Stone

Jon’s where he belongs!!

Jackie goes first

Then John

Jen’s next

Followed by Phil

Then Veronica

Jeremy & Vicki

John with Ken & Sue

Time to visit the gardens

“Hi John & Jen,

When you first suggested Southern Ireland as a replacement for the Italy/Swiss trip Sue and I thought it was a great idea and looked forward to going from that point on.

Jen made a point about the fact that you were responsible for developing the tour and knowing it was all done using the internet and a telephone really shows how expert you’ve become, along with your boss of course, at running a great tour company.

Our view of the hotels and associated parking is that they were all well suited and good quality and the food in all was excellent (certainly not lacking in amount on plates!).

The location of stops was good, the only comment being that our preference would have been to stop somewhere outside of Drogheda to avoid the traffic and the town which we didn’t see the better side of anyway. There’s no way you could have known what to expect in any of the locations we stopped at.

Our view of Dublin is much like that of Charles, it may be better as a one day stopover to enable guests to explore the city and the Guinness museum with the option of a ride out for those who prefer the day riding.

I guess it is always going to be difficult to avoid traffic queues in and out of the bigger cities wherever.

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and thank you for all you hard work in arranging it under current circumstances.

Sue also thanks you both for putting up with me as she would be disappointed if she couldn’t come on the tours. Maybe she could be your permanent pillion as she like riding with you much better than me!”

Ken (23 trips!) & Sue (18 trips!) Wright, Suzuki V-Strom 1000, Kent

Ice cream anyone?

Jackie & Jon

Our next 4* hotel at Killarney

Here for 2 nights

Drinks before dinner

Dinner is included tonight

Another glorious morning

“First tour with BN European Tours and found them to be very professional. Really well organised and nothing was too much trouble. Lovely route along the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland. Would go again tomorrow.”  Steve’s 5* Google review

Steve Smith, 1st tour, BMW R1200 GSA, Dorset

Ready for a ride-out

Adrian & Stoner

Phil & Veronica – Tracer 900 GT

Parking at coffee stop

Pretty villages

Riding round the Ring of Kerry

Catch the ferry at Valencia Harbour

Gordon

“Stoner”

Charles leads the group

Adrian – KTM 990 Adventure

Great views

Dead end at a slate mine

Jon & Jackie – Tracer 900GT

Adrian taking photos

Steve & Charles do too

Jeremy & Vicki – BMW R1200GS

The bridge off Valencia Island

David followed by Brenda

Heading into the mountains

” John & Jen – here are the scores/views from the Lanes!

  • Brilliant trip – if this had been our first trip with BNET we would never had known it was your first running of it. In fact it was our first trip back with you in more than 10 years and we are super glad we did it. We too were booked on the Italy trip and had no hesitation in accepting your suggestion even though the Healy Pass is not the same as the Stelvio.
  • Hat’s off to your prep and research – clearly a lot of time and effort had been sunk into this trip.
  • The participants make the trip for us and the company was excellent…
  • The briefing about the role of the van, especially with reference to fuel reserve (eh Brenda) was very important…
  • I guess you’ll keep Ireland as a back-up trip but as Barclay rightly said, for UK based touring newbies it’s a good introduction due to all the reasons he already mentioned.
  • Penultimately, and a comment shared by a few, perhaps factor in a bit more down time at the end of the day so we have a couple of hours free from bike engine stop to dinner.
  • Last but not least, please ban BMW GS’s as they’re too big to get past!!!

There was a fella called Barclay Charles Hoare

Attempting to ride through his front door

He gave it some welly

Crashed straight through his telly

And the lot heaped up on the floor!

David (4 trips) & Brenda (2 trips) Lane, KTM Superduke R & Triumph Street Triple RS, Berkshire

David – KTM Superduke R

Brenda – Street Triple RS

Steve – BMW R1200 GSA

Steve followed by “Stoner”

More great views

What a spot for a motorhome!!

Sheep have a great view as well!

Lunch stop

Charles has a pic-nic

Barclay – BMW R1250 GS

Gordon & Alison – BMW R1250 GS

Charles – Moto Guzzi V85TT

Charles again

Coffee stop

Very friendly donkey!

Paul & Pauline – BMW R1200 RS

Watch out for locals!

We ride the fab Healy Pass

Paul & Pauline

Following the Wild Atlantic Way

“Stoner” – KTM 790 Adventure

Jen rides pillion to take photos

Steve again

Jon & Jackie – Tracer 900GT

Jon & Jackie again

Back at Killarney

Charles’ air-jacket had exploded!

Morning briefing before we depart

Ride round the Dingle Peninsular

Head up the Connor Pass

The group at the top

Father & Son – “Stoner” & Adrian

It wasn’t shorts weather!!!

Luggage van follows the route

Our Street Triple R

A single track pass

Tricky for the van !

David & Brenda (thanks Adrian)

Brenda

Steve

“Back-markers” Ken & Sue

Morning coffee stop

Ken’s luck’s in!! He’s fixed Sue’s camera!!

We take another ferry

The Captain welcomes us all on board

Lunch stop – the Shannon Dolphins

(Thanks Adrian)

Lovely beaches

We stop at the Mohar Cliffs

But Jon W wasn’t impressed!

We thought they were lovely!

Race you!!

Adrian catches a bird!!

At the hotel – Guinness all round!

The hotel bar area

Dinner is included tonight

“Stoner” has two Hookers!!!

Drinks after dinner

Our hotel for 2 nights

Ready for a ride-out

We head to the Connemara National Park

Jeremy & Vicki

Barclay

Morning coffee stop

Stoner’s in the lead

Adrian

David

Lunch stop

Our morning briefing

Morning coffee stop

Superb roads

David’s KTM has a puncture!

Adrian to the rescue

We stop at DownPatrick Head

Walk to the headland

It’s stunning!

Amazing scenery

Adrian again

Gordon, David & Brenda

Paul, David, Brenda

Our next hotel

Lots of character

More Guinness!!!

Dinner is included again

(Blurred – blame John!!)

John starts the limerick evening

Alison’s up next

Then Brenda

Ken takes a turn

John again

Sue goes next

Charles tells a joke

Followed by Stoner

John again

John has led the whole tour

Barclay followed by Steve

Gordon & Alison

Jeremy & Vicki

Arriving at Drogheda

Lunch stop

We’re held up by a squadron

For over half an hour !!!

Our final hotel in Dublin

We walk to the Guinness “Experience”

We all have our wristbands

Gordon & Alison

Vicki takes the alcohol knowledge test

Guinness marketing through the years

Guinness on the 7th floor

The girls try a Black Velvet

Jeremy & Vicki join us

Us!

We head to Temple Bar district

Dublin by night

Hotel has secure parking

Final briefing…

Has anyone lost a Tom-Tom?????

Charles perhaps?!!!

David’s puncture repair fails!!

Ride through the Wicklow Mountains

Coffee stop

Wexford for lunch

All back to Rosslaire

How much luggage Barclay???

Thanks to our back-markers Ken & Sue

22 trips & they’re part of the crew

Every morning we’re ready to go

Even those who are known to be slow

All except Ken – he’s gone to the loo!!

You can’t escape the Penguin joke!!

See you next year!

Thanks to everyone for making this tour a success. We really appreciate all your detailed feedback – some of the suggestions would have been addressed if we had done our usual research e.g. knowing where to park in larger towns, fuel stops with toilets etc. but as the planning was all done on the computer by John in a very short timescale,  I (Jen) think he did a fantastic job finding great hotels and guiding you all for the 8 days on roads we had never ridden before. Stopping at sights along the route might not suit everyone but others may have complained if we had missed them out – so we think we got the sightseeing about right. We’ll give some thought to Dublin and the Guinness “experience” if we run the tour again. Thanks again one and all & we look forward to seeing many of you next year. Ride safe, John & Jen

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