North West 200
Have you had the call? Race to the Causeway Coastal Route for one of Europe’s biggest sporting events – the North West 200 (9-16 May).
Racing around the island of Ireland
Each year, up to 150,000 race fans from around the globe flock to the NW200 to experience a unique fusion of road racing surrounded by the serenely rugged beauty of the North Antrim coast. Now fans from around the globe can join in online and satellite viewers can red button two of the races live on TV. Check out the TV coverage of the most recent event of the NW200.
NW200 - a motorcycle convention
For bike lovers this place is heaven for a whole week. All day and into the nights, thousands of motor-cycle enthusiasts roam the streets of Portrush and Portstewart – looking but not touching the latest, oldest, first, last, fastest and dearest. They’re the pride and joy of other men, and increasingly women, too. And the Irish humour mixes with visitors’ surprise at the scale of the gathering and the professionalism of an event run by hundreds of volunteer enthusiasts.
The history of the NW200
The event has been a major occasion in the racing calendar since 1929 and attracts the world’s best road racers to pit their wits against this formidable course. Its significance as a cultural occasion for the island of Ireland is unparalleled. Local legends, such as the late, great Joey and Robert Dunlop, who captured the public’s imagination in the Eighties and Nineties, and now the next generation of this local family vies for the podium. The NW 200 has become Ireland’s most popular outdoor sporting event, with over 150,000 spectators descending on the Triangle, as the course is known. And not just because it is free, as donations – through programme purchase – are usually willingly given.
Full Festival Programme
This big family wedding atmosphere is what keeps people coming back year after year. The anticipation and excitement builds all week with a festival of events in the area. Vintage bike displays and stunt shows to live music and fireworks, there really is something for everyone to enjoy. Saturday sees the main event, with the crowds gathering at the best vantage points all along the nine mile course to watch McGuinness, Anstey, Rutter and many other celebrated riders hurtle through the coastal towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine. With seven races throughout the day, the atmosphere is electric.
Take the scenic route
Aside from the festival atmosphere, it is the setting for the NW200 that marks it out as such a unique occasion. The rugged, natural beauty of the Antrim coast provides the ultimate backdrop to the racing action. Bushmills Distillery celebrates over 400 years of legal whiskey making, so drop by for the guided tour. Giant’s Causeway and dozens of beaches allow everyone easy access right down to the Atlantic shoreline, so if coming by bike through Belfast or Larne, make time to come along the Coast.