Gordon Bennett Route
"Relive The Race"
Bennett Route Map

Get Your Motor Running!

A journey through Counties Carlow, Kildare and Laois

Let the Gordon Bennett Route take you on an historic journey across spectacular Irish countryside and into the picturesque towns and villages of counties Kildare, Carlow and Laois in the heart of Ireland. While the famous Gordon Bennett route was raced by the world’s greatest daredevils at record-breaking speeds in 1903, we suggest you set yourself a much easier pace. Relax, get your motor running and follow gently in the footsteps of our motoring pioneers taking time to enjoy many of Ireland’s best-loved visitor attractions and breathtaking scenery along the way.

Identifiable road signs make the Gordon Bennett Route an easy to follow tour through one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland offering a unique insight into the lives, atmosphere and sheer adrenalin behind the historic car race that roared across this 166km (104 mile) route. There is plenty to see and the Gordon Bennett Route for all the family, for motoring enthusiasts and for motor club members alike. This guide brings you specialist reports, fun facts and in-depth analysis of one of the world’s greatest sporting events ever.

The MInister's welcome note address

By Mr.John O’Donoghue T.D. Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism

I welcome this website, which traces the route taken through the roads of Laois, Kildare and Carlow, by the famous Gordon Bennett Cup Motor Race in 1903 – an international contest that was the precursor of the present day Formula 1 Grand Prix.
I am sure that this website will prove to be a marvellous guide to the Route.

We must be grateful to the dedicated motoring historians who have unearthed so many interesting facts about the 1903 race, including the lobbying campaign to bring it to Laois, which stressed its value for tourism and the improvements it would bring to the roads.

In 1903, the motorcar had a future that few would have dreamt of in those days when the speed limit in Britain and Ireland was 12 miles per hour. A special Act of Parliament was passed to allow the circuit to be closed in for the Gordon Bennett Cup and this enabled the winning Belgian driver to average 49.2 miles per hour in a time of 6 hours and 39 minutes.

The original route is now a focused tourist attraction in its own right, taking in quiet and scenic country roads, towns and villages, with many heritage attractions. I congratulate all involved in this excellent website and I hope its wide circulation and association with the annual rallies and other motoring events will do much to promote the great benefits of motor sport and tourism in these counties.


Accommodation & Dining

"Exquisitely presented, sumptuous breakfast served in an eighteenth-century house of elegance and comfort"


Events & Festivals     

For The Kids
Towns And Villages
Club Cars

Contact Us    

For further details please contact

38 South Main Street, Naas, Co. Kildare.

Tel 045-898888
Fax 045-898887

The Foresters Hall, College Street, Carlow

Tel 059-9130411
Fax 059-9130477

Laois County Council, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

057-8664132 / 8621178



Attractions By Stages
Ballyshannon To Carlow
Carlow To Athy
Athy To Kildare
Kildare To The Heath
The Heath To Athy

    Site Tools

Sign The Guestbook
Print the Brochure
    General Information
County Carlow
County Kildare
County Laois

  © Gordon Bennett Route
Designed by