French students saddle up at Scarva: Scarva Cycle Hire recently said bonjour to a group of visiting French students and their local hosts when they visited the facility and took to the saddle for a sight-seeing journey along the beautiful Newry Canal Towpath.

The students used pedal power to take to the 20 mile route which runs from Newry to Portadown and follows the historical trail which traces the role of Newry Canal in the transportation of timber, coal and agriculture produce. Everyone enjoyed the splendour of the landscape, taking in the stunning views and breathing in the fresh air as they experienced traveling alongside the first canal to be constructed in the British Isles.

The eleven young people and two supervisors were visiting the borough as part of an annual exchange which has been taking part in the Banbridge area for the over twenty years. This year students travelled from Ruelle Sur Touvre to experience the world renowned Northern Irish hospitality, culture and tourism and to represent their homeland as part of a town twinning delegation.

Youth Exchange

The Youth Exchange has been organised by the Education Authority through the local Banbridge Youth Resource Centre in partnership with the Banbridge Twinning Association. The relationship between the towns of Ruelle and Banbridge has a strong and long history with the twinning project originally established in 1993 now one of the most successful and long lasting twinning arrangements throughout the UK and Ireland. The exchange visitors included people aged between 15 -18 years of age, who were hosted by eight local families as well as members of the twinning committee.

The visiting group undertook a packed seven day programme of events joining with local students each day to experience some of the best attractions and hospitality of the area including walking tours of both Banbridge Town including F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Armagh City. They also enjoyed a local bread making demonstration and they even fitted in a local Ceili as well as experiencing the sights of Belfast, Carlingford and Dublin.

Gilbert Lee, Chairman of Banbridge Twinning Association commented: “This exchange visit was deemed to be a great success and many young people from both Ruelle and Banbridge, are already counting down the days until their outward visit to Ruelle in July 2018”.

Scarva Cycle Hire

Run by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Scarva Cycle Hire, located beside the ever popular Tea Rooms in the picturesque award winning village, offers bicycle hire for all ages with hourly or daily rates available. All fees include the hire of cycle, helmet and high visibility jacket, as well as a puncture repair kit. Car parking and toilets are also available on-site.

The facility is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10.00am-4.00pm. Further information including hire rates can be found at or by contacting T: 028 3883 2766