8 Reasons To Visit Ireland's Waterways

From moments of perfect peace to fast-paced on-the-water adventures, we've got the ways to go. Adventurous types need look no further – this is destination fun.

​1. Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Situated in the centre of Ireland's only island town, the Blueway activity zone in Enniskillen, Lough Erne is the perfect place to text the waters on your very own SUP board.  Paddle past history with Island Town SUP or head to an island and visit a monastic site, this unique adventure is a great day trip away for family and friends. 

2. Barge Holiday On A Canal

A new and exciting daily Barge trip servicw operation between Castleknock and Kilcock on the Royal Canal, these unique trips are perfect for groups and families looking for something different for their holiday this year. Choose where you would like go on the basis of your plans and budget.  Prices for Royal Canal Boat Trips are from €12.50 per hour (per person). 

3. Cycling With Friends

The Shannon Blueway is home to some of the best short distance cycling trails in Ireland.  Just outside Carrick-on-Shannon and the tiny village of Drumshanbo the famous floating boardwalk at Acres Lake is the perfect starting point for that cycling trip with friends. Got no bike? no need to worry, simply hire yours from Seamus and Eileen in Electric Bike Trails

4. Weekend Canoe Trips

Embark on an off-grid adventure where gentle blue waters, tranquil islands and charming jetties await. The Lough Erne Canoe Trail weaves through a maze of sparkling bays and scenic peninsulas. It’s one of the most popular canoe trails in Northern Ireland, and is suitable for a wide range of abilities, but it’s always recommended that novice paddlers use a local activity provider.You can make a real adventure of it by wild camping on the shores and islands, sleeping under the stars and in the company kingfishers, otters and heron. For more information on routes, itineraries, camping facilities and canoe hire, log on to CANI for more information. 

5. A Day Out Fishing

Sit back relax and let the lake breeze blow you away as you enjoy a day out fishing on our waterways.  Ireland is proud to be home to some of Europe's most beautiful lakes, with fishing stands and spots spread across the shores of Lough Derg, Lough Ree, Lough Allen and Lough Derg, you are sure to be in with a chance to catch a beauty. 

6. Cruising Holiday 

There's a very good reason travellers seek out Lough Ree and the Shannon – the waters here are truly beautiful, with quiet moments of shimmering grace giving way to the vast majesty of Ireland's longest river. Justly popular as a cruising destination, the area is also home to a wonderful array of pleasure-boat trips that offer civilised, scenic and relaxed on-the-water experiences. A great bet for relaxed day trips along the Shannon is the River Run Pleasure Cruiser, with a comfortable interior that's enclosed, heated and even has a bar! For something a little special, book in for a trip with Viking Tours Ireland.

7. Family Walks

Escape into a natural environment that soothes the soul on these great trails that weave through woodland and skirt the shores of Lough Ree With a liquid playground that stretches out in all directions, it'd be easy to think that the area around Athlone doesn't offer much for the walker. Think again: gloriously low-lying, incredibly tranquil and enveloped in a panoply of green – the walking routes around Lough Ree and the Shannon are nothing short of breathtaking. Experience the nature, breathe in the calm and soak up the scenery on these three great walks. 
Example: Lough Boora Parklands
Just a 40-minute drive from Athlone and you're into what can only be described as a walking wonderland, where modern life fades into a landscape of tobacco-coloured bogland, lakes, wildlife and Mesolithic history. Once a commercial peat bog, Lough Boora has been transformed into a haven for walkers, cyclists and anglers. The five walking routes range from around 3km to 15km and maps and trails can be downloaded from their website at

8. Kayak Summer Camps 

With so many summer camps operating across the 1000km of inland waterways in Ireland, you are sure to find one that suits you or your children.  Get West will be offering their 'Learn to Kayak' camps through out the summer, why not book on to one today and start your next unique adventure! Click here to find out more....

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