On the Water
Glide along the tranquil waters of the Shannon-Erne Waterway on a slow-travel adventure you’ll never forget
The slow sway of pale-coloured reeds, the elegant curl of a swan’s neck, the drift through a landscape blanketed in green. Cruising down the Shannon-Erne Waterway is a special experience, with 16 locks from Ballinamore to Leitrim Village and lots of friendly villages to stop off for lunch along the way. You can opt for a cruiser, a self-drive barge or even a traditional English or Dutch-style barge with many boat hire companies offering vessels. For kakayers and canoeists, the appeal is just as great with a vast array of paddling trails that bring you along gently flowing waters and into abundant lakes – the beating hearts of the waterway. Paddling here, you’ll pass through old, chunky stone locks, along quiet canals and scenic rivers on a series of 15 distinct paddling journeys. It’s what memories are made of.
Shannon-Erne Blueway paddling trails
Take to the waters on the
Shannon-Erne Blueway and you’ll have a remarkable selection of paddling trails
at your fingertips. The Blueway stretches for 70km along the length of the
waterway from Leitrim Village in County Leitrim to Belturbet in County Cavan.
If you haven’t been kayaking or canoeing before, it’s best to go with a guide
who can pick one of the most suitable of the 15 paddling trails to explore. For
more information or for a detailed map of the trails, visit
White Water Course
the Shannon-Erne Waterway feels gloriously tranquil and serene most times,
that’s not to say it doesn’t have an adrenaline-filled wild side. Thrills and
spills come thick and fast along the Ballyconnell White Water Trail, which is
perfect for testing the skills of proficient paddlers. Beginning at Lock 2 in
Ballyconnell, this section suits experienced adventurists who are happy to
tackle the rapids, standing waves, eddies and rock piles along the course.
Step into a beautiful Canadian canoe,
grab your paddle and glide along the serene waterways in the company of an
Adventure Gently guide. Perfect for novice paddlers, the guided tours here can
bring you on a full day tour of the Shannon-Erne Waterway, although shorter
half-day options are available.
Cavan Adventure Centre
As well as offering canoes to rent for self-guided adventures and fishing or
camping expeditions, the Cavan Adventure Centre offers guided boat tours out to
the historic Clough Oughter Castle. It’s the perfect way to learn more about
the story of this intriguing castle, which is set amongst some of the most
idyllic scenery on the island of Ireland. And from Easter 2020, keep your eye
out for the brand new Erne Island Waterpark, a fabulous inflatable waterpark
where bouncing into the water is all part of the fun.
Way to Go Adventures
The great thing about going kayaking with Way to Go Adventures? You discover
things along the waterways you never would have noticed, from birdlife to quiet
islands. What’s more, they can arrange for your tour to start at a location
that’s convenient to you. This is slow adventure at its best.
For a very memorable day out on the
water, why not try a spot of angling. Both Lough Scur and Lough Garadice are
top angling hotspots where all of Ireland’s best coarse angling species
including roach, bream and tench can be found. Looking for a bit of inside
info? Check out Fishtracker – who offer guiding services including boats,
advice on the best places to fish and even tuition for novices.