Waterways Ireland | Hubs | Themes

On The Water at Mullingar

On The Water

Discover quiet beauty, carefree adventures and wonderous wildlife along the historic Royal Canal and in the glistening lakes around Mullingar.

You’re never far from the water in Mullingar: the Royal Canal curls around the town like a question mark and the surrounding countryside is dotted with lakes whose waters and shores are protected habitats that teem with life. This watery world presents visitors with a veritable playground: take a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard and explore a world that’s often hidden from the land; hire a barge and glide along still canal waters; take a dip in a cool, clear lake or just abandon yourself to the uncomplicated joy of splashing about at a water park. The water is waiting…

Royal Canal Blueway paddling trails

23km of glorious paddling trails through the calm waters of the Royal Canal. That’s what you can expect along the Royal Canal Blueway. Centred in the Activity Zone in Mullingar Harbour, the trails extend west to Coolnahay Harbour, with its charming lockkeeper’s cottage, and east to McNead’s Bridge, right on the doorstep of Mary Lynch’s pub. Whether you go it alone or book a guided tour with a local provider such as Outdoor Sports or Vertical Kayakers; start at the Activity Zone in Mullingar or use one of the many access points along the way and soak up the tranquil beauty of the canal.

Mullingar Activity Zone

Head to Mullingar Harbour in the summer months and you’ll find it buzzing with energy. As well as the kayakers, canoeists and stand-up paddleboarders setting off to explore the Blueway trails, there will be plenty of beginners, both kids and adults, trying out popular watersports for the very first time. And they get to do so in the safety of the sheltered harbour, where qualified instructors from local operators such as Outdoor Sports are on hand to offer tips and advice. Well, they don’t call it the Activity Zone for nothing…

Derrymore Springs

Situated on a bend in the River Deel is Derrymore Springs – an adventure centre that offers a fun day out for watersports enthusiasts. At this picturesque man-made lake, you can choose from pedal boating, kayaking and fishing, among other activities. But while you’re here, it would be a shame not to get in touch with your inner child and indulge in the Aqua Park, with its inflatable slides, runways and jumping pillows. 

Lilliput Adventure Centre

Based at the 18th century Lilliput House on the shores of Lough Ennell, the Lilliput Adventure Centre offers a range of water-based activities for groups of 12 or more. Kayaking, canoeing, swimming and even bog hopping – it’s all on offer here. The setting is gorgeous, with well-kept lawns sloping down to the crystal-clear lake. And the views from the gracious old stone house are glorious. Facilities are good, with hot showers on standby. And if you check out the reviews for both the staff and the experience, you’ll see that they’re consistently positive so you know you’re in for a treat.  

Lilliput Boat Hire

Whether you’re looking for a fun family trip or a day’s fishing, Lilliput can match you with the perfect vessel – be it a rowing boat or a lake boat fitted with an outboard motor. Lough Ennell is a haven for birdlife and if you’re lucky, you could see mute swans, lapwings, peregrine falcons and, in winter, murmurations of starlings swooping and diving in breathtaking acrobatic displays. Anglers – the lake is known for its trout, perch and pike but you’ll need to bring your own fishing gear and, of course, a fishing permit. 

Lake swimming

In a town surrounded by lakes, it’s not surprising that swimming is a favoured pastime with locals and visitors alike. Try the Diving Boards at Lough Owel, an old-style swimming spot with iron ladders that give access to the clear water – just beware of the slightly stony bottom. Further north, Lough Lene offers a grassy picnic area and a wooden boardwalk leading out to the lake. Lough Ennell has a designated swimming spot at Lilliput in the Jonathan Swift Park and mythical Lough Derravaragh, said to have been home to the tragic Children of Lir, offers access to the water via a concrete jetty. So, if you’re going to base yourself in Mullingar, don’t forget to pack those swimming togs.

Show More

Start planning your experience

Filter by

NavigationFilter = [Royal Canal]
ActivityTypeFilter = [All]
BusinessTypeFilter = [All]

Alans Yippee Kayaking

1. Abbeyshrule
2. Ballymahon

5;#Royal Canal


17;#Tours & Trips

Ballymahon Greenway Cycles

Mostrim Road
Co Longford

5;#Royal Canal


4;#Equipment Hire/Rental;#1;#Activity Provider


Dublin City Council
Wood Quay
Dublin 2

5;#Royal Canal;#3;#Grand Canal


4;#Equipment Hire/Rental

Inventure Water Sports

5;#Royal Canal;#7;#Shannon Navigation

20;#Kayaking;#17;#Stand Up Paddleboard

1;#Activity Provider;#17;#Tours & Trips;#3;#Clubs & Training Centres

Kilcock Canoe Polo Club

Kilcock Harbour

5;#Royal Canal


1;#Activity Provider;#3;#Clubs & Training Centres

Midlands Cycle Hub

Co Longford  
N39 F438

9;#Royal Canal


1;#Activity Provider

Mullingar Bike Hire

Harbour Street,

5;#Royal Canal


1;#Activity Provider

Mullingar Harbour Canoe Polo Club

Royal Canal Harbour,

9;#Royal Canal


3;#Clubs & Training Centres

OE Bike Shop

Unit 2 Zone C
The Parkway
Co Westmeath

5;#Royal Canal


4;#Equipment Hire/Rental

Royal Canal Bike Hire


5;#Royal Canal


1;#Activity Provider;#17;#Tours & Trips

Royal Canal Boat Trips

Royal Canal

9;#Royal Canal

21;#Boat Trips

17;#Tours & Trips


View all
Back to top