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Royal Canal

  • 146 km
  • 46 locks
  • 86 bridges
  • 13 towns
  • 17 moorings
Map showing the route of the Royal Canal

Constructed between 1790 and 1817, the historic Royal Canal was an important freight and passenger route in the 1800s. Thanks to extensive restoration work, the Royal Canal was re-opened for navigation in 2010, and is now a popular destination for boaters, walkers, anglers and cyclists.

Winding 146 km westwards from Dublin to the Shannon, the Royal Canal passes through locks, peaks near Mullingar and concludes at the historic, stone-cut Richmond Harbour. The Royal Canal Greenway runs alongside the canal from Maynooth to Cloondara, offering a purpose-built walking and cycling trail through pristine countryside, native wildlife and 18th-century industrial archaeology. 

Home to herons, swans, otters, badgers and foxes, the Royal Canal is a must-visit for nature lovers. Practise your patience by angling on waters teeming with roach, pike, tench, bream and the many other species of fish that help make the Royal Canal one of Ireland’s popular angling destinations. Explore the Old Rail Trail, which intersects with the Royal Canal Greenway and offers cyclists and walkers a route from Dublin to Athlone without using any public roads. However you choose to experience the Royal Canal, you’ll be enchanted by its beauty and history.

Plan your Royal Canal Greenway adventure

Explore the greenway’s 130 km of level path, spanning Maynooth to Cloondara. Find access points, and plan your walking, cycling or running route. 

Picture of another white boat Picture of a white boat

Embark on your boating adventure

From bye-laws and mooring regulations, to locks, bridges, slipways and entry-points, find all the information you need to plan your trip on the Royal Canal.

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