The Royal Canal, on its 146km journey from the River Liffey in Dublin to the Shannon, passes 46 working locks, 10 of them double-chambered.
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Click to view current status of Royal Canal towpath developments
Started in Dublin, the work on constructing the canal was completed in 1817 when it reached Richmond Harbour in Clondara. By the 1950's the canal had fallen into disrepair and was officially closed in 1961. Following extensive restoration work the Royal Canal was opened to navigation in 2010 reigniting enthusiasm for the triangular route from Dublin to the Shannon via the Royal and Grand Canals. As with all of Ireland's waterways the canal passes through some of Europe's most beautiful countryside and, whether you are on a boat, or simply on foot, you'll have ample opportunity to enjoy it all. The towpath that has been so lovingly cleared has now been designated The Royal Canal Way (a National Way Marked Way). The Royal Canal is truly a snapshot of the past. There are bridges dating back over 200 years and buildings in Abbeyshrule that can be traced back to 1200 A.D. As with old buildings some superstitions have thrived, like Deey Bridge at the 13th Lock, which is reputed to be haunted; the old boatmen would never moor there overnight.Angling is another popular activity, with roach proving to be one of the most popular fish, along with pike, tench and bream. Canal bream rarely exceed 4lbs, but pike can offer a real challenge, weighing in at 20lbs, and anglers of all levels of experience will find excellent conditions along the Royal Canal.