Waterways Ireland | Things To Do
Things To Do



Sailing clubs, activity centres and a yacht hire company offer sailing on the inland waterways mainly in the four largest lakes, Lough Erne, Lough Allen, Lough Ree and Lough Derg.  Additionally Coleraine Yacht Club operating on the Lower Bann does facilitate visiting and local boats but is focused more towards the sea to which it has very close access.

​Whether it’s dinghies or sailing cruisers that appeal to you, the four lakes on the Shannon and Erne Systems offer superb wide open expanses of water for touring or racing.

▶ Bring your own boat and launch from the multitude of free slipways; or
▶ Learn to sail or hire a dinghy from an activity centre or sailing club;
▶ Hire a sailing cruiser from a hire company; or
▶ Contact a club to see if they need crew for their weekly or weekend sailing races.

Lake sailing offers its own challenges and while not tidal, hilly shorelines and islands can provide sufficient changes in wind direction to engage young and old in recreational or competitive sailing.

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Why not try Sailing on...

Shannon Navigation

On the Shannon, Lough Ree and Lough Derg are the main hubs with some sail training taking place on L...

Erne System

The wind in your hair, the lapping of the water as the boat tacks and gybes through the lake water s...

Grand Canal

The Grand Canal Basin in Dublin's Docklands has been used to host competitive match racing event...

Lower Bann Navigation

Sailing on the Lower Bann takes place entirely from Coleraine northwards as boats head towards the b...

Select your waterway...

Barrow Navigation

​​​​​Winding its way through peaceful woods, fertile valleys and picturesque villages the Barrow is fully navigable for 68km from Athy to St. Mullins. A significant canalised waterway right up to the 1950’s the Barrow’s industrial past saw commercial barges carrying consignments of barley to the Guinness Brewery in Dublin and later, supplying beet to Ireland’s first sugar factory at Carlow.

Erne System

​The Erne System has its share of dramatic landscapes and historical treasures; the monastic round tower at Devenish Island rising up from the Lough, the ruined remains of Tully Castle, the picture postcard image of Enniskillen’s medieval castle on the edge of its island banks and the National Trust’s Castle Coole and Crom Estate all compete for your attention.

Grand Canal

​Built amid the 18th-century canal fever that swept across Ireland, the 144km Grand Canal stretches across the country from Dublin to the Shannon.

Lower Bann Navigation

​The Lower Bann is navigable from Lough Neagh to the sea at the Barmouth between Castlerock and Portstewart Strand.

Royal Canal

​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.

Shannon Erne Waterway

​Running between Leitrim Village and just north of Belturbet, the Shannon-Erne Waterway links the two great waterways on the island, the Erne System and the Shannon Navigation.

Shannon Navigation

​The Shannon is a treasure waiting to be discovered. The longest river in Ireland, the River Shannon and its lakes are a bustling, colourful navigation.​

More fun activities to try...

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