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Ireland

Don't wait to discover the boats available for a cruise in Ireland.

The country is home to nearly 500km of navigable waterways punctuated with only twenty-one automatic locks and two lift bridges, and if you don't fancy too much hard work, you'll be pleased to know that there are two 130km sections with no locks whatsoever!
You will sail primarily along rivers, with a few long lakes to cross too, as well as a canal between Carrick on Shannon and Belturbet.

You can travel to Ireland either by car, via one of the many ferry routes to Ireland, or by air, on one of the regular or low-cost routes serving the country.

Not to be missed

Rental of licence-free barges on rivers and canals of Ireland You will no doubt be pleasantly surprised by Ireland's mild climate and the warmth it gets from the currents of the Gulf Stream. With only 13% cultivated land, it's not hard to see how this country got its national colour - emerald green.
It really is a paradise for golfers and fishing enthusiasts alike, with romantic castle ruins and Irish pubs thrown in to complete the perfect picture.

  • With some 400 courses to choose from, golfers visiting the country can indulge in their favourite pass-time whilst enjoying its sumptuous landscapes.
  • Young and old alike can enjoy the free and readily available salmon, trout, pike and other types of fishing that Ireland has to offer. There is, however a 'No Kill' policy in place, whereby the majority of fish are released once the traditional photograph has been taken.
  • Over the course of its 90-century history, the successive inhabitants of this island have left countless traces of themselves behind. From pre-historic sites to the romantic ruins of medieval castles and Renaissance manors, you will be spoilt for choice.
  • You would also be missing out if you didn't spend at least one evening in a pub listening to local musicians and sampling an Irish Mist, a pint of beer or an Irish coffee.

A few stops along the way

The following list of suggested stops is intended purely as a guide. Ireland boasts a plethora of castles, romantic landscapes, golf courses and fishing spots that you will get the opportunity to discover through the many stops you make, each more interesting than the last.

Belleek, located at the mouth of the River Erne, on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (southern Ireland), is not only home to a magnificent castle but also an impressive pottery works.

Carrick-on-Shannon (or in English, 'town where you can cross the river on foot') is internationally renowned for its fishing competitions, but you might also like to visit the ruins of its castle or its various manors and chapels.

Portumna, which sits at the junction of Lake Derg and the River Shannon, is well known to sailors, anglers and golfers alike. The feudal castle is just 300m from the port and houses a variety of exhibitions and a 17th-Century vegetable garden. You might also be interested in exploring its forest park or enjoying a game of golf.

Shannobridge and the surrounding area is a great stop-off for children (and some parents, too), who will no doubt enjoy the 9km train ride through the Blackwater Bog, after which you might like to take them to Ashbrook Farm and Agricultural Museum.

Rental of licence-free barges on rivers and canals of Ireland Rental of licence-free barges on rivers and canals of Ireland
 

photos: Glendalough - Chris Hill 2009 ; Queens University - Chris Hill 2009 ; Ballybunion Golf Club - Evan Schiller