Cruise Ireland - Grand Canal

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  • Deirdre Macklin

    It was a most relaxing holiday-a little hidden paradise and only an hour's drive from home! I could have stayed another week and am already looking...

  • Richard McCaw

    As our first time we would definitely sail again perhaps slightly bigger boat. Wonderful relaxing experience. Staff were very pleasant and helpful.

  • Colm Brennan

    This was our first time on a boating holiday and we were apprehensive enough. From booking it with Wendy, through check in and check out with Padraig it...

  • Pat Hall

    Yes it was our first time cruise 5 of us pick a differnt spot in ireland every year couple of us were.nt sure but from start to finish it was one of the...

Grand Canal

You are now able to cruise along the Grand Canal as far as Tullamore in County Offaly. The canal has been dredged and cleaned - but not modernised! - and is an idyllic alternative to the large lakes and rivers of the Shannon. This section starts at Shannon Harbour, just an hour's motoring north of Banagher. There are two locks to get up to the harbour where there are new moorings, a shower block, an excellent children's play area and, of course, a pub.

General view of the Grand Canal






A different experience

As you go through the first lock, let the lockkeeper know your plans and he will telephone ahead to his colleagues so that they know you are coming. Further on is Lock 33 which is a rare double chamber - we would advise that you seek assistance from the lockkeeper for this one as you could literally be left high and dry. Although the canal runs through rural areas, some towns are only a short walk, such as Ferbane and Belmont. There are plenty of official moorings along the canal but there are also plenty of places where bank mooring would be possible.

Along the way you will pass the Bord Na Mona swing bridge. Bord Na Mona are the authority who cut and process the turf from the surrounding area and they have a narrow-gauge railway which crosses the canal at this point. The bridge opens electrically so it's fairly easy. There is a pub and a small shop at Pollagh on the banks of the canal and another pub further on at Corcorans Bridge. Finally you arrive in Tullamore with two more locks and dozens of pubs and restaurants - ask the lockkeeper for recommendations. There is an excellent harbour with easy access to the town centre. There are 11 locks in total and you will pass under 20 bridges and we suggest that you allow three days to get up to Tullamore and back to the Shannon. The bridges are very narrow - hence we only allow the Carlow Class on the canal.

Please mention when booking if you intend to go up the Grand Canal as we will have to make some special arrangements for your trip.