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Shannon River Boat Hire - Suggested Cruises

Carrick-on-Shannon, One week heading North

Shannon River Suggested Cruises - Carrick-on-Shannon, One week heading North

The next village north of Carrick is Leitrim village, less than an hours cruising and an ideal stopping point while getting used to the boat. From here you head onto the Shannon-Erne waterway all the way to Belturbet, and there are 16 automated locks to navigate on the way. Leitrim is a quaint village with some good pub/restaurants and a service block although there's limited mooring. There's also an indoor shooting range with air guns and archery.

On the way to Leitrim you can turn off for Lough Key Forest Park, about three hours cruising from Carrick but be aware that there’s one lock on the way up to the lake that closes at 8:30pm in the summer. If you don’t get through the lock there’s a pub beside the marina near Knockvicar. Lough Key has a visitors centre and you could do the Boda Borg or Zip-It. Be aware that everything up here closes at 5:30pm-6pm but there are some nice walks if you decide to spend the night here. You could head up to the Boyle canal and walk into Boyle, about 20-25 minutes walk from the end of navigation.

Not far along the Shannon Erne waterway is a small village named Kilclare, which has a single pub and is a popular stopping point with hire boat crews as it's beside three consecutive locks - it's thirsty work taking your boat through. The last of these locks will be the eighth since Leitrim village. After Kilclare is Keshcarrigan, about four hours from Leitrim. This is another small village with good pubs and three memorial gardens that are really nice to walk through. There's some great fishing in the lakes in this area.

The Town of Ballinamore is about four hours and three locks from Keshcarrigan. Ballinamore is a medium sized town and is home to the Leitrim Genealogy Centre where you can find your Leitrim roots. Ballinamore is a medium sized town with several pubs and restaurants and a supermarket and some good shopping. There's also a golf course if you fancy a round.

After Ballinamore there's Ballyconnell, about three hours cruising and three more locks along. There are some good pub/restaurants here and Garadice Lough is famous for it's coarse fishing.

From Ballyconnell it's another three hours and one more lock to Belturbet, located on the border with Northern Ireland. Again featuring some good pubs and restaurants and a golf course. At this stage you'll probably be happy to hear that you're done with locks until your return journey.

After Belturbet you leave the Shannon-Erne waterway and change to the Erne river taking you up to Lough Erne. You pass through Bellanaleck on the four hour journey - there's a restaurant and bar here with plenty of mooring if you need to take a break from cruising for a while. Continue on up the river to Enniskillen, one of the largest towns on the Irish waterways. Enniskillen Castle is worth a visit, and you can even moor right beside the main shopping centres in the town. There are abundance of restaurants and pubs here, as well as two golf courses.

This is probably as far as you'll get for a 7 night cruise but if you have time you could explore Lough Erne. I find Lough Erne to be one of the most isolated and peaceful areas of the Irish waterways and there are several islands with historical sites of interest. Devenish Island, White Island and Boa Island are well worth visiting and it's about 5 hours cruising from Enniskillen to Belleek and the end of Navigation.

Cruising time 36 hours, 32 locks

 
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