A Jewel On The Shannon
Looking for a fun, relaxing holiday with activities to suit everyone? We have the perfect selection of itineraries and routes for all in Ireland’s hidden heartlands. Start off your adventure at Silver Line Cruisers based in Banagher where our instructors will ensure you are fully acquainted with your luxury boat and the rules of the waterways before you head away from the Marina and travel northwards.
Relax and Enjoy The Spectacular Scenery
Dine al fresco for lunch as you motor on up Lough Ree taking in the sights and a different perspective, as you float past in luxury. Passing by Shannonbridge, you might want to stop off, drop anchor and take a closer look at this heritage site, rich in local history. Moor up, step ashore, and discover. Built by the British against a potential invasion by Napoleon in the early 19th century, enjoy a signposted walking tour of the fort and Shannonbridge’s historical sites and enjoy a bite to eat in Fallon’s Pub with the Organic Kitchen and Luker’s Bar & Restaurant
As you meander up the Shannon, you’ll find one of Ireland’s most important early Christian monastic sites – Clonmacnoise Monastic Settlement. This was one of Europe’s first universities. Founded in 550 AD by Saint Ciarán, it was located at the crossroads of two medieval trading routes, and soon boomed to become a major centre of learning and a bustling hive of trade and the arts by the mid-8th Century.
Clonmacnoise became a centre of craftsmanship and you can see many examples of stone carving in the surviving high crosses and ornate features on the ten remaining churches on this historic site.
During its 1400 year old history, the site has been raided and razed many times – 8 times by the Vikings, 27 times by other forces such as Irish kings, the Normans and by other monasteries, but was always rebuilt. However, under the reign of Henry VIII the monastery was destroyed by English soldiers for the final time in 1552, leaving the site in the state in which it exists to this day.
You might also like to take a trip to Celtic Roots Studio, situated in the craft village of Ballinahown, close by, with its workshop and gallery space with an interpretative centre and display of historic artifacts made from bogwood. The studio offers classes on small-scale wood carving that give an understanding of what it takes to sand and polish wood. Take home your own hand-carved piece of 5000 years of history…
Explore The Majestic Athlone Castle
Motor on and notice how the River narrows at Athlone. Moor up, step ashore and take a closer look at Athlone Castle, located on the banks of the Shannon, it started life as a timber fort in 1129 and evolved over time to play a major role in the defense of the town for some 750 years. It was modernised and refurbished in 2012 with the opening of a state-of-the-art museum and visitor centre. Why not climb the steps to the Castle Keep and enjoy the views across the River Shannon or climb higher still to the castle battlements and look across the town rooftops.
Enough history – now time to make a splash!
Make sure you stop off at Baysports, Ireland’s largest water park with obstacle courses, river safari tours, trampolines and more in Hodson Bay. Afterwards, why not moor up for some five star dining at Hodson Bay Hotel located close by. And if you have time, look out for Lough Key Forest Park which offers ziplines, hiking trails and more, perfect for more onshore fun!
There are so many activity options in Lough Ree, from unique heritage sites to forest trails to water sports and more….and for those who enjoy a more relaxed pace, the spectacular scenery is renowned as some of Ireland’s best.