Suggested cruising options Carrick-on-Shannon*
A nature and history adventure around Lough Key

One week
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By :
Ballinamore, Lough Key
208 KM
from 1723 EUROS**
* Cruise suggestions: non contractual information
** All prices are calculated on the basis of a two day weekend in low season.
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Description of
the boating holiday

Your adventure on the River Shannon and the Shannon-Erne Canal

Set off aboard one of our self-drive canal boats for a one-week boating holiday and discover the Irish historical, cultural and folkloric heritage. You will sail sometimes on the River Shannon, sometimes on the Shannon-Erne Canal and sometimes on the Lough Key lake, all while meeting charming little villages where you will always be welcomed with open arms.

Departure base

Famous for its pier, Carrick-on-Shannon is a small but typical Irish town in County Leitrim, 150km northwest of Dublin. The Nicols base where your boating holiday on the River Shannon begins is close to a park and many restaurants.

Before boarding your Nicols canal boat, first stroll through the historic market town of Carrick to see the market square (which takes place every Thursday) and the clock tower. It is also in Carrick that the Costello Chapel is located, the smallest chapel in Europe measuring just 17 square metres! If your boating holiday takes place at the beginning of June you may be lucky enough to attend the Carrick Carnival: a nocturnal parade of floats, concerts and street artists, attractions and entertainment, fireworks, vintage cars... This annual event has something for the whole family!

Places to see and things to do

Lough Key is located in the heart of the exceptional Lough Key Forest Park: a preserved area and multi-activity complex that has to be on your list of ‘must-see’ places during your boating holiday north of the River Shannon. The forest park is home to a very rich wildlife that you may be lucky enough to see so be on the lookout for otters, kingfishers, badgers, herons, fallow deer, swans and red squirrels... You can also go cycling, hiking, kayaking and even tree climbing! The Rockingham Remembered Tour course mixes underground tunnels and a 9 metre tall viewing tower which offers a spectacular view of the park, the lake and the surrounding area. For groups of more than 3 people, book a 2-hour slot at Boda Borg (prohibited for children under 7 for security reasons) which is an original Swedish concept combining reflection and strategy in the style of an escape game. Here your crew will need to work together again, this time calling on your team spirit to solve the 15 quests and 47 challenges that are put to you in this building that’s arranged on two floors!

Boyle: revisit Ireland of the past

Welcome to Boyle, the last stopover point before resuming navigation towards Carrick-on-Shannon. Here, some of the buildings have survived for centuries. Your walk begins at King House, a bourgeois house built in the 18th century and later transformed into a military base for the Irish Regiment of the British Army. An educational tour of the premises awaits you, with a mix of museum displays and art galleries. Not far away is Boyle Abbey, a former Cistercian monastery founded in the 12th century by the prominent McDermott family (who also owned the castle of the same name in the middle of Lough Key). Admire the columns sculpted with the effigy of the monks and stroll through the alleys of the cloister. Go back in time to return to the Neolithic era at the Drumalone dolmen, a burial monument erected around 5,000 years ago.

Now is the time to turn around and retrace your route towards Carrick-on-Shannon.

Canal boats available

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Holiday reviews from Carrick-on-Shannon

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Our rejuvenating boating holiday allowed us to discover Ireland in a new light! We loved the travel through small villages where we were always greeted by a pub or restaurant and local lively music.

Sylvie and Bernard, Lyon (69)