Travel the lower Shannon from our departure base of Banagher and find Clonmacnoise or Portumna very close to you.

Clonmacnoise and the lower Shannon

Our base at Banagher in County Offaly is ideally placed to explore this Lower Shannon area during your boating holidays in Ireland, including Lough Derg, the largest lake on the Irish waterway system. Lough Derg is famous for the idyllic little towns and villages that fringe its shores with small harbours with plenty of moorings. This is the place to go to “get away from it all” and to experience the peacefulness, the beautiful dramatic scenery and really good cruising waters. From Banagher, you can easily reach the celtic site Clonmacnoise as well as Portumna with its Renaissance castle.

banagher

The
highlights of Banagher

  • Easy access to the lower Shannon
  • Close to iconic sites such as Clonmacnoise

our routes departing from Banagher

The routes shown are only suggestions; don’t forget that you can stop wherever you like on your cruise.

Relaxing Ireland

Waterway Shannon
Itinerary BanagherClonmacnoiseAthloneHodson BayKillinureShannonbridgeBanagher

Waterway

Shannon

Itinerary

Banagher...Banagher
Duration of stay
1 week
Navigation time
2h40 / day
Distance traveled
112km
Number of locks
2
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Banagher

Clonmacnoise

Clonmacnoise Monastery is over 1500 years old and is one of Ireland’s most important historic sites. You can tie up your license-free boat at a small pontoon and stroll among Celtic crosses while learning about Ireland’s history.

Athlone

Athlone is the biggest town you'll see on your self-drive boat holiday. Make sure you visit the castle or spend an evening in one of the three theatres. And you should definitely stop by Sean's bar, Ireland’s oldest pub.

Hodson Bay

Hodson Bay liegt nur fĂŒnf Minuten von Athlone entfernt, im Herzen der irischen Seenplatte. In der kleinen Stadt gibt es einen bekannten Wasserpark namens Baysports Waterpark, ein Muss fĂŒr Familien!

Killinure

Killinure Point ist eine Halbinsel am sĂŒdöstlichen Ende des Lough Ree in der Grafschaft Westmeath, am Fluss Shannon. Sie ist an drei Seiten von Wasser umgeben und bildet die sĂŒdwestliche Halbinsel des Wahlbezirks Killinure. Sicherlich einen Abstecher wert!

Shannonbridge

Die Shannonbridge, die dem Ort in Richtung County Offaly ihren Namen gibt, ist eine der schönsten BrĂŒcken in Irland. Die massive Konstruktion mit sechzehn Bögen zeugt von der Ingenieurskunst und Steinmetzkunst des 18. Jahrhunderts. Die BrĂŒcke fĂŒhrt ĂŒber den lĂ€ngsten Fluss Irlands und verbindet die Grafschaften Roscommon und Offaly.

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Banagher

The Lough Derg tour

Waterway Shannon
Itinerary BanagherTerryglassKillaloeMountshannonClonmacnoiseBanagher

Waterway

Shannon

Itinerary

Banagher...Banagher
Duration of stay
1 week
Navigation time
3h30 / day
Distance traveled
165km
Number of locks
2
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Banagher

Terryglass

You’ll love this marina, located at the entrance to Lough Derg: it's calm and peaceful when the lake allows. In the small village, you’ll find a picturesque, lively pub and a small shop where you can restock your self-drive boat.

Killaloe

Killaloe is in the east of County Clare, on the shores of Lough Derg, and is a great little place to stop during your boating holidays in Ireland. It is famous as the birthplace of King Brian Boru. The village is also known for its footpaths and historic ruins.

Mountshannon

Mountshannon is situated on the shores of Lough Derg, one of Ireland's largest lakes, in East Clare. It is a beautiful and picturesque village with its foundation dating back to the 18th century.

Clonmacnoise

Clonmacnoise Monastery is over 1500 years old and is one of Ireland’s most important historic sites. You can tie up your license-free boat at a small pontoon and stroll among Celtic crosses while learning about Ireland’s history.

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Banagher

Shannon Getaway

Waterway Shannon
Itinerary BanagherClonmacnoiseAthloneLanesboroughDromodLough Key Forest Park Carrick-on-ShannonTarmonbarryAthloneShannonbridge Portumna DromineerTerryglassBanagher

Waterway

Shannon

Itinerary

Banagher...Banagher
Duration of stay
2 weeks
Navigation time
3h30 / day
Distance traveled
375km Round-trip
Number of locks
12
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Banagher

Clonmacnoise

The Monastery of Clonmacnoise is over 1500 years old. This place is one of the main historic places in Ireland. Park your houseboat at a small pontoon and take a walk among Celtic crosses as you get to know Ireland's history better.

Athlone

Athlone is the largest city on your houseboat trip. Do not miss to visit Athlone Castle or spend an evening in one of the three theaters. Must see is also Sean's Bar, the oldest pub in Ireland

Lanesborough

In the town of Lanesborough there are still remnants of some of its churches. The town was once the scene of many battles and invasions. Indeed, the Vikings began to invade Ireland in the 9th century. For fans of history, be sure to stop here!

Dromod

Dromod is a remarkable fishing village next to Bofin and Boderg on the Shannon River. Built along the river Shannon, the village has a modern port frequented by tourists on their boat cruises.

Lough Key Forest Park

A very nice stopover for the whole family and peace seekers. An enchanted park invites you for long walks. There is also a treetop path, adventure playground, bike paths and a beautiful dock for overnight stays.

Carrick-on-Shannon

A small town with charm. The city partly has buildings from the 15th century. In the city center there is not only worth seeing the "smallest church in Ireland" but also a historic bell tower. The streets in the city center offer good pubs and restaurants as well as many shops.

Tarmonbarry

Tarmonbarry is a village situated beside the River Shannon in County Roscommon. East of the bridge, part of the village is in County Longford. It is a popular stopover for people navigating the Shannon on pleasure craft.

Athlone

Athlone is the largest city on your houseboat trip. Do not miss to visit Athlone Castle or spend an evening in one of the three theaters. Must see is also Sean's Bar, the oldest pub in Ireland.

Shannonbridge

Giving its name to the village towards County Offaly, the Shannonbridge is one of the most beautiful bridges in Ireland. The massive sixteen-arch structure bears witness to the engineering and stone masonry of the 18th century. Covering the longest river in Ireland, the bridge links the counties of Roscommon and Offaly.

Portumna

One of the most beautiful cities in County Galway. Definitely worth a longer stay to get to know all the sights. Among them the Portumna Castle from the beginning of the 17th century. Next to the castle there is an interesting kitchen garden and a tea house. Take also a long walk on the shores of Lough Derg Forest Park.

Dromineer

Dromineer is situated on the side of Lough Derg north of Garrykennedy. During the summer months there are many tourist activities here, as people come to enjoy its marina and relax by the small beach. The village can be easily explored on foot and is an ideal stopping point for tourists.

Terryglass

Coming from the north, this little quiet (if the lake will) harbor will charm you at the entrance to Lough Derg. In the small village you will find a picturesque, lively pub and a small grocery store.

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Banagher

IF YOU WANT TO BOOK THIS CRUISE
BROWSE ONLINE THE AVAILABILITIES

our boats available

Departing from our Banagher base, we can offer the range of canal boats shown below. To see the full range of cruises available, please see our self-drive boat pages or contact our team who can help you to choose.

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Banagher boat hire Athlone, Portumna and Clonmacnoise by boat

Start your magical journey from Banagher marina

When starting your Irish boating trip, there are a number of different things to consider before setting out, and one of the most important is which route you are going to take. Although many will choose to start their boating holiday in Ireland’s capital Dublin, there are a number of different starting points across the island. With a Locaboat base in the town of Banagher, hiring your canal boat here is a great option. This area of the lower Shannon River connects both to the southern towns of County Galway and County Clare as well as to the capital via its Grand Canal.

The actual town of Banagher itself is well worth a little exploration before you set off on your adventure. Although it first seems like just another humble Irish town, Banagher is home to an array of different historical sites that are worth a visit. Top of these historic attractions is the riverside castle known as Cromwell’s Castle, a castle that has been added over the centuries and now reflects the form it took during the early 19th century.

Another of the town’s famous landmarks is Cuba Court. Built in the 1730s by the famous Irish architect Edward Lovett Pearce, Cuba Court is thought to have been the home of former Cuba governor George Frazer. English novelist and poet Charlotte BrontĂ« also has a connection to the house, having honeymooned in Cuba Court.

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Taking the Grand Canal eastwards

Where you head after getting your boat in Banagher all depends on the route you are planning to take. By taking the Grand Canal in Ireland, holidaymakers can travel on an easterly route towards the Irish capital of Dublin. With your Shannon boat hire in Banagher, you can simply travel from the river and connect to the Grand Canal within a few short miles. The first destination you will arrive at by taking this route is the town of Shannonbridge, and as there is a Locaboat marina here, Shannon bridge boat hire is also possible.

Moving easterly from the River Shannon and into the Grand Canal, your journey will take your boat first to the town of Tullamore. With the Grand Canal cutting directly through the town, boaters are immediately immersed by this quaint County Offaly settlement. This small yet famous town is well worth an exploration. With Tullamore’s whiskey-making history taking a forefront in the town’s heritage, a stop off at the Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre is a must when visiting. As the centre sits on the banks of the Grand Canal, pulling up alongside the centre is simple and easy. Moving on from Tullamore, holidaymakers can boat their way across the Irish Midlands, all the way to the capital of Dublin.

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Explore even further south with a Portumna boat hire

Taking the southerly route from Banagher will take you a few short miles down the river to the town of Portumna. With the journey taking very little time, Banagher to Portumna by boat is a popular route. The riverside town is a hub of boating fanatics, making a Portumna boat trip one of the most rewarding. The town itself has a multitude of attractions, including the Portumna Castle and the Portumna Forest Park. Being so close to the huge expanse of Lough Derg, Shannon cruises from Portumna start off in incredible style.

Rent a boat in Portumna, and you can begin a southerly Shannon River journey that can take you as far south as Limerick. As you wind down the south Shannon River and finally exit Lough Derg, you will arrive at one of the last small towns on the route, Killaloe. A Killaloe boat cruise can start or end here, and it is a destination that is unforgettable. More like a large village, Killaloe boat rentals can outnumber the locals at the settlement’s riverbank marina. This unassuming village is home to a welcoming local population that epitomises Irish hospitality. Killaloe boat hire means you can carry on a little further down the river and boat into Ireland’s fifth-largest city of Limerick, with complete style and grace.

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Heading north to Athlone and the heart of Irish midlands

As well as boating southern and eastern routes, the Shannon River can also take you north, opening up a route of endless attractions and landmarks. Banagher to Athlone by boat is some of the most scenic waterways in all of Ireland and also some of the most rewarding. Starting in Banagher, your Athlone boat trip will wind north and come to the famous site of Clonmacnoise. Clonmacnoise is the site of a 6th-century monastery and, as a result, is one of the most significant Christian historic sites in all of northern Europe. An Athlone Clonmacnoise boat trip is a fantastic way to see this iconic site and as it stands along the banks of Shannon River, getting here is a simple journey. No Clonmacnoise boat trip would be complete without getting out and exploring this famous monastic site.

Take your time to see the many sights here, including the Clonmacnoise Cathedral, Clonmacnoise castle and more. Heading northwards will take you gently on course to reach the town of Athlone, it is also possible to travel the opposite way, from Athlone to Clonmacnoise by boat.

The town of Athlone sits at the base of the beautiful Lough Ree, an idyllic body of water that defines great Irish canal holidays. Making a stop at the town of Athlone for its own sake is a must, and with its very own riverside docking area, Athlone boat hire is also popular. Standing near the geographical centre of the country, Athlone is known throughout Ireland and it is easy to see why. After you have enjoyed an Athlone boat cruise, why not stop off at the town’s oldest drinking spot, Sean’s Bar – not only is it the oldest in Athlone, but the oldest in Ireland and arguably Europe.

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Delve further into the beauty of County Leitrim

Carrying on from Athlone and Lough Ree, your boating holiday will continue north and follow the following Shannen across county lines, passing from County Roscommon and into County Leitrim. Just as you pass into County Leitrim, you will arrive at the charming riverside town of Carrick-on-Shannon. As one of Locaboat’s Irish bases, you can opt for Carrick-on-Shannon boat hire directly from this town. Carrick-on-Shannon is the largest town in County Leitrim and the smallest county town in the entire country. This being said, the quiet charm is balanced perfectly with the energy and is increased by the major river crossing that standing west of the town.

Moving on from Carrick-on-Shannon, your barge’s way will open up in the famous Lough Key, known throughout Ireland as the home of Lough Key Forest Park. This park is an idyllic green space full of history and nature. Home to miles of hiking trails and the breathtaking Moylurg Tower. This tower building was constructed during the 1970s and on the site of the old Rockingham house.

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Canal boat hire in Ireland choosing the right size

Smaller boats for travelling the Shannon River

Alongside choosing the perfect route for your Athlone Shannon boat trips, it is important to select the right size and type of boat for your journey. Luckily, canal boat hire in Ireland is varied, and there is always a boat to suit your needs. If you are a couple looking to take a trip through Ireland or a small group of friends, then opting for a smaller boat such as a Penichette Classiques. The Penichette Classiques is capable of housing two to four people and is ideal for navigating the possible narrow loughs and river waterways of Ireland. These smaller boats also come in a number of different forms, offering models for both luxury travel and travelling economically. The only possible downside to travelling by a smaller barge or boat is the general lack of storage space for food and supplies. This is ok if you are simply using the boat as a mode of transport between destinations.

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Larger boats for the whole family to explore the Emerald Isle

If the whole family or an extended group of friends are looking to take a Shannon River adventure, then a bigger boat is a necessity. Boats such as the PĂ©nichette Aft Deck are ideal for carrying larger groups and can hold upto twelve people. These boats are also capable of holding a double bed, basin, hanging space and storage. Although these boats are much larger than average, their manoeuvrability and slickness allow you to navigate the waterways with ease.

The advantage of these larger boats is their ability to hold far larger amounts of supplies and food. This means you can easily call the boat home for the whole duration of your trip and Shannon boat hire allows you to choose which is the right size for you and your needs.

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IF YOU WANT TO BOOK THIS CRUISE
BROWSE ONLINE THE AVAILABILITIES

Your departure
base Banagher

Carrickcraft

The Marina, Curraghavarna,
Banagher, Co. Offaly, R42 DH51
IRELAND

If you have already booked your cruise and you want to reach your departure base:

+353 (0) 5791 51187

[email protected]

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