Cruising the river Shannon has been one of Ireland’s best holiday destinations for the past 50 years and has given great memories for thousands of family’s during this time. Over the past few years the upgrading of the waterway system has led to the river Shannon becoming one of the most well facilitated waterways in Europe. It is a wonderful and relaxing place to enjoy some quality family time and there are many of fun places to visit to ensure an unforgettable experience.
Depart from Carrick on Shannon and travel north west to the enchanting Lough Key. This is one of the most family friendly destinations in the west of Ireland and travelling by cruiser makes it all the more special. The Lough Key Forest Park experience is full of great attractions including the Bodaborg adventure and the Zipit attraction which allows adventure seekers of all ages to attempt obstacle courses up to 20 meters high in the tree tops while safely attached to zip wires. Families can also explore the forest park on electric bikes or segways which are available next to the centre. A visit here is a fantastic day out. The marina is also very well facilitated and an ideal place to spend the night and is located in the heart of some stunning scenery. You will have to travel south for day 2 so best to get a start on this and make you way back to Carrick on Shannon or Rooskey for the evening.
Lough Ree is your destination for today, known as the Lake of the Kings, it is full of islands with the ruins of churches and monasteries on many of them. You may wish to stop and explore some of these. Further south on the lough at Hodson Bay is Ireland’s largest outdoor water park. This is a huge inflatable obstacle course full of slides, jumps and splashes. The whole family can enjoy this and it is certainly worth visiting. Wet suits can be purchased for €2 and the water park and it is always buzzing with fun ans excitement. It is a great place to spend the day and you will certainly be in the mood for some rest and relaxation afterwards. Not to far away from here is the large town of Athlone and you may wish to stop here for some dinner. The impressive Athlone castle has been recently restored and makes for and interesting visit, it is only a short distance from the marina. Athlone marina is very well facilitated and is a great place to spend the night but if you would like somewhere quieter the continue to Shannonbridge, this town is really a lovely place to spend the evening.
Today you will have to make your way back to Carrick on Shannon but first there is one stop you simply have to make. Just a few miles cruising south from Athlone is one of Ireland’s most popular attractions and this is the ancient ruined 7th century city of Clonmacnoise. It can be accessed easily by cruiser and tours take place a regular points in the day. You cannot pass without visiting and exploring the ruins of this settlement and absorbing the ancient stories and history is something all children love. From here continue to travel north, this time at a more leisurely pace. Lanesbrough is a very popular place for fishing so maybe stop here and cast off for a while. Spending the night in Rooskey or Dromod will give you plenty of time to return to base in the morning. We always say to get up early and really enjoy your last few hours cruising. You will be back in the real world before too long so savour every minute of your last few hours on the Shannon.