10 Great Boating Destinations in Ireland. These are just some of our favourite Irish boating destinations here on the Irish inland waterways.
With the 2020 boating season in doubt here’s a chance to go boating on the river Shannon, Lough Erne as well as the Shannon Erne Waterway, without even leaving your armchair. So far boating 2020 is like no other boating year thus far, let’s all hope that it will improve soon and that everyone can get out and enjoy this great amenity in whatever way they choose.
The Irish Coast Guard do a fantastic job and we met them when they paid a visit to Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. They have a number of helicopters stationed at various locations through out Ireland and provide cover both north and south of the border. In an unrelated incident we met the Mummers on Lough Erne and Bobby Forrest told us all about them. That’s all coming up!
Ever thought about boating on lough Erne and how much it would cost? Well this video could save you lots of money as well as time. Plenty good tips to help you enjoy your Lough Erne boating holiday. Please give it a thumbs up if you found it useful and do add a comment if you’d like to contribute. Ta
When you go boating on Lough Erne there are so many places of interest you really are spoilt for choice. In this episode we decide to visit The Lough Erne Golf Resort or simply the Lough Erne Resort if you prefer. We stop off have a look around and have a bit of lunch too.
Enniskillen is the largest town in Co Fermanagh and also the largest town on Lough Erne. It is situated at the narrows between upper and lower lakes, so it’s ideally placed to entice boaters off the river and into the pubs and restaurants. Like Blakes of the hollow where you’re sure of a good Guinness! And lest I forget they have one of those Game of Thrones doors. Ye you know the ones I’m talking about!
Well would you believe it? it has taken three attempts before we managed to
cruise to Lusty Beg Island on lovely Lough Erne. You see Marion isn’t a lover of waves. In fact even small waves upset her enormously. So I have learned not to plead with her and for the sake of piece on board I have learned to just give in to her. This has led to a happier boat and more gentle cruising.
And so it was that we struggled to make the crossing to Lusty Beg Island and when we did finally manage to get there it was on the calmest day you will ever witness. I say that cos you will, I hope join us by way of the video below.
A Lough Erne cruise that has all four seasons in one cruise up the lake. We start out south of Enniskillen on upper Lough Erne then head north passing the dominating Enniskillen Castle that over looks the river right in the heart of Enniskillen town. The weather is a mixed bag and our mission is to try to get to the restaurant island of Lusty Beg. Do we make it? Well you will just have to wait to see the answer to that one.
Crom Castle and the whole Crom estate is well known as a wonderful recreational facility. Providing facilities for boaters as well as campers, Crom Castle also have pods as well as apartments to rent. The whole thing lends itself well to a good relaxing holiday experience. We headed out from Belturbet with Marion still suffering from a bad cold and you’ll notice her voice on the video is somewhat husky!
Given that the summer of 2018 has been one of the best on record it comes as no surprise that we enjoy more lovely sunshine on this trip. Crom castle and estate has been compared with Lough Key forest park and it’s a fair comparison too.
White Island should be on the top of you boating bucket list, it’s a marvel to see. Close by is the old RAF base of Castle Archdale. During the second world war Catalina and Sunderland seaplanes set out from this Lough Erne base through the Donegal Corridor and on out into the Atlantic where they hunted down German U-Boats.
From the pics opposite you can see how the aircraft would have fitted into the service dock like a hand fitting into a glove.
We also take a look at Boa Island and the Janus figure. This was an ancient Celtic idol. It is a two sided figure with a male and female face standing back to back. Now getting to Boa Island on lough Erne by boat is a little difficult because there is no landing jetty in the island. We were lucky enough to be able to arrange a lift from nearby Castle Archdale. Boa Island is connected to the mainland by a bridge.
In the pics opposite you can see the clear out line of the aircraft that would have moored here to get repairs or general maintenance work done.
There is also a barge anchored just to the left of the service docks. It’s a pity about the algae bloom in the water at the time. The westerly wind blew a lot of the algae into this bay which just added to it.
As far as we are aware this is the only remaining
example of such a dock in Europe. In the video we inadvertently referred to the refuelling jetty as the last one but this is the one we should have referred to. Hope you enjoy the video.
Join us on a cruise across Lough Erne the broad lough all the way to Belleek. See what happens when things go wrong and how helpful we found people to be and of course how we got out of trouble on the lake. We negotiate changeable weather on Lough Erne and enjoy a cruise on an overcast day across lower Lough Erne (also called The Broad Lough) and safely into a superb mooring in the Town of Belleek. It’s here that we confirm our suspicions, that the alternator isn’t charging our domestic batteries. Now our fridge runs off these same batteries and without them getting a charge we run the onerous risk of drinking warm beer. A fate I would not like to face.
There are so many places of interest on Lough Erne that it’s difficult to pick out a favourite. But Devenish Island has to be on every one’s places of interest on Lough Erne bucket list, and especially if you’re near Enniskillen.
On this boat cruise we pass Enniskillen Castle and then we pass through Portora Lough. before visiting the ancient Irish Round Tower on Devenish Island. Portora lock is the only lock on the Erne navigation and it’s unusual in that the gates at both ends are usually left open. Apparently it’s only in times of very low water levels are the gated closed.
Devenish Island is something to behold. It’s a wonderful sight as you make your approach to the east mooring in the shadow of the lofty round tower as well as all the other monastic runes. The tower is just as the monks left it they day they cut the opening ribbon. It’s a marvel to their building skills that it’s still standing nearly a thousand years after it was built.
Well the Shannon Erne Waterway has been great but now we are on Lough Erne and what a great waterway the Erne system is. It’s correct to call it the Erne System because it’s way more than just two lakes. Once we cruised onto the Erne we headed towards Belturbet.
The sun was out we were captivated by the beautiful scenery, or at least that’s my excuse. See we missed a marker and very nearly ran aground. And the gas thing is that this all happened as I’m recalling a story to Marion about the last time we passed this way and how we missed the very same marker then too. Still we managed to avoid disaster and got back on course before we touched the bottom.