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Friday, 28 May 2021

5 Ways to Discover & Enjoy the Waterways on your Carrick-on-Shannon Staycation

Views from The landmark Hotel, Carrick o
It’s the summer! You have landed in Carrick-on-Shannon, checked into The Landmark Hotel and it's time to head out for a stroll down by the majestic River Shannon to admire the boats moored along the waters edge, watch the family of swans gliding by gracefully and wonder ‘Now that I’m here, how can I get out there and enjoy the river, the lakes and all the water activities in the area?”

Here are a few tips and ideas for how best to enjoy your visit if you want to get out and see what the River has to offer. It’s going to be all about the outdoors this summer…

1. Cruisers! 
As you will see, there are plenty of them around! If you want to get a taste of what life is like on the River, why not book a trip on the Moon River Cruiser, moored at the quay just across the road from The Landmark. During the season, the Cruiser makes a number of  trips each day. While on board you will learn about the flora and fauna of riverbanks and the heritage of the land. You’ll be treated so some music and songs and light hearted stories of the area. Your journey may take you to the stunning weir at Knockvicar, the scenery is truly beautiful and there is plenty of opportunities to observe the biodiversity thriving along the river. The cruiser is fully enclosed and heated so even if it’s raining, you can still enjoy this fabulous opportunity to cruise the Shannon. There is also outdoor viewing areas so you can enjoy the river breeze. Just be aware that masks are now mandatory and due to restrictions, seats are limited and so we advise you to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.  You can check out the website and make enquiries here : https://www.moonriver.ie

2. Smaller boats! 
More ways to experience the river and all of its bounties!

Just a few minute’s drive over the bridge into Co. Roscommon, you will find Lough Key Forest Park. Here you can rent a row boat on Lough Key and spend time discovering the lake for yourself, at your own pace. There are many islands on beautiful Lough Key to discover. The scenery is simply breath-taking. Why not bring a picnic and enjoy the afternoon – a very carbon- neutral way to spend your day.  Again, due to Covid restrictions, access to the boats is limited so make sure to give them a call before visiting: 086 0846849 or email captain@loughkeyboats.com

3. Stand Up Paddling
Yes, stand up paddling - it’s a little bit like surfing but a lot easier! You are pretty much in the river for this fun activity and we have a number of highly qualified SUP instructors locally, who will ensure you have fun in a very safe environment.

Take the ‘Leitrim Surf Company’ for example. Based in Leitrim Village, these lovely folk specialise in guided stand-up paddle-boarding safari’s on The Shannon Blueway and tours of the Leitrim coastline on the Wild Atlantic Way. They are fully mobile and can also provide tailor-made excursions on any river, lake, canal or sea; Leitrim and beyond… So, if you are feeling adventurous, you can find out more at www.leitrimsurf.ie

Another place to try SUP is the Paddle Shack based at Butler’s Marina.  Before you know it, you, your family or friends will be gliding down the Shannon River discovering the deep Irish wilderness and all its wonders, on another exceptional Stand up Paddleboard adventure. The gang at The Paddle Shack are proud to be part of Ireland’s Hidden Heartland, and will be only too delighted to show you around the locality, from a very unusual perspective! You will find more details here: https://thepaddleshack.ie 

4. Kayaking
Looking for a faster paced choice for touring the river? The Paddle Shack has another option for you! Taking a guided river  tour on a sit-on-top kayak is an action packed way to see the sights. It’s perfect for couples and families that want an active endeavour while discovering the bewitching landscape of County Leitrim. And you can decide at the Paddle Shack if this is to be your chosen mode of transport for your day on the river.

The River Shannon Adventure Centre just outside the village of Rooskey is located on the picturesque shores of Lough Bofin along the Blueway Shannon corridor. This is a great place to bring the family and over the duration of your visit you’ll enjoy a selection of activities ranging from kayaking, mud sliding, pier jumping, archery, and a climbing wall! You decide your preferences. If you think this might suit for a family day, why not give them a call before you leave home, as like with everyone else these days, numbers are restricted. 

5. Swim! 
Yes, you can jump right in and enjoy some wild-swimming! Haven’t you heard, it’s all the rage at the moment!! There are so many secret swimming spots within close proximity of The Landmark Hotel and Carrick-on-Shannon and we’d like to share a couple with you here. These are safe places, lakeside beaches if you will, specially designated for swimming, with ample parking and picnic areas (please remember to bring home your rubbish!). Just off the N4, after Boyle, you will find a tiny beach at Doon Shore, on the shores of Lough Key, a safe clearly sectioned off swimming area, with a shallow pool area perfect for little ones. Bring a picnic, buckets and spades for the kids, it’s a lovely way to pass a couple of hours and keep everyone happy!

Directions : Leaving the Landmark behind you, you’ll head over the bridge along the N4 towards Sligo. After about 15km when you have passed a number of left turns to Boyle, prepare to turn right. You’ll notice a sign on the right for a company ‘East Brothers’. You’ll take this right turn off the Main Rd., onto the L1013.  Very soon you’ll take the 2nd turn right, there is a sign for Doon Shore which may be overgrown with grass at this time of the years. Follow this narrow winding road along and down a steep hill to the Shore.

Cavetown Lake is about 6 miles from Carrick and is a diesel free lake, meaning no motorised craft are allowed on it so the water is crystal clear and safe for swimming. According to outdoorswimming.ie  it isn’t easy to find, but is well worth the search. (Ask any one local and they’ll give you directions – or check below here) .This is a very attractive amenity area, with toilets, picnic tables and plenty of green space - an ideal place for a family visit.

Directions: From Carrick on Shannon take the N4 for Sligo. Just after leaving the town you will see a left turn onto the R368. You take this and just after you pass under the railway bridge you take a right turn onto the R370 signposted for Croghan. Follow this road for about 8 kilometres until you come to a crossroads with a shop (closed). You turn right here and travel for a few kilometres until you come to a left turn signposted for the lake. Travel down this road for about a kilometre and watch carefully for a right turn into a wooded area, not signposted, and this will bring you to the car park.

You can see there are plenty of ways to experience the fabulous natural amenities that the River Shannon and the many surrounding lakes have to offer. We recommend that you investigate all organised activities before you leave home. Our Reception Team will always be on hand should you require any additional information or directions. 

We look forward to welcoming you to The Landmark Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon and County Leitrim. We wish you a really great holiday as you discover all that this wonderful region has to offer.