Are you sure you want to leave the feed?

Oops... something went wrong!

My Ireland

Looking for inspiration? Planning a trip? Or just want to scroll yourself happy? We'll show you an Ireland that's tailor-made for you.

  • #Landscapes
  • #CultureandHeritage
  • #OutdoorActivities
  • #Landmarks
MyICallOut_FindTheThings_EN_Desk_Above-Left MyICallOut_FindTheThings_EN_Desk_Above-Left

Oops... no internet connection

While offline, you can still add items to My board. New travel reccomendations will only show up once you’re back online.

    See what Ireland has in store for you

    Oops... no internet connection

    While offline, you can still add items to My board. New travel reccomendations will only show up once you’re back online.

    My board

    Look out for the little heart icon around Ireland.com. Simply tap the heart to add items to your board!

    Emptyboard Emptyboard
    shannon-cruise-trip-bg-1-1 shannon-cruise-trip-bg-1-1
    7 days 150 km

    Cruise the River Shannon in 7 days

    • #Cruising
    • #IrelandsHiddenHeartlands
    • #SustainableIreland
    From Banagher, County Offaly to Lough Key, County Roscommon
    Nearest Airport Shannon Airport, Ireland West Airport
    Attractions Clonmacnoise, Belvedere House
    shannon-cruise-trip-mcdermotts-castle-lough-key-roscommon shannon-cruise-trip-mcdermotts-castle-lough-key-roscommon
    shannon-cruise-trip-collage-clonmacnoise-offaly-1 shannon-cruise-trip-collage-clonmacnoise-offaly-1
    shannon-cruise-trip-shannonbridge-offaly shannon-cruise-trip-shannonbridge-offaly

    If you want to get to know Ireland, you need to slow things down. A leisurely cruise along the River Shannon is the perfect way to enjoy the best of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands in a more sustainable way

    Glide along the river on your luxurious cruiser (many are now run on eco-friendly fuel) and enjoy the freedom of stopping along your route to eat in cosy pubs, cycle leafy greenways and explore buzzing riverside towns. Even if you've never cruised before, it's easy. You don't need a licence and training is provided before you set off. All you need to do is relax and enjoy the trip.


    Day 1


    Day 2


    Day 3


    Day 4


    Day 5


    Day 6


    Day 7

    shannon-cruise-trip-silverline-cruises-banagher-offaly-aerial-1 shannon-cruise-trip-silverline-cruises-banagher-offaly-aerial-1
    Day 1 Banagher to Athlone

    Day 1: Banagher to Athlone

    Start your Shannon adventure at the quiet town of Banagher and discover the ruins of a stunning 6th century monastic city as you travel towards Athlone. Cruising time: 4 hours

    Explore Day 1


    Banagher, County Offaly

    shannon-cruise-trip-silverline-cruises-banagher-offaly shannon-cruise-trip-silverline-cruises-banagher-offaly

    Pick your cruiser up in Banagher, a base for cruiser hire companies including Silverline and Carrickcraft (which operates Locaboat Holidays, Linssen and Waveline). The good news is that these companies are moving towards the eco-friendly HVO fuel, allowing you to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your holiday. Most companies offer airport transfers to and from your destination, but Banagher is also accessible by public transport and if you're driving, you'll find parking at your marina.


    Before you set out on your journey, you'll be taught how to operate your cruiser. Don't worry if you've never done it before – cruiser controls are very simple and your tutor will take you through everything you'll need during your trip, from navigating locks and docking to refuelling and pump-out stations. Hire companies may offer additional services such as arranging fishing licences, bike hire and even groceries, so all you need to worry about is enjoying yourself.


    Before you depart, explore some of Banagher's highlights, such as the lush riverside walk, the Martello tower – one of the few inland towers built in the 19th century to protect against the Napoleonic threat and the impressive seven-arch bridge across the Shannon.


    Shannonbridge, County Offaly

    shannon-cruise-trip-fort-shannonbridge-offaly shannon-cruise-trip-fort-shannonbridge-offaly

    The clue is in the name... Shannonbridge is called after the magnificent arched stone bridge that spans the Shannon. This is a popular stop for cruisers, with mooring points on either side of the bridge, and a real buzz about the streets during the busy summer season.


    Treat yourself to lunch at Luker's Old Bar and Restaurant – it's also well-known for traditional music sessions in the evenings. Then you can follow the self-guided walk around the Napoleonic fort, another remnant of the Shannon's 9th century history.


    Clonmacnoise, County Offaly

    shannon-cruise-trip-clonmacnoise-offaly shannon-cruise-trip-clonmacnoise-offaly

    Nothing quite prepares you for approaching Clonmacnoise by water. As you round a bend in the river, this once-great monastic settlement appears before you. A cathedral, two round towers, three high crosses and nine churches – all in ruins – tell the story of a vibrant community, founded by St Ciarán in the 6th century, which became one of Europe's great centres of learning. It's time to moor your boat and go exploring.


    You can book tickets online for the visitor centre, where you'll find original high crosses as well as a useful audio-visual guide that puts Clonmacnoise in historical context. As you wander around the site, you can almost imagine it humming with life.


    Once you're back on your cruiser, it's straight on for Athlone, where you'll encounter your first lock. Locks and bridges on the Shannon are operated by lock-keepers and you can pay as you go with a Smart Card that can be bought from your hire company. Just make sure you check the opening hours (generally 9.30am to 6pm) and plan your journey accordingly.


    Moor for the night at Athlone Marina. The largest town on the Shannon, Athlone is a fun blend of the old and new, a place where medieval history co-exists easily with contemporary galleries and hip coffee shops. Try dinner at Thyme Restaurant and enjoy the buzz in one of the town's many lively pubs.

    shannon-cruise-trip-athlone-cathedral-westmeath shannon-cruise-trip-athlone-cathedral-westmeath
    Day 2 Athlone to Glasson

    Day 2: Athlone to Glasson

    Explore the bustling town of Athlone with its dramatic riverside castle, great restaurants and what's said to be the oldest pub in Ireland! Cruising time: 1 hour

    Explore Day 2

    Athlone Castle

    Athlone Castle, Athlone, County Westmeath

    shannon-cruise-trip-athlone-castle-westmeath shannon-cruise-trip-athlone-castle-westmeath

    A must-visit is Athlone Castle, a looming presence which has dominated the riverside and played a pivotal role in the history of both Athlone and the island of Ireland since the 13th century. In the visitor centre within the castle walls, you can discover the story of this fascinating fortress.


    If your castle visit has given you a taste for Athlone's history, join an Athlone Guided Walking Tour, which begins just in front of the castle. Knowledgeable local guides will fill you in on the local history, folklore and characters that have shaped the town.


    Another Athlone highlight is the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, with its spectacular stained glass windows by celebrated Irish stained glass artist Harry Clark.

    Shannon Banks Walk and Nature Trail

    River Shannon, Athlone

    shannon-cruise-trip-athlone-westmeath shannon-cruise-trip-athlone-westmeath

    Enjoy lunch in the Left Bank Bistro, where the food is local, seasonal and very tasty. It also caters for vegetarians and vegans so no one is left out.


    A post-lunch stroll along the Shannon Banks Walk and Nature Trail is a fine way to help the digestion. This 5km looped walk takes you from Athlone Castle along the banks of the Shannon and is a wonderful opportunity to discover the flora and fauna that flourish here.


    Next up is a dive into the cultural life of Athlone at the Luan Gallery, where dramatic views of the Shannon from the floor to ceiling windows vie with the eclectic works of art on display.


    Another option, if you have the time, is to explore the Old Rail Trail Greenway, built on an old railway line and running from Athlone to Mullingar. Opt for the 8km stretch from Athlone to Moate if time is tight. You may have hired bikes from your cruiser company. If not, Buckley's Cycles can rent you some wheels.

    Sean's Bar

    Sean's Bar, Athlone

    shannon-cruise-trip-seans-bar-athlone-westmeath shannon-cruise-trip-seans-bar-athlone-westmeath

    You couldn't possibly leave Athlone without stopping in to Sean's Bar, a bucket list destination for all visitors to the town. According to the Guinness Book of Records, this is the oldest pub in Ireland, dating back to 900AD. If you look closely beside the fireplace, you'll even be able to see a section of the original "wicker and wattle" walls.


    Visit on a quiet afternoon and you may be lucky enough to grab a seat in the snug. Our advice is to order a glass of the bar's very own whiskey, called (unsurprisingly) Sean's Bar Irish Whiskey and just savour the unique atmosphere.


    Then it's back to your cruiser for the short trip to Glasson, where you'll moor for the night at Portaneena Marina (berthing fees may apply). This quiet little village on the shores of Lough Ree is famous for great food and good walking trails. Dine at the award-winning Wineport Lodge – you can actually dock your cruiser right outside this lakeside restaurant!

    shannon-cruise-trip-glasson-lake-house-westmeath shannon-cruise-trip-glasson-lake-house-westmeath
    Day 3 Glasson to Tarmonbarry

    Day 3: Glasson to Tarmonbarry

    Take it easy today with leisurely walks and a chance to pamper yourself at a lakeside retreat before you travel back in time to an Iron Age wonder. Cruising time: 3 hours

    Explore Day 3

    Explore Glasson village

    Grogan's of Glasson, County Westmeath

    shannon-cruise-trip-grogans-of-glasson-westmeath shannon-cruise-trip-grogans-of-glasson-westmeath

    Glasson is about a 2km walk from your marina so head into the village to explore. Enjoy browsing in the Glasson Craft Gallery where you can pick up anything from ceramics and skincare to woodwork and knitwear. The gallery also shows the work of many contemporary Irish artists and photographers.


    Stop into Grogan's, a Glasson institution, as beloved for its award-winning food as for its traditional ambience. Order a coffee and cake and settle down by the open fire to enjoy a spot of people watching, as regulars and visitors come and go.

    Glasson Lake House Hotel

    Glasson Lake House Hotel, County Westmeath

    shannon-cruise-trip-glasson-lakehouse-golf-westmeath shannon-cruise-trip-glasson-lakehouse-golf-westmeath

    Cycle or walk to the Glasson Lake House Hotel and treat yourself to a relaxing afternoon amidst 4-star luxury. Here, your biggest problem will be whether to choose the invigorating facial or the full body massage at the hotel's Brooks & Co spa.


    If you're looking for something a little more athletic, challenge yourself on the Glasson Golf Course, an 18-hole championship course designed by Christy O'Connor Jnr, which boasts spectacular views of Lough Ree.


    For those with boundless energy, the Portlick Millennium Forest is just 5km away and is famous for its display of bluebells in spring.


    Then it's back on board as you set sail for Lanesborough.

    Corlea Trackway

    Corlea Trackway, County Longford

    shannon-cruise-trip-corlea-trackway-longford shannon-cruise-trip-corlea-trackway-longford

    The quiet village of Lanesborough is famous for its fishing (particularly bream, tench, roach, pike, perch and eels) so if you're a keen angler, this is the perfect opportunity to see what the Shannon has to offer.


    But if you can tear yourself away from the water, there's a real treat beyond the town. The Corlea Trackway is the largest Iron Age roadway ever uncovered in Europe. It dates back to 148BC and is thought to have formed part of a ceremonial highway between the ancient sites of Uisneach and Rathcroghan. The visitor centre is just 13km from Lanesborough so if you have bikes on board, this is an opportunity to get out and explore the countryside.


    Once you're back on board, head for Tarmonbarry (another lock and a bridge – both operated by a lock-keeper) and moor for the night at the marina there. Enjoy a stroll around the village and then drop in to the Purple Onion Restaurant, Bar and Art Gallery for dinner and a spot of art appreciation.

    shannon-cruise-trip-strokestown-house-roscommon shannon-cruise-trip-strokestown-house-roscommon
    Day 4 Tarmonbarry to Drumod

    Day 4: Tarmonbarry to Dromod

    Soak up the atmosphere of Ireland's Hidden Heartlands on this stretch, which features a fascinating museum and fine local dining. Cruising time: 3 hours

    Explore Day 4

    Strokestown House, Gardens and Famine Museum

    Strokestown House, Gardens and Famine Museum, County Roscommon

    shannon-cruise-trip-national-famine-museum-strokestown-house-roscommon shannon-cruise-trip-national-famine-museum-strokestown-house-roscommon

    Just a short ride on the Number 22 bus will take you from Tarmonbarry to Strokestown – one of Ireland's few planned towns, which was built to service the great estate of Strokestown Park.


    Take a guided tour of Stroketown Park House and you'll be stepping into history. Home to the Pakenham-Mahon family for 300 years, this Georgian manor offers a fascinating glimpse into what life was like for both the aristocratic owners and those who worked for them "below stairs". 


    But there's more to see at Strokestown. The National Famine Museum uses state-of-the-art interactive exhibitions to explore the tragic history of the Great Famine through the tales of Strokestown Park's landlords and their unfortunate tenants. Not to be missed.

    14 km

    Explore Termonbarry village

    Cruising on the River Shannon

    shannon-cruise-trip-cruiser-shutterstock_12144622 shannon-cruise-trip-cruiser-shutterstock_12144622

    On your return to Tarmonbarry, make your way to Keenan's Pub, Restaurant and Hotel. This legendary spot has been operated by the Keenan family for six generations and the quality of the food and the service is second to none. 


    Once you've allowed the Keenans to wine and dine you, it's back to the cruiser and onward to Dromod (one more lock and bridge to navigate), where you'll moor for the night in the picturesque 150-year-old harbour.

    shannon-cruise-trip-drumod-harbour-leitrim shannon-cruise-trip-drumod-harbour-leitrim
    Day 5 Drumod to Carrick-on-Shannon

    Day 5: Drumod to Carrick-on-Shannon

    All aboard for a quirky railway journey, a visit to one of the midland's most historic villages and a riverside feast. Cruising time: 3 hours

    Explore Day 5

    Railway Museum

    Drumod village, County Leitrim

    shannon-cruise-trip-drumod-village-leitrim shannon-cruise-trip-drumod-village-leitrim

    As you stroll around the quiet village of Drumod, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a just a pleasant stop on the way to somewhere else. But Drumod has a secret weapon that will fascinate visitors... and positively thrill trainspotters!


    This is the home of the Cavan and Leitrim Railway Museum, a volunteer-run passion project dedicated to preserving and celebrating Ireland's transport and railway history. Take a guided tour of the exhibition, which includes airplanes and vintage buses. Experience a trip in a restored steam train on the narrow-gauge railway. Then it's back to your cruiser for the next part of your journey – the old walled town of Jamestown, via the Albert Lock.


    Jamestown Abbey, County Leitrim

    shannon-cruise-trip-jamestown-abbey-leitrim shannon-cruise-trip-jamestown-abbey-leitrim

    The sleepy village of Jamestown began life as an English plantation during the 17th century, hence its name, which honours King James I of England. As you walk around, you can still see parts of the original town walls, including the old gate in the town centre.


    Visit the remains of Jamestown Abbey, a Franciscan friary founded in the 17th century. Then treat yourself to an early dinner in the acclaimed Cottage Restaurant where chef Sham Hanifa blends Asian influences with modern Irish cuisine to create a distinct and super-tasty menu. 


    When you can tear yourself away from Jamestown, set sail for the bustling town of Carrick-on-Shannon to moor for the night. If you're looking for a shorter five-day trip, this is the ideal place to end, as most cruising companies have a base here and you'll be able to return your cruiser and head home.

    shannon-cruise-trip-carrick-on-shannon-cyclist-leitrim-1 shannon-cruise-trip-carrick-on-shannon-cyclist-leitrim-1
    Day 6 Carrick-on-Shannon to Lough Key

    Day 6: Carrick-on-Shannon to Lough Key

    Step onto dry land and discover the buzz of one of Ireland's most popular riverside towns before enjoying an adventure in a glorious lakeside setting. Cruising time: 3 hours

    Explore Day 6


    Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim

    shannon-cruise-trip-carrick-on-shannon-marina-leitrim shannon-cruise-trip-carrick-on-shannon-marina-leitrim

    Start your day in the riverside hub of Carrick-on-Shannon – a popular town that hums with energy. Enjoy a hearty breakfast in one of the town's quirky cafés and stroll around the streets to soak up the atmosphere. This is also an ideal time to pick up some provisions for your onward journey to Lough Key.


    If you have time, you can visit some of the sights, such as tiny Costello's Chapel, rumoured to be the second smallest chapel in the world, and Trinity Rare Books, which specialises in books about the River Shannon. Don't worry if you can't fit everything in. You'll be ending your trip in Carrick-on-Shannon so you'll have plenty of time to explore then.


    But first, you're setting course for Lough Key – a highlight of any Shannon cruise.

    Lough Key Forest Park

    Lough Key Forest Park, County Roscommon

    shannon-cruise-trip-zipit-forest-adventures-lough-key-roscommong shannon-cruise-trip-zipit-forest-adventures-lough-key-roscommong

    The journey from Carrick-on-Shannon to Lough Key takes you along the meandering Boyle River and into Lough Eidin before you arrive at what must be one of the most beautiful lakes in Ireland.


    Moor your boat at the Lough Key Forest and Activity Park marina and get ready to spend the day enjoying the variety of activities at the Adventure Centre such as mountain biking, ziplines and a Canopy Walk.

    shannon-cruise-trip-carrickcraft-carrick-on-shannon-leitrim shannon-cruise-trip-carrickcraft-carrick-on-shannon-leitrim
    Day 7 Lough Key to Carrick-on-Shannon

    Day 7: Lough Key to Carrick-on-Shannon

    Spend your final morning soaking up the beauty of Lough Key and the finish up your Shannon cruise in Carrick-on-Shannon. Cruising time: 3 hours

    Explore Day 7


    Lough Key, County Roscommon

    shannon-cruise-trip-boating-lough-key-forest-park-roscommon shannon-cruise-trip-boating-lough-key-forest-park-roscommon

    Say goodbye to Lough Key and cruise back to Carrick-on-Shannon to return your cruiser and head home. But it doesn't have to end here! This is a great town in which to base yourself if you'd like to extend your stay as there are plenty of unique attractions nearby.


    The Arigna Mines Experience tells the story of Ireland's coal mining industry. When the mines closed in the 1990s, the local community took the opportunity to preserve this important part of their heritage by developing a visitor attraction, now one of the most popular in Ireland's Hidden Heartlands.


    At 300 years of age, Elphin Windmill is the oldest working windmill in Ireland and is an important part of Ireland's architectural history. Finally, the floating boardwalk at Acres Lake marks the start of the Shannon Blueway, a network of walking, cycling and paddling trails along the River Shannon, which are ideal if you want to continue your Shannon adventure!


    But if you simply can't bring yourself to leave your cruiser, we have good news. The Shannon-Erne Waterway links Ireland's two great rivers and allows you to keep sailing into Northern Ireland. The fun never stops when you're cruising!


    Get more ideas about how to cruise the Shannon and discover its hidden gems.


    star-wars-last-jedi-malin-head-county-donegal star-wars-last-jedi-malin-head-county-donegal