two great river systems, the Shannon and the Erne, have
been joined again by the re-construction and re-opening
of the old Ballinamore-Ballyconnell Canal. The waterway
leaves the Shannon at Leitrim Village, just upstream of
Carrick on Shannon, and enters Upper Lough Erne in County
It has opened up for exploration and enjoyment an undiscovered
region of great natural beauty, a wide variety of cruising
waters, scenery, wildlife and activity.
The waterway is unique in that it includes stretches
of still-water canal, canalised river and a series of
scenic lakes. An easy pace of life awaits as you discover
the wide variety of cruising waters, scenery, wildlife
The waterway takes you into small friendly towns, villages
and pubs where you can experience the warmth and hospitality
of the local people.
The waterway itself is now a magnificent and sensitive
restoration of the former canal. The 63km long canal
has 16 locks, electronically operated by "smart
card", built and then faced with the original 19th
Century hand cut stone work.
our Penichette and Narrowboat bases at Ballinamore you
head north on the Shannon-Erne Waterway to reach the
Erne, the second great Irish river system.
Head north towards Ballyconnell and Belturbet, both
with a strong folk tradition, then onwards into County
Fermanagh, a land of lakes, a paradise for birdspotters,
botanists and fisherman, and your introduction to Northern
Lough Erne is filled with hundreds of islands, each one
worth exploring and offering perfect lunchtime picnic stops.
Lush green rolling meadowlands give way to craggy uplands
with spectacular cliffs that then lead on to uninterrupted
open moorland. Our Belturbet cruiser base
is at the southern end of Upper Lough Erne.
Enniskillen, lying midway between Lower and Upper Lough
Erne, is a picturesque market town and fascinating heritage
centre. By day this busy town brims with shops, museum,
a sports centre and castle. By night, Enniskillen comes
alive with happy holiday merriment from the wealth of original
pubs, clubs and good restaurants.
Lough Erne, the most northerly of the two loughs is a great
expanse of open water fringed by spectacular cliffs rising
to 900 feet. A vast expanse of shimmering waters, it stretches
from Belleek to Enniskillen. With the reopening of boat
hiring on the canal, it is now possible to discover the
attractive White Island. Our new cruiser base at
Tully Bay on Lower Lough Erne is ideal for exploring
the Erne lakes and waterways.
The Belleek to Ballinamore route is a
comfortable week's cruise, as is Tully Bay or Belturbet
to Carrick-on-Shannon (small additional charge
for one-way hire). Narrowboats are not able to cruise above
Enniskillen or below Carrick.
Holidays from Belturbet, Tully
Bay and Ballinamore bases are offered by Boating Holidays
in association with three of Ireland's leading boat companies.
Belturbet Base Information