It is lovely being an island. Just sitting out here on the edge of the Atlantic, our coast gilded with honey coloured beaches and peppered with lighthouses winking their warm light out onto the horizon. But we’re going to let you in on a little secret – the nautical fun in Ireland doesn’t end there…
You see, when Ireland woke up after a rather chilly ice-age we were left with a generous smattering of rivers and lakes. It was lucky for us that the nice people at the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland did everything they could to make those little gems shine even brighter and now they’re not only gorgeous – they’re fun, too! So without further ado, here is a fine selection of Ireland’s inland watery gems, along with some cracking shots courtesy of IWAI fans
Lough Corrib, County Galway – Sure wouldn’t we all like our holidays to last a year. And now Lough Corrib provides the perfect excuse. The lake is home to 365 islands, that’s one island to explore every day of your extended holiday. Clocking in at a pretty massive 69 square miles, it’s no surprise that Lough Corrib contains its fair share of fish, making it a bit of an anglers’ paradise. I’m imagining securing my rod and waiting for the brown trout to jump while a choir of birds belts out the dawn chorus. Yep, I think I could spend a year doing that.
Grand Canal, County Laois – The next time you drink a Guinness you might just propose a toast to the Grand Canal. Why? Well, the Grand Canal was integral to Arthur Guinness’s stout business as it gave him the perfect way to transport wooden barrels of porter from his factory at St James’ Gate in Dublin to the West of Ireland. These days the Grand Canal can also deliver the perfect quirky summer: a languid barge cruise from County Offaly right into Dublin City where your pint awaits.
Lough Erne, County Fermanagh – The real novelty of Lough Erne is that you get two lakes for the price of one. Lough Erne consists of Lower and Upper Ernes, bound together by a winding, snaking slice of canal. In the case of Lough Erne your serene cruise can be interjected with bouts of wakeboarding, canoeing, waterskiing, and angling. You could even don your boating shoes and blazer for the annual regatta.
Grand Canal, County Kildare – The greatest thing about the Grand Canal? The quiet. For miles and miles of this watery thoroughfare the loudest noise you’ll hear will be rushes brushing against the starboard side. And at points like Sallins, you can disembark and soak all in the silence from the canal bank just by holding hands and being… well… quiet.
If photography is your thing maybe you’ll be inspired by our photographer posts on the cliffs of Moher and the stunning views to be had from simply Taking a Seat in Dublin. For another batch of photos of a serene Ireland landscape, take our photographic tour of the caves, forests and cliffs of the Marble Arch Caves Geopark.