Itinerary for one way weekly cruise on the Barrow Navigation ( to be used as a guide only / your average cruising speed is 3mph / 5k )
Day 1. Arrive 3 p.m. After our introduction, we show you around your barge, explain how everything works, and you can decide your route depending on your interests and experience.
All aboard and ready for your tuition on boat handling, navigation and a demonstration of how to operate a Lock. The one beside our base is a double lock… very impressive! Stay in Rathangan tonight. Explore the environs and take it easy.
Rathangan – Pub Lunch available, Indian restaurant or take away to eat on board. Choice of pubs.
Other Restaurants in Kildare Town, a short cab ride away.
Day 2. Rathangan to Fisherstown 12 miles / 18 km 5 hrs. cruising 3 locks. Leave Rathangan heading South. after e few hours travelling you reach Lock no. 24, a double Lock. You need to call the Lock keeper who will help you through.
Stop in Monasterevan for a grocery shop ( Supervalue will deliver to the boat.) . Monasterenan is one of the few towns that proudly faces the waterway with its fine Georgian buildings. Dated 1790’s. Visit Moore Abbey once home of Count John McCormack, the famous tenor. Later pass under the lift bridge with the help of the Lock keeper. As you cross over the 120 ft. Aqueduct you will get your first sight of the beautiful river Barrow. Head on to Fisherstown Inn. No shops only one Thatched Pub. You can take a cab or cycle to Stradbally for a restaurant or eat on board. ( Music available )
Day 3. Fisherstown/ Vicarstown to Maganey 18 miles / 30 km 6 hrs. cruising 5 locks Rise and shine. After a good Irish breakfast and doing your morning boat duties your off for the next large town which is Athy ( pronounced Atie ).
Moor up at Lock 28 and take on water at the tap. Cross over the river by the old horse bridge and walk the riverside path to Athy. It is an old town which has plenty of original shop fronts and historic sites. There is a good museum in the Heritage Centre with history of the Canal and the great explorer Ernest Shakleton Exhibition. There are a choice of restaurants / pub food and a supermarket. After that you should be ready to travel through Lock no. 28 and onto the open river.
Your first real navigation skills come into play here crossing the wide river to the next canal cut on the far side, with the weir to your right. After a short section of canal and Ardreigh Lock your back on the open river and its magic.
You will have to raise the Lifting Bridge at Levitstown, pass under and lower it again. The size of the Mill here gives you an indication of the activity that once moved along these rivers.
Stop at Maganey bridge, you can take a cab into Castledermot. Selection of pubs, shops and restaurants. Maganey Pub is 600m. from Bridge. Castledermot High Cross and Round Tower. For a very scenic place to moor go to Maganey Lock and weir….highly recommended.
Day 4. Maganey to Leighlinbribge 12 miles 4-5. hrs cruising 6 locks You reach Carlow, an impressive town with its Norman castle, where you do some shopping. Bosco’s Butcher shop is a must. Plenty of museums and an art Gallery to explore.
You may also take time to visit some historical sites such as Browns Hill Dolmen or Killeshin Medieval Church. Or head on for Milford and on to Leighlinbridge. There are plenty of locks so you will be busy.
The Lord Bagenal restaurant is a welcome watering hole and a good place to eat for a tired skipper and crew. ( Leighlinbridge is pronounced Locklinbridge ) Meaney’s Pub is beside the mooring. Take a bike ride to Old Leighlin and visit St. Lazerian’s Cathedral. Carey’s Pub in Old Leighlin dates back to 1542 !! now that’s an historic place to have a quiet drink in! Alternative Stop: Milford is a scenic place to stop in the countryside. Have a BBQ . No shops or pubs here. Good Fishing.
Day 5. Leighlinbridge to Gorresbridge or Borris 13 miles 20 km 4 .5 hrs cruising . 7 locks The river is getting pretty wide from here on .The valley is filled with trees and you get long stretches of the journey where you feel quite removed from the hectic goings-on of the” real ” world and then you re-enter it briefly again when passing by a town. Stop at the water tap in Bagnalstown and fill up. Take some time to explore the town.
Soon your back to being alone on the River, away from it all, joined by only the heron and the kingfisher.If you decide to stay in Gorresbridge, check out the little Coffee Dock cafe where they serve ‘Titanic’ breakfasts ! ( open till 5pm ). Music available here some nights.
You can not see Borris from the river but a short cycle or walk from Ballytiglea Bridge will take you to Borris Borris – Restaurant The Green Drake Inn. Have a creamy pint of Guinness in O’Sheas pub cum hardware store.
Excursion Option; Take a bus from Leighlin to Kilkenny Medieval City, visit the famous Kilkenny craft design centre and the Castle. Alternatively you can travel to Gorresbridge and take an excursion to Bennetsbridge, the home of Mosse Pottery www.NicholasMosse.com
Day 6. Borris to St. Mullins Lock 12 miles 20 km 6 hrs. cruising 6 locks + 1 double lock This section to Graiguenamanagh can be taken at the same pace as that of the meandering river. Here the river winds its way gently through the tree lined valley, making wide sweeping bends, finally reaching the waterside town of Griguenamanagh which welcomes your arrival by its prominent quay.
The large granary has been converted into a fine restaurant and accommodation and there are numerous boats moored along the Quay. Watch out for divers off the diving board just north of the slip. You can choose to stop here or continue to cruise to St Mullins ( weather and time permitting )
It is also nice to cycle or walk the towpath down to St Mullins and back or take a taxis back. If it is not good weather we recommend you enjoy the town of Graig with its busy shops and Historical sites. St Mullins- small restaurant is open till 5 p.m. from May to September.
Day 7. St Mullins to Graiguenamanagh. 4 mile / 3 locks A short cruise back upstream to Graiguenamanagh, locking up this time. Moor up along the Quay wall and there is a real sense of achievement by all the crew after completing your Barrow Navigation Adventure Cruise.
Some crews may depart today as arranged according to your onward travel plans Graiguenamanagh – Choice of Restaurants The Waterside on the Quay. Mick Doyles pub at the top end of the town is a must. Option: Take a rest day and savour the time moored at Graignamanagh.
Day 8. Time to reflect. Departure is normally 10.00 a.m. Note: This sample itinerary is based on a leisurely cruise. Your average cruising speed is 3m / 5 K p. hr. and 6 hours cruising per day + locks.
More detailed information is available on board
For an Out and Back cruise we recommend turning at Bagnalstown and stopping in alternative places on the return journey to Rathangan.