Route Options

These are just a sample of what routes are available to you on a Canalways Ireland vacation. Your planned itinerary often gets side-lined as you realize that it is best to allow yourself to be guided, not by a fixed plan, but by the rhythm of the Waterway!  One thing you can be sure of by taking a holiday experience on a barge is that you will be absorbed into Irish culture from a unique perspective. At the end of your journey you will have a sense of achievement. If you have any special interests or questions please email us at

The Kildare Canal Route

Explore the delights of Canal Cruising in County Kildare.  Mellow scenery, abundant wildlife and a fascinating canal heritage.

3/4 day cruise.
Rathangan, Southwards – Monasterevin, Vicarstown, Athy, return
Rathangan  Northwards –  Robertstown, Sallins, Naas  return. or Allenwood, Edenderry return

Average distance per day is 15 mile / 20 Km, cruising time 4 ( plus Locks )

Click to see our Route Map

The Midland Canal Route

Cruise the Midlands of Ireland by barge and cross over the famous Bog  of Allen, a unique
wetland habitat. Escape to a world which has seen  little changes in 200 years and find total solitude.

One week Cruise: Out and Back to Hire base.
Rathangan, Robertstown, Edenderry, Daingan, Tullamore, Return.

Distance; 76 mile / 124 KM Locks: 24    Cruising time; 4 ( plus locks )

Click to see our Route Map

The Barrow River Challenge Route

A beautiful and challenging River Navigation for experienced crews only. Explore the course of an ancient and historic river in the heart of Ireland.

One week Cruise: Out and Back to Hire base.
Rathangan, Monasterevin, Athy, Maganey, Carlow, Milford, Leighlinbridge/Bagnalstown, Return.

Distance; 84 mile / 132 Km. Locks; 28   Cruising time 5 ( plus locks )

Click here for a sample itinerary for a one way cruise on the barrow Navigation.

Two week Cruise: Out and Back to Hire Base.
Rathangan, Monasterevin, Athy, Maganey, Carlow, Milford, Leighlinbridge,
Bagnalstown, Gorresbridge, Borris, Graiguenamanagh, St. Mullins Lock, Return

Distance; 126 mile / 194 Km. Locks; 52 Cruising time 4 ( plus locks )

Click to see our Route Map

The Shannon River Adventure Route

Combine a Canal and Shannon River Cruise and experience interesting contrasts in landscape, culture and boating activity.

Two week Cruise: Out and Back to Hire base.

Rathangan, Robertstown, Edenderry, Daingan, Tullamore, Rahan, Pollagh, Belmont, Shannon Harbour, Clonmacnoise, Ballinasloe return.

Distance; 142 mile / 230 Km. Locks; 42. Cruising time 4 hr/p/day. ( plus locks )

Click to see our Route Map

Canalways Ireland Pub Crawl

If you are in search of the genuine Irish pub then you have chosen the right way to travel in the heart of Ireland where many pubs are still full of atmosphere and character.

Depending on your length of stay and chosen route, there will be a selection of pubs with informal music sessions. These are not laid on for the tourist, who are of course very welcome, but are frequented by local musicians and singers. ( See Activities Page for details )

Click to see our Route Map

Craft and Heritage Trail

The Navigational Guide Books to the Grand Canal and River Barrow also include descriptions of the towns and places of historical interest. Ancient sites dating back from 3000 BC  to early Christian, Medieval, Norman and Georgian period with Stone forts, portal graves, High crosses, churches and round towers, castles, period houses and gardens to visit. Heritage towns on the waterways include; Tullamore, Athy,  Stradbally and Kilkenny.  Monastic settlements include Clonmacnoise on the Shannon, Rahan Church, County Offaly, Castledermot in county Carlow, St Lazarians Cathedral in county Kilkenny and St Mullins, county Wexford.   

As you travel the old trade routes of the Barrow and Grand canal you will soak up the associated Heritage. Take an excursion to Kilkenny city where there is the Kilkenny Design Centre with various craft studios and Kilkenny Castle. Bennettsbridge in county Kilkenny is the home of the famous potter Nicholas Mosse, also with Quaker connections, who produces beautiful traditional country style  spongeware. ( )   Graiguenamanagh – Home to Duiske Glass and Cushiondale Woolen Mill for blankets and tweeds. Belmont Mills and Artists studios in Belmont, county Offaly.  Shannon Bridge Pottery has a visitors shop. Discover Harry Clarke Stained Glass windows at churches in Tullamore., or visit the Antarctic Explorer Ernest Shakleton Exhibition in Athy Heritage Center. The Carlow Brewing Company, based beside the river in Bagnalstown, welcome visitors to taste their beers.

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