Think winding rivers and secret coves, small trails heading into the forest and leisurely strolls along streams. Think paddling or cruising along reeded banks, before heading across open water to even more adventures in inflatable waterparks, shoreside castles, tree top walks and winding zip-lines. This is ‘Head into the Blue’ where you can experience these top 10 family activities and outings to encourage you to put the phones down and spend quality time together!
Think how much your family would enjoy learning new skills like paddling or boat handling, trying electric bikes or horse-riding.
Staying in comfortable waterfront places with great food and memories, building one on top of the other whether it’s short days out or a week away.
‘Head into the Blue’ this spring with Waterways Ireland. If you’re into paddling, walking, cycling or simply hooked on the outdoors, make yours a trip to remember.
With the fabulous selection of packages on offer, there are combinations in accommodation, activities and attractions to suit every taste and budget.
The whole family can experience the beauty and invigorating spirit of Ireland’s waterways and walking trails. Adventures await in exploring history, culture, crafts and nature. Walk, stroll, relax and even potter (with actual ceramics making) or get active; zip lining, boating, canoeing, island hopping, running or cycling.
Check out the latest offers and find the one that suits your family.
Top 10 Family Activities on the Blueways
#1. Cruising on Lough Erne
Cruise the dramatically beautiful and tranquil shores of Lough Erne and island-hop its many treasures from the monastic Round Towers on Devenish Island to National Trust castles & estates in Fermanagh or moor the boat meters away from Enniskillen’s town theatre, shopping, museums and restaurants.
#2. Pottery in Tipperary
Potter and make your own ceramic pottery at a ‘hands-on’ ceramics workshop with Marina Postir Ceramics at Neddy’s Cottage, Dromineer, Tipperary
#3. Parkrun in Laois
Participate in a Parkrun at Vicarstown on the Barrow, Laois. Breathe in the pure air on either a junior or senior run. No one is excluded; these are inclusive, fun and very doable! Embrace the jog.
#4. Exploring the Shannon Blueway, Leitrim
Explore by walking or cycling the Battlebridge Lock to Acres Lake loop trail and visit the iconic Acres Lake floating boardwalk that allows you ‘walk on water’! This route can be done from either direction. The ‘snake in the lake’ is an easy grade walk with 4 separate trail heads for you to explore the wildlife and lush beauty of the Shannon Blueway, Leitrim.
#5. Cycle or Walk in Clare
Cycle or walk from Killaloe, Clare along the trail to Twomilegate and literally follow the scent into Ballycuggaran Forest trails for an adventure with your senses under the pine trees.
#6. River Strolls and Cycles in Kilkenny & Galway
Relax and walk the many scenic inland routes on offer. Stroll or cycle from Graiguenamanagh on the Barrow towpath, Kilkenny before stopping at St Mullin’s for coffee and a cake before walking back to the village.
While in Galway, the buggy, bike and wheelchair friendly Portumna Forest Park Walking Trail (1.4 km) is a gentle looped trail on a wide and smooth forest road and timber boardwalk.
#7. Zip-Lining in Roscommon
Zipline and be exhilarated on any of the five circuits through the trees at Lough Key Forest Park, Roscommon. From kids & beginners to athletes looking for challenge there are different levels on offer as well as up to 88 activities between platforms in the trees.
#8. Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Longford, Cavan and Beyond
Paddle the Blueway Camlin Loop from Clondra on a family adventure, Longford. Or the wide, tree-lined rivers of the Barrow that passes through 6 counties. Or stand up paddle on the Lough Derg Blueway. Canoe the Family Canadian Canoe trip on the Shannon-Erne Waterway, Cavan. Head inland to the Cavan Burren Park, a UNESCO prehistoric landscape and sacred megalithic space.
#9. Camping in Antrim
Stay overnight and camp on the Movanagher Campsite and paddle the Movanagher Canal on the River Bann. Afterwards take a tour and visit the Lough Neagh Exhibition in the Lock-keepers Cottage in Toomebridge, Antrim.
#10. Moor Up in Offaly
Moor up on the Grand Canal and admire nature and art together in a fresh way. Take the bikes onto the off-road trails to follow the sculpture, in Lough Boora, Offaly.
Check out the latest offers and find one for your next family break.