A road trip along Ireland’s captivating blueways makes for an unforgettable campervan experience. Discover the vast network of blueways in Shannon, Lough Derg and Shannon-Erne for an extraordinary adventure filled with awe-inspiring landscapes, cultural discoveries, ancient ruins, remote islands and memorable moments.
So, all you need to do now is pack up your campervan, choose your starting point and immerse yourself in the surrounding wildlife as you glide into the blue.
The Shannon Blueway
Park your campervan near the water's edge, hop on a kayak and explore the peaceful stretches of water and land-based trails running from Leitrim, through Roscommon to county Longford. The water trails have accessibility for canoes, stand-up paddle boards and kayaks, offering over 100km of paddling area. There are also great walking and cycling trails which start on Ireland’s first floating boardwalk at Acres Lake in Drumshanbo.
The first trail stage is Boyle to Carrick on Shannon with 20km of paddling options in total, the routes are clearly highlighted and the direction of water flow is given. Key points of interest worth checking out on this particular trail include Lough Key Forest Park where you can rent kayaks, take boat tours, partake in a zip it forest adventure or book the 15 quest 47 challenge Boda Borg, where only teamwork, ingenuity, trial and error and skills will allow you to progress through its 47 rooms! Mc Dermott's castle on Castle Island is situated close to Lough Key Forest Park and is certainly worth a visit. Lough Key Boat Tours operate from Lough Key Forest Park daily all year round.
Carrick on Shannon is a fantastic base from which to explore the Shannon Blueway. Overall there are five trails on the Shannon Blueway ranging from 10km to 50km in length. You can download maps for each paddle trail at the following Blueways Ireland web page. Located on the waterfront only 10 minutes away from Carrick on Shannon Battlebridge Caravan and Camping Park offers an idylic base for a motorhome stopover with great facilities and a lovely gastro pub, perfect if you have your own kayaks, canoes and paddles boards with you.
With 160kms of blueway paddling trails to be explored, Lough Derg’s stunning shorelines are nestled among rolling hills which makes for a stunning backdrop. Certainly one for the bucket list! Download the comprehensive Loughderg Blueway Paddling guide, a great resource with 21 different routes to choose from. You can park at the twin towns of Killaloe/Ballina and from here there's no shortage of things to do, rent boats, book a kayaking tour with Adventure Kayaking, checkout supping options on soul kite's facebook page, hop on the spirit of Killaloe for a cruise on the lake or contact the UL Activity centre to see what activities they have running. West Lake Aqua Park also promises for exhilarating and fun family moments.
For camping convenience, accessibility and overall enjoyment, we highly recommend the Mountshannon to Holy Island paddle route. There is a campsite right there on Mountshannon harbour called Lakeside Holiday Park and the route is a short 5km loop, but very rewarding. Once you set foot on the island it’s like stepping back in time to a mini Glendalough steeped in history with church ruins, graveyards and round tower. The beautiful thing about this trail is the absence of commercialism, just nature at its best and reminders of a past vibrant life.
With trails that stretch as far as Portumna, Dromineer Garry Kennedy and Terry Glass there is an abundance of amazing places to visit on Lough Derg's Blueways with excellent parking options for motorhomes. The Aires in Portumna come highly recommended by customers and there is a good campsite only 5km from Terryglass called Stonepark Lodge. Killaloe and Garry Kennedy don’t have camping facilities, but do have ample parking spaces and overnight parking is accepted but there is no official permission to park. It's always good to ask when you arrive. Lough Derg is full of marinas in picturesque waterside locations with plenty of nearby shops, gastro pubs and water acitivities.
The Shannon-Erne Blueway
Our journey wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Erne Blueway, nestled in the enchanting lakelands of Counties Leitrim, Cavan and Fermanagh. Here, a network of navigable waterways connects the vast and scenic Lough Erne, offering endless opportunities for exploration. Choose from three trails, 1. Leitrim Village to Ballinamore 2. Ballinamore to Ballyconnell 3. Ballyconnell to Belturbet in Co. Cavan
Take the exhilarating white water course at Ballyconnell or visit Eniskillen Castle in Fermanagh for a more leisurely stroll. A striking castle, a prisoners' island and the railway station that time forgot are just a few of this Blueway's best-kept secrets.
Park your campervan near the shore, launch a canoe or paddleboard, and navigate your way through the mystical islands and hidden inlets. Along the way, you'll encounter historical landmarks, ancient monastic sites, and breath-taking panoramas that showcase the true essence of Ireland's natural splendor. See the Erne Blueway web page for a list of activities and here you can also download the Shannon-Erne Blueway paddling guide.
If you are interested in purchasing a motorhome or campervan, come and see the range at our showrooms in Shannonside Business Park, Birdhill, Co. Tipperary V94VY98. Anchor Point Motorhomes is your Burstner, Weinsberg and Westfalia Motorhome Ireland dealer, we pride ourselves on delivering a 5-star service to all our customers.
Call us on 353 (0)61 379903 or pop in to see us. A warm welcome awaits!