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					A Taste of the Waterways
     Favourite Places to Eat and Drink
               2009 Edition
                                          A Taste of the Waterways




     1   Barrow Navigation
     2   Erne System
     3   Grand Canal

     4   Lower Bann Navigation

     5   Royal Canal

     6   Shannon Navigation

     7   Shannon-Erne Waterway




NB: The maps supplied are intended only to clarify the text and should under no circumstances be used as a navigational aid.
Key to Abbreviations: D: Dinner L: Lunch
Debit / Credit Cards: MC: Mastercard V: Visa D: Diners L: Laser S: Switch M: Maestro
               A Taste of the Waterways Favourite Places to Eat and Drink

                    A spell on Ireland’s inland                                          Waterways Ireland’s mission
                    waterways offers the perfect                                         statement is “…to provide a high
                    antidote to the hectic pace of                                       quality recreational environment
                    modern life – the rivers and canals                                  centred on the inland waterways
                    slow the visitor down to a gentler                                   in our care for the benefit of our
                    pace and, once you’ve adjusted,                                      customers...”
                    it’s a wonderful sensation. Time                                     Waterways Ireland is proud of its
                    afloat spent pottering along,                                        association with Georgina
                    enjoying the wildlife and exploring                                  Campbell and the quality of her
  the unfolding countryside makes a relaxing and                      publications in this area and is delighted to be
  rewarding holiday for people of all ages – and,                     partners in this 2009 edition of “Taste of the
  while cooking on board is fun, the generous                         Waterways”, the guide to favourite places to eat
  sprinkling of good eating places and friendly pubs                  along the waterways. The guide includes almost
  along all of Ireland’s rivers and canals means                      100 independently assessed restaurants and
  there’s plenty of time off for the cook too. Cutting                hostelries along the Barrow Navigation, the Erne
  edge cuisine is not likely to be a feature at the                   System, the Grand Canal, Lower Bann, the Royal
  majority of restaurants in rural areas along the                    Canal, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the
  waterways, but there are many talented Irish chefs                  Shannon Navigation. Waterways Ireland would
  taking great pride in quality local produce and the                 particularly like to congratulate the winners of the
  discerning visitor should be in for some pleasant                   inaugural Taste of the Waterways Awards, Conor
  surprises – and highlights to be found along the                    and Ronan Maher of the Oarsman, Carrick-on-
  way include some exceptional restaurants                            Shannon.
  suggested as special trips, where the dining
  experience can be memorable.                                        In response to requests from Waterways Ireland
                                                                      users on the Lower Bann, Georgina Campbell has
  This year, at the launch of their flagship Ireland                  included some restaurants on Lough Neagh which
  Guide and associated annual awards, Georgina                        is not within Waterways Ireland’s remit.
  Campbell Guides introduced a new Taste of the
  Waterways Award, sponsored by Waterways                             The dining experience is a central part of enjoying
  Ireland, an award that should help to introduce a                   the waterways, whether for a day or a week, on a
  lot of new visitors to a side of Ireland that is still              charter boat or on your own boat, fishing or
  unknown to many – what a wonderful surprise                         walking along the waterways. To complement the
  they have in store. And a real treat awaits those                   many and varied dining options featured in this
  who visit the inaugural winner. Chosen, of course,                  guide, a number of “Dining on Board” recipes
  as a benchmark to flag the very best hospitality to                 have also been included in the 2009 edition.
  be found along the waterways, The Oarsman (see
  page 52) in Carrick-on-Shannon is an outstanding                    Through production of this guide and other
  pub with all the old-fashioned virtues (open fires,                 promotional material such as the “What’s On
  warm hospitality, caring hands-on owners) and                       Guide” and the” Lakeland & Inland Waterways”
  seriously good modern food showcasing local                         series of regional guides based on the Shannon,
  produce: truly excellent.                                           Shannon-Erne and Erne waterway corridor, it is
                                                                      hoped to increase the numbers of visitors to the
  But, whichever area you may be visiting,we hope                     waterways all year round with ensuing economic
  that this independently assessed guide will lead                    benefits for service providers and the local
  you to many enjoyable experiences and, when you                     economies.
  have chosen your preferred dining destination for
  the evening, we strongly recommend that you ring                    I hope you enjoy your visit to the beautiful
  ahead to make a reservation, especially in high                     waterways and take the opportunity to eat at
  season and at weekends. Our recommendations                         some of these establishments. If on the
  vary tremendously in style, but we hope that they                   waterways, wear your life jacket and come home
  will leave you with happy memories of Ireland's                     safely.
  wonderful waterways.


  Georgina Campbell                                                   Martin Dennany
  Editor                                                              Director of Marketing and Communications
Note: Northern Ireland numbers called from the Republic are prefixed by 048, not the internal prefix 028. The prefix from
Northern Ireland to the Republic is 00 353, then omit the first 0. Directory Enquiries: For any number within Ireland, dial 11811
when calling from within the Republic of Ireland, or 118500 when calling within Northern Ireland.

                                                                  1
                         A Taste of the Waterways

Barrow Navigation                       Robertstown on the Grand Canal is a
                                        crossroads of the inland waterways.
                                        Within its hospitable area, the Grand
                                        Canal continues its stately progress
                                        across Ireland, trending northwest after
                                        coming in from the east and Dublin.
                                        The attractive Milltown Feeder is soon
                                        headed off to the southeast towards
                                        Pollardstown Fen. And the Barrow Line
                                        – older than the section west to the
                                        Shannon – is almost immediately
                 1                      heading away to the southwest,
                                        beginning a long descent to the sea.

                                        Properly speaking, the Barrow
                                        Navigation does not begin until Athy.
                                        From there, using a mixture of river
                                        and canal, it runs southward for 69
                     2                  kilometres through always beautiful
                                        and increasingly impressive scenery,
                 3                      until it reaches tidal waters at St
                                        Mullins. But although the 45 or so
                                        kilometres of waterway from the
                                        Robertstown area to Athy are totally a
                                        canal, and the Grand Canal at that, for
                                        the purposes of savouring hospitality
                                        along the way we can regard the
                                        Barrow as beginning where the
                                        waterways divide at Lowtown, a
                                        kilometer westward of Binns Bridge at
                                        Robertstown.
                     4 5
6   7 8
                                        For good measure, the waterways
                                        divide twice. Taking the Old Barrow
                                        Line, there’s a pub at LITTLETOWN
          9 10                          BRIDGE, and if you should head up the
                                        Milltown Feeder, there’s another at
                                        MILLTOWN itself, a fully equipped little
                                        village. But those with distance
                                        covering in mind will head on for
                                        RATHANGAN, an attractive spot where
                                        the Bridge Bar (045 524412) is close to
                                        hand, while hungry boaters will find
                                        home cooked fare just across the way
                                        at the Bluegrass Café.




                                    2
                         Barrow Navigation and Barrow Line

The canal’s first acquaintance with the                Five kilometres further on, VICARSTOWN
“goodly Barrow” is at MONASTEREVIN –                   is the busiest port on the Barrow Line, a
in fact, it crosses the river by aqueduct.             lovely little spot with the classic steep
Monasterevin finds itself the ultimate                 canal bridge in its midst, and the Crean
transport hub, a focal point for railway,              family’s hospitable pubs, the Vicarstown
road, river and canal. It is also within               Inn and Creans (057 86 25189) on either
Dublin’s commuter belt, so it can seem                 side. No food is available at either (maybe
very busy though the motorway has                      a sandwich, at best), but a little further on
relieved the urban traffic pressure.                   there’s a jetty at the Cuan Mhuire Garden
However, if a berth is possible near the               Centre (059 863 1493) just outside ATHY,
lifting bridge, Boland’s Bar nearby is a               and the informal café-restaurant there
peaceful haven.                                        would be very suitable for a light daytime
                                                       bite.
It takes a while for Monastervin’s frenetic
activity to fade astern, but at the first little       It’s 12 kilometres to Athy, with three locks
stone bridge south of the motorway                     in town to descend to the Barrow itself.
crossing, there’s complete rural peace                 The town has two good hotels – the most
with a jetty on the west bank,and Sean                 central is the Carlton Abbey Hotel (059
Ward’s lovely old-world thatched pub –                 863 0100). Right beside the canal
The Fisherman’s (057 86 26488) – within                harbour, the Bridge House/Purcells still has
a very short stroll at Fisherstown                     the style of the classic wayside hostelry,
Crossroads, also on the west bank. Not a               but the road through Athy is mighty busy,
daytime place during the week - opening                and other parts of the town are quieter.
times vary, usually from 6 o’clock                     Conveniently central is The Emigrant (059
midweek, Saturday from 2pm and Sunday                  863 2717), a fairly recently re-styled pub
12.30-11; they serve a range of gourmet                with its main entrance looking onto the
pies & chips.                                          river and with a separate café, reached
                                                       through the bar or from its own entrance
                                                       at the back. Athy Farmers Market & Craft
                                                       Fair is held on Emily Square in front of the
                                                       Heritage Centre on Sundays (10-2).




                                                   3
                             A Taste of the Waterways

  1 Gargoyles Café,                                open all day Mon-Sat and on Saturday
  Grand Canal House,                               night for dinner. More in the special
  Athy, Co Kildare                                 occasion bracket is The Grill & Grape
  059 864 1482                                     Steakhouse (059 917 97170) on Centaur
                                                   Street, which is attractively situated facing
                                                   the river and offers a novel feature, Hot
                                                   Rock steaks, which are served to the table
                                                   for you to cook for yourself.

                                                      2 La Piccola Italia,
                                                      144 Tullow Street,
                                                      Carlow, Co Carlow
                                                      059 914 0366

Just beside the bridge in the centre of the
town, Triona and Brid Edgar's friendly,
casual café offers very good breakfasts
and variations, lovely salads and
sandwiches, and an interesting evening
menu including Tapas. Everything is
sourced locally where possible and they
take pride in good home cooking,
especially baking. Open Mon-Sat, 9am-
6pm (Sat from 10 am); opens for D if               Husband and wife team Adriano Lafrate
there is a minimum booking of at least 8.          and Elaine Meaney’s informal modern
Closed Sun. MC, V.                                 restaurant is simple and classy, with a bar
                                                   where you can take a little time over
The first experience of being on the River         menus offering a wide range of favourites.
Barrow itself at Athy is only the briefest –       You’ll find authentic Italian cooking, a
you’re quickly across and back into a              relaxing ambience, good service and value
canalised section. But after Ardreigh Lock         for money. Elaine (a trained pastry chef)
three kilometres further south, river              runs front of house with warmth and
cruising is resumed. Upwards of ten                makes the desserts, so you’re bound to
kilometres south, and at MAGANEY                   end on a high note. D Tue-Sat, 5-10pm
BRIDGE there’s a quay and landing stage,           (Fri/Sat to 11pm); Early D Tue-Sat, 5-7pm
and the Three Counties pub marks the               & Sun 1-7pm. L Tue-Sat. 12-2pm. Closed
fact that the borders of counties Carlow,          Mon. MC, V, L.
Kildare and Laois meet hereabouts, and is
across a busy road. CARLOW is 10                   As the Barrow grows in size on its stately
kilometres further south along the                 progress southward, so the shoreside
Navigation, a busy river town with all             choices increase. Next port after Carlow is
facilities (see below). Although not               LEIGHLINBRIDGE (pronounced
renowned as a dining destination, the              “Lochlinbridge”) where the options
town has a number of good informal                 include berthing at the marina at the
eating places including the popular                famed Lord Bagenal Inn (see entry), or
Rattlebag Café (059 913 9568) on Barrack           along the public quayside.
Street (an ideal place to drop into for a
snack – their home baking is delicious - or
maybe something more substantial), and
Hennessy’s Fine Foods (059 913 28490)
on Dublin Street, a great deli and café



                                               4
                        Barrow Navigation and Barrow Line

   3 The Lord Bagenal Hotel,                            4 The Step House Hotel,
   Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow                            Main Street, Borris, Co Carlow
   059 972 1668                                         059 977 3209




Although growing fast, this beautifully               James and Cait Coady's lovely old house
situated hotel retains some of its original           has recently been redeveloped to
character in the old end bar, with its open           incorporate the pub next door (in the
fire and comfortably traditional air. Bar             family for 5 generations), re-opening as
meals include a lunchtime carvery/buffet,             The Step House Hotel – and it’s a credit to
but connoisseurs will enjoy the restaurant            the Coadys, who also own one of
for its exceptional wine list, a fine Irish art       Ireland's finest classic pubs, Tynans Bridge
collection, and eclectic well-balanced                Bar, in Kilkenny city. Head chef Alan Foley
menus offering plenty of choice, including            uses the best local ingredients, organic
Dunmore East seafood and local                        where possible, in both the fine dining
farmhouse cheeses. Bar food 12-10 daily.              Cellar Restaurant and the 1808 bar, where
Restaurant D Wed-Sat 6-10, L Sun only                 excellent casual food is offered. Cellar
12-4. Amex, D V, L.                                   Restaurant D only Fri & Sat 7.30-9.15; Bar
                                                      meals 12.30-8.45 daily (sandwiches/light
Then, in less than five kilometres,                   food only 4.30-6). MC, V, L.
BAGENALSTOWN (Muine Bheag) is along
a handsome curve of the river. The                      5 M. O’Shea, Main Street,
waterside area is developing, and the                   Borris, Co Carlow
nearest pub is Jimmy D’s (059 972 1758)                 059 977 3106
this friendly pub is an evening place
during the week, opening from 5 o’clock,
but operates normal pub hours at
weekends (no food).

Continuing south, the river winds its way
through fine farmland with spectacular
scenery beyond. GORESBRIDGE, the next
port of call, is finding itself anew as a river
port. There’s berthing below the bridge on
the west bank, and first pub in the village           Halfway up the steep main street,
is Donohoe’s, complete with shop next                 O’Shea’s picturesque old grocery section
door.                                                 at the front links into a modern-day shop
                                                      next door, with larger rooms for food or
BORRIS, seven kilometres downstream, is               music sessions behind. ‘Flexible’ food
rather less accessible – in fact, from the            service could include breakfast for hungry
river you wouldn’t know it was there at               fisherfolk, a deliciously wholesome hot
all. But berth at Ballytiglea Bridge or Borris        lunch menu 12-2 and, at other times,
Lock, and find your way up the hill to a              fresh sandwiches can usually be made up
perfect little town which prospers quietly.           for small numbers, from the deli in the
                                                      shop. Music every fortnight or so: “it’s a
                                                      bit random”; MC, V, L.
                                                  5
                             A Taste of the Waterways

By this time the scenery is perfect, and             7 The Waterside,
after descending several locks, including            Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny
the beautiful Clashganna, we reach the               059 972 4246
perfect little river port of
GRAIGUENAMANAGH. People voyage
here, and go no further. It has everything,
including a book market – a collection of
booksellers sharing permanent premises
on the main street – and an annual Book
Fair. For more direct sustenance, the
Waterside and Boats Bistro (see entries
overleaf) are right on their respective
quays; in the village there’s a smashing           Brian and Brigid Roberts’ characterful
little daytime café Coffee on High, and            quayside restaurant with rooms is
nearby we find the legendary pub and               attractively located away from the road on
general merchants Doyle’s (see entry)              the Kilkenny side of the river and offers a
while nearby is Ryan’s (059 972 4117),             range of mainstream choices such as
which is also a delightful pub in the old          salmon, steaks and interesting vegetarian
style.                                             dishes. A local eel fishery dates back to
                                                   the Cistercian monks who built the town
   6 Boats Bistro, Tinnahinch,                     and weirs on the river and, in good years
   Graiguenamanagh, Co Carlow                      when it is active, menus may also include
   059 972 5075                                    the speciality Graiguenamanagh smoked
                                                   eel. D daily 6.30-9.30, L Sun only 12-3.
                                                   Reservations advised. Light meals in
                                                   summer, 11-4. Amex, MC, V, L.
                                                     8 Doyle’s,
                                                     Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny
                                                     059 972 4203



On the Carlow side of the beautiful stone
bridge linking counties Kilkenny and
Carlow, Arnie and Georgina Poole’s
smartly informal restaurant enjoys fine
views of the River Barrow, Duiske Abbey
and Graiguenamanagh village. Georgina’s
tasty, reasonably priced, modern bistro
food is served in a pleasant atmosphere            This charming village enjoys a choice of
(with a concise, fairly priced wine list and       appealing hostelries, but don’t leave
excellent Illy coffees), and it would be           without allowing time to drink in the
worth the trip for the views from the              atmosphere of Doyle’s: a fire burns in the
upstairs bistro of the weir, bridge and            back bar, and the old shop at the front
village alone. Phone to check opening              offers a varied collection of useful items,
times – low season w/e only. MC, V.                including much of interest to the
                                                   fisherperson – even the briefest of visits
                                                   here will lift the spirits. Shop open Mon-
                                                   Sat 9.30am – normal pub closing time;
                                                   Sun open from 12 noon.



                                               6
                       Barrow Navigation and Barrow Line

Graiguenamanagh is in the midst of lovely             10 Bassett’s at Woodstock,
countryside, and just across the flank of             Woodstock Gardens,
Brandon Hill, the pretty village of                   Inistioge, Co Kilkenny
INISTIOGE is well worth a taxi journey                056 775 8820
through beautiful scenery. Here on the
River Nore you will find plenty of
characterful places to eat and drink
including a friendly traditional inn, The
Woodstock Arms, the well known
restaurant Circle of Friends (056 77
58800); light daytime meals and an à la
carte evening menu), named after the film
which was made in the village, and two
restaurants which draw diners from afar,
The Motte and Bassett’s at Woodstock               Returning Inistioge native, John Bassett,
(see entries below).                               and his partner, Mijke Jansen, run this
                                                   scenically located contemporary restaurant
  9 The Motte Restaurant,                          at the historic and beautifully restored
  Plas Newydd Lodge,                               Woodstock Gardens & Arboretum.
  Inistioge, Co Kilkenny                           Overlooking the Nore valley, and
  056 775 8655                                     conveniently situated beside the visitors’
                                                   carpark (note the saddleback pigs in a
                                                   small pen) this is not just a ‘garden visits
                                                   café’ but a destination restaurant where
                                                   everything is cooked and served correctly
                                                   and very carefully presented, without
                                                   being too cheffy. L Wed-Sun, 12-4 (Sun to
                                                   6); D Wed-Sat from 7. Closed Mon & Tue.
                                                   MC, V, L.

Rodney & Deirdre Doyle’s small restaurant          Inistioge is on the River Nore, but it is tidal
is in the classically proportioned Plas            water, and the Barrow Navigation finishes
Newydd Lodge – named in honour of ‘the             at the sea lock above ST MULLINS. A
ladies of Llangollen’, who eloped from             three kilometre stroll along the towpath
Inistioge in the 18th century. Today, an L-        reaches St Mullin’s, and a short but steep
shaped room with a Kilkenny marble                 climb finds Blanchfield’s Bar, nestling
fireplace and simple, effective decor is the       amidst hills which are a whole world away
setting for accomplished modern cooking,           from Lowtown at the north end of the
featuring many specialities: don’t miss the        Barrow Line.
crème brulée! D 7-9.30, Thu-Sat (also Sun
of bank hol w/e). Closed Sun-Wed, also 1
week June. MC, V, L.




                                               7
                              A Taste of the Waterways


          Erne System
                                   4
                                                5
           3                                    4
                                                                     5
                          3                              6 7


                                                                         6 7
                                                2

                                                               8 9
                                                                2
                                                     1     10
                                                                             8 9
                                                                             10
                                                                         1




Erne System
(Clockwise from Belturbet)

The characters of the winding Erne                  DERRYLIN: Knockninny Restaurant (028
waterway’s upper and lower lakes are so             6774 8339) is in a large bungalow fairly
different that visitors could be forgiven for       near the harbour (L12.30-2.30 daily, D by
thinking that they should be given two              reservation); collection arranged in bad
completely different names. Upper Lough             weather.
Erne is a total intertwining of water and
land. Once you pass through Enniskillen,            BELLANALECK: At the marina, The
which is itself on an island, Lower Lough           Moorings (028 6634 8328) offers popular
Erne at first seems similar, but soon it            fare daily and traditional Sunday lunches
opens into the wide spaces of the Broad             and, a short walk away, The Sheelin is a
Lough overlooked by the spectacular Cliffs          pretty thatched cottage in the village (see
of Magho, and its nature is markedly                entry below).
different. However, islands are a feature of
both lakes, and there is an island
restaurant – at Lusty Beg on the Lower
Lough.


                                                8
                                    Erne System

  1 The Sheelin Tea Shop,                        Just outside Enniskillen, on the west shore,
  Bellanaleck, Co Fermanagh                      Jim and Eileen Treacy’s golf resort is of
  028 6634 8232                                  international standards (the premier Nick
                                                 Faldo course is due to open mid-2009).
                                                 The property lies between two lakes on its
                                                 own bridge-linked island and offers
                                                 sweeping lakeland views. Head chef Noel
                                                 McMeel (known for his commitment to
                                                 quality local ingredients) offers fine dining
                                                 in the Catalina Restaurant, also good
                                                 informal food and – from mid-2009 –
                                                 meals at the Halfway House & Seafood
Just a short stroll from the marina, this        Experience on the 9th hole of the new
pretty cottage offers a museum of                Faldo Course. Catalina: D nightly 6.30-
traditional Irish lace as well as                9.30, L Sat & Sun 1-2.30; Bar & Drawing
refreshment. The tea shop is a light and         Room menus 12-9.30 daily; Garden Hall
airy space with some outside tables in an        Afternoon Tea, 2-5 daily. Amex, MC, V.
attractive paved area, complete with
fountain. Julie Snoddy has earned a              BELLEEK is a friendly place with a
reputation for superb baking: her                welcoming riverside hotel, the Carlton
speciality scones are popular with morning       (028 6865 8282), a fascinating Visitor
coffee, and there is always an array of          Centre (and tea rooms) at the world
baked goodies on display - paradise              famous Belleek Pottery (028 6865 8501)
squares, mile-high lemon meringue pie,           and several great music pubs, including
old-fashioned Victoria sandwich cake…            Moohans/The Fiddlestone (028 6865
Open daily 10-5.30 (Sun to 6). MC, V,            8008) a pub with guesthouse on the main
Switch.                                          street, where Gilmartins Irish Craft Shop
                                                 (028 686 58371) is exceptionally friendly
For convenience, we continue our                 and helpful.
clockwise theme, but it can be a complex
business. On the Lower Lake, navigation             3 The Thatch,
becomes more clearcut. As the expanse of            Belleek, Co Fermanagh
the Broad Lough opens out ahead, there’s            028 6865 8181
sheltered berthing at Tully Bay or Tully
Castle. Then it’s “open sea” to Belleek, a
friendly little town which has been
marvelously revived in recent years.

  2 Lough Erne Golf Resort,
  Belleek Road, Enniskillen,
  Co Fermanagh 028 6632 3230

                                                 This 18th century listed building is the
                                                 only originally thatched village building
                                                 remaining in County Fermanagh.
                                                 Homemade food has been served here for
                                                 a century, a tradition upheld today, with
                                                 home-made soups, freshly made/ toasted
                                                 sandwiches, hot specials and delicious
                                                 bakes like chocolate squares and muffins.
                                                 And you can buy fishing tackle, hire a bike
                                                 – or even a holiday cottage – here too.
                                                 Open Mon-Fri, 9-5, Sat 10-5. MC & V (on
                                                 orders over £10).
                                             9
                             A Taste of the Waterways

  4 Lusty Beg Island,                                  5 Lough Erne Hotel,
  Boa Island, Kesh, Co Fermanagh                       Kesh, Co Fermanagh
  028 6863 3300                                        028 6863 1275




This unusual place is worth a visit, if only        This friendly hotel is attractively located on
to call into the pleasant waterside pub for         the Glendurragh River and makes the
a drink and an informal bite like smoked            most of its setting. Wholesome fare,
salmon and brown bread. Visiting boats              helpful staff and good value make this a
are welcome; phone ahead for details of             relaxing stopping place and the view is
barbecues and other theme nights.                   soothing. Breakfast 8-10; L 12.30-3; Grill
Children welcome. Summer: bar food                  Menu Mon-Sat 3.30-9 (Fri- Sun to 9.30).
daily; music Saturday night. Weekends:              Light snacks available all day, every day.
breakfast 9-10.30, light bar food 1-6, D 6-         Amex, MC, V, Delta, Switch, Maestro.
9. Call to check food service, especially
off-season; reservations recommended.               CASTLE ARCHDALE has a harbour (and, in
MC, V, Switch.                                      summer, a tea room). The eastern shore of
                                                    the Lower Lough from Kesh to Enniskillen
The town of KESH has much to                        offers a remarkable variety of hospitable
recommend it, with a fine harbour                   stopovers before you return to the
development, a welcoming hotel (see                 multiple choices of Enniskillen.
right) and the Mayfly pub (028 6863
1281), on the main street, for traditional             6 Erne Palace Chinese Restaurant,
music.                                                 Inishclare, Killadeas, Co Fermanagh
                                                       028 68628550




                                                    Not only will you find superior Chinese
                                                    cuisine in this unlikely spot, but it’s raised
                                                    into an even higher class by the building,
                                                    the décor, the service and above all the
                                                    harbourside location…Very high timbered
                                                    ceilings, beautiful lighting, stylish table
                                                    settings and a gallery area for private
                                                    parties (also with lovely lake views) make
                                                    for glamorous surroundings for the good
                                                    food and smart service offered here. D
                                                    daily 5-10 (Fri & Sat to 11), L Sun only 12-
                                                    2. MC, V.
                                               10
                                      Erne System
  7. Manor House Hotel & Restaurant,                Allow time to browse around in the
  Killadeas, Co Fermanagh                           Buttermarket Area - The Jolly Sandwich
  028 6862 2211                                     (028 6632 2277) across the road from
                                                    Blakes serves wholesome lunches and
                                                    stocks tasty things for the boat, and
                                                    Rebecca’s is a consistently excellent coffee
                                                    shop in the Craft & Design Courtyard;
                                                    down towards the river on Queen
                                                    Elizabeth Road, Franco’s (028 6632 4424)
                                                    was among Enniskillen’s first
                                                    contemporary restaurants, and remains
                                                    one of the most popular. An interesting
                                                    place to visit is the Clinton Centre at the
Just a short walk up from the marina, this          War Memorial, Belmore Street, where The
period house makes a fine hotel. The                East End Restaurant (028-6632 0883) is
restaurant is well situated to take best            open all day (8-5), Monday to Saturday.
advantage of the lovely lough views and             Also worth considering for snacks and
menus offer interesting choices; both food          light lunches is the new Marks & Spencer
and service here generally match their              (028 6632 4649) at Erneside SC: the
rather grand surroundings, although the             lakeside location is pleasant - glass sided
bar can be noisy at busy times. L &                 café area, water flowing by, nice black
D:12.30-2.45 & 6.30-9.30 daily. Bar meals:          leather sofas and low tables – and
12.30-9.30 daily. Amex, MC, V, Switch.              perhaps the best cappuccino in town, too.
                                                    On the river near the Killyhevlin Hotel (see
Thereafter, a return upstream towards the           entry), Ardhowen Theatre Restaurant (028
Upper Lake brings fresh diversity along its         6632 5254) provides a stunning lunch-
eastern shore.                                      time waterside venue with pontoons
                                                    directly adjacent. If you fancy a round of
ENNISKILLEN: This historic town, home to            golf and/or some out of town dining, a
the headquarters of Waterways Ireland,              visit to the Lough Erne Golf Resort (see
has plenty to offer hungry visitors. Perhaps        entry) is in order – or, for a real
the first call should be to the famous              gastronomic treat, consider taking a cross-
O’Doherty’s Butchers (028 6632 2152) in             border taxi to nearby Blacklion for some
Belmore Street, to buy their renowned               fine dining at celebrity chef Neven
black bacon and other goodies to take               Maguire’s renowned MacNean Bistro (071
back to the boat. Nearby are the long-              985 3022).
established Scoffs Restaurant (028 6634
2622) and L’Italia (028 6632 2226),
formerly Picasso’s; there has been no
change of chef, but this attractive and
friendly two-storey restaurant now serves
an all-Italian menu. New kids on the block
include the latest stylish restaurant/deli
Taste (028 6634 7744); open Mon-Wed
8.30-5.30, Thurs-Sat to 10.30 and Dollakis
Restaurant (see entry) both near the Town
Hall, and also Russell & Donnelly (028
6632 0111) on Darling Street, a
predictably impressive and successful
café/deli from the Café Merlot/ Number 6
partnership of Gerry Russell and John
Donnelly at Blakes of the Hollow (see
entry).


                                               11
                    A Taste of the Waterways Erne System


  8 Blakes of the Hollow,                          customers in a light mood. Tightly packed
  Church Street, Enniskillen,                      tables are laid bistro style, and simply
  Co Fermanagh                                     worded menus reflecting the national
  028 6632 2143                                    identities involved offer something new
                                                   for Enniskillen. Expect tasty cooking, great
                                                   service and very good value too. L&D Tue-
                                                   Sat, 12-4 & 5.30-10; Sun L only, 12-4.
                                                   Closed late Jan/early Feb & 1-14 Sep. MC,
                                                   V, Switch.

                                                     10 Killyhevlin Hotel, Killyhevlin,
                                                     Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh
                                                     028 6632 3481

One of the great classic pubs of Ireland,
Blakes has been in the same family since
1887; while the old Victorian bar remains
unchanged (traditional music, Friday
nights), there are now two restaurants run
jointly by chef Gerry Russell and front-of-
house/wine guru John Donnelly: Café
Merlot, for a stylish informal bite (and
Saturday jazz to 1 am), and the Restaurant
@ No 6 upstairs, for weekend fine dining           Just yards from the handy jetty, this
(by reservation). Cafe Merlot L&D daily,           spacious hotel makes a convenient
12-3.30 & 5-9.30. (Value D, 5.30-7.30).            stopping place and windows right along
No 6: D Fri-Sat 6-10, by reservation, or           the main building capitalise on wonderful
any day for parties 12+. MC, V, Laser,             lake and mountain views. Silks restaurant
Switch                                             offers formal dining (efficient and
                                                   attentive service is the trump card here),
  9 Dollakis Restaurant, Cross Street,             but informal meals in the Boathouse Bar &
  Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh                        Grill may have more appeal for boating
  028 6634 2616                                    folk, and there are comfortable sofas in
                                                   the windows where you can have coffee.
                                                   Snacks 7am-10pm; business lunch/carvery,
                                                   12.30-2.30; Grill Menu, 2.30- 8. Regatta
                                                   Restaurant: D 7-9.30 daily; Sun L (carvery),
                                                   1-3. Restaurant reservations advised.
                                                   Amex, D,MC, V.




This cheerfully cosmopolitan little
restaurant burst onto the Enniskillen
dining scene in 2008 and, with an
experienced team of various nationalities,
it immediately found a niche. It has a
pleasantly contemporary airy feel, and
music (think Zorba the Greek) puts



                                              12
                           A Taste of the Waterways


          The Grand Canal




                                      14
                                                                           10   9875
                                                                                 64 32 1
                                                                      11

                                                                 12
                15
                                                           13




In 1791, the earliest functioning sections        For contemporary Dubliners, the Grand
of the Grand Canal were operational from          Canal is essentially the elegant waterway
James’s Street Harbour beside Guinness’s          which curves around the south of the
Brewery in Dublin, to Athy in County              inner city, integral to the Georgian
Kildare on the River Barrow. The longterm         architecture and marking the boundary
plan, however, had always been to                 between the elite postal districts of Dublin
connect to the Shannon in the west from           2 and Dublin 4. That this section of the
the River Liffey and the Port of Dublin to        canal was an add-on conceived in the
the east.                                         1790s is neither here nor there. It was
                                                  opened with a spectacular party in 1796,
Today, we certainly think of the Grand            and as far as Dubliners are concerned, this
Canal as being the waterway linking               is the Grand Canal. It’s the rest of the
Ringsend on the shores of Dublin Bay              waterway which is an add-on……
along 131 kilometres to Shannon Harbour
near Banagher in County Offaly, on a              This may be a cavalier approach to the
route which has been operational since            history of Ireland’s inland waterways. But
1804. And we think of the Barrow Line,            for visiting boat folk, it does mean that
which “leaves” the Grand Canal at                 the “new” section, between Ringsend and
Lowtown, as being part of the Barrow              Inchicore, is city cruising at its best. The
Navigation. Almost lost in the passage of         hospitality lineup is almost bewildering in
time is the thought that this branch line         its variety – it’s said there is a pub at or
was once – albeit briefly – the main              near every bridge. We list a range of
waterway, while the former terminus in            special establishments, while always
Dublin has disappeared as a harbour, as           remembering that, after a surfeit of city
has its little connecting canal, which now        pleasures, boat people will soon yearn for
accommodates the Luas light railway.              open spaces.

                                             13
                            A Taste of the Waterways

A Taste of Canalside Dublin                           1 Riva Restaurant,
Visitors arriving into Dublin by boat have            Hanover Quay, Dublin 2
many interesting shopping and dining                  01 675 3577
experiences to look forward to within a
gentle stroll of one of the landing stages
dotted along the canal. Starting right at
the beginning of the canal, some well-
located establishments include Herb Street
(01 675 3882), Ely HQ and Riva and,
although not as obvious, Bridge Bar & Grill
is very handy too, while Rachel Keane’s
lovely speciality food shop Haddington
Delicatessen (01 667 6685) at 53
Haddington Road has both treats to take            Dublin’s developing docklands are
back to the boat and great home cooked             bringing big changes to this area and, in
daytime food to take away. Canaletto,              what has become something of a
on Mespil Road, is highly visible from the         restaurant walkway - tucked away from
canal but you could easily miss Canal Bank         traffic and with uninterrupted views over
Café. The Hilton Hotel is also very obvious        the Grand Canal Basin - the latest venture
and exceptionally conveniently located for         from well know restaurateur and wine
the boating visitor, and as is the popular         importer Dieter Bergman is an attractive
Barge Inn (01 475 1869) beside it and,             restaurant with a smart modern interior
further along, Nonna Valentina and Locks           and generous terrace seating for fine days.
(see entries below for all establishments          With a buzzy atmosphere, contemporary
previously highlighted but without phone           Italian cooking, it appeals to all age
numbers). But there are far too many               groups. Open daily 12-11 (Sun to 9pm)
places of interest for us to list them all         MC, V, Laser.
here – the pleasant Mespil Hotel (01 488
4600), for example, is handy to berthing              2 Ely HQ,
(opposite side from the Hilton) and offers            Hanover Quay, Dublin 2
lunch and dinner at its Glaze Restaurant.             01 633 9986
There are also some gems just a few
minutes from the canal – from Charlemont
Bridge, for example, just seven minutes
walk up Ranelagh Road brings you to
RANELAGH VILLAGE, an area which offers
one of the city’s best (and most compact)
collections of food and wine shops, with a
range of over thirty restaurants to choose
from, including Mint (01 497 8655), one
of the city’s top fine dining destinations,
and many excellent informal restaurants.           This, the third of Erik and Michelle
At PORTOBELLO, too, there are some                 Robson’s stylish establishments, has large
treats – including the popular smart-casual        eating areas on two levels, a covered and
daytime Lennox Café (01 478 9966)                  heated terrace, huge windows
and Bretzel Bakery (01 475 2742),                  overlooking the Grand Canal Basin, and a
where you can stock the boat up on                 youthful atmosphere. Just before going to
speciality breads – both are on Lennox             press it transformed itself from café/wine
Street, quite near Nonna Valentina.                bar to gastro-pub - a sign of the times no
                                                   doubt. Expect the trademark great wine
                                                   list (with exceptional by-the-glass choices),



                                              14
                                    The Grand Canal

cocktails, a new range of beers (including           4 Canaletto Restaurant
brews from Dublin’s Porterhouse pub) and             Mespil Road, Dublin 4
menus with a ‘green’ bias, including                 01 6673002
produce from the family’s organic farm in
Co Clare. Open Mon-Sat 12noon -
11.30pm (Fri & Sat, late opening to
12.30am). Closed Sun Amex, Diners, MC, V, L.


   3 Bridge Bar & Grill,
   The Malting Tower,
   Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2
   01 639 4941
                                                 This modern yet cosy restaurant near
                                                 Patrick Kavanagh’s statue (Baggot Street
                                                 Bridge) offers a wide selection of classic
                                                 Italian dishes, complemented by a good
                                                 wine list. You’ll find a good selection of
                                                 light pasta dishes, many of them
                                                 vegetarian, as well as more substantial
                                                 meat and seafood options. The friendly
                                                 service and open kitchen at the rear of the
                                                 dining room adds to the intimacy and a
Despite its unlikely location under a            private dining room is available
railway arch (albeit very handy to the           downstairs. Open 12noon-11pm daily; all
canal) and its pared down simplicity, this is    major cards.
a smart restaurant and bar: sister to Town
Bar & Grill off St Stephen’s Green, it               5 La Péniche
follows the same philosophy of creating              Mespil Road, Dublin 4
focused dishes based on quality                      087 790 0077
ingredients. There’s a nod to Italy in
uncluttered food with real flavour –
impossible not to like, good value, and
served in stylishly informal surroundings.
L&D Mon-Sat, 12.30-3.30 & 6-10.30; L
Sun only, 1-5. Value D Mon-Thu. Amex,
MC, V, Laser.



                                                 Enjoy a full four-course meal, a simple
                                                 charcuterie plate or just a dessert with
                                                 coffee on this smartly got up floating
                                                 restaurant (red velvet couches, gleaming
                                                 varnished tables) offering authentic French
                                                 bistro dishes. The unusual setting and
                                                 friendly, helpful service make for a great
                                                 atmosphere – and on Thursdays dinner is
                                                 even more fun, eaten under way as La
                                                 Péniche cruises the canal. L Tue-Fri, 12-3;
                                                 D Tue-Sat, 6-10.30; Sun L only, 2-5. MC,
                                                 V, Laser.


                                                15
                             A Taste of the Waterways

  6 Canal Bank Café,                                  8 Nonna Valentina,
  Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4                       Portobello Road Dublin 8
  01 664 2135                                         01 454 9866




This almost-canalside restaurant offers             One of the respected Dunne & Crescenzi
quality ‘everyday dining’ and the user-             group, this attractively located two-storey
friendly menu is divided by types of dish           restaurant is stylishly simple, with the
rather than by course; only the best                main emphasis on immaculately sourced
ingredients are used – organic beef and             ingredients and great service. Concise
lamb, free-range chicken and a wide                 menus in Italian and English may include
variety of fresh fish daily. In recent              authentic versions of old favourites
experience service can be slow but you              (bruschetta, buffalo mozzarella, breseola),
can expect good vegetarian dishes, classic          while specialities include home made
desserts – also a strong breakfast menu,            pasta, deeply flavoured sauces and
and a compact, carefully selected, wine             organic meat, poultry and game supplied
list. Open daily, 10am- 11pm. Amex, D,              by the renowned organic butcher,
MC,V, L.                                            Downey’s. Don’t miss the house tiramisu
                                                    with vinsanto. Open daily 12-11; early D
  7 Hilton Dublin Hotel,                            Mon-Fri 4-7. Amex, MC, V, Laser.
  Charlemont Place, Dublin 2
  01 402 9988                                         9 Locks Restaurant,
                                                      Windsor Terrace,
                                                      Portobello, Dublin 8
                                                      01 454 3391




Right beside berthing – and a Luas station
to take you straight into the city centre if
you like – this exceptionally conveniently          An open fronted kitchen allows diners in
located hotel makes a very handy meeting            the bright and buzzy ground floor dining
place and a recent refurbishment                    room of the ‘new’ Locks to view the
programme has transformed it into an                action, and there’s a small bar area for
attractive modern hotel. Although not               browsing wide-ranging menus (rustic
likely to be a first choice for dining, with        French classics with gourmet accents),
so many other excellent restaurants                 including an early dinner value menu and
nearby, the Uisce restaurant overlooks the          a Feasting Menu, for groups. Expect
Grand Canal, and oysters and Guinness in            exciting bistro dining in vibrant
the bar could be appealing if you want to           surroundings – and informed service from
watch a match on the big-screen TVs. L &            smart young staff. L daily, 12-3; D Mon-
D daily. Amex, MC,V.                                Sat, 6-11, early D 5.30-7.30 pm. Closed
                                                    Sun D, bank hols. Amex, Diners, MC, V,
                                                    Laser.

                                               16
                                      The Grand Canal

Heading Out of the City...                             11 Restaurant La Serre,
Reaching the countryside will take time.               Lyons Demesne, Celbridge, Co Kildare
Negotiating your way through Dublin’s                  01 630 3500
many locks is an art in itself. Facilities will
improve at CityWest, but nevertheless it’s
a relief to get through the motorway
bridge and find there’s a breathing space
at Clondalkin. But the city still intrudes,
and most crews will plan, before nightfall,
to continue past the 12th Lock (it’s
actually the 21st since the Grand Canal
Basin in Ringsend) and reach the haven
which is HAZELHATCH, where The Hatch               Beautifully situated alongside the Grand
pub (see below) is rightly cherished by            Canal, with the entrance - guarded by
boat folk.                                         stone lions - just beside the 13th lock,
                                                   arrival at Lyons Demesne is impressive,
   10 McEvoy’s/The Hatch,                          with statuary, box balls, a little bridge over
   Hazelhatch, Co Kildare                          a mill race and a massive front door
   01 628 8283                                     leading into The Lyons Den bar. Beyond,
                                                   the restaurant is in a courtyard area and
                                                   an elegant Turner-style conservatory,
                                                   where chef Paul Carroll offers stylish
                                                   dining in a bright space alongside
                                                   maturing gardens. L&D Wed-Sat, 12-3 &
                                                   6-9.30; Sun & bank hol Mon 12-7;
                                                   reservations advisable. Amex, MC, V,
                                                   Laser.


This delightfully friendly pub is full of
character, with all the little signs of a
much-loved local. There’s a snug front bar
gleaming with well-maintained wood and
notices about local activities, behind it a
larger bar more recently added, with a
warming stove to gather round. The
whole place is spick & span and it’s a
pleasure to visit – don’t expect food,
though, except maybe crisps and nuts....
From 12.30 ‘most days’. Open all year.

Although the tentacles of Greater Dublin
spread wide, it is pleasantly surprising
how rural much of the Grand Canal can
soon become. From Hazelhatch onwards,
you’re in the county of Kildare,
synonymous with fine farms and
thoroughbred horses. SALLINS is the next
port of call, with sustenance offered at
both Flanagans Mill (045 880795) and the
Bridgewater Inn (see entry below), which
is ideally located on the quay in the heart
of this canal village.

                                                  17
                             A Taste of the Waterways

  12 Bridgewater Inn, Sallins,                        13 Vie de Chateaux,
  Co Kildare                                          The Harbour, Naas, Co Kildare
  045 880681                                          045 888 478




This smartly maintained quay-side
establishment attracts fans from a wide            Just beside the harbour, this small French
area. It’s an appealing destination, with a        restaurant and wine bar has simple décor
warm and friendly atmosphere in the bar,           and tightly packed tables, has a warm
where wholesome fare is served. Sweet              atmosphere and a big blackboard menu
Guinness bread is a speciality, served with        offering unusual dishes that you won’t
home made soup or, perhaps, haddock                find elsewhere. There are sociable platters
smokies; expect weekday dishes like                of charcuterie or (mainly French) cheeses,
pasta, burgers, pan-fried chicken and              a chargrilled rib of beef on the bone for
scampi, while more extensive weekend               two - and cheerful bistro classics like snails
menus may include crab claws, cajun                in garlic butter, moules frites and tarte
chicken with garlic aioli & chill jam and          tatin. Tasty food, friendly service and good
Bridgewater bangers & mash with onion              value. L Mon-Fri 12-2.30; D Mon-Sun 6-10
gravy. Meals: Mon-Fri, 12.30-2.30 & 5-9;           (Sun to 9 ). MC, V, Laser.
Sat & Sun 2-8.30. MC, V, L.
                                                   On the MAIN LINE, progress continues
A kilometre beyond Sallins Bridge, the             onwards across the Leinster Aqueduct
NAAS LINE offers a return to urban                 over the River Liffey (last glimpsed in
amenities, its four southward-bound                Ringsend), and upwards through three
kilometres bringing a boat through five            more locks. And then suddenly, or so it
locks to the harbour in Naas town, where           seems, with the canal about three
the choice of eating places includes La            kilometres down the road from the
Primavera (045 897926) which, despite              expanding Quaker-named village of
the name, is broadly Mediterranean rather          Prosperous in County Kildare, you’ve
than Italian (and offers good value on the         reached the heights. The next lock is
early dinner menu, available 5-7 Tue-Sun,          descending. The Summit Level is just 40
with limited availability after 6pm on Sat)        kilometres from Dublin Bay, but 29 locks
while, for lovers of Asian cooking, Asia de        have been negotiated. The mood changes.
Brún Restaurant (045 871 544; formerly             The atmosphere is of the west.We cruise
Lemongrass) is just off the main street            along in relaxed style, and
behind the Town Hall and has the great             ROBERTSTOWN, the hub of the Grand
advantage of long opening hours (Mon-              Canal system, is easily reached.
Sat 12.30-10pm, Sun 1-10pm). At the
other end of the main street (behind the
former Lawlors Hotel), the Kildare Farmers
Market is held 10-3 on Saturday in the
carpark of The Storehouse (045 889333)
in Friary Lane; en route along the main
street, make a point of dropping in to one
of Ireland’s finest unspoilt old pubs,
Thomas Fletcher (045 897328) if they are
open – it’s not a morning place.
                                              18
                                 The Grand Canal

Here, the visible history of the inland         products, for example, are from nearby
waterways intertwines with the                  Birr). They promise ‘breakfast, lunch, cakes
developing reality of modern Irish life.        & treats’ and, with soup & sandwiches at
Robertstown is of the country, of the west      €7.50 and a steak sandwich for €9.50, it’s
and of the past – but only just, with           good value too. Open Mon-Sat from 8.30
Dublin so near by road. Charlie Weld’s          (Mon & Tue to 5.30, Wed-Fri to 6, Sat to
pub on the quay dates from 1850. Just           5.30). No credit cards.
along the quay towards the imposing
building which was once the old Canal           From Edenderry Harbour to the next port,
Hotel, Mullaney’s (045 860808) is a bar         DAINGEAN, is nearly 20 non-stop
with grocery and, quietly set back from         kilometres, unless you berth at Rhode
the quay, Ann Dowling’s bar (045 860299)        Bridge on the way, and walk the 2 km to
is a real haven.                                the village. RHODE has three pubs
                                                –Doyle’s, Killeen’s and Mulvin’s. The
Westward from Robertstown, the main             largest is Killeen’s – The Village Pub, (046
canal crosses the Bog of Allen, a magical       973 7017) – where they do light food.
and mysterious place. After ALLENWOOD,
where Glennon’s bar (045 860 110) is the        Daingean itself was of strategic
last oasis, there are no facilities for 12      importance in more turbulent times, and
kilometres, until Edenderry in County           there’s much of historic interest at this
Offaly. The EDENDERRY BRANCH opens              tidy canal township. For the hungry and
up to starboard through Downshire               thirsty, the Midway Park Hotel & Bar (057
Bridge, and it brings us – after 1.5 km – to    97 53238) is welcoming, while
a delightful canal harbour where Mary           characterful adjacent pubs include The
O’Connor’s Harbour House (046 977               Cosy Bar, The Grove, and Seery’s.
3583) is in classic style, and offers the
unusual experience of being able to look        Five kilometres beyond Daingean, we
up at your boat berthed across the road in      arrive at the attractively-named Chenevix
Edenderry Harbour. An authentic new             Bridge, and tiny BALLYCOMMON beside
Indian café & restaurant Mirchi (046 977        it. Just beyond, the currently defunct
3800) opened on Dublin Road just before         Kilbeggan Branch of the canal swings
going to press, and Eden Deli (see entry)       away to the northwest. Meanwhile at
offers whole daytime fare.                      Ballycommon, the hub of the sailor’s
                                                universe is Ballycommon House, Gerry &
  14 Eden Deli,                                 Maria McGrath’s pub (057 935 3016)
  JKL Street, Edenderry, Co Offaly              right on the canal, a classic – and you can
  046 973 3994                                  buy free-range eggs there.

                                                From an extremely rural area, the Grand
                                                Canal is now approaching TULLAMORE, a
                                                busy commercial town. With the revival of
                                                the waterways, its harbour will in time be
                                                re-vamped. With a berth secured, the
                                                newly arrived boat folk find all their needs
                                                met nearby. This thriving town is perhaps
                                                best known for its most famous product,
Niall & Niamh Walsh’s smart two-storey          Tullamore Dew and, while it may no
deli and café near the harbour is known         longer be made here, there’s much of
for its good wholesome fare and there are       interest in the canalside Tullamore Dew
no short cuts taken – they bake their           Visitor Centre and there’s plenty of
breads freshly every morning using              hospitality-related activity going on today.
organic flour, make all their own stocks        Well established restaurants popular with
and support local producers (Rudd’s pork        locals include the Tullamore Court Hotel

                                           19
                  A Taste of the Waterways The Grand Canal



(see below), and several on Harbour Street           Westward from Tullamore harbour, we
– Jamie’s (057 935 1529) run by Adare                have 35 kilometres and 10 locks before
Manor-trained Jamie Owens with his                   the Shannon is sighted. Much of it is
mother Jeanette in charge out front, ably            across territory where the peat industry
assisted by daughters Ashling and Jessica;           was predominant, leaving scenery which
Anatolia (0506 23669), which is great for            can be something of an acquired taste.
steaks and surf’n’turf (and open for lunch           The settlements along the canal tend to
and dinner); also the friendly Acorn (057            be workaday places, and the two pubs
932 4700), a friendly restaurant which               along the canal – The Thatch (which is no
recently re-opened following renovations             longer thatched) at CORCORAN’S BRIDGE,
– and the Italian restaurant Sirocco’s (057          and Gallagher’s at POLLAGH – are aimed
935 2839) is nearby, on Patrick Street.              very much at local trade rather than canal
Lovers of spicy food should head up to               traffic.
the popular Thai/Indian restaurant, Shisar
(0506 51439), at the top of High Street.             From time to time, however, the scenery
                                                     becomes lighter, and one of the prettiest
   15 The Tullamore Court Hotel,                     places – it’s 28 kilometres from Tullamore
   O’Moore Street, Tullamore, Co Offaly              – is BELMONT. A lovely place to stop for a
   057 934 6666                                      night or two, enchanting on summer
                                                     evenings. And just up the road, one
                                                     kilometre’s stroll away, is the crossroads
                                                     with two pubs; Kelly’s which is total pub,
                                                     while Cahill’s (0906 457202) is the classic
                                                     country conglomerate with pub, lounge,
                                                     general store and service station. Belmont
                                                     provides a breathing space before the final
                                                     five kilometres to crowded SHANNON
                                                     HARBOUR. It’s crowded not with people,
                                                     but with boats. And the talk is almost
                                                     always of boats – you can enjoy the best
                                                     of it in the legendary McIntyre’s (057
                                                     9151493). And then, the lordly Shannon
                                                     beckons, a long way indeed from
This large modern four-star hotel is                 Ringsend in Dublin.
welcoming, with an extensive foyer, and
bright and cheerful public areas. Very
much the hub of local activities, it serves
the community well, with an excellent
leisure centre and fine business facilities -
and makes a good meeting place within
easy walking distance of the whole town.
The staff are exceptionally friendly and
helpful, and the food is generally above
the standard expected in hotels. Open all
year except Christmas; food available
daily. MC, V, Laser.




                                                20
                   A Taste of the Waterways


Lough Neagh & Lower Bann




               8




                         7




                                   5

                         6




                                               4




                              3




                                           1

                                       2




                              21
                              A Taste of the Waterways

Lough Neagh                                          the entire lake clockwise from this
(Clockwise from Kinnego)                             excellent focal point. Navigation of the
Lough Neagh is very much its own place.              lough requires a chart, and also essential
It is so extensive at 390 square kilometres          is the River Bann and Lough Neagh
that wind direction and barometric                   Pilot by Michael B Savage, whose
pressure can locally affect the water level.         unrivalled and devoted knowledge of the
Much of its shoreline is lowlying – albeit           lake and its waterways is of benefit to all.
with handsome hills in the distance – so             Navigation of the River Bann requires a
traditional eyeball navigation is not always         copy of the Waterways Ireland published
easy. In times past, when this inland sea            user guide.
was the hub of Ulster’s waterways system
with connections to Belfast, Newry,                  At KINNEGO, with a large well-sheltered
Coleraine, Coalisland, the Erne and the              marina expanded to provide 190 berths,
Shannon, the Lough Neagh boatmen                     the Harbour Office (028 3832 7573) –
would often have to find their way “by               new in 2005 – has a cafeteria at
guess and by God” if they lacked a                   weekends. The impressive Lough Neagh
compass.                                             Discovery Centre (028 3832 2205) nearby
                                                     at OXFORD ISLAND provides fascinating
Today, the advent of GPS makes this vast             insights, and a comfortable (unlicensed)
body of water much more user-friendly to             restaurant. The nearest pub is at
recreational boating. But Lough Neagh                DERRYMACASH, and all facilities are in the
remains determinedly workaday, which is              town of LURGAN, about 25 minutes walk.
part of its attraction. It is associated with        It is perhaps best reached by taxi for the
two long-established industries – eel                haven of the Brindle Beam (see entry).
fishing, which dates from time
immemorial, and sand dredging – and at                  1 The Brindle Beam Tea Rooms,
the same time continues to be popular                   Windsor Avenue, Lurgan,
with wildfowlers and anglers, while                     Co Armagh.
motorcruiser and sailboat numbers are on                028 3832 1721
the increase.

The sand dredging barges – there are
around sixteen in all, and the larger ones
are virtually small ships – move at their
own steady pace. They’re worked hard
and, when fully laden, the decks are level
with the water, making them slow to
manoeuvre. Sand is dredged all year
round, but there is more than enough
room for everyone – although, while trade            There’s a welcoming fire and friendly table
is quieter at weekends, cruisers need to be          service at the first floor restaurant of this
considerate of the working vessels’ needs.           unusual small department store, where
Although the provision of berthing and               everything is freshly made each day, the
other facilities for recreational boating is         salad cart offers up to 30 different dishes,
on the increase, with marinas at Antrim,             and Ulster baking is seen in great tray
Kinnego and Ballyronan,in some parts of              bakes and desserts. Scrupulously clean,
the lough the only harbours are primarily            well-priced (not cheap, but good value for
for commercial boats, so it is good                  the quality) with real home cooking and
manners to request permission to berth.              favourites like Irish stew and beef hotpot
The principal recreational boating area is           offered, this place is a gem. Open Mon-
around Kinnego Bay in Lough Neagh’s                  Sat, 9.30-5.30 (L 12-2.30, Aft Tea 2.30-
southeast corner, so we take our review of           4.30). Unlicensed. Closed Sun &12-13 Jul.
                                                     MC, V.

                                                22
                     Lough Neagh & Lower Bann Navigation

Westward along Lough Neagh’s south                     Heading west from Bannfoot on Lough
shore, PORTADOWN is reached via the                    Neagh, the next river is the Blackwater,
meandering Upper Bann. This busy                       which gave access both to the Coalisland
commercial town has a public quay on the               Canal and the Ulster Canal, which
west shore immediately below the old                   provided the link to Lough Erne and the
bridge, while the flotilla of small local craft        Shannon System.
have their berths on the opposite bank.
Portadown is home to the stylish and                   The BLACKWATER itself is an attractive
hospitable Seagoe Hotel (028 3833 3076),               waterway if you can negotiate the low
and Simon Dougan’s renowned Yellow                     motorway bridge, upriver you find a
Door Deli, Bakery & Café (see entry below).            pleasant National Trust property, The
                                                       Argory (028 8778 4753), with its own
   2 Yellow Door Deli, Bakery & Café,                  jetty. On southward, there’s berthing at
   Woodhouse Street,                                   Charlemont Bridge to give access to MOY,
   Portadown, Co Armagh.                               an elegant village atop a little hill, which
   028 3835 3528                                       offers all you could want, appealingly
                                                       arranged around a handsome tree lined
                                                       square. Ryandale Inn (028 8778 4629) is a
                                                       substantial pub of real old-fashioned
                                                       character, with open fires and a separate
                                                       dining room; flanked by an antique shop
                                                       and Daly’s Wines, it’s only a couple of
                                                       steps to McKearney’s Butchers (028 8778
                                                       4284) and another inviting pub, Jordan’s
                                                       Bar/The Auction Rooms (028 8778 4891);
                                                       and there’s even a home bakery, Moy
To reach the Yellow Door from the                      Fayre & Bakery (028 8778 9885), across
harbour/railway station, walk up the hill              the square too. Down nearer the bridge,
under the motorway bridge: it’s on the                 there are one or two coffee shops, also a
right - and well worth finding. Simon                  pharmacy and a shop selling practical
Dougan is one of the luminaries of the                 items like fishing gear.
Northern Ireland food scene, and his in-
house bakery produces some of the finest               The top of the navigation is
bread anywhere. And, as well as retailing              BLACKWATERTOWN, whose old name of
a wide range of fine foods, their own                  Port Mór tells us everything – in the
specialities include patés, terrines,                  friendly Portmór House (028 3754 8053)
chutneys, salads and ice cream, all                    there’s a welcoming fire in the bar, and it
available in both the shop and the café.               has a popular neighbourhood restaurant
Don’t miss the house special, hot smoked               (weekends). An old wall map reveals
Irish salmon with grilled soda bread, wild             Blackwatertown’s history as a major
rocket and lemon dill cream…Breakfast                  inland waterways harbour.
from 9am, L 12-2.30; food from deli all
day until 5pm; Licensed. MC, V, Switch

Upriver of Portadown, the Bann gets you
to Moneypenny’s Lock (028 3834 1635)
and the defunct Newry Canal. Finally
closed in 1949, it was last navigated – and
by a yacht at that – in 1937.




                                                  23
                             A Taste of the Waterways

Northward from Maghery along Lough                    3 Tilley Lamp Restaurant,
Neagh’s western shore, we’re on the                   Ardboe, Co Tyrone.
coast of Tyrone for 20 kilometres. The                028 8673 7673
lowering of the lake in times past means
that some ancient miniature harbours may
be long forgotten, but tiny little ports are
home to the eel fishing fleet. The first
“official” harbour is at BROCAGH north of
Washing Bay, where Brocagh Castle (028
8773 8916) is home to the Castle Bay
Community Centre, complete with
restaurant.

Nine kilometres along the coast, there’s a          A taxi from Battery Harbour (at the pub,
special area at ARDBOE or Church                    see above) brings you to this warm and
Point,with its Sixth Century Abbey and a            friendly restaurant, one of the few to
Tenth Century Celtic High Cross – possibly          serve that elusive local speciality, Lough
the oldest in Ulster. There are “portlets”          Neagh eels (if available). A sign advising
along the lakeline, but the local boating           that ‘split bills cannot be handled’ warns
magnet – just 1.5 km north of the point –           that booking is necessary, especially
is BATTERY HARBOUR, which has 12                    weekends. Open Mon, Wed & Thu 12-9;
marina berths, is a proper little fishing           Fri & Sat 12-10; Sun 12-3 & 5-9. Closed
port complete with a lifeboat house and             Tue. MC, V.
some very impressive fishing boats in the
classic Lough Neagh dragracer style.                Up the road, the Kinturk Cultural Centre
There’s a Chinese restaurant, Good                  (028 8673 6512) is the neighbourhood
Fortune (028 8673 7203) open all year,              focal point, with bar and restaurant, and
4.30 –“late” and also a quayside pub (028           nearby the restored Coyle’s Cottage is an
8673 6367) where you can get a taxi to              eloquent testimony to the life of the eel
the famous Tilley Lamp Restaurant (see              fishermen in days long ago.
entry) at Ardboe. This hospitable place
may be three kilometres from the lake,              Nine kilometres northward from Battery
but it’s the essence of Lough Neagh.                Harbour is BALLYRONAN, which is to
                                                    northwest Lough Neagh as Kinnego is to
                                                    the southeast – it’s the focal point for
                                                    recreational boating in the area. The
                                                    impressive and superbly sheltered marina
                                                    (028 7941 8399) has expanded to 72
                                                    berths, and the harbourside buildings
                                                    include the attractive Clannad Restaurant
                                                    (028 7941 8099). Within a very few
                                                    minutes walk, Ballyronan itself is a real
                                                    country village with three pubs, the
                                                    nearest being The Cove.

                                                    Heading on from Ballyronan, Lough
                                                    Neagh enters Toome Bay. The pace
                                                    quickens. It’s a major sand-dredging area,




                                               24
                    Lough Neagh & Lower Bann Navigation

and the lake seems to gather itself for exit        home cooking. And, should the urge to
through the Lower Bann. TOOMEBRIDGE                 shop until you drop come over you while
village is becoming accustomed to the fact          in Antrim, remember that the factory
that being by-passed from the main road             outlet shopping centre Junction One,
benefits community life, with the                   which offers huge discounts off designer
renovated O’Neill Arms (028 7965 0202)              and international brands, is virtually in the
settling in as a focal point for the area.          town – and with a choice of restaurants
                                                    and cafés to sustain you.
Lough Neagh’s north shore is in County
Antrim, as is most of the east shore.                  4 The Stables Restaurant,
Heading eastward from Toome Bay, there                 Castle Street, Antrim Town,
are fishing portlets hidden along the                  Co Antrim.
coast, and the first proper landing stage is           028 9446 5189
near enough at the mid-point of the north
shore, at CRANFIELD BAY. A pleasant
spot, with a “summer and weekend” pub
beside it, the Cranfield Inn (028 9447
2342).

Antrim Bay finds the lake’s shoreline
becoming more scenically assertive. The
town of ANTRIM is “of the lake, but not
on it” – the town centre is about 20
minutes walk from the berthing at the               ‘All Antrim’ dines at this bright and
mouth of the Six Mile Water, but it’s a             spacious two-storey restaurant and bar,
pleasant enough outing in fine weather,             near the shopping centre – and its taxi
up past the immaculately maintained                 rank. A welcoming, family-friendly place
Massereene Golf Club. At the jetty, there           with a sprinkling of olde-worlde decor to
is the seasonal Loughshore Café (028                give it some character, its reputation for
9446 3966), while the nearest hostelry in           quality and value keeps it busy: carvery-
town is the hospitable Cova Inn (028 9442           style meals are the big seller here, and
8249) on Bridge Street, with pub grub on            portions are renowned for their
certain days. Nearby, The Stables                   generosity. Meals Mon- Sat, 12-9, Sun to
Restaurant (see entry right) is conveniently        8; weekday carvery 12-3, Sun 12-6.Amex,
located beside the shopping centre, where           D MC, V, Switch.
you can get a taxi to bring you back to
the boat with provisions. The Top of the            Heading southwest from Antrim, a
Town (028 9442 8146) at 77 Fountain                 passage of six kilometres brings us to
Street is also worth considering –                  Ballyginiff. There’s a busy sand quay, but if
although aptly named (up through the                a berth can be found, McKenna’s Pub
town centre, beyond a mini-roundabout),             (028 9442 2229) is just across the little
this classic Ulster pub/restaurant might not        shore road, a characterful place where
seem too long walk a walk in fine                   wildfowlers, anglers, fisherfolk and
weather, and becomes an attractive                  sandmen relax after their day’s activities.
option if a taxi is brought into the
equation – a pleasingly traditional place           The 20 kilometres from Ballyginiff towards
with darkwood furniture and proper fires,           Kinnego offer some of the most
it has a well-deserved reputation for good          interesting cruising on Lough Neagh, as




                                               25
                             A Taste of the Waterways

the shoreline is well indented south of              Lower Bann Navigation
Gartree Point with many bays and coves,              – Toomebridge to Coleraine
and there’s also Ram’s Island to visit.              While the Upper Bann is a meandering
Lough Neagh has several islands, but most            river in its approaches to Lough Neagh,
are tiny and inaccessible. Only Coney                the Lower Bann seems much more
Island in the southwest corner, and Ram’s            businesslike as it goes from the lough to
Island “offshore” on the east side, provide          the Atlantic. There may be a breathing
convenient landing and historic monastic             space in Lough Beg a couple of kilometres
remains. Inshore from Ram’s Island, the              north of Toome, but after the extensive
aptly named SANDY BAY has busy                       horizons of Lough Neagh, Lough Beg
dredger quays, but it also has proper                seems of modest scale, although
recreational berthing at Crumlin Marina              impressively graced by Church Island with
(028 9442 3227). Apart from the sand                 its distinctive spire. The Bann meanwhile
dredging operations, it’s a very rural               makes its way to the ocean.
setting. The nearest village – Glenavy – is
four kilometres up the road, and the                 Amenities along the Lower Bann have
larger Crumlin itself is at seven kilometres.        been much improved in recent years, with
In Glenavy, McGeown’s (028 9442 2467)                new landing stages and mooring jetties,
in the heart of the village is a friendly pub        together with improved marking and
restaurant with 17th century origins, and            navigational signage all adding to an
attractive bistro menus offering seafood             enhanced cruiser experience. The
specialities.                                        waterway itself is one of pleasant
                                                     surprises. Although fairly direct in its
For those who prefer to stay close to their          route, it is sufficiently winding to provide
boat and yet enjoy refreshment ashore,               attractive vistas, and the 52 kilometre
the convenient spot hereabouts is                    journey to Coleraine offers many
GAWLEY’S GATE in the bay south of Hog                convenient stopping places.
Park Point. There’s a snug inlet with a
landing stage, and right beside it is the            PORTGLENONE, 14 kilometres north of
Gate Inn (028 9265 1764), which                      Toome, has a small marina (028 2563
becomes the hub of the neighbourhood at              5900) below the bridge, and there is also
weekends and holiday time, the very                  some berthing at the old town quay
complete welcoming package including a               beside the Wild Duck Inn (see entry), and
restaurant.                                          there’s also a rare fine dining opportunity
                                                     just a taxi ride away, at Ardtara Country
In the final approaches back to Kinnego,             House, at Upperlands
Lough Neagh’s coastline is attractive, and           (see entry).
historically interesting too. South of
Haggan’s Point, if you leave Morrow’s
Point with its private yacht harbour to
starboard, the course is into a little bay
called Ellis’s Gut. It’s here that in times
past the Lagan Navigation & Canal
reached Lough Neagh from Belfast. This
waterway was closed in 1958, but it can
still be traced.




                                                26
                    Lough Neagh & Lower Bann Navigation

  5 The Wild Duck Inn,                             Eleven kilometres downriver, there’s
  Portglenone, Co Antrim                           berthing on the west bank at KILREA
  028 2582 1232                                    above the bridge. Here, the impressive
                                                   waterside Portneal Lodge (028 2954
                                                   1424) is a community venture complete
                                                   with restaurant to provide a base for
                                                   many outdoor activities. The short stroll
                                                   into Kilrea itself will bring you to the
                                                   Arbutus Restaurant (028 2954 0140), on
                                                   Bridge Street, also a short walk from the
                                                   jetty, McLaughlin’s Corner (028) 2954
                                                   1129) is an attractive pub on Bann Road,
                                                   offering an all day à la carte menu. Also in
Right beside the old town quay, this               Kilrea, on the left as you walk up from the
friendly family-run pub offers wholesome           jetty, Manor House & Golf (028
fare that will cheer and restore – perfect         29540134) offers food from 11.30 and an
for hungry boating folk. Bar menus are             evening menu from 5pm.
quite extensive, and specialities such as
sizzling steak (sirloin with onions,               Continuing north, the river is serious
mushrooms, and a Diane sauce) feature              angling territory. After passing through
on the more selective restaurant menu.             Movanagher Lock, Vow Jetty is slightly
Music Fri & Sat nights. Meals: full menu           less than a kilometre further along, on the
Mon-Sat 12-9, Sun from 12.30.                      east bank. A peaceful berth, and through
Reservations accepted. MC, V, Switch               the woods and up the hill we find the
                                                   friendly Anglers Rest pub/restaurant (028
  6 Ardtara Country House,                         2954 0280) in a very rural setting, where
  Gorteade Road, Upperlands,                       the talk is of the ways of the wily fish.
  Maghera, Co Londonderry
  028 7964 4490                                    Through Agivey Bridge, and the 53-berth
                                                   Drumaheglis Marina (028 2766 6466) is
                                                   three kilometres further along, on the east
                                                   bank. It has all facilities, and makes an
                                                   excellent base for the area. Within easy
                                                   reach by taxi for gourmet fare is the
                                                   Brown Trout Country Club & Inn (see
                                                   entry) to the west.



Once home to the Clark linen family,
meals are served in the former snooker
room, still with Victorian skylight and
original hunting frieze, and in the
conservatory or bar. The lovely setting, a
warm welcome and accomplished cooking
of the finest local ingredients should make
a meal here a highlight of your holiday.
Reservations required. L&D daily in
summer,12-2.30 (Sun 12-4) and 6.30-9.30
(Sun to 9)(Sun D 6-7.30, limited menu)
Check times off season. Amex, MC, V,
Switch.


                                              27
   A Taste of the Waterways Lough Neagh & Lower Bann Navigation

  7 The Brown Trout Golf & Country Inn,              8 The Water Margin, Coleraine,
  Agivey Road, Aghadowey,                            Co Londonderry
  Co Londonderry                                     028 7034 2222
  028 7086 8209




The O’Haras’ lively family-run country inn         An impressive first floor restaurant above
is just the spot for a round of golf to            the Boat Club, this magnificently located
make a change from life afloat, and you’ll         Chinese restaurant has fine river views and
soon find friends in the convivial bar.            all the ingredients for a special meal out.
Excellent homecooked food in both bar              In addition to the familiar set ‘banquets’
(with barbecue area) and evening                   and western favourites like aromatic duck
restaurant. Traditional music (Sat 9.30pm).        and sizzling dishes, the more adventurous
Bar meals: 12-9.30 daily (to 10 in                 diner will find unusual dishes too – all
summer). Restaurant: D daily 5-9.30.               enhanced by good service from helpful,
Amex, D,MC, V, Laser, Switch.                      smartly dressed staff. L daily, 12.30-2 (Sun
                                                   1-9.30), D daily 5-10.30. MC, V, Delta,
Continuing downriver, the conclusion of            Switch.
the inland navigation at the tidal lock at
The Cutts south of Coleraine had the
historic Salmon Leap pub/restaurant
(028 7034 2992) right beside it on the
west bank, though it has recently
re-located across the Bann and away from
a riverside location. However, as a
bustling university town, Coleraine has
many cosmopolitan dining options
including Pizza Pomodoro (028 7034
3222), about 300m from Christie Park
Jetty, and - at Coleraine Riverside Park,
about 300m from Sommerset Jetty, there’s
an Indian restaurant, Indus Valley (028
7035 4242), and Yoko Restaurant &
Noodle Bar (028 7032 0100). The Premier
Inn (0870 4236490) at Riverside Park also
has a restaurant (‘Table, Table’), and a
longstanding riverside , and a particular
riverside favourite is the Water Margin
(see entry).




                                              28
                             A Taste of the Waterways

           The Royal Canal




                 7 8 9 10


                       6
                                         5


                                                                  4                 1
                                                                       3   2




The Royal Canal                                     This beautiful canal, at one time virtually
The Royal Canal is an endearing waterway.           forgotten, has become an environmental
There is something exhilarating about the           asset. Along its banks and towpath, the
continued existence of any part of it in the        regeneration of town and country
21st Century, against all the odds. And its         interacts with the growing vitality of a
planned reopening to run all of the 146             winding waterway which enchants at
kilometres from Dublin Port to the                  every turn. And for the voyager along the
northern River Shannon is a lovely idea, a          Royal Canal, the convenient hospitality
testimony to modern personal dedication,            options improve with every year.
and the wayward eccentricity of those
who built the Royal Canal between 1789              Heading away from the Liffey at the
and 1817.                                           beginning of the canal, but still very
                                                    much in the heart of Dublin, pubs and
It’s a long story, well known to waterways          shops can be accessed at Binns Bridge.
devotees. For contemporary enthusiasts, it          And further along at Cross Guns Bridge –
means there’s a refreshing waterway                 1.5 kilometres after passing beneath the
corridor which enlivens Dublin’s north              soaring structures of the majestic Gaelic
inner city, adds an extra dimension to the          Athletic Association Stadium at Croke
city’s outer suburbs, brings new interest to        Park, where Jurys Croke Park Hotel (01
rural areas of the north midlands, and              871 4444) offers all facilities, and is a
introduces people to a little-known part of         popular venue for watching the matches
the country over to the northwest.                  on their big screen – there’s a comfortable
                                                    landing stage just below CROSS GUNS
                                                    BRIDGE. Right beside it is Porter House
                                                    North (see entry). It’s a welcome oasis, for
                                                    this stretch of the canal is thirsty work,
                                                    with many locks.


                                               29
                              A Taste of the Waterways

   1 Porter House North,                             railway is not unduly obtrusive. But
   Cross Guns Bridge,                                meanwhile, the hum of motorway traffic
   Glasnevin, Dublin 9                               is becoming more evident. And suddenly
   01 830 9884                                       it’s all happening at once. “Intersection” is
                                                     scarcely the word for it. There’s double
                                                     lock Number 11, and the Royal Canal and
                                                     the railway both cross above the
                                                     motorway, yet go under its associated
                                                     roundabouts. Then under another bridge
                                                     or two, then through another double lock
                                                     (Number 12). And you’re there…..It’s
                                                     more than an oasis, it’s a sanctuary.
                                                     You’ve reached CASTLEKNOCK, and
                                                     beside the welcome berth there’s that fine
Originally the Iona Garage, owned by the             establishment The Twelfth Lock (see
Cahill family (who were also associated              entry). One of Ireland’s newer inns,
with the aviation industry), this large              perhaps, but already part of Royal Canal
white building, right at Cross Guns Bridge,          folklore.
is hard to miss. Although now a trendy
pub, some of the original art deco
features have survived. Menus offer a                   2 The Twelfth Lock,
range of popular dishes, including pizzas               Castleknock Marina,
made in a special pizza oven in an open                 Castleknock, Dublin 15
kitchen. Wheelchair accessible. Food                    01 860 7400
served daily: Mon-Sat, 12-10; Sun 12.30-
10. MC, V.

By the time you begin to get hints of
countryside up towards Ashtown north of
the Phoenix Park, you’ll have made 15
lock transits. But in order to encourage
weary crews, they count doubles as
singles. Thus at 6 kilometres up from the
sea, you’re officially approaching Lock 9,
but it’s the fifteenth bit of work. So               The heart of this attractive small hotel is a
another refreshment stop would be                    cosmopolitan, light-filled open-plan bar,
welcome, and there is a very good one,               with a sunny deck overlooking the canal.
just three kilometres further along. But it’s        Staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful,
the most extraordinary three kilometres              quickly taking orders from attractive
you’ll experience on any Irish canal.                menus – warm salads, pastas, home made
                                                     burgers, wraps and steaks are typical, also
There are three more locks, all of them              a 12th Lock Stirfry offered in several
doubles. And the railway is right                    variations, including vegetarian; a separate
alongside. Back in 1845, the impoverished            restaurant serves late week evening meals.
Royal Canal was completely bought up by              Bar Food: Sun-Thu,12- 9; Fri-Sat 12-
railway promoters in order to provide a              8.Wheelchair accessible. Bistro Bar:Wed-
convenient route for their proposed                  Thu 7-11.30, Fri & Sat 7-12.30. Amex,
permanent way. The blessing is that the              MC,V, L.
canal survived at all, and the miracle is the




                                                30
                                  The Royal Canal

The early promoters of the Royal Canal             Restaurant and in the lounge, for a more
may have been slightly eccentric. But              informal meal. Lounge/bar food daily, 12-
seemingly they also had a sense of                 10. Restaurant: Tue-Sat, 6.30-10; Sun 12-
humour. For any crew coming up from the            8. Value D 5.30-6.30. Amex, D, MC V, L.
sea lock on the Liffey will have worked
hard by the time they’re downing a pint            MAYNOOTH – eight kilometres and one
just ten kilometres along the waterway in          lock further west – provides the first
the bar of The Twelfth Lock. But after             proper canal port. A busy university town,
that, for a modern motorcruiser with no            Maynooth is a handy place to top up
concerns about a towing horse, it’s just a         general stores – and there’s a fine off
case of swanning along – there isn’t               licence, Mill Wine Cellar (01 629 1022), on
another lock for 12 kilometres. However,           Mill Street. Bars and restaurants within
because the canal is merrily following the         easy walking distance of the harbour
contour line along the valley of the River         include Fitzgeralds/The Roost (01 628
Liffey, it tends to be at some distance            9843) on Leinster Street (nearest to the
from the hostelries of Lucan. But after 9          harbour) and, just around the corner on
kilometres a berth at Cope Bridge will             the main street, Kehoe’s Restaurant &
provide access to the culinary pleasures of        Deli. A good walk or a short taxi ride
LEIXLIP just one kilometre down the road,          (Maynooth Cabs, 01 628 9999) will take
and particularly Becketts Hotel (01 624            you to Carton House Hotel (see entry).
7040), just across the bridge, and the
Bradaun Restaurant at Leixlip House (see
entry). If you need a taxi for shopping or           4 Carton House Hotel,
eating out in the Leixlip/Lucan/Maynooth             Maynooth, Co Kildare
area, a reliable company is Tony Casserly’s          01 505 2000
Century Cabs (01 601 4411).


  3 Bradaun Restaurant,
  Leixlip House Hotel,
  Captains Hill, Leixlip
  01 624 2268



                                                   Once the residence of the Dukes of
                                                   Leinster, this imposing 1740’s mansion
                                                   was designed in classic style by the
                                                   renowned architect Richard Castles, and is
                                                   set in one of Ireland’s finest country
                                                   estates - now home to two championship
                                                   golf courses. Vast yet very elegant, it’s a
Up on a height overlooking Leixlip village,        stimulating combination of old and new; a
this lovely Georgian house has an                  visit is worthwhile for the overall
atmosphere of discreet opulence that               experience but, if you choose to dine,
contrasts perfectly with the boating life.
Good modern Irish cooking is offered both
in the elegant, high-ceilinged Bradaun




                                              31
                              A Taste of the Waterways

The Linden Tree is mainly an evening           The Long Level continues its stately
restaurant (reservations required) and an      progress with an aqueduct over the
informal option is offered in the              Blackwater River, and then, six kilometers
Clubhouse, in renovated stables some           beyond Enfield, it curves briefly to the
distance from the house. Restaurant D          north. On this curve is MOYVALLEY
daily, 6.30-9.30. L Sun only, 2-5pm. All       BRIDGE, and not only will you find the
major cards.                                   perfect hostelry at Furey’s Bar (see entry),
                                               but – across the motorway bridge and
KILCOCK – reached after six kilometres,        through grounds up a long driveway – the
through two locks – is a charming              friendly Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort
harbour. The village has several pubs, with    (046 955 1009) offers a range of activities
O’Keeffe’s/The Green Ribbon (01 628            and pleasant dining options in either the
7225) right on the quay, a neat stonebuilt     Waterways Restaurant or the first floor
establishment, and it has a                    Sundial Bar, where large windows
restaurant/carvery too. Suitably fortified,    overlook the golf course and countryside.
you sail through Kilcock’s double lock, and    Moyvalley is a place of enchantment for
after four kilometres, there’s another         canal folk, a rural retreat - yet it’s within
double at McLoughlin Bridge – Number           easy road reach for Dublin boat-owners.
17, Ferns Lock. It’s not just any old lock,
though, this Number 17. For, after Ferns            5 Furey’s Bar,
(or Ferrans), you’re on the Long Level, 32          Moyvalley, Co Kildare
lock-free kilometres.                               046 955 1185

It makes for stylishly effortless cruising.
After nine kilometres, you’ve reached
ENFIELD (or Innfield). From the harbour,
which is quite attractive – the new bypass
bridge is part of it, and it has been well
done in stone, with generous planting – a
path leads through a linear ‘leisure park’
to the town. The first pub/restaurant is the
Bridge House (046 954 1127), where the
path meets the (still busy) main road, and     This charming and immaculately
other eating places in the town include        maintained establishment has a
Flattery’s (046 954 1032), a homely,           welcoming bar with cosy sections, one
family-run traditional bar and restaurant      with a stove and canal views offering the
on the main street, and Lees Enfield           best of every world. Menus don’t give too
Chinese (046 954 9500), which is in            much away – soups, sandwiches, steaks,
substantial premises at the far end of the     burgers, salads – but one of their famous
town. If you are prepared for a longer         steaks, with ‘all the trimmings’ is just the
walk (or to take a taxi) the nearby            ticket for folk coming off boats. NB:
Johnstown House Hotel (046 954 0000)           groups must book ahead. Meals Mon-Sat,
offers boutique shopping and leisure           12 -7.30 (last orders). No food on Sun.
facilities as well as a choice of dining       MC, V, L.
options. If you’re in Enfield on a Friday
morning and need fresh provisions, head
for the farmers’ market at the Community
Hall (from 11 o’clock).




                                               32
                                    The Royal Canal

Smooth progress continues for another                Above Lock 25, first stop on the Summit
nine kilometres to HILL OF DOWN. There               Level is McNEAD’S BRIDGE, where
is a harbour just before the Boyne                   considerable road re-alignment has taken
Aqueduct (four kilometres from Moyvalley)            place. In the midst of bridges new and old
which gives access along 1.5 kilometres of           there’s Mary Lynch’s pub/restaurant (see
country road to the village of                       entry), easily accessed from the canal and
LONGWOOD which has amenities, and it                 long a favourite with boat people
can also be reached via an overgrown                 fortifying themselves for arrival in
path from Ribbontail Bridge. But at the              Mullingar ten kilometres further on .
delightful harbour of Hill of Down, the
facilities are right on the canal – a coffee            6 Mary Lynch’s Pub,
shop at the attractive boat hire base at                MacNead’s Bridge,
the north bank, and a pub, shop and post                Coralstown, Co Westmeath
office at Moran’s (046 954 6202) on the                 044 937 4501
other side.

The Long Level has nearly run its course,
and west of Hill of Down you might well
yearn for the shelter of a lock, as it’s open
territory here. But then the civilized
landscape of Hyde Park takes over the
north bank, and comfort is all around
when, eight kilometres from Hill of Down,
the harbour at THOMASTOWN BRIDGE is
reached. This is one of the choice                   John and Mary Moriarty’s old-world pub a
stopping places along the canal and, on              short distance east of Mullingar is tucked
the quayside, Nannie Quinn’s Pub (044                between the N4 and the Royal Canal, with
937 4814) is a friendly bar and music                a grandstand view of the new harbour
destination.                                         works from the back of the bar. A
                                                     blackboard menu offers traditional home-
You inevitably slow the pace in progress             cooked dishes like soup of the day, fish
west, for this is where the Killucan Flight          pie, roast of the day and steak
begins – eight locks virtually on the trot,          sandwiches, and there’s likely to be live
to lift us from the Long Level to the 24             music at weekends too. It’s a popular
kilometres of the Summit Level. It’s a very          destination for locals, and a useful place
pleasant area to linger. In addition to the          for travellers to know about. Meals from
attractions of Thomastown, the hospitable            noon Mon-Sat. No food on Sun. No credit
facilities of the village of KILLUCAN are            cards.
just a “country mile” (2.5 kilometres) up
the road to the north. Then back on the              The canal circles this busy commercial
Killucan Flight between Locks 21 and 22,             town along the contour line, so much so
RIVERSTOWN BRIDGE gives access                       that the MULLINGAR urban waterways
southward to The Hideout/Cunningham’s                experience is like being in a boat in a
(044 937 4124), a multi-purpose pub/shop             moat. There’s a landing stage entering
unique even by Irish standards.                      town at Dublin Road Bridge, while the
                                                     main canal harbour – and a handsome
                                                     one at that – is on the north side of town.
                                                     From there it’s about half a kilometre to
                                                     the central area, which offers every facility
                                                     for visitors including a range of good
                                                     places to eat (see entries).



                                                33
                             A Taste of the Waterways

The Mullingar Park Hotel (044 934 4446)               7 Gallery 29 Café,
on the Dublin Road has brought welcome                Oliver Plunkett Street,
additional facilities and a good reputation           Mullingar, Co Westmeath
for its restaurant, complementing the                 044 934 9449
attractive old town centre Greville Arms
Hotel (044 934 8563) which continues to
be central to local activities, and the new
Annebrook House Hotel (044 935 3300),
which is built around a beautiful old house
and tucked away off the main street, with
the town park on its doorstep and the
River Brosna flowing through its grounds.
Of the town’s many fine pubs, Canton
Casey’s is a place for those who                    Although now only open three days a
appreciate old world bars (at its best at           week, Ann & Emily Gray’s smart black-
quiet times – it can get very busy), and Fat        painted traditionally-fronted premises is a
Cats Brasserie (044 934 9969) offers                good place for any time, including
informal dining upstairs, over the bar; for         breakfast and afternoon tea. It’s bright
a traditional pub serving reliable                  and welcoming – and the buzz of an open
wholesome fare, head for Con’s Bar (044             kitchen and lovely freshly cooked food on
934 0925) on Dominick Street. The                   display draws people in. Great bakes
informal mid-range Zest Restaurant & Café           complement a range of tasty soups, salads
(044 933 3816) opened on Oliver Plunkett            and hot dishes – and there are freshly
Street recently and new restaurants –               made dishes to go too. Open Thu- Sat,
including several ethnic ones – are                 9.30-6. Wine licence. Closed Sun.
opening all the time, so it’s worth taking a        No credit cards.
browse around the town. Lovers of Indian
food should check out the long-                       8 Ilia A Coffee Experience,
established Saagar (044 93 40911), which              Oliver Plunkett Street,
is near the Dublin Bridge. Mullingar is a             Mullingar, Co Westmeath
great shopping town too – Ilia Gourmet                044 934 0300
(044 9340300) specialist food store offers
many treat there’s a farmers’ market every
Sunday (10.30-2.30; probably at Fairgreen,
beside Penneys, but venue subject to
change) and you can stock up with
wonderful Westmeath beef at the
renowned butchers Tormey’s (044 934
5433; Harbour Place shopping centre),
and with wine and other drinks at Cana
(044 934 2742) on Castle Street.                    Menus at Julie Magan’s delightful 2-storey
                                                    coffee house/restaurant begin with an
                                                    extensive breakfast (their Bagel Combo –
                                                    toasted bagel with crispy bacon, poached
                                                    egg, topped with melted cheddar &
                                                    tomato relish ‘just walks out of the
                                                    door’!), then there’s a moreish all-day
                                                    menu of creative modern dishes and a
                                                    great range of drinks including, of course,
                                                    coffees (Java Republic), any way you like.
                                                    Takeaway available; ‘Ilia Gourmet’ is
                                                    across the road; see also ‘Ilia Tapas &
                                                    More’. Wine licence. Open Mon-Sat, 9-6.
                                                    Closed Sun. MC, V, L.
                                               34
                                    The Royal Canal

   9 Oscars, Oliver Plunkett Street,                 Westward of Mullingar, the atmosphere of
   Mullingar, Co Westmeath                           the Royal Canal changes. The last railway
   044 934 4909                                      line – and one long disused at that – peels
                                                     away at Ballinea five kilometres out of
                                                     town. Another five kilometres, and the
                                                     next lock – Number 26 at the attractive
                                                     COOLNAHAY HARBOUR in the middle of
                                                     countryside – is descending. In theory, the
                                                     River Shannon is beckoning. But the Royal
                                                     Canal being what it is, it ambles about for
                                                     very many pleasant kilometres before
                                                     finally linking up with the Shannon at
                                                     CLONDRA at the far side of County
This smartly painted centrally located               Longford.
restaurant is extremely popular locally,
pleasing people of all ages with its                 It makes for entertaining cruising, and
consistency, lively atmosphere and mix of            provides glimpses of some startlingly
traditional and contemporary favourites at           beautiful scenery. As for ports of call, the
reasonable prices. This is beef country, so          new mood is sensed at BALLYNACARGY,
a section of the menu given over to steaks           nine kilometres (and ten locks) beyond
should come as no surprise, but there’s              Coolnahay. An attractive harbour, and a
much else besides and occasional offers              neat little township with four pubs,
are especially good value. D daily from              notably the friendly and cosy Munnelly’s
6pm, L Sun only 12.30-2.15. MC, V, L.                (044 937 3288) and Halligan’s (044 937
                                                     3306) which is at the front of a
   10 Ilia Tapas & More, Dominick Street,            remarkable conglomerate, as there’s an
   Mullingar Co Westmeath                            excellent Halligan-owned mini-market next
   Tel: 044 934 5947                                 door, and the tidy family farm out the
                                                     back.

                                                     It’s upwards of eight kilometres – and
                                                     three locks – to reach ABBEYSHRULE, an
                                                     entertaining place. It has an aqueduct
                                                     over the River Inny, which is on its way to
                                                     nearby Lough Ree, the nearest part of the
                                                     Shannon. But the Royal Canal says thanks
                                                     but no thanks, and goes its own sweet
                                                     way, the long route to Longford. Or so it
A sister of the Ilia Gourmet store and Ilia          seems. But it’s said the established Grand
A Coffee Experience (see entry), this stylish        Canal Company opposed any link by the
new tapas bar-cum-restaurant proved                  Royal Canal to Lough Ree. And in any
such an instant hit that reservations are            case, before the advent of engine power,
essential, even early in the evening.                a terminus on a lake would have been of
Emphatically not a typical standing room             limited value. Be that as it may, for anyone
only Spanish tapas bar, it’s a fun and               in a hurry in Abbeyshrule, there’s a club-
relaxing place to dine out with family or            run airfield (044 57459). And there are
friends, the food is carefully sourced and           two pubs. Rooney’s (044 935 7886) which
tasty dishes are cooked with flair and               opens in the evenings, and The Rustic Inn
served efficiently – and, once you get the           (044 935 7742) where Ted and Betty
hang of how the menu works, it’s good                McGoey are the heart of the village. The
value too: no wonder it’s always full.               welcome is warm, they do soup and
D Mon-Sat 6-10; MC, V, Laser.                        sandwiches all day, there’s an evening
                                                     menu, and daytime groups can book
                                                     ahead.
                                                35
                  A Taste of the Waterways The Royal Canal

A road culvert at Abbeyshrule prevents               For many decades, the idea that the Royal
direct westward progress, but much of the            Canal beyond Keenagh could be
restored Royal Canal beyond has had                  resuscitated seemed very unlikely. Bridges
water in it for some time, and “new”                 had been levelled, and water was absent.
ports beckon. Hidden in the countryside              But it’s happening. Soon, the old link to
north of the canal, the villages of                  Longford town will be in focus, and the
Tagshinny and Barry both have pubs –                 pleasant village of Killashee on the main
Tagshinny is the nearer. The township of             line will be shaping up to become a port
Ballymahon in County Longford may                    of call. Beyond it, the Shannon link –
likewise be a country mile – this time               RICHMOND HARBOUR at Clondra (or
south – from Ballybrannigan Harbour. But             Cloondara) – has never gone out of
it rewards the effort – BALLYMAHON is a              business. It’s a wonderful place, a
fine place with maybe a dozen pubs, the              miniature port complete with its own dry
pace-setter being Skelly’s (090 643 2105)            dock. And a couple of pubs. The
with its marvellous walk-in fireplace, and a         Richmond Inn (043 26126) is right on the
breakfast menu which extends into the                quay, and landlord Des McPartland is a
evening.                                             hospitable fund of waterways knowledge.
                                                     They do soup and sandwiches at lunch,
Next stop for sustenance will be FOIGHA              while a group booking ahead can eat
BRIDGE, five kilometres on, with the                 later. An ideal spot to contemplate this
crossroads and all country facilities nearby.        extraordinary harbour. The Royal Canal
Just under ten kilometres beyond                     may have slipped away from the River
Ballybrannigan, the tidy little town of              Liffey in Dublin through a hole in the wall.
KEENAGH welcomes the restored                        But it arrives beside the Shannon at
waterway. The Royal Canal is less than               Clondra in County Longford in
one kilometre’s distance at Mosstown                 considerable style.
Harbour, and its revival goes very well
with Keenagh’s vibrant sense of
community.




                                                36
                              A Taste of the Waterways




      Shannon Navigation
Mid Shannon Area (MS)                                          4   2 3




                                                       1


Lough Derg Circuit (LD)                       7

                                    6                      8




                                                  9
                                             10

                        4 5              11
                    3
                                        12



                    2           1

Limerick City (L)

               1 2 3 4




                                                  37
                              A Taste of the Waterways

Shannon Navigation                                      L1 DuCartes at The Hunt Museum,
Limerick                                                Old Custom House,
A holiday along the inland waterways is,                Rutland Street, Limerick
by definition, a quiet and relaxing affair              061 312662
where life is lived at a wonderfully slowed-
down pace. But the contrasting
experience of visiting a lively city can bring
an extra dimension to a holiday along the
river – so taking a look at Limerick could
be just the thing to add spice to a laid-
back break. Of great historical interest,
Limerick City is also renowned for its rich
cultural tradition, with many excellent
museums, galleries and theatres to visit –
and Ireland’s first purpose-built concert             This delightful modern café/restaurant on
hall. (Tourist Information Offices have               the river side of the Hunt Museum,
details of events.) Limerick also offers              overlooks the marina, with tables outside
great shopping and a wide variety of                  on the terrace in fine weather. As well as
pubs, clubs and, of course, restaurants. In           restoring visitors to the museum, it’s a
addition to the eating places                         popular lunchtime venue for locals: expect
recommended below, very promising                     contemporary home-cooked food, based
recent newcomers to the city include The              on locally sourced, freshly prepared
River Bistro (061 400990) on George’s                 ingredients attractively presented, and you
Quay, recently taken over by well-known               should not be disappointed. Licensed.
chef Diarmuid O’Callaghan, the lovely                 Hours as for museum: L 12- 3, light
Brasserie One at 1 Pery Square (061                   refreshments 10-5 (half day Sun). Diners,
402402) which, despite the breezy                     MC, V, Laser.
informality implied by the name, veers
towards the fine dining end of the
spectrum, and Hampton’s (061 609325)
on Henry Street, a large, stylish and
reasonably priced basement restaurant-
grill next to the Marriott Hotel, which has
become an immediate success. More
information on restaurants in the city can
be found in the Limerick Good Food Circle
publication, which is available from tourist
offices, and from the Georgina Campbell
website Ireland-guide.com. Limerick City is
only a short taxi ride from Killaloe, if you
prefer to leave your boat there.




                                                 38
                                 Shannon Navigation

  L2 The French Table,                                  L4 Copper & Spice,
  Steamboat Quay Limerick                               Cornmarket Row, Limerick
  061 609274                                            061 313 620




Thomas and Deirdre Fialon’s riverside
restaurant is a welcome recent arrival in            In an interesting area of the city near the
the city. Dark wood, crisp white linen and           restored Milk Market buildings, lovers of
gleaming glassware set the tone for                  spicy food will enjoy this stylish restaurant
Thomas’s good cooking (mainly classic                offering an unusual combination of Indian
French, with the odd rustic note), and               and Thai cuisine. There’s a stronger
welcoming staff are quick to make arriving           leaning towards authentic Indian food
guests feel at home. The all-French wine             than Thai, however, with a wide range of
list is of special interest – and a lunchtime        vegetarian dishes and, unusually, home-
roast beef sandwich with sautéed                     made ethnic Asian desserts. You’ll find a
potatoes (€9) has to be the best value               different experience from other ethnic
meal in town. L Tue-Fri, 12-3; D Tue-Sat,            restaurants in the city, and value for
6-10.30. Closed 2 wks Jan & Jul.                     money too. D Mon-Sat, 5-10.30; value D
                                                     5-7. Amex, MC, V, Laser.
  L3 Moll Darby’s,
  George’s Quay, Limerick
  061 411522




With nautical décor giving it plenty of
atmosphere, this comfortable big quayside
establishment is family-friendly, offers
good food at reasonable prices – and is
open on Sunday, when many other
restaurants are closed. Head Chef Denis
Creegan aims for a good balance on
menus offering wholesome Irish dishes
alongside international favourites, fresh
fish, and breads and desserts that are
made in-house. L Mon-Fri 12.30-3; D
Mon-Thu 5.30-10 (Fri & Sat to 10.30); Sun
4.30-10. Early D Mon-Sat 5.30-7. Amex,
MC, V, Laser.

                                                39
                             A Taste of the Waterways

Lough Derg Circuit                                    LD1 Cherry Tree Restaurant,
(clockwise from Killaloe)                             Killaloe, Co Tipperary
LOUGH DERG is a handsome inland sea                   061 375688
set in an attractive blend of mountain and
hillside, woodland and farm. KILLALOE is
where the Shannon becomes more
purposeful in its approach to the sea. It
doesn’t reach the beginnings of salt water
until Ardnascrusha above Limerick, but at
KILLALOE between the mountains the
great river’s sense of exit is most strongly
felt. This quintessential river port is two
townships – BALLINA in Tipperary on the
east bank, and KILLALOE, with its ancient           Discerning diners travel from afar to chef
cathedral, across the river to the west in          patron Harry McKeown’s fine
Clare; here you will find the friendly              contemporary riverside restaurant, where
Kincora Hall Hotel (061 376000) and                 accomplished cooking is based on
marina, good eating places including                carefully sourced seasonal ingredients:
characterful Crotty’s bar (see entry) and           summer menus showcase organic herbs
Elizabeth O’Donnell’s aptly-named, “27   2          and vegetables, the style is admirably
Church Street” (061 6228570), a pleasant            simple, and specialities include superb
restaurant serving ‘modern country’ bistro          local sirloin of beef (dry-aged and cut to
cooking in a welcoming atmosphere.                  order) and great salads. Well-behaved
However, it’s all known as Killaloe, the            children welcome until 7pm (children’s
place where boats in from the sea regard            menu offered). D Tue-Sat, 6-10; L Sun
the inland waterways as truly beginning,            only12.30-3). Closed late Jan/early Feb.
and the other village (Ballina) you’ll meet         Reservations advised. Amex, MC, V, Laser.
some real old salts in popular venues like
the Lakeside Hotel (061 376122), beside               LD2 Crotty’s, Bridge Street,
Cherry Tree restaurant (see entry), while             Killaloe, Co Clare
Liam O’Riain’s (061 376722) is a                      061 376965
traditional unspoilt pub. Also on the
Ballina side The River Run (061 376805)
on Main Street is an interesting
combination of bistro, wine bar and
gallery (L Tue-Sun, D Tue-Sat) and, a short
walk along the river front, Goosers (061
376791) is an attractive pub with an
outside seating area, offering both bar
and restaurant food (very busy in
summer). A weekly farmers market
(Sundays, 11-3) is held Between the                 Passing through tall wrought iron gates on
Waters (between the canal and the river)            the hilly street which looks down over the
opposite the Tourist Information Office; it         bridge between Killaloe and Ballina, you
makes a colourful outing and offers the             walk into a leafy bower with picnic tables,
opportunity to stock up with wholesome              and then on into the most appealing old-
organic fare.                                       fashioned pub interior you’ll see for many
                                                    a mile. They serve exemplary pints, but it




                                               40
                                Shannon Navigation

is also a very popular dining destination          relaxation. Simple, good food at
(service is brisk and pleasant) offering           affordable prices and long opening hours
simple, hearty food - with the provenance          make this a useful stop-off for locals and
proudly displayed on menus bearing                 visitors alike - there’s a full bar and a
suppliers’ names. D daily, from 5pm (Sun           limited wine list available for more formal
& bank hols from 4pm). No credit cards.            meals. Open for snacks from 10 am. Mon-
                                                   Sat 10- 2.15 (L from 12 noon), Sun L 12-
SCARRIFF - When Limerick became more               4; D Wed- Sat 5.30- 9.30. MC, V, Laser.
accessible from the waterways in 2001,
Scarriff ceased to be the most westerly            MOUNTSHANNON-DROMAAN
port on the Shannon inland system, but it          WILLIAMSTOWN-WHITEGATE:
is still Lough Derg’s most westerly                On one of the few south-facing coasts on
harbour. It’s a no-nonsense sort of place,         any of the main lakes, Mountshannon
a little country town atop a hill with a           prospers in its sunny position. Dromaan
choice of pubs, a focal point at The               harbour to the east also offers good
Grainey wholefood & crafts shop (061               shelter, while the little port nearby at
921265), and a strong community spirit,            Williamstown, although privately run by a
seen in activities such as the farmers             cruiser company, will make visitors
markets and other food-related activities          welcome if space is available. From either
at weekends, which are a good source of            harbour you are within a couple of miles
interesting stores for the boat. On the            of the village of Whitegate, with its lively
square, you will find the Bel Pepper Bistro        pubs “the music capital of East Clare”.
(see entry) while, nearby at                       MOUNTSHANNON is an attractive,
TUAMGRANEY, Paul and Nuala Kilkenny’s              relaxed village with plenty to recommend
friendly and attractive stone-built ‘Bar &         it. Keane’s pub (061 927214), where
Eating House’ Teach Uí Bhrian (061                 traditional music sessions are regularly
921249) offers food daily.                         held, is a good traditional bar, lounge and
                                                   shop and the Mount Shannon Hotel (061
  LD3 Bel Pepper Bistro,                           927162) is a very pleasant village hotel
  The Square, Scarriff, Co Clare                   with open fires, weekend music and
  061 921999                                       barfood daily.




It’s a bit of a climb to this restaurant on
the town square, easily spotted by its
lively purple and yellow exterior – a
promise of a casual cheerfulness that tells
the story. It’s a place for a tea and a bun
as much as for a main meal, and the
newspapers lying around encourage quiet




                                              41
                             A Taste of the Waterways

  LD4 An Cupán Caifé                                Northwards through Lough Derg,
  Mountshannon Co Clare                             Cloondavaun Bay Marina on the Galway
  061 927 275                                       shore is a pleasant rural harbour, giving
                                                    access to the Red Oak Restaurant (see
                                                    entry right).

                                                       LD6 Red Oak Restaurant,
                                                       Clonmoylan, nr Portumna,
                                                       Co Galway
                                                       087 797 4079



Dagmar Hilty's attractive little cottage
restaurant is simply decorated and
welcoming - ideal for a cup of coffee or a
casual lunch (homemade soups, salads,
pasta), as well as offering more ambitious
set dinners and à la carte menus in the
evenings. The wine list includes well
chosen house wine by the glass. Children            Anne Hilty’s pretty cottage restaurant near
welcome (high chair, children's menu).              the marina has a loyal following. Printed
Free broadband wi/fi. L Fri-Sun only                menus offer a range of simple dishes (oak
12.30-3.30 (& Bank Hol Mon) Afternoon               smoked salmon, spaghetti bolognese,
tea served Fri-Sun, 3.30 -6; D Wed-Sun, 6-          apple pie with cream) and, given adequate
10.30. MasterCard, Visa, Laser.                     notice, you can have virtually anything you
                                                    like – seafood platters, loin of lamb and
   LD5 The Snug Café Winebar,                       fillet of beef – for dinner. Half portions are
   Mountshannon, Co Clare                           available at half price too, which many
   061 926826                                       guests appreciate. Ring well ahead to
                                                    check times and make reservations.
                                                    Open Tue-Sun 4-9.30/10. MC, V.

                                                    PORTUMNA: The public harbour is south
                                                    of the town at the 17th century Castle –
                                                    which is located in fine parkland and has
                                                    recently restored gardens – while the hire
                                                    cruiser base at the other end of the town
                                                    is beside the bridge, about 3/4 mile’s
Returning visitors disappointed by the              walk. The Campus garage sells groceries
closure of Noel’s popular restaurant will           and has a little coffee bar and, just across
be pleased to find this stylishly cheerful          the bridge, The Ferry Inn (090 974 7139)
little place in the same premises. Outside          offers food; The Shannon Oaks Hotel (090
the appealing whitewashed building,                 974 1777) offers every amenity, including
gardens are set up with tables in fine              bar and restaurant meals, while, in the
weather; inside is comfortable and                  heart of town, An Caislean pub (090 974
relaxing, with simple menus offering                1559) is noted for traditional music.
variations on crostini, and main course
choices of pizza (cooked in pairs so, if
ordering more than two, it’s best to share
and wait for the next delivery), salads and
pasta dishes – all well-made and
pleasantly served. D Fri & Sat, 6-late; Sun:
2-9. MasterCard, Visa, Laser.
                                               42
                                 Shannon Navigation

  LD7 Dysons, Patrick Street,                         LD8 The Derg Inn, Terryglass,
  Portumna, Co Galway                                 Co Tipperary 067 22037
  090 974 2333




About halfway between the public                   For its log fire on a chilly day and outdoor
harbour/Portumna Castle area and the               tables in fine weather, The Derg is a
Emerald Star marina, near the Post Office,         welcome sight after the pleasant walk up
John and Heather Dyson’s bright                    from the harbour. Excellent traditional Irish
contemporary two-storey restaurant lies            dishes like bacon & cabbage and beef &
behind a smart marble frontage, and has a          Guinness pie are a speciality, also music in
pleasant decked area off the main first-           summer (usually Friday & Saturday nights);
floor dining area. John takes pride in             various styles, traditional on late Sunday
sourcing the best of ingredients locally,          afternoon. Food daily, 11-10; off season
with an emphasis on organic foods and              from 5pm, includes game in season.
fish brought in daily from Galway;                 Amex, MC, V, Laser.
sophisticated cooking may include some
dishes with traditional influences. D Wed-         At the tidy village of BALLINDERRY – 2
Sat 5-9.30, Sun 1-7. MC, V, Laser.                 miles from Kilgarvan harbour, home to
                                                   Brocka-on-the-Water (see entry) – Hogan’s
TERRYGLASS-KILGARVAN-COOLBAWN:                     Bar (067 22022) has live music and is a
The Tipperary shoreline of Lough Derg is           fine example of an Irish country pub.
notably prosperous and journeys inland
can be rewarding. At TERRYGLASS village
(half a kilometre from the harbour), you’ll
find The Derg Inn (see right), and Paddy’s
Bar (067 22147) serves a fine pint as well
as good food, and has music Wed-Sun in
summer (Saturdays off season).




                                              43
                             A Taste of the Waterways

  LD9 Brocka-on-the-Water,                        restaurant are open to non-resident
  Kilgarvan Quay, Co Tipperary                    boating guests by reservation - cruisers
  067 22038                                       may call free of charge for meals,
                                                  although overnight berthing is about €45.
                                                  D Tue-Sat, 7-9; not suitable for children
                                                  after 7pm. Reservations essential. Amex,
                                                  MC, V, Laser.

                                                  DROMINEER: One of the Shannon’s most-
                                                  visited places, popular with cruisers,
                                                  anglers and sailing folk alike. Many
                                                  regulars head straight for The Whiskey Still
                                                  (see entry).
Hens clucking around a well-stocked
garden bode well for your dinner at                  LD11 The Whiskey Still,
Anthony and Anne Gernon’s almost-                    Dromineer, Co Tipperary
waterside restaurant. Although the family            067 24129
home, it’s very much a “proper
restaurant”, with an airy high-ceilinged
conservatory, open fire, comfy chairs, and
aperitifs served in generous wine glasses.
Seasonal menus offer specialities like
deep-fried Cooleeney cheese (made
nearby) with home-made chutney, and
Gaelic steak with home-grown vegetables.
Delicious. D Tue & Thu-Sat, 7-10. Closed
Sun, Mon, Wed. Reservations strongly              This characterful bar is an attractive old
advised. Wheelchair accessible. No credit         place just up from the harbour, with a
cards.                                            stove in the bar on cold days and
                                                  wholesome fare on offer – well-presented,
COOLBAWN QUAY: this is an attractive              tasty and served in a relaxed and friendly
marina village development with berthing          atmosphere. For fine weather, there’s a
and club facilities (see entry).                  timber deck facing the water – just the
                                                  spot for outdoor dining on long summer
  LD10 Coolbawn Quay,                             evenings. Food all year: Mon- Fri 5.30-
  Nr. Nenagh, Co Tipperary                        9.30, Sat & Sun 12.30-9.30 (Sun bookings
  067 28158                                       only). Summer (May-Sep) 12.30-9.30 daily
                                                  (Sun bookings only) MC, V, Laser.

                                                  GARRYKENNEDY: A port of two harbours
                                                  and two pubs. The older harbour at the
                                                  castle used to shelter Guinness barges as
                                                  they voyaged from Dublin towards
                                                  Limerick via the Grand Canal, the Shannon
                                                  and Lough Derg. The older pub at this
                                                  delightful place is Ciss Ryan’s (067 23364;
Quiet, restful and very beautiful, this           garden), and the thatched one (which may
private marina and unusual small resort           seem older than it is) is Larkins (see entry).
and spa is modelled on the lines of a 19th
century Irish village. A cosy bar and




                                             44
                                   Shannon Navigation

   LD12 Larkins,                                        SHANNON HARBOUR: Some day this
   Garrykennedy, Co Tipperary                           historic spot, where the Grand Canal
   067 23232                                            meets the lordly Shannon, will be fully
                                                        restored. Meanwhile, although it once
                                                        slumbered there are new signs of life: the
                                                        charming and hospitable Harbour Master
                                                        House B&B (057 915 1532) is an attractive
                                                        period house beside the harbour (well
                                                        signed; a handy place to stay while
                                                        renovating old boats – with which this
                                                        harbour abounds); nearby, you will find
                                                        the Harbour Bar, and McIntyre’s (057 915
                                                        1493), a classic inland waterways pub run
You can’t miss this pretty white cottage                by Dermot & Shirley McIntyre, with a little
pub with its cheerful red paintwork.                    grocery, and music in summer.
Daytime bar menus may be a little
predictable (and hearty country portions                BALLINASLOE: The re-establishment of a
are to be expected), but things gear up for             waterways link westward to this market
dinner, when you can look forward to                    town in County Galway added an extra
dishes like honey roast duckling and great              dimension to cruising in this area. The
steaks – with cheerful, friendly service.               marina is beside the town centre, where
Music at weekends and every Wed in                      there’s a handy supermarket, and
summer (with Irish dancing). Food                       wholesome food is to be found at the
10.30am-9.30pm daily (Sun 12.30-9.30).                  surprisingly named Kariba’s Restaurant
MC, V, Laser.                                           (090 964 4830) on Society Street, which is
                                                        deservedly popular for its good value, with
Mid-Shannon Area                                        daytime food (Mon-Sat) and evening
BANAGHER: From Portumna, the route                      meals (Thu-Sat), available all year round.
northward is through a watery and sacred                The new Carlton Shearwater Hotel is at
land, at its best around Meelick where the              Marina Point – which, despite the name, is
ancient chapel merits a visit. After the                in the town centre; in line with other
wide open spaces, Banagher has much to                  Carlton Hotels, it offers good facilities.
offer the visitor and, for those who seek               Ballinasloe Farmers Market is held every
the 'real Ireland' this is an interesting little        Friday, 10am-3pm (Croffy Centre, Main
town. Pat and Della Horan's small family-               Street).
run Brosna Lodge Hotel (057 915 1350)
provides the genuine experience, offering               SHANNONBRIDGE: There are ancient river
good food and genuine hospitality. Good                 crossings in this area, where eskers from
food is also offered at Flynn's Bar and                 the ice age run east and west across the
Restaurant (057 915 1312) where the cosy                north-south line of the river. The bridge at
bar has an open fire, and at Heidi's Coffee             Shannonbridge is one of the most
Shop (087 956 2680) - renowned for                      impressive of all, and at Killeen’s
generous helpings of wholesome food                     wonderful pub (aka The Village Tavern,
and good value. And, of course, there is                090 967 4112) weary travellers can be
J.J. Hough’s (0509 51893), a characterful               restored – the house special is hot rum
pub renowned for traditional music and                  and chocolate! – and there’s music too.
craic.                                                  Next door another pub, The Bog Oak (090
                                                        967 4224), is also a favourite with boat
                                                        folk.




                                                   45
                             A Taste of the Waterways

  MS1 The Old Fort, Shannonbridge,             (090 647 4848) pub and its restaurant
  Co Roscommon                                 Hatter’s Lane Bistro (090 647 3077),
  090 967 4973                                 which is around the corner or down the
                                               stairs through the pub, depending on
                                               where you start off. The town is gaining a
                                               reputation for good ethnic restaurants
                                               too: lovers of spicy foods should check
                                               out Kin Khao Thai Restaurant (Tel 090 649
                                               8805) in Abbey Lane, where you will find
                                               some of the country’s finest Thai food and
                                               hospitality, and Al Mezza (090 649 8765),
                                               formerly of Jamestown Co Leitrim, nearby
                                               on Bastion Street. Also nearby, on the
On the Roscommon side of the bridge            quayside near the Norman castle, don’t
linking Offaly and Roscommon, Fergal           miss one of Ireland’s best-loved pubs,
Moran’s impressive, lovingly restored          Sean’s Bar (090 649 2358), for real
Napoleonic fort is a fascinating place in      atmosphere: all owners since 1630 are on
which to enjoy a meal. There’s a               record, and they serve an excellent pint.
welcoming open fire and comfy seating in       Hotels include the famous Prince of Wales
the large brick-floored reception/bar area     Hotel (090 647 7246), thriving once again
and, upstairs, interesting, well-cooked        in the centre of the town after a complete
meals are served in a pair of candle-lit       re-build, a recent arrival is the Sheraton
dining rooms with modern table settings        Athlone Hotel (090 645 1000), adjoining
and crisp white napkins. Early dinner          the new shopping centre, and, just out of
menus offer great value. D Wed-Sat, 5-         town on the Roscommon side, is the
9.30 (also Sun in summer, 5-8); L Sun          (very) large and beautifully located
only, 12.30-3. MC, V, Laser.                   waterside Hodson Bay Hotel (see entry,
                                               Lough Ree Circuit).
CLONMACNOIS: A place to linger and
reflect. Every monument and every ruin at          MS2 The Olive Grove, Custume Pier,
the riverside site of this ancient monastic        Athlone, Co Westmeath
city is eloquent of a sacred and intensely         090 647 6946
spiritual past which continues to speak to
the present. For bodily sustenance, there’s
a good coffee shop in summer.

ATHLONE: This bustling, youthful centre
town of Ireland has urban vitality and an
ever-increasing awareness of the river’s
significance – and, although other towns
along the mighty Shannon will no doubt
be keen to mount a challenge, it is seen
by many as the culinary capital of the         Garry Hughes and Gael Bradbury’s
inland waterways, with a cluster of great      spanking new waterfront premises
eating places (see a selection below) in       overlooks the castle and, with windows
the town and surrounding area. Too many,       all along the riverside, it may well have
in fact, to mention here, but they include     the best location of any restaurant on the
the entertaining pub and informal              Shannon. Spacious and chic, a major
restaurant mix of Gertie Browne’s              feature is the riverside deck (partially




                                              46
                                 Shannon Navigation

covered by an awning, although                      MS4 The Left Bank Bistro,
sometimes closed due to bad weather).               Bastion Street,
International menus may include exotics             Athlone, Co Westmeath
(fillet of antelope...), food is stylishly          090 649 4446
presented, and the friendly staff and long
opening hours make this place especially
worth knowing about. Children welcome.
Free Wifi. Open from noon daily; Amex,
MC, V, Laser.

  MS3 Radisson SAS Hotel,
  Athlone, Co Westmeath
  090 644 2600

                                                Although not visible from the river, Annie
                                                McNamara and Mary McCullough’s
                                                smashing contemporary restaurant is close
                                                to the west bank. Bare tables and paper
                                                napkins convey the laid back style that
                                                suits their lively multicultural food:
                                                delicious fish and vegetarian specials are
                                                on a board, and more-ish desserts overlap
                                                into the light ‘between-meal’ menus.
Magnificently located in the heart of the       Open Tue-Sat, L12-5 & D 5.30-9.30.
town, this riverside hotel has style: an        Closed Sun & Mon, Good Friday/Easter
expansive foyer leads into an informal split    weekend; Amex, MC, V, L.
level restaurant – and opens out onto a
huge riverside deck overlooking the
marina. The usual Radisson attributes of
contemporary chic at an accessible price
apply, plus lively modern food, imaginative
use of a great location and easy
accessibility to shops and other facilities.
Children welcome. Meals available all day.
Amex, D,MC, V, Laser.




                                               47
                    A Taste of the Waterways


  Shannon Navigation




Lough Key/Lough Allen (LKA)




                                                 3 Drumshanbo

                          Knockvicar 2


                                         1


Upper Shannon Area (US)
                              5 6 7 8 9          4     3




                                                 1 2



Lough Ree Circuit (LR)


                                             2

                                                           3 4
                                                 1
                                                            5




                                  48
                                  Shannon Navigation

Lough Ree Circuit                                        LR2 The Yew Tree,
(clockwise from Athlone)                                 Lecarrow Co Roscommon
                                                         090 666 1255
LOUGH REE: Lough Ree’s gentle shoreline
gives it a different character to Lough
Derg – some sailing enthusiasts would
suggest that it provides steadier breezes
for their sport. Its sailing history goes back
to 1770 and beyond, much older than
Lough Derg’s official date of 1835.

HODSON’S BAY: The Hodson Bay Hotel
(see entry) fronts onto a public harbour on
Lough Ree and is adjacent to Athlone Golf             Just a short walk up from the attractive
Club.                                                 little harbour, Gerald and Sarah Aherne’s
                                                      smartly presented restaurant is a welcome
   LR1 The Hodson Bay Hotel,                          newcomer to Lecarrow. Open from
   Hodson’s Bay, Co Roscommon                         lunchtime onwards, it’s a friendly and
   090 644 2000                                       welcoming place, offering generous
                                                      portions on a short à la carte lunch menu
                                                      during the afternoon – good soups and
                                                      salads, traditional Irish stew, perhaps –
                                                      with more elaborate dishes in the evening.
                                                      L&D daily 12.30-5 (Sun from 1pm) & 6-9
                                                      (Sun to 8pm). Children’s menu (to 6pm).
                                                      MC, V, Laser.

                                                      KILLINURE POINT: An easy stroll from
                                                      Peter Quigley’s marina on the east shore
Strategically located to serve the west and           brings you to the Killinure Chalets among
the east of Ireland, and the lake too, with           the trees, where the Irish-German Fishing
considerable style, this large hotel has              Club (090 648 5155) is renowned for its
excellent leisure facilities. Bar food is             wholesome food.
standard fare, but there’s a choice of
dining options, including the                         GLASSON-BALLYKEERAN: The
contemporary Octagon restaurant, with                 exceptionally pleasant southeast corner of
lake view, and – although the tables are              Lough Ree has many inlets and sheltered
tightly packed together in this large                 places. It’s a choice area, reflecting a
restaurant – recent visits suggest that               discerning quality of life – and the nearest
visitors should be pleasantly surprised with          part of the Shannon Navigation to Dublin.
both the service and the high standard of             Being popular with boat owners from the
food in L’Escale (reservations required).             capital, berthing can be very limited,
Amex, D, MC, V, Laser.                                particularly at weekends. However, the
                                                      Glasson Golf Hotel (see entry) welcomes
LECARROW: Hidden on Lough Ree’s                       visitors to its marina, and there is also a
western shore, a little canal leads to the            commercial marina at Ballykeeran.
sheltered harbour of Lecarrow; Coffey’s               Grogan’s Pub (090 648 5158), in Glasson
pub (090 666 1118) is the sailors’ haven.             village (Goldsmith’s “village of the roses”)
                                                      was established in 1750 and retains its
                                                      old-world charm; informal food is
                                                      available at the back in ‘Nannie Murph’s’.



                                                 49
                              A Taste of the Waterways

   LR3 Glasson Hotel & Golf Club,                        LR5 Wineport Lodge,
   Glasson, Co Westmeath,                                Glasson, Co Westmeath,
   090 648 5120                                          090 648 5466




Beautifully situated overlooking Lough Ree            Berthing is available for guests dining at
and its own harbour – where visiting                  Ray Byrne and Jane English’s luxurious
cruisers coming to the hotel may berth –              lakeside hotel (limited space, so phone
the original building (now the clubhouse)             ahead). The chic contemporary restaurant
was once the Reid family’s home. Non-                 and stunning view make a great setting
resident are made very welcome in the                 for Chef Cathal Moran’s modern seasonal
Lakeview Café & Bar and Lakeside                      menus, which feature the best local
Restaurant (and on the golf course), but              ingredients including Irish Angus beef,
taxis to Glasson village are also willingly           game in season and home-grown herbs;
arranged. Food all day. B’fast: 8-11; Bar             local suppliers are named on menus,
Menu 12-10; D (Restaurant) 6.30-9.30.                 which is both interesting and reassuring.
Amex, D,MC, V, Laser.                                 Reservations strongly advised. D daily 6-10,
                                                      L Sun only 3-5. Amex, D, MC, V, Laser.
   LR4 Glasson Village Restaurant,
   Glasson, Athlone Co Westmeath,                     Upper Shannon Area
   090 648 5001                                       LANESBOROUGH: With its peat-fired
                                                      power station, Lanesborough is a
                                                      workaday sort of place. It is possible to
                                                      pass straight through from Lough Ree and
                                                      all the way up the Shannon to
                                                      Tarmonbarry before a lock makes for a
                                                      mandatory stop, so Lanesborough is not a
                                                      major port, though its little harbour invites
                                                      a visit – and a newer harbour is now
                                                      available on the west shore, with a couple
                                                      of pubs nearby. In the river there’s a
Chef-proprietor Michael Brooks opened in              private marina, on the west bank.
this attractive stone building in 1986,
making him the area’s culinary pioneer.               TARMONBARRY: The main highway from
There’s a real country atmosphere, with               Mayo crosses the Shannon here, so the
old pine furniture and a conservatory                 pubs of Tarmonbarry (see Keenans and
which is particularly pleasant for Sunday             The Purple Onion below) are well
lunch. Michael’s cooking is seasonal,                 accustomed to restoring the weary
imaginative and fairly traditional; fresh fish        traveller, whether by river or road.
features strongly, including shellfish in
season and freshwater fish like Lough Ree
eel. D Tue- Sat 6- 9.30; L Sun only, 12.30-
2.2.30. Early D midweek (good value).
Amex, MC, V, L.


                                                 50
                                 Shannon Navigation
   US1 Keenans, Tarmonbarry,                          ROOSKEY: Mooring facilities are available
   Co Roscommon,                                      between the Lock at Rooskey and the
   043 26052                                          lifting bridge at the centre of the village.
                                                      The Shannon Key West Hotel (071 963
                                                      8800) has good facilities; bar food is
                                                      available all day.

                                                      DROMOD: A proper little harbour, and a
                                                      neat village too: Cox’s (071 963 8234)
                                                      gable wall says it all.

                                                        US3 The Brandywell, Dromod,
A favourite watering hole for river folk, this          Co Leitrim,
well-run bar and restaurant beside the                  071 963 8153
bridge serves informal meals all day; bar
specials might include fish casserole or
bacon & cabbage at lunch, half roast
duckling for dinner, perhaps (and the steak
sandwich is not to be missed) The separate
restaurant is now in a bright new room on
the waterside corner of the building, but
the hospitality is thankfully unchanged:
good wholesome food and cheerful,
efficient service keep happy customers
coming back. Food daily:12.30-8.30. L                 The McGuinness family’s large pub with
12.30- 2.30; D 6.30-8.30. Restaurant                  accommodation has a relaxed atmosphere
closed D Sun. Closed Good Fri. Amex,                  and a reputation for hearty, wholesome
MC,V, Laser.                                          food for hungry travellers – and daily
                                                      specials are marked up on the blackboard.
   US2 The Purple Onion,                              Wheelchair accessible. Food all day
   Tarmonbarry, Co Roscommon                          (reservations advised for evening meals
   043 59919                                          and Sunday lunch). Amex, MC, V, Laser.

                                                      CARNADOE WATERS: Enchanting
                                                      waterways, pleasantly remote. Down
                                                      towards Strokestown – also worth visiting
                                                      – the nearest landing is at Grange, where
                                                      facilities are anticipated at the Silver Eel
                                                      Pub (071 963 3299).

                                                      JAMESTOWN AND DRUMSNA: Drumsna
This unusual art gallery-cum-pub/restaurant           has Duignan’s (071 962 4703) as its
has an olde world feeling with dark wood              social centre, while Jamestown has its
and bric-à-brac, and good original                    famous “semi-detached pubs” and a good
paintings adding interest and charm. It can           restaurant, The Cottage (see below).
get very busy in the evening but, even if             Cruising folk, enjoying the traffic-free
you have to read while standing, menus                peace that by-passes have brought, can
offer an impressive choice for a small                savour all of these.
restaurant, and may include some unusual
dishes like wild boar sausage alongside
popular choices like sirloin and T-bone
steaks – also organic food including salmon
and chicken. D Tue-Sun, 5.30-9.30p (Sun
4.30-7.30) L Sun only, 12.30-3.30. MC, V,
Laser
                                                 51
                             A Taste of the Waterways

  US4 The Cottage Restaurant,                         US5 The Oarsman, Bridge Street,
  Jamestown, Co Leitrim,                              Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim,
  071 962 5933                                        071 962 1733




Formerly a well-known Lebanese                     The winner of the GCGuides/Waterways
restaurant (Al Mezza – now relocated to            Ireland inaugural Taste of the Waterways
Athlone), new proprietor chef, Shamzuri            Award, the Maher family’s pub is
Mohd Hanifa, offers pleasing modern                outstanding in every way: spick-and-span,
European and Asian food at this cheerful           welcoming and efficiently run, even at the
white-washed restaurant on the edge of             busiest times, it is just the kind of place
the pretty village of Jamestown; from the          visitors hope to find. A cosy fire and
quay, it’s a pleasant half mile walk               comfortable seating maximize enjoyment
through the village – pavement all the             of the excellent meals produced by a
way and past two particularly enticing             strong kitchen team, and there’s a
pubs. Reservations are not essential, but          sheltered beer garden at the back, which
this is an understandably popular little           makes a nice spot for a sunny day.
restaurant and it can be very busy,                Bar meals Tue-Sat 12-8 (L12-3; D5-8);
especially at weekends. L&D daily 12-4             restaurant D Thu-Sat 6.45-9.15) Amex,
&6.45-10. MC, V, Laser.                            MC, V, Laser.

CARRICK-ON-SHANNON: The busy capital                  US6 Vittos Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar,
of the north Shannon is cosmopolitan in               Market Yard Centre,
its outlook, with a growing range of                  Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim
restaurants and some fascinating shops:               071 0962 7000
the Market House Centre is a good
browsing spot and it's right at the heart
of this vibrant town, and the hub of local
activities including Farmers Markets
(Thursdays), Crafts Markets (Saturdays),
and many special events. Lovers of spicy
food will find a good Indian restaurant,
Shamrat (071 965 0934), on Bridge Street
and, just beside the bridge, at Cryan's Bar
(071-962 0409) you’ll find music - the
restaurant, known for steaks, has moved            This attractive stone-built restaurant is a
into their new hotel alongside. The two            friendly place offering an extensive menu
main hotels – the Bush Hotel (071 962              of pizza, pasta, salads and chargrilled
                                                   steaks, chicken dishes, burgers and more
0014), much loved for its friendliness and         traditional Irish dishes - all freshly prepared
warmth (with comfortingly traditional              in-house and cooked to order - plus a full
food and delightfully courteous service in         bar. Very family friendly, and - useful to
the restaurant), and The Landmark Hotel            know on a cruising holiday - all menu
(see entry), provide for traditional and           items are also available to take away.
international tastes, respectively. New            Outdoor seating in summer; toilets
moorings with 28 berths are available              wheelchair accessible. D Tue-Sat, 5.30-9,
opposite the Landmark Hotel in Carrick.            all day Sun 12.30-8.30 MC, V, Laser.

                                              52
                                 Shannon Navigation

  US7 Victoria Hall,                                   US9 Ciúin House, Hartley,
  Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim,                      Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim
  071 962 0320                                         071 967 1488




This stylish contemporary restaurant is in          Although it means a walk from the centre
an imaginatively restored and converted             of Carrick-on-Shannon (take a left at the
almost-waterside Victorian building,                Leitrim Observer offices), this purpose built
beside the Rowing Club. Bright, colourful           guesthouse is well worth knowing about
and classy, it has great appeal, and the            for its restaurant as well as for excellent,
first floor dining space is especially              quietly-located all-year accommodation.
attractive. The wide range of broadly               Suppliers are credited on interesting
Asian dishes offered translates into meals          menus that may include some Asian
that are well-executed and served by                dishes alongside more traditional seasonal
smart, attentive staff. Long opening hours          fare; cooking and food presentation are
and good value make this a useful place             both exemplary, and matched by attentive
to know about. Open daily, 12.30-10.                service and good value. Open for
MC,V, Laser.                                        breakfast, lunch and dinner. MC, V, Laser.

  US8 Landmark Hotel, Dublin Road
  Carrick-on-Shannon Co Leitrim
  071 962 2222




Informal daytime meals at this almost-
riverside hotel are offered in Aromas Café
– and the balcony dining area (formerly
Ferraris) is now the Boardwalk Café,
named after the new boardwalk across
the road. But it is the fine dining
restaurant, CJ’s, that has earned a
following with discerning diners - who
enjoy the setting, the welcoming
ambience, comfortable surrounds, stylish
cooking and professional service – with all
the extra little touches that add a sense of
occasion. CJs, D Mon-Sat 6-10. Aromas
Café, 9-5; bar food served daily. Amex,
MC, V, L.
                                               53
             A Taste of the Waterways Shannon Navigation

Lough Key/Lough Allen Circuit                       LKA1 Cootehall Bridge Restaurant
                                                    & Coffee House,
There are many waterways and lakes in               Cootehall, Co Leitrim,
this section of the Navigation, so we take          071 966 7173
Lough Key and Lough Allen together,
though they are inland seas, lakes or
waterways of very different types. Lough
Key is a pretty island-studded sort of
place, while Lough Allen is decidedly
rugged though handsome, with the iron
mountain of Slieve Anierin to the east,
and the old coal hills of Arigna to the
west.

COOTEHALL – a visit to Henry’s (071 966           After many years under the stewardship of
7030) unspoilt old pub is a must. Near the        Manfred Khan, this popular restaurant
bridge, The Watersplash pub (071 966              changed hands in 2006 and its success
7003) is a friendly place in fourth               continues under the current owner Eric
generation O’Regan hands – it has a beer          Cahill, whose style is rustic French/Italian
garden, music on Fridays, and a general           food with Irish influences – and menus
store too – and Cootehall Bridge                  based mainly on local and organic
Restaurant (see below) has its own                produce include some of the old
pontoons.                                         favourites like authentic French onion
                                                  soup. D Thu-Sat, 6-9.30, L Sun only
                                                  12.30-5.30. Reservations advised. Call to
                                                  check opening off-season. MC, V, Laser.




                                             54
                                Shannon Navigation

  LKA2 Bruno’s Restaurant, Knockvicar,             LOUGH KEY offers many choices. BOYLE
  near Cootehhall, Boyle,                          has its own harbour, 800m from the town
  Co Roscommon,                                    where there are fine music pubs including
  071 966 7788                                     Kate Lavins (071 966 2855), the Abbey
                                                   Bar (071 966 3333), Clarke’s Restaurant &
                                                   Bar (071 966 2064) offering traditional
                                                   fare (lunch and evening meals) and an
                                                   authentic oriental restaurant, Chinese
                                                   Delight (071 966 3123). Across the bridge,
                                                   The Stone House Café (086 155 2620) is a
                                                   dramatically situated riverside daytime
                                                   restaurant (Mon-Sat 10- 6), serving
                                                   wholesome food and good coffee, while
Bruno Boe’s attractively located                   the characterful old Royal Hotel (071 966
contemporary restaurant is equally popular         2016), has a welcoming atmosphere,
with local diners and boating visitors. The        open fires and a riverside restaurant. In
dashing cosmopolitan approach is unusual           Lough Key’s southeast corner, The
for a rural restaurant: expect an Italian          Moorings (071 966 7916) provides
welcome, real Italian cooking – and fair           berthing, with a restaurant, bar and
prices. Service can be slow, but the               traditional music in season.
appealing overall package keeps everyone
coming back. D 6-9.30 L Sun only 1-4. A
la carte. Reservations required; advisable
to ring and check opening hours,
especially off season. Amex, MC,V, Laser.




                                              55
              A Taste of the Waterways Shannon Navigation



LOUGH ALLEN has only relatively recently              LKA3 Ramada Lough Allen Hotel & Spa,
joined the Shannon Navigation on a full-              Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim,
time basis, as it was previously used as the          071 964 0100
reservoir to maintain water supplies to the
reaches of the river below and for
Ardnascrusha Hydro-electric Station way
downriver. Lough Allen Canal is entered at
Battlebridge, where Joe Beirne’s (071 962
0802) is a classic country pub – no food,
but superb pints, a barbecue area, and
traditional music. Shore facilities on Lough
Allen are steadily improving, with berthing
at Spencer Harbour in the northwest
corner, and a summer harbour on the east            Although not especially impressive from
shore at Cleighran More. But the main               the outside, this contemporary hotel
focal point continues to be                         begins to win you over from the moment
DRUMSHANBO, which may be most                       you step into the foyer – a welcoming
conveniently reached from Acres Lake on             area with appealing modern decor and a
the waterway south of the town. A town              beckoning glimpse of the lough view.
of many pubs, we like the unspoilt                  Pleasing informal meals are served in the
Conway’s Corner House (071 964 1020),               high-ceilinged Drumlin Bar, which hedges
where you can buy the papers and read               weather bets with a deck and an open
them in front of the fire. Just outside the         fire; dinner is in Rushes Restaurant which,
town, the modern Lough Allen Hotel &                oddly, does not overlook the lough. Amex,
Spa (see below) offers a wide range of              D,MC, V, Laser.
amenities and there are plans for a small
marina beside the hotel.




                                               56
                             A Taste of the Waterways

      Shannon-Erne Waterway




                                                                        4
                                                                                       5 6



                                                                    3
                                                2                   Newtowngore
                                      1




Shannon-Erne Waterway                                LEITRIM VILLAGE is an attractive little
This “modern” waterway is based on the               place, although the road traffic seems to
line of the old Ballinamore-Ballyconnell             race through when you’re at boat speed.
Canal, but state-of-the-art hydroelectrically        There is a towpath walk, however, and a
operated locks and other refinements                 modern hotel, the waterside Leitrim
reflect the investment and planning which            Marina Hotel (071 962 33628), which has
went into re-connecting the Shannon and              the advantage of being away from the
the Erne. Lough Scur at the mid-point is             road. Pubs include the Leitrim Inn (071
the summit level, so though the Shannon              96 20460), with a reputation for homely
runs downstream in a broadly southern                traditional food, while The Barge
direction, with the Erne it’s the other way.         Steakhouse (071 962 0807) is an inviting
The nearer you get to the Erne, the more             stone bar and restaurant with a
convoluted the waterways become, so for              welcoming open fire in the characterful
convenience, we take Belturbet as being              bar; behind it, a large restaurant opens
the northeast end of the Shannon Erne                onto a garden where there is plenty of
Waterway, and detail Upper and Lower                 seating - steaks are the speciality and they
Lough Erne as a circuit.                             hold barbecues in summer




                                                57
                               A Taste of the Waterways

KILCLARE is a couple of hours cruise up                BALLINAMORE’S pubs include The Poor
from Carrick-on-Shannon – just a handy                 Scholar (071 964 5982), which is handy to
distance to feel like a coffee and a stretch           the quay. Also attractive is the
ashore, and the attractive canalside                   oldfashioned Lawrences (071 964 4037)
Lynch’s Bar (071 964 1029) – it’s The                  and Smyth’s Pub (071 964 4955) across
Sheemore from the road – can also                      the road; they arrange a rota for nightly
provide grocery and hardware; not really a             music.
food place (although snacks are available)
but you can relax in the bar, or sit outside              2 Glenview Restaurant,
at the back in fine weather and watch the                 Aughoo Bridge, Ballinamore,
boats going by.                                           Co Leitrim
                                                          071 964 4157
KESHCARRIGAN has craic aplenty and
great music on Thursday evenings at Des
Foley’s famous friendly pub Gertie’s
(071 964 2252), which also offers ‘all-day
breakfast’, while Julianos (see entry) is an
informal restaurant. Nearby Canal View
House & Restaurant (071 964 2404) is a
French-run B&B, with a restaurant and its
own pontoons.

   1 Julianos Italian Grill,                           Both locals and holidaymakers enjoy the
   Keshcarrigan, Co Leitrim                            restaurant at Teresa Kennedy’s farm
   071 964 2698                                        guesthouse which, unusually, also offers
                                                       an impressive little agricultural museum
                                                       (small entrance fee) as well as good food.
                                                       Guests congregate in the bar before going
                                                       to formally-laid tables in the large dining
                                                       room, where traditional 5-course dinners
                                                       are served – and a piano suggests that
                                                       parties have been known to happen here.
                                                       D daily, 6-8.30; reservations advised. L Sun only
                                                       1-3; reservations essential. MC, V.

About 200m from Gertie’s, this neat café-
style restaurant in a new terrace of shops
is perfect for boaters in the nearby
marina, who can have a pint on their way
back to the boat. It’s simply furnished,
with an open kitchen, and welcoming
staff offer a restaurant menu similar to
their take away list (the speciality is pizza),
with the addition of a few steak dishes
and a stir fry. Everything is freshly made
using quality ingredients – there’s even a
bowl of freshly grated Parmesan on the
table - and a small, but very adequate
wine list. Open daily in summer, Mon-Sat
4.30-11, Sun 3-10.30. MC, V, Laser.




                                                  58
                             Shannon-Erne Waterway
  3 Swan Island,                                     4 Pól O’D, Ballyconnell,
  Newtowngore, Co Cavan                              Co Cavan
  049 4333065 / 087 2605102                          049 952 6228




Patrick and Ann Bradley’s delightfully             Paul and Geraldine O’Dowd’s cottagey
rustic little waterside bar and restaurant         restaurant is in two atmospheric olde-
has handy berthing – and offers boat hire          worlde ground floor rooms and a newer,
for those arriving by land. Welcoming staff        brighter one upstairs. Paul cooks with flair
have a can-do attitude and generous                and confidence, and many dishes have
fresh-flavoured food has a barbecue                become house specialities – a trio of
theme, featuring delicious breads, simply          seafood with prawn & vermouth sauce,
cooked meats and fish, baked potatoes              for example. The surroundings are
and a seriously good selection of salads           relaxing, and matched by reasonable
and accompaniments. Open from 11am-                prices, and friendly, helpful service under
‘late’ in summer (informal daytime menu;           Geraldine’s supervision. Children welcome.
evening à la carte); off season, D Tue- Sat        Wheelchair accessible. D Wed-Sat 6.30-
from 6.30 and Sun L, from 12.30. MC, V,            9.30. Amex, MC, V, Laser.
Laser.
                                                   BELTURBET is a bustling place. On the way
BALLYCONNELL is a pretty little town with          to town from the cruiser base, the neat
many temptations to linger. The Angler’s           façade of Flynns bar (049 952 2369)
Rest (049 952 6391) bar & restaurant was           invites you into a haven for pints, pub
recently completely rebuilt, but has               grub, and summer barbecues in the beer
retained its warmth and hospitality, while         garden. Across the main road, Cassidy’s
Molly Maguire’s (049 952 6228) is the              (049 952 2559) is a gem, a classic Irish
place for music. A couple of miles from            bar. And that’s all before you cross the
the bridge, the huge Slieve Russell Hotel          bridge into the main part of town, where
(049 952 6444) offers many facilities              facilities abound and you’ll find good food
including golf.                                    of very different styles at Le Rendezvous
                                                   and the Seven Horseshoes (see entries),
                                                   and the old Erne Bistro which is under
                                                   new management and now known as
                                                   The Lawn Restaurant & Lounge (049 952
                                                   2443).




                                              59
            A Taste of the Waterways Shannon-Erne Waterway

   5 International Fishing Centre,                     7 Le Rendezvous Restaurant,
   Belturbet, Loughdooley, Co Cavan                    Main Street, Belturbet, Co Cavan
   049 952 2616                                        049 952 4089




The Neuville family’s International Fishing          Christophe Grellier’s small restaurant is
Centre has a restaurant which is mainly for          friendly and informal and, brings a
residents but is also open to non-residents          genuine French dining experience to the
coming in off the river and, like the rest of        town centre. The décor may have been
the operation, it is very French. There are          been done on a shoestring, but there's
pontoons at the bottom of the garden                 nothing budget about his food - featuring
where the menu is displayed – and, when              classics of French cooking (boeuf
the weather allows, tables are set out on            bourguignon, poulet bordelaise, at least
the terrace. Reservations advised. Dinner            one seafood dish, crème brulée), the
7-9pm daily. Closed Dec-Mar. MC, V.                  emphasis is firmly on quality (suppliers
                                                     credited), and generous portions. Good
  6 The Seven Horseshoes,                            choice of wine by the glass too. D Tue-
  Belturbet, Co Cavan                                Sun, from 5.30: Tue-Thu to 9.30; Fri & Sat
  049 952 2166                                       to10pm, Sun to 9pm. Early D 5.30-7.30.
                                                     MC, V, Laser.




This town-centre pub with
accommodation oozes character, with its
unique wattle hurdle ceiling and
welcoming open fire. Expect hearty home
cooking (in the bar or first floor
restaurant) at reasonable prices: steaks,
mixed grills and panfried plaice are the
order of the day. Just right for appetites
fired up by plenty of fresh air. Meals daily:
L 1-3 (Sun 1-4), evenings 5 or 6 to 9.
Restaurant: D daily, L Sun only (carvery, 1-
4). Reservations advised, especially at
weekends. Amex, MC, V, Laser.




                                                60
                 A Taste of the Waterways DINING ON BOARD

Going ashore to eat is always fun, but                Add the tagliatelle to a large pan of
dining on board is also a major part of any           boiling salted water - the bigger the pan
boating holiday experience. Modern                    the better. Give it a stir occasionally to
cruisers are equipped with everything                 prevent sticking. Cook for 8-13 minutes
needed to cook a full meal – and, as                  from boiling - check with the packet
excellent ingredients can be bought at                instructions, which vary, and do a bite-test
every little town along the waterways,                to get it just as you like it.
memorable meals can be made very easily.
Keeping it simple suits the holiday mood,             Meanwhile, cut the smoked salmon into
so why not try one of these easy dishes –             long strips and mix with the basil. Pour
it could be the highlight of your holiday!            the cream into a pan and bring to the
                                                      boil, then boil for 1 minute until
Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle with                        thickening; stir in 4 tablespoons of the
Parmesan Cream                                        Parmesan and season with pepper.
This simple dish is taken from our new                Drain the pasta well and toss with the
cookbook, “From Tide To Table”,                       Parmesan cream; finally fold in the
published in association with BIM , the               smoked salmon and basil mixture until
Irish Sea Fisheries Board; www.bim.ie                 nicely combined. Divide among warmed
(€25 from bookshops, or online from                   shallow bowls or any suitable serving
Ireland-guide.com), and is an exception to            plates and garnish with the basil to serve.
the general rule that you should not add
Parmesan to a fish-based pasta dish.
Like all simple food, its success depends
on using the best ingredients, so buy the
best quality smoked salmon you can find,
and grate your own cheese freshly. For
such an easy dish, this turns out very
stylishly.


SERVES 4-6

350g/12oz tagliatelle
225g/8oz sliced Irish smoked salmon,
preferably organic (eg Clare Island)
4 tbsp torn fresh basil, plus extra to garnish
300ml/1/2 pint double cream
6 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan or
hard cheese (eg Gabriel or Desmond,
made in West Cork)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper




                                                 61
                                 A Taste of the Waterways

Irish Stew                                               The meat should be removed from the
Like peasant dishes everywhere, there are                bone, trimmed well and cut into bite-sized
countless versions of the traditional Irish              cubes. [For easy removal from the stew,
Stew. At its simplest it was made with                   the bones can be tied loosely in muslin, if
(very cheap) neck of lamb, potatoes,                     available, with the fresh herbs.]
onions and, perhaps, carrots; by contrast,               Place the meat in a large heavy-based
in recent times refined ‘gourmet’ versions               pan, and cover with cold water. Add a
using more expensive ingredients and                     little salt and bring to the boil, then drain
fancier cooking methods have appeared                    and rinse the meat.
on restaurant menus. Between these                       Replace the meat in the rinsed pan,
extremes, there are many good versions of                adding the bones and herbs, if using; add
this great classic – which is especially well            the onions, seasoning, carrots, leeks and
suited to pub food and remains one of the                turnip. Cover with water, bring up to the
most popular dishes on menus. As you get                 boil, then reduce the heat and simmer
so much flavour for very little trouble (and             gently for one hour, occasionally removing
the minimum of washing up), it is also                   any scum that rises to the surface.
ideal for cooking on board. In this version,             Add the potatoes, bring back up to
based on a recipe from Bord Bia (Irish                   simmering point and continue cooking for
Food Board; www.bordbia.ie), several                     another 25 minutes. For the last 5
more vegetables are included than would                  minutes, add in the cabbage. When the
be usual in the traditional dish - and, for              meat and vegetables are cooked, remove
convenience, the meat is taken off the                   the bones and bouquet of herbs. Stir in
bone before cooking, although the bones                  the chopped parsley and a dash of
are cooked with the meat and vegetables                  Worcestershire sauce. Taste, adjust the
to give depth of flavour. There is no need               seasoning if necessary, and serve in deep
to follow the recipe slavishly - the bones               bowls, with fresh brown soda bread.
are not essential, for example, but the
butcher should be able to supply them -
and perhaps the muslin too.

Serves 4-6

1-11⁄2 kg/2-3lb shoulder of lamb, trimmed &
cubed
sprig each of parsley & thyme and a bayleaf, tied
3 large onions, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 carrots, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 or 3 leeks, trimmed, sliced & washed
1 small turnip, chopped into small cubes
4-6 Rooster potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 a small green cabbage, trimmed & shredded
Finely chopped parsley
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce.




                                                    62
                                DINING ON BOARD

                                                    dash of Tabasco sauce
Artisan Sausage & Potato Salad                      Grill the sausages under a medium grill for
A robust main course salad is always                8-10 minutes, turning them occasionally,
useful for lunch or a light supper on board         until browned on all sides. Slice thinly and
in warm weather, and interesting sausages           leave to cool.
make a good and easily available
ingredient . The art of sausage making has          Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add the
been undergoing something of a revival in           halved potatoes and sauté for about 5
Ireland in recent years and, in addition to         minutes or until golden brown. Add the
a number of small companies that                    sausages, spring onions and cherry
specialise in making a variety of styles and        tomatoes and sauté for 3 minutes. Finally
sizes of artisan sausages – sometime                add all the dressing ingredients and toss
including less usual ingredients such as            well. Remove from the heat.
venison, and rare breed pork – many
butchers take pride in their own ranges,            Turn the potato mixture and the salad
made in-house. Annual sausage-making                leaves into a large bowl, and toss to mix.
competitions are a great incentive, held in         Taste to check seasoning and serve
both Northern Ireland and the South.                immediately, with some crusty bread.



Serves 4-6.

6-8 good-sized artisan sausages
450g/1 lb small new potatoes, just cooked
but still firm
1tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions, sliced
6 oz/150g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (130g) bag Italian or Continental salad
leaves, or equivalent lettuce
For the dressing:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 tsp tomato purée
1 tsp clear honey




                                               63
                              A Taste of the Waterways

‘27 Church Street’, Killaloe, 40                  Brindle Beam Tea Rooms, The, Lurgan, 22
ABBEYSHRULE, 35                                   Brocagh Castle, Brocagh, 24
Acorn, Tullamore, 20                              BROCAGH, 24
Al Mezza, Athlone, 46                             Brocka-on-the-Water, Kilgarvan Quay, 44
ALLENWOOD, 19                                     Brosna Lodge Hotel, Banagher, 45
An Cupán Caifé, Mountshannon, 42                  Brown Trout Golf & Country Inn, Aghadowey, 28
Anatolia, Tullamore, 20                           Bruno’s Restaurant, Knockvicar, 55
Ann Dowling’s, Robertstown, 19                    Bush Hotel, The, Carrick-on-Shannon, 52
ANTRIM, 25                                        Café Merlot (at Blakes), Enniskillen, 12
Arbutus Restaurant, Kilrea, 27                    Cahill’s, nr Belmont, 20
ARDBOE, 24                                        Canal Bank Café, Grand Canal Dublin, 16
Ardhowen Theatre Restaurant, Enniskillen, 11      Canal View House, Keshcarrigan, 58
Ardtara Country House & Restaurant,               Canaletto, Grand Canal Dublin, 15
Upperlands, 27                                    Canton Casey’s/Fat Cats Brasserie,
Argory, The, River Blackwater, 23                 Mullingar, 34
Asia de Brun Restaurant (formerly Lemongrass),    CARLOW, 4
Naas, 18                                          Carlton Abbey Hotel, Athy, 3
ATHLONE, 46                                       Carlton Hotel, Belleek, 9
ATHY, 3                                           Carlton Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe, 45
BAGENALSTOWN, 5                                   CARNADOE WATERS, 51
BALLINAMORE, 58                                   CARRICK-ON-SHANNON, 52
BALLINASLOE, 45                                   Carton House Hotel, Maynooth, 31
BALLINDERRY, 43                                   Cassidy’s, Belturbet, 59
BALLYCOMMON, 19                                   CASTLE ARCHDALE, 10
BALLYCONNELL, 59                                  CASTLEKNOCK, 30
BALLYMAHON, 36                                    CELBRIDGE, 17
BALLYNACARGY, 35                                  Charlie Weld’s, Roberstown, 19
BALLYRONAN, 24                                    Cherry Tree Restaurant, Killaloe, 40
BANAGHER, 45                                      Circle of Friends, Inistioge, 7
Barge Inn, Grand Canal Dublin, 14                 Ciss Ryan’s, Garrykennedy, 44
Barge Steakhouse, The, Leitrim, 57                Ciúin House & Restaurant, Carrick-on-Shannon, 53
Bassett’s at Woodstock, Inistioge, 7              Clannad Restaurant, Ballyronan, 24
BATTERY HARBOUR, 24                               Clarke’s Restaurant & Bar, Boyle, 55
Becketts Hotel & Restaurant, Leixlip, 31          Clinton Centre Enniskillen, 11
Bel Pepper Bistro, Scarriff, 41                   CLONMACNOIS, 46
BELLANALECK, 8                                    CLOONDAVAUN BAY MARINA, nr Portumna, 42
Belleek Pottery, 9                                Coffey’s pub, Lecarrow, 49
BELLEEK, 9                                        Con’s Bar, Mullingar, 34
BELMONT, 20                                       Conway’s Corner House, Drumshanbo, 56
BELTURBET, 59                                     Coolbawn Quay, nr Nenagh, 44
BLACKWATERTOWN, 23                                Cootehall Bridge Restaurant & Coffee House, 54
Blakes of the Hollow, Enniskillen, 12             COOTEHALL, 54
Blanchfield’s Bar, St Mullin’s, 7                 Copper & Spice, Limerick, 39
Bluegrass Café, Rathangan, 2                      CORCORAN’S BRIDGE, 20
Boats Bistro, Graiguenamanagh, 6                  Cottage Restaurant, The, Jamestown, 52
Boland’s Bar, Monasterevin, 3                     CRANFIELD BAY, 25
BORRIS, 5                                         Creans, Vicarstown, 3
BOYLE, 55                                         CROSS GUNS BRIDGE, Royal Canal Dublin, 29
Bradaun Restaurant, Leixlip House Hotel, 31       Crotty’s, Killaloe, 40
Brasserie One, Limerick, 38                       Cryan's, Carrick-on-Shannon, 52
Bretzel Bakery, Grand Canal Dublin, 14            Cuan Mhuire Garden Centre, Athy, 3
Bridge Bar & Grill, nr Grand Canal Dublin, 15     DAINGEAN, 19
Bridge Bar, Rathangan, 2                          Derg Inn, The, Terryglass, 43
Bridge House/Purcells, Athy, 3                    DERRYLIN, 8
Bridgewater Inn, Sallins, 18                      DERRYMACASH, 22


                                                 64
                                             2009 Index
Dollakis Restaurant, Enniskillen, 12                       Hilton Hotel, Grand Canal Dublin, 16
Doyle’s, Graiguenamanagh, 6                                Hodson Bay Hotel, 49
DROMINEER, 44                                              HODSON’S BAY, 49
DROMOD, 51                                                 Hogan’s, Ballinderry, 43
Drumaheglis Marina, 27                                     Ilia A Coffee Experience, Mullingar, 34
DRUMSHANBO, 56                                             Ilia Tapas & More, Mullingar, 35
DRUMSNA, 51                                                Indus Valley, Coleraine, 28
DuCartes at the Hunt Museum, Limerick, 38                  INISTIOGE, 7
Duignan’s, Drumsna, 51                                     International Fishing Centre, Belturbet, 60
Dysons, Portumna, 43                                       Irish-German Fishing Club, Killinure, 49
East End Restaurant, Clinton Centre, Enniskillen,11        J.J.Hough’s, Banagher, 45
Eden Deli, Edenderry, 19                                   JAMESTOWN, 51
EDENDERRY, 19                                              Jamie’s, Tullamore, 20
Ely HQ, Grand Canal Dublin, 14                             Jimmy D’s, Bagenalstown, 5
Emigrant, The, Athy, 3                                     Joe Beirne’s, Battlebridge, 56
ENFIELD, 32                                                Jolly Sandwich, The, Enniskillen, 11
ENNISKILLEN, 11                                            Jordan’s Bar, Moy, 23
Erne Palace Chinese Restaurant, Inishclare, 10             Julianos Italian Grill, Keshcarrigan, 58
Ferry Inn, The, Portumna, 42                               Jurys Croke Park Hotel, Royal Canal Dublin, 29
Fisherman’s The, Fisherman’s Crossroads, 3                 Kariba’s Restaurant, Ballinasloe, 45
Flanagans Mill, Sallins, 17                                Keane’s, Mountshannon, 41
Flynn's Bar & Restaurant, Banagher, 45                     KEENAGH, 36
Flynns, Belturbet                                          Keenans, Tarmonbarry, 51
Franco’s, Enniskillen, 11                                  Kelly’s, nr Belmont, 20
French Table, The, Limerick, 39                            KESH, 10
Furey’s Bar, Moyvalley, 32                                 KESHCARRIGAN, 58
Gallery 29 Café, Mullingar, 34                             KILCLARE, 58
Gargoyles Café, Athy, 4                                    KILCOCK, 32
GARRYKENNEDY, 44                                           Kildare Farmers Market, Naas, 18
GAWLEY’S GATE, 26                                          KILLALOE, 40
Gertie Browne’s/Hatter’s Lane, Athlone, 46                 Killeen’s, Rhode, 19
Gertie’s, Keshcarrigan, 58                                 Killeen’s, Shannonbridge, 45
Gilmartin’s Irish Creaft Shop, Belleek, 9                  KILLINURE POINT, 49
Glasson Hotel & Golf Club, 50                              KILLUCAN, 33
Glasson Village Restaurant, 50                             Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, 12
GLASSON-BALLYKEERAN, 49                                    KILREA, 27
Glenview Restaurant, Aughoo Bridge, 58                     Kin Khao Thai Restaurant, Athlone, 46
Goosers, Killaloe, 40                                      Kincora Hall Hotel, Killaloe, 40
GORESBRIDGE, 5                                             KINNEGO, 22
GRAIGUENAMANAGH, 6                                         Knockninny Restaurant, Derrylin, 8
Grill & Grape Steakhouse, The, Carlow, 4                   L’Italia, Enniskillen, 11
Grogan’s Pub, Glasson, 49                                  La Péniche, Grand Canal Dublin, 15
Haddington Delicatessen, nr Grand Canal                    La Piccola Italia, Carlow, 4
Dublin, 14                                                 La Primavera, Naas, 18
Halligan’s, Ballynacargy, 35                               Lakeside Hotel, Killaloe, 40
Hampton’s, Limerick, 38                                    Landmark Hotel, The, Carrick-on-Shannon, 53
Harbour House, Edenderry, 19                               LANESBOROUGH, 50
Harbour Office, Kinnego , 22                               Larkins, Garrykennedy, 45
HAZELHATCH, 17                                             Lawn, The, Restaurant & Lounge, Belturbet, 59
Heidi's Coffee Shop, Banagher, 45                          LECARROW, 49
Hennessy’s Fine Foods, Carlow, 4                           Left Bank Bistro, Athlone, 47
Henry’s, Cootehall, 54                                     LEIGHLINBRIDGE, 4
Herb Street restaurant, Grand Canal Dublin, 14             Leitrim Inn, The, 57
Hideout,The/Cunningham’s, 33                               Leitrim Marina Hotel, 57
HILL OF DOWN, 33                                           LEITRIM VILLAGE, 57


                                                      65
                 A Taste of the Waterways 2009 Index

LEIXLIP, 31                                     Old Fort, Shannonbridge, 46
Lennox Café, 14                                 Olive Grove, The, Athlone, 46
LIMERICK, 38                                    Oscars, Mullingar, 35
LITTLETOWN BRIDGE, 2                            OXFORD ISLAND, 22
Locks Restaurant, Grand Canal Dublin, 16        Paddy’s Bar, Terryglass, 43
LONGWOOD, 33                                    Pizza Pomodoro, Coleraine, 28
Lord Bagenal Hotel, Leighlinbridge, 5           Pól O’D, Ballyconnell, 59
Lough Allen Hotel & Spa, Drumshanbo, 56         POLLAGH, 20
LOUGH ALLEN, 56                                 PORTADOWN, 23
Lough Erne Golf Resort, Enniskillen, 9          Porter House North, Royal Canal Dublin, 30
Lough Erne Hotel, Kesh, 10                      PORTGLENONE, 26
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre,                   Portmór House, Blackwatertown, 23
Oxford Island, 22                               Portneal Lodge, Kilrea, 27
LURGAN, 22                                      PORTOBELLO, nr Grand Canal Dublin, 14
Lusty Beg Island, nr Kesh, 10                   PORTUMNA, 42
M. O’Shea, Borris, 5                            Purple Onion, The, Tarmonbarry, 51
MacNean Bistro, Blacklion, 11                   Radisson SAS Hotel, Athlone, 47
MAGANEY BRIDGE, 4                               RANELAGH VILLAGE, nr Grand Canal Dublin, 14
Manor House & Golf, Kilrea, 27                  RATHANGAN, 2
Manor House Hotel & Restaurant,                 Rattlebag Café, Carlow, 4
Killadeas, 11                                   Rebecca’s, Enniskillen, 11
Mary Lynch’s, McNead’s Bridge, 33               Red Oak Restaurant, Clonmoylan nr
Mayfly pub, Kesh                                Portumna, 42
MAYNOOTH, 31                                    Rendezvous Restaurant, Le, Belturbet, 60
McEvoy’s/The Hatch, Hazelhatch, 17              Restaurant @ No 6 (at Blakes), Enniskillen, 12
McGrath’s pub, Ballycommon, 19                  Restaurant La Serre, Celbridge, 17
McIntyre’s Shannon Harbour, 20                  RHODE, 19
McIntyre’s, Shannon Harbour, 45                 RICHMOND HARBOUR, 36
McKearney’s Butchers, Moy, 23                   Richmond Inn, The, 36
McLaughlins Corner, Kilrea, 27                  Riva Restaurant, Grand Canal Dublin, 14
McNEAD’S BRIDGE, 33                             River Bistro, The, Limerick, 38
Mespil Hotel, Grand Canal Dublin, 14            River Run, The, Killaoe, 40
Midway Park Hotel, Daingean, 19                 RIVERSTOWN BRIDGE, 33
MILLTOWN, 2                                     ROBERTSTOWN, 18
Mint, nr Grand Canal Dublin, 14                 Rooney’s, Ballyshrule, 35
Mirchi, 19                                      ROOSKEY, 51
Moll Darby’s, Limerick, 39                      Royal Hotel, Boyle, 55
MONASTEREVIN, 3                                 Russell & Donnelly, Enniskillen, 11
Moohans/The Fiddlestone, Belleek, 9             Rustic Inn, The, Abbeyshrule, 35
Moorings, The, Bellanaleck, 8                   Ryandale Inn, Moy, 23
Mount Shannon Hotel, 41                         SALLINS, 17
MOUNTSHANNON, 41                                Salmon Leap, Coleraine, 28
Moy Fayre & Bakery, Moy, 23                     SANDY BAY, 26
MOY, 23                                         SCARRIFF, 41
MOYVALLEY BRIDGE, 32                            Scoffs Restaurant, Enniskillen, 11
Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort, 32               Seagoe Hotel, Portadown, 23
Mullingar Park Hotel & Restaurant, 34           Sean’s Bar, Athlone, 46
MULLINGAR, 33                                   Seven Horseshoes, The, Belturbet, 60
Munnelly’s, Ballynacargy, 35                    Shamrat, Carrick-on-Shannon, 52
NAAS, 18                                        SHANNON HARBOUR, 20
Nonna Valentina, Grand Canal Dublin, 16         SHANNON HARBOUR, 45
O’Doherty’s Butchers, Enniskillen, 11           Shannon Key West Hotel, Rooskey, 51
O’Keeffe’s/The Green Ribbon, Kilcock, 32        SHANNONBRIDGE, 45
O’Neill Arms Hotel, Toomebridge, 25             Sheelin Tea Shop, The, Bellanaleck, 9
Oarsman, The, Carrick-on-Shannon, 52            Shisar, Tullamore, 20


                                           66
Silver Eel pub, Grange, 51
Sirocco’s, Tullamore, 20
Skelly’s, Ballymahon, 36
Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell, 59
Snug Café Winebar, Mountshannon, 42
ST MULLINS, 7
Stables Restaurant, Antrim, 25
Step House Hotel, The, Borris, 5
Stone House Café, Boyle, 55
Swan Island, Newtowngore, 59
TARMONBARRY, 50
Taste Deli-Bistro, Enniskillen, 11
Teach Uí Bhrian, Tuamgraney, 41
TERRYGLASS, 43
The Brandywell, Dromod, 51
The Motte Restaurant, Inistioge, 7
The Roost, Maynooth, 31
The Storehouse, Naas, 18
The Thatch, Belleek, 9
The Twelfth Lock, Castleknock Marina, 30        Whether you are visiting Ireland’s
Thomas Fletcher, Naas, 18                       Inland Waterways by boat or
THOMASTOWN BRIDGE, 33
Tilley Lamp Restaurant, Ardboe, 24              enjoying the myriad of activities
TOOMEBRIDGE, 25                                 available along the banks, a range
Tormeys butchers, Mullingar, 34
TUAMGRANEY, 41                                  of publications has been compiled
Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, 20            to give you information about the
Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre, 20
TULLAMORE, 19                                   wonderful attractions, activities,
Vicarstown Inn, 3                               places to eat, heritage and events
VICARSTOWN, 3
Victoria Hall, Carrick-on-Shannon, 53           available along the navigations. A
Vie de Chateaux, Naas, 18                       booklet listing the publications,
Vittos Restaurant & Wine Bar,
Carrick-on-Shannon, 52                          giving details of their contents
Water Margin, Coleraine, 28                     and a publications order form can
Waterside, The, Graiguenamanagh, 6
Watersplash, The, Cootehall, 54                 be received by contacting:
Whiskey Still, The, Dromineer, 44
Wild Duck Inn, Portglenone, 27
Wineport Lodge, Glasson, 50                     Waterways Ireland Marketing &
Woodstock Arms, The, Inistioge, 7               Communications Division at:
Yellow Door Deli, Bakery & Café,                Somerview House,
Portadown, 23
Yew Tree Restaurant, The, Lecarrow, 49
                                                Old Dublin Road
Yoko Restaurant, Coleraine, 28                  Carrick-on-Shannon
Zest Restaurant & Café, Mullingar, 34           Co Leitrim
                                                Tel no +353 (0)71 965 0787
                                                Fax no +353 0)71 962 2866
                                                Email info@waterwaysireland.org
                                                Web www.waterwaysireland.org



                                           67
My Restaurant Recommendations
Georgina Campbell Guides and Waterways Ireland would like to invite you to make your
own notes on your favourite eating experiences or you can submit your restaurant
recommendations and comments to us, and we'll add them to the list to be visited for
the next guide.

Post or email your comments to:
Georgina Campbell
Editor, ‘A Taste of the Waterways’,
Georgina Campbell Guides Ltd,
PO Box 6173
Dublin 13
Email info@ireland-guide.com
Web www.ireland-guide.com




                                        68
                               A Taste of the Waterways


About the Authors...
Husband and wife team W. M. Nixon and
Georgina Campbell have been researching
and writing their unique independent
annual guides to eating and drinking along
Ireland’s inland waterways since 1998.
W.M. Nixon first cruised on the waterways
in 1957 with a sailing dinghy and a tent,
and has since been on all the inland
waterways in a wide variety of craft.

He is Sailing Correspondent with the Irish
Independent, and Contributing Editor to
Ireland Afloat, and has written several
books in addition to contributing to
international maritime journals. Georgina
Campbell specialises in Irish food and
hospitality and publishes a series of
specialist guides, including Ireland's premier
hospitality guide, Georgina Campbell's
Ireland – the guide (€20 from bookshops or
www.ireland-guide.com), which pinpoints
all the best places to eat, drink & stay
throughout Ireland. Her books on Irish food
include "The Best of Irish Breads & Baking",
"Irish Country House Cooking" and the
recently published seafood cookbook,
“From Tide To Table”. She is a member of
both the British and the Irish Food Writers
Guilds, and a member of the international
Slow Food movement.




“Copyright: GC Guides Ltd (concept, text, restaurant
images), PO Box 6173, Dublin 13 (E:info@ireland-guide.com
W:www.ireland-guide.com). Waterways Ireland copyright
this production. Design and print Mitchell Kane Associates.”
Georgina Campbell Guides
PO Box 6173, Dublin 13
www.ireland-guide.com

Waterways Ireland
2 Sligo Road, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, BT74 7JY
Tel: +44 (0) 28 6632 3004
www.waterwaysireland.org




- Independently Assessed & Personally Selected -



If requested this brochure can be made available in accessible formats


DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information given here is
accurate at the time of going to press. GC Guides and Waterways Ireland are not liable for any errors
or changes which may have occurred.

				
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