Blueways Photo
Blueways Photo

Blueways in Ireland Receive Accreditation

Three Blueways in Ireland received accreditation in 2022, making them more desirable to tourists and staycationers in Ireland who are looking for fun outdoor activities.

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Kayaking on Lough Derg near the town of Killaloe in County Clare, the birthplace of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland. Photo: Patrick Bolger, Failte Ireland. ©Clare County Council.

They include the Boyne Blueway located in County Meath, the Suir Blueway in County Tipperary, and the Lough Derg Blueway that stretches through Counties Clare, Galway, and Tipperary.

The development of blueways in Ireland capitalizes on the country’s natural resources for recreational purposes.

That includes the use of its lakes, canals, rivers, and coastal environments for a variety of outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.

The Blueway accreditation process is a partnership between Fáilte Ireland, Sport Ireland, Waterways Ireland, Sport Northern Ireland, and Tourism Northern Ireland.

Here’s a closer look at these three beautiful blueways in Ireland.

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The Boyne Blueway

For visitors staying in Dublin, access to the Boyne Blueway is only 45 kilometers (27 miles) from Dublin.

The blueway begins in the heritage town of Trim and ends at Bective Mill in County Meath.
Kayakers on the Boyne Blueway. Photo: Boyne Valley Activities Facebook.

Right now, 8 kilometers (5 miles) of the blueway are accessible where visitors can paddle downstream in about 2 hours.

Kayaks can be rented at Boyne Valley Activities. The cost per person is €50, with qualified instructors/guides on all trips.

A guided tour called Floating Through Time is also available and takes participants through the medieval walled town of Trim and then past ancient abbeys, religious ruins, and bell towers.

The cost is between €30 and €50 per person.

The Suir Blueway

This 53-km (32 miles) blueway is a two-hour drive from Dublin and one hour from Cork and is suitable for both kayaking and canoeing.

a river Blueways in Ireland
Photo courtesy of Suir Blueway Tipperary Facebook.

Visitors start their journey at either Cahir or Carrick-on-Suir in Co. Tipperary and enjoy the pastoral countryside as they journey along the River Suir.

Email [email protected] if you are interested in kayaking on this blueway.

All the towns and villages along this blueway are part of The Butler Trail, a walk dedicated to attractions in southeast Tipperary.

a castle blueways in Ireland
Cahir Castle in Co. Tipperary. Photo: Liam Murphy, Failte Ireland.

Some of them include the 12th-century Cahir Castle, once a stronghold of the powerful Butler family (who also occupied Kilkenny Castle); the Swiss Cottage, a folly that was built in 1810 (guided tours are available); the Main Guard in Clonmel, built as a courthouse in 1675, and Ormond Castle, to name a few.

The Lough Derg Blueway

This is the longest of the accredited blueways in Ireland at 160 kilometers long (99 miles).

people standing on paddles in the water Blueways in Ireland
Stand-up paddle boarding is a popular activity on the Lough Derg Blueway. Photo: Patrick Bolger, Failte Ireland.

This blueway is suitable for kayaking, canoeing, or stand-up paddleboarding.

Visitors can choose from different activities on various sides of the lough.

Some of those include walking tours of Killaloe and Nenagh, a stroll through the Portumna Forest Park, adventure sports on nearby Lough Allen, taking a cycle on an e-bike, and so much more.

Experienced canoers interested in going on their own adventure on Lough Derg can find more information here.

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