Royal Canal – Walks

NOTE: Please may I ask, if you find this page helpful in planning your journey along the Royal, would you leave a comment. If there is something you feel I should add then please pass on the information. I would love to hear from you… thanks!

28 APR 2017 – Here’s one of the latest RTE Tracks and Trails RC programs

Mar 2015 – 

I’ve really missed walking and enjoying interaction with the good folk who enjoy their exploits along the Royal Canal in the last year. Hopefully I’ll be able to be a little more active this summer! Before we begin though, here’s a photo from Dec 2014…  a few buildings along the Kilcock Harbour on a still evening…

Hometown lights... a bit of Kilcock reflects in the Royal Canal... festive!

10 Mar 2014 –

I’ve again neglected this page for almost a year. Much has happened in the year gone by. A new focus has been established for the Royal Canal. It has become past of the Dublin to Galway cycle and walking route. Much has been said and written about this development. Feel free to do a search, you’ll see opinion from many different folk but as a whole it should help raise the profile and use of the canal.

Here’s a few links… the reading is interesting and varied so do read a few different views before you make up your mind if it’s a good idea or not…,+Ireland,44230,52335#msg-52335

With spring making an effort to make an appearance I’ve noted Royal Canal hits rising again. Folk doing a bit of planning? I do enjoy when the blog gets used by folk looking to learn something about the Royal. I would like the odd comment, the odd suggestion. However, after last year’s disastrous attempt at doing a walk from Dublin to the Shannon I’m also itching to set off again. Soon I’ll be in position to do another walk and to update information. For now though, I’ll leave you with a few photos taken last year…

The HBA visits Kilcock, early morning 14 April 2013

I’m sure we’ll all have a great year along the canals and rivers of Ireland again this year… whatever you do, boating, walking fishing, cycling or canoeing… be safe and have fun!

4E passing croke Park, Royal Canal Dublin, Ireland

29 Mar 13 – 

I can’t believe that it’s been more than a year since I last updated this page! Folk who visit must think I’m neglecting my duty, no… love, of the Royal Canal. I have done quite a few walks around the Kilcock area… aka from the 16th Lock either eastward toward Maynooth or westward toward Enfield. I will update the page to include some of the posts added in 2012 and 2013.

Firstly tough… for a different perspective on my Royal Canal Life… click on the thread I’ve had running on the IWAI Forum for about two years… there is also very enjoyable interaction with boaters and other interesting folk to be found there… along with photos and banter!,32990

To get the feel for the new set of updates I’ll start with a photo taken a few days ago… Kilcock Harbour on a barmy late March 2013 spring day…

Kilcock Harbour as seen from beneath the umbrella...

Please click on any of the links to read the post…

30 Dec 11 –

Before the year is out… and before I forget to include the two blog posts I’ve ‘stolen’ from my first IWN article… well actually, my first hard copy article ever… here’s the links to those two posts… I hope they summarise and remind of a great Royal summer…

13 Jul 11 –

Since the start of my Royal Canal walks much has happened… I think this page can become a strong feature of my blogging experience… so much so that I may even consider starting a totally new blog relating only to the Irish waterways… MF, he of 31B, suggested something the other day… why not walk the Green and Silver? That may be only an idea at this stage… let me first get to complete the Royal Canal!!

20 Oct 11 –

I have made it! I reached Richmond harbour and the 46th Lock yesterday afternoon… whoopy! I’m quite chuffed with myself! It’s good to be able to say I have achieved something during these difficult days… makes me realise there is a lot of positive out there!

Sign attached to Footy’s Bridge… sort of sums it all up… feet and RC way… walk!

21 Oct 11 –

I’ve had to split the RC Life page… looks to me only 25 links are allowed per page… so, I’ll leave RC Life dedicated to all the walks… on the new Royal Canal II page you’ll find the boats… the wildlife and other bits and pieces…

I do hope you enjoy your visit…

Lock 17… Fern’s or Ferrin’s Lock in operation…

14 MAY 11 –

Why not keep all the Royal Canal posts together? I’m hoping to be able to, with the help of junior son and maybe even some of the other family members, walk and document the whole route from the Liffey in Dublin to the Shannon this summer.

I will do it as time and the weather allows. In sections! You surely didn’t think I was going to do it in one go… no?

When all is done I should have quite a decent route map… so, for future reference… why not have the whole route in one place… The entries are in the order I completed the posts and not sequential so the headings should help navigate the page… and even maybe the canal!!

Let’s start where it all began… at Ferrin’s Lock… (Click on any of the blue links to open the post… I hope you enjoy the reading.)

Lock 17 (Ferrin’s) to the Boyne Aqueduct (East to West)

Lock 18 (Thomastown) to Furey’s (West to East)

Lock 17 (Fern’s) to Maynooth (West to East)

Thomastown (Lock 18) to Neads Bridge (East to west… and back)

Nead’s Bridge to Mullingar (Part 1) East to west

The 12th Lock to Leixlip Confey – East to West

Leixlip Confey to Maynooth Harbour – East to West

The Liffey to the 6th Lock – East to West

The 6th lock to the 12th Lock – East to West

Nead’s Bridge to Mullingar Harbour – Part II – East to West

Mullingar Harbour to the Ballinea Bridges – East to West

Ballinea Bridges to Abbeyshrule – East to West

Abbeyshrule to Lock 40 – East to West

Lock 40 to Lyneen Bridge – East to West

Lyneen Bridge to Richmond Harbour – East to West

The End… or, the beginning of the end?

The western end of the Royal Canal… Richmond Harbour… bliss!!


27 Responses to Royal Canal – Walks

  1. The Royal Canal really seems magnificent! Do the boats carry passengers or only freight?


  2. Owen says:

    I’ve found this site very useful. I live in Maynooth and have been running on the Royal Canal towpath for years. I’ve recently started biking it too (covering longer distances) and the information here has been useful. Thank you.


    • aj vosse says:

      Hi Owen, thanks for your kind feedback! I think some of the info is in need of an update but it’s great to hear the page is of use to users of the Royal Canal! Keep enjoying the canal… it is such a useful feature. Cheers for now, AJ


      • Owen says:

        Agreed. It’s a fantastic amenity. The Royal Canal Greenway project will hopefully increase it’s year-round accessibility.


        • aj vosse says:

          Let’s hope they will get it right… there’s been so much rumour and delay. The Greenway can only boost tourism and the pleasure of the locals!


  3. Anonymous says:

    Very useful, good work


  4. natuurfreak says:

    Magnificent reflections in the water


    • aj vosse says:

      Thanking you! Yes… the canals offer many photo opportunities but I’m sure you’ve well used to taking photos along canals there in the Netherlands! 😀


  5. We were in Ireland for a month last October and although we covered all of the ‘Coastal Causeway’ and the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ we didn’t get inland much – I’d love to go back to Dublin and do some of these walks.


    • aj vosse says:

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, there are some beautiful sections of inland waterways to visit. I have walked the two that link Dublin to the Shannon and a few sections of other waterways… the history alone is enough to get one going again and again! Do come back… you’ll enjoy the walks! 😉

      On 22 March 2016 at 17:31, Ouch!! My back hurts!! wrote:



  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and generosity in sharing your knowledge about the Royal Canal. I’m just an armchair enthusiast but it is great that you folk promote the wonders of the Irish countryside. Best of luck


    • aj vosse says:

      Hi Josie,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting! Yep, I believe the inland waterways are special. In fact… they are far too under utilised! The info on the page is getting a little dated now… it is time I get walking the Royal again! Let’s hoe the spring and summer are good and that my health allows me to do so!

      Thanks again, regards, Vossie

      On 19 March 2016 at 08:08, Ouch!! My back hurts!! wrote:



  7. dunelight says:

    It is such a big world…I did not know that these canals where there. So, there you have it, you have opened my world to something I did not even know existed when I got out of bed this morning.

    I have a multitude of return visits to various blogs to get to tonight but I am going to set this aside on my tool bar so I can explore these canals further. Thanks!


    • aj vosse says:

      Thank you for your very positive comment! Yes, the Royal Canal is a special place. There are many posts to read so enjoy them when you have a few spare moments!! Thanks!! 😉

      On 10 January 2016 at 02:55, Ouch!! My back hurts!! wrote:



  8. Wonderful post. The reflective photos are just delicious.


    • aj vosse says:

      TA! I should really re-walk the canal in the next summer and update the whole page!! Things have changed along the way! 😉

      On 28 November 2015 at 21:46, Ouch!! My back hurts!! wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh that is a splendid idea. I have done that in the past and as I unpack my things from our move, I keep hoping to find ‘the next season’ photos of places.
        The canal area is so full of seasonal potential…

        Liked by 1 person

  9. litadoolan says:

    This is super resource. I’m a big fan of Galway so hopefully one day I will have the chance to do this walk.


  10. Stephen says:

    Just finished Royal Canel walk over 5 days in July 2015. Accommadation is indeed an issue, you need to plan your trip taking into account where you are sure to find accommadation unless you are going to take a tent. You can be assured accommadation in Maynooth, Mullingar, Abbeysheul and Clondara. In between Maynooth and Mullingar I would recommend a visit to Morans Bar in the Hill of the Down. Nice folks and were able to find accommodation for us in the locality. Surprised to hear only 3 barges have used the Royal Canel in 2015 although looking at the weeds on the bottom of the canal in places boat owners will not the chance of damaging their engines. The standard of paths for walking varied from county to county. The worst pathways were in Westmeath and Longford, the best Dublin, Kildare and Meath. If you are looking for a challenge its certainly a good option and easily accessible. For those of you going to give it a shot best of luck and enjoy the experience. The key memory we will take from our trip is that the old Ireland is still out there and there are plenty of decent folk still around.
    Stephen – Dublin 2015


    • aj vosse says:

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for your update! It’s good to know folk are still walking the canal. It’s really a shame that so few boats are using it. That could spell trouble in the future as I’m sure Waterways Ireland won’t allocate resources if the boaters don’t use the canal.

      May I please ask, did you used this blog during the preparation for your walk and if so, was it of any use or is it too dated? I may be walking the canal in September as a charity challenge and if I do I can update the page and will most certainly contact you for information, if that’s OK?

      Thanks again for taking the time to send feedback!

      Cheers, AJ 😉

      On 28 July 2015 at 19:22, Ouch!! My back hurts!! wrote:



      • Stephen says:

        No problem AJ if I can help you I will. I mainly used the official maps and distance charts for preparation. The photos from your site and the episode of tracks on trails on RTE where they went from Mullingar to Clondara was the stimilus to have a go.


        • aj vosse says:

          Thanks Stephen… I do enjoy when my canal pages get positive use and response! It’s really such an easy walk, many more should get out and appreciate the outdoors!! 😉


  11. reginaldo says:

    hello. congrats for your page. could you tell me if there are some spots for fishing? I love fishing, catch and release, mainly for predators fish. I will stay in Jury s hotel in parnell street in August.
    Thank you a lot.


  12. Anonymous says:

    Great site, I have planned to walk the Royal Canal this summer but can’t seem to find details about accommodation along the way, are there campsites or hostels? Also can a walker start at Spencer dock or do they have to join at Newcomen bridge. Thanks again for this site.


    • aj vosse says:

      Hi T… I’m going to begin with a thanks for the compliment.

      The RC is a fantastic walk but alas, I believe you have stumbled on the biggest problem. No, actually… you have crashed into the biggest problem. Where do you sleep while walking the canal?

      Guest houses along the way? Hotels? On barges? I don’t really know if there will be an answer just yet. I’m working on an idea but it will still be a while before I can offer an answer. For now, I would suggest yuo do the camping trick. A tent and sleeping bag will do. IF, and only IF, you want to live with the vagaries of the Irish weather.

      The only other option? To walk it like I did, a section at a time and then go home to a good, warm, dry bed. Not ideal, yep… commuting is not the preferable option.

      Tell you what… why don’t you contact me? If you feel like roughing it and walking the whole canal in one go, I’ve been toying with a similar idea.

      Walk a day’s worth and sleep in the shelter of a bridge.. eat along the way, in pubs or carry food. There are options if you want to do the walk in a less conventional way.

      OK, almost enough said. Yes, you begin at the Liffey… walk along the restored bit of Spencer dock, then divert around… if you’re not as lucky as I’ve been to be allowed through. Actually, come to think of it… I may be one of the few who have been over, under and around Effin Bridge… by rail, barge and foot…

      Grand, I’ll say cheers for now. have FUN!! 😉


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