The three main river and river routes of the UK and Ireland

3. The Shannon River

Ideal for nature lovers
The leisurely pace of a boating holiday lends itself perfectly to charming villages and the gentle meanders of the River Shannon in central Ireland, the longest river in the British Isles, and the Shannon-Erne Canal, which connects the Rivers Shannon and Ernest. Here, nature lovers can expect hours of awe-inspiring scenery and tranquil waterways teeming with elusive creatures, such as kingfishers, golden plovers and even bottlenose dolphins around the estuary.

From the Le Boat base in Carrick-on-Shannon, it’s just a 30-minute ride to Lough Key, widely regarded as one of Ireland’s most beautiful lakes. On its shore, the 350-hectare Lough Key Forest and Activity Park in Boyle is renowned for its outstanding vistas (including Castle Island), trails through native forests, bog gardens and historic ruins, as well as their treetop walk. Bullock Island, near Shannon Harbour, is another natural site where the summer months provide exceptional bird watching, hosting migrating winchats, sedge and grasshopper warblers, lapwings, redhorses and curlews . The area is also known for its fishing, so be sure to get yourself a permit if a little angling is on your bucket list.

Recommended travel time: seven nights
Starting price: £2,599 for Horizon, £1,079 for other boats, for seven nights
Boat type: Horizon 3 (up to seven seats) in Le Boat’s Premier fleet

plan it

It is not necessary to have a license or previous experience to go on a boating holiday. All Le Boat customers receive a comprehensive briefing and practical demonstration before departure. The company also offers comprehensive regional guides, which detail approximate cruising time between ports of call, practical information based on 50 years of experience in preparing for departure, and support from a dedicated core team.

The largest fleet of houseboats in the world, each Le Boat ship is equipped with comfortable cabins, hot water, showers, toilets, dining tables and fully equipped kitchens.

Click here to find out more about Le Boat’s French routes

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