Gently paddling amongst beautiful landscape
Gently paddling along the Boyne canal in a traditional Irish Currach is a really unique way to see this part of the Boyne Valley. Although my children are keen sailors, they felt it was like stepping back in time, as they glided along the canal taking in the beautiful landscape and listening to Ross Kenny’s stories about this ancient valley.
Ross moved to County Meath in 2015 and was surprised to discover there were no guided tours on the Boyne River. He’s had a love of water since his childhood, as he grew up by Loughshinny beach in North County Dublin. I spent my childhood summers on that very same beach, as my grandfather’s farm was in Loughshinny. Before starting Boyne Boats, he had a career as a sailing instructor and boat builder. He worked in Meitheal Mara, a community boat yard in Cork city for many years and he also built Currach’s for numerous film sets, such as Games of Thrones and Vikings.
The Boyne Navigation System
The Boyne Navigation System is a series of canals that were built along the River Boyne. Construction began in 1748 to connect the towns of Drogheda and Navan, however the canal system was never a commercial success. It was transferred into private ownership in 1915 and fell into disrepair over subsequent years. An Taisce purchased the canal system in 1969 for just £1 and the restoration of the canal has been ongoing ever since. A group of volunteers from the IWAI (Inland Waterways Association of Ireland) have now completed the first section of the canal from the sea lock, through the Battle of the Boyne at Oldbridge and all the way to Newgrange.
Back bone of the Boyne Valley
The Boyne River rises at Trinity Well in County Kildare and flows seventy miles through County Meath before reaching the Irish Sea at Mornington. It’s the back bone of the Boyne Valley and the source of over 5,000 years of history, as our ancestors settled along its banks before the pyramids in Egypt were even built! Brú na Bóinne is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tour of the passage tombs at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth are truly fascinating, where you can discover the significance of these sacred monuments.
The Boyne Valley has the most extraordinary number of megalithic monuments in all of Ireland. A visit to Brú na Bóinne is usually top of everyone’s list, but Ross has created an alternative experience for visitors. This unique and tranquil boat tour is like no other, where visitors can relax and enjoy the stunning landscape whilst listening to Ross’s stories from this part of Ireland’s Ancient East.