Get the train from Dublin's Heuston Station and in 30 minutes you will arrive at our operating base in Sallins Harbour.
Your instructor will be there to greet you and after a short safety talk your will be underway on your Barge Trip.
The Grand Canal from Sallins to Robertstown passes through rich farmland and contains some of the most fascinating feats of 18th century canal engineering.
Before long you will come to one of the canal’s special features as the Leinster Aqueduct comes into view. It is a narrow channel crossing a major landscape feature as the river Liffey flows eastward below you. This is a popular part of the canal for walkers and you will always be treated to a friendly wave or even a chat as you make your way towards the first lock at Digby Bridge.
Just before Digby Bridge keep an eye on the right hand side of the tow-path and you will see another engineering wonder that was an elaborate overflow system known locally as the Four Pots.
Continue on through the 17th and 18th locks at Landenstown and you have reached the summit level of the Grand Canal, 279 feet above the old Ordnance Survey sea-mark in Dublin Bay. As you travel on the summit level you will notice a change in the water as you cruise on clear spring-water as the summit fills from the freshwater springs of the Pollardstown Fen.
For the next 3.5km you pass through a narrow section of Canal with rich foliage on both sides teeming with wildlife. Keep to the right on this section as the left hand side of the canal bank is collapsed at several points from cows drinking the water. Once past Healy’s bridge another vista comes into view.
For the first time since leaving Sallins the canal is carried on a high rampart as you cross the Bog of Moods. Passing through bogs was one of the biggest challenges facing the 18th century engineers. Canal historians record that the entire canal project nearly failed over the 2.5km section between Healy’s Bridge and Robertstown.
As you approach Robertstown an imposing pink colored building comes into view. It is one of four hotels along the route built by the Grand Canal Company in the 18th century for canal barge passengers. In the harbor you can moor the barge and enjoy a canal bank picnic and visit one of the tree village pubs on the waterfront.
Depending on time, you may be able to go up to Lowtown (home to over 100 boats and barges,1.5km from the village) before turning to commencing your return journey to Sallins. Return trains to Dublin City center are available 7 days a week.
Last updated 2015-01-14