- Name Grand Canal Way (GCW)
- Length of trail 124 km, 77 miles
- Length in days 5 days
- Start of trail Lucan Bridge near Adamstown
- End of trail Shannon Harbour
- Traildino grading LW, Light walk, countryside walk
Grand Canal Way, Dublin - Shannon Harbour, 124 km, 6 days
The Grand Canal was built in the 18th century and connects the east to the west, the Irish Sea to the Atlantic. From Dublin, the canal starts off from river Liffey with three rather dilapidated locks. Lock after lock it heads west till it hits River Shannon right in the centre of Ireland. River Shannon in turn was and is navigable all the way down to Limerick and hence to the North Atlantic.
Nowadays, the canal is used by tourists and it carries all kinds of vessels for fun. At some part, the Barrow Canal branches off to the south: another long distance trail.
For the lovers of history and rural life, this trail offers six good days of lazy stroll over towpaths and small roads. Everything is still there and works: the locks, cottages, feeders, even aquaducts. History becomes present here: imagine how the engineers had to struggle and the ingenious solutions they came up with. It took some fifty years to complete the canal, with the Bog of Allen causing most pains.
The countryside is quite unimpaired by modern life. Not that many accommodation, alas. Good pick.