Church Island Boat Tour

Getting off the Beaten Path in Seamus Heaney Country

Discover Church Island Loughbeg

Boarding at the Pontoon at Newferry

Your Skipper will greet you at Newferry, conduct a safety briefing and fit you with your lifejacket.  To explore Lough Beg and perform a beach landing on Church Island we use a specialised small shallow draft vessel, a Whaly 500R.


From Newferry we glide into the mostly unseen Lough Beg which is a stunning wildlife reserve.  Our boat allows us to explore this beautiful reserve without disturbing the wildlife around us.

Listen and watch for the celebrated Whooping Swans of Lough Beg who grace us with their presence year after year.

Church Island

Situated in the middle of Lough Beg is Church Island, a small mound of land accessible by shallow draft boat.

Church Island is a treat to see, where there is a church without a spire and a spire without a church.  Immortalised in Seamus Heaney’s poem “The Strand at Lough Beg”:

“Where you weren’t known and far from what you knew:
The lowland clays and waters of Lough Beg,
Church Island’s spire, its soft treeline of yew”.

The church here, called Inis Taoide, is over 1000 years old and is reputed to have been visited by St. Patrick.  It is a well known local feature and still a site of pilgrimage today.

Here we perform a beach landing on the island, where you can spend time exploring, relaxing, or simply soaking in the atmosphere.  We can bring tea and biscuits but you are welcome to bring your own picnic or order a Treat Box from the Lock Keeper’s Cottage at Toome.

“We had a lovely time on the boat with Tim. Couldn’t believe how beautiful Lough Beg is and it’s right on our door step. Loved seeing the swans and the herons and Tim was great entertainment.”

Rachel G.

“Me and my family had a great day, amazing sights right on our doorstep. Tim was full of local knowledge and had plenty of craic too. Highly recommend this for a fun and different day out.”

Fiona M.
Beach landing Whaly

+44 (0) 7845 370231

call or text Lynn to book or make enquiries

Discover Abhainn Cruises Trips by Interest

Seeking a memorable day out? Would you like to explore World Heritage Sites without the crowds?  Our bespoke boat tours offer you a chance to have a unique experience, see hidden gems, take photographs at inaccessible locations, see our sea-life in its natural habitat and appreciate the beauty and history that is part of our Northern Irish Heritage.

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Swans, otters, herons…