Immerse yourself in the legends of Lough Neagh
Your experience begins at Antrim Loughshore Park.
Here your Skipper will be waiting to give your group a safety briefing and fit you with a life-jacket. Once on the water you will cruise into Antrim Bay and begin your journey exploring the legendary spirit of Lough Neagh.
Lough Neagh is the largest freshwater lake in Ireland, one of 12 lakes in Ireland. No wonder there are many stories involving it, particularly with how it was created. Your storytelling Skipper will entertain you with creation stories, tales of the warring giants Fionn Mc Cumhaill and Bennadonner, magical horses, overflowing wells, mermaids, witches and even a magic cow. There is a wealth of ancient folklore connected to Lough Neagh and the people who lived there.
You will travel through the beautiful and tranquil waters of the lough, captivated by its rugged natural beauty and inspired by its ancient connections. This unspoilt haven has been a spiritual sanctuary for many, a source of life, a place for adventure and perseverance. On its Northern shores lies Cranfield, a secluded bay which hosts a 13th-century Irish church at Churchtown Point. It is reputed that St. Olcán blessed this well with healing properties and that Olcán is buried at Cranfield Church in earth brought from Rome. This ancient and hidden spiritual site is privy to many local Lough Neagh secrets and myths.
The magical well is purported to hold gypsum crystals, known locally as ‘amber pebbles’, which were also thought to have healing properties. It was believed that they protected women in childbirth; fishermen from drowning; and homes from fire and burglary.
Believers bathe their bodies with a rag dipped in the well, followed by prayers and finally the rag is tied to one of the trees the belief being that as the rag disintegrates so the affliction will disappear. The tree is covered in rags and ribbons to this day.
This tranquil and scenic place also has a wealth of wild fowl and rabbits and exploring this area will enhance your experience, feeling a connection to Lough Neagh, its shores, its stories, its past and its people.
Back on the water you will be taken to view the famous architectural and historic site Shane’s Castle. The legends and myths of this castle are notorious, retold countless times and never losing lustre. You will be entertained and enthralled by tales of Vikings, Kings of Ireland, banshees, and curses.
Your tour will finish with a circumnavigation of the World War Two Torpedo Platform at Antrim, now a bird sanctuary; a piece of our built history repurposed and surviving, a reflection of the perseverance of the spirit of the people of Lough Neagh.