This scenic River Trip commences at the Lock-Keepers Cottage on Toome canal
Meet your Skipper at the Lock-Keepers Cottage on Toome Canal, a Waterways Heritage Centre, cafe and community hub. If you want to bring a picnic you can order ‘Treat Boxes’ from the Lock Keeper’s Cottage in advance.
We set off from the pontoon outside the Cottage. This is the location from which Game of Throne’s filming was organised on the Toome Canal with Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lanister and Iain Glenn as Jorah Mormont. See our Game of Thrones Tours for behind the scenes pictures using RIB Endurance as a film and safety boat.
Passing under the bridge at Toome we see the Eel Fishery from a different perspective. There are always hoards of Herons here waiting for a chance to get a tasty meal.
Going under the Blue Bridge at Toome and around the bends we glide into the mostly unseen Lough Beg which is a stunning wildlife reserve. Church Island is also 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”.
Listen and watch for the famed Whooping Swans of Lough Beg who grace us with their presence year and year. The tranquil atmosphere is enhanced by the remote location far from roads and civilisation.
From Newferry we follow the calm and meandering River Bann past the World War 2 airfield munitions dump where the American Airforce stored munitions safely away from the airfield in fear of a Luftwaffe airstrike.
Finally our trip takes you past the ancient forest of Portglenone, where some of the oldest trees in Ireland reside, under Portglenone’s beautiful stone bridge and onwards to the Wild Duck bar and restaurant where refreshments can be had.