Boarding 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. Here you will have a safety briefing and get fitted with your lifejacket.
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.
Our trip takes you past the ancient forest of Portglenone, under Portglenone’s beautiful stone bridge and onwards along the scenic and peaceful River Bann. The tranquil atmosphere is enhanced by the remote location far from roads and civilisation.
Finally at the end of this journey we come to Hutchinsons Quay, where there is a listed double lock, the only one of its kind on River Bann. We stop here for a short walk on this man made island and can see the flood defences before returning to Toome.
Picnic tables and toilet facilities are available.