Lough Derg Blueway (West) - Tuamgraney, Mountshannon and Scarrif

Tuamgraney image

Day 1


Visit St Cronan’s in Tuamgraney, a 10th Century Cathedral and the oldest continuously in use church in Ireland. Brian Boru, High King of Ireland 1002-1014, is recorded as having repaired St Cronan’s church and its long disappeared round tower.  Visitors to the building therefore enter through the same doorway as Brian Boru did over 1000 years ago. Walk to Reddan’s Pier where Tuamgraney village meets the Scarriff River where you will see the reinstated and refurbished hand cut stone of a traditional lime kiln.

Lunch in the nearby small pretty village of Tuamgraney at the highly regarded family friendly, Nuala’s Restaurant & Pub. You can also organise a takeaway picnic from Nuala’s, which you can devour in Tuamgraney Green.  Look out for the peculiar bedrock formation at the southern apex of the village green where the large oak growing directly out of the bedrock mound gives Tuamgraney its iconic appearance.

Drop into Wilde Irish Chocolates - this friendly little chocolate factory in the village of Tuamgraney, County Clare, and your kids will be in seventh heaven. Over 80 types of chocolates are made here, and the open plan production area means you can see the chocolate being created and packed. Entrance is free, with the added bonus of tasters along the way! At McKernans Woollen Mills you will see the machines, both modern and vintage, in use. Experience the intricacy and skill that goes into the production of the wonderful woven colourful cloths, scarves and blankets.

The wildness and beauty of this area has attracted a number of skilled artists.  Wasted Junky’s up-cycling salvage yard is a lot less strenuous and more creative than that other form of cycling.  Nathalie El Baba, Nicola Henley, Vivienne Bogan, Ian Kelly, offer a diverse range of crafts, paintings, bog oak sculptures and mosaics for gifts and take home memories. Soak up the creativity at Lynn Kenny’s fabulous studio in Ogonnelloe or call in advance to see if they have a workshop or class that you can join. Some of these artists offer workshops as well.

Scarriff and Mountshannon image

Day 2

Scarriff and Mountshannon

There’s a wonderful blue flag beach at Mountshannon if you fancy starting your visit with a splash. Or head to Derg Isle Adventure Centre just outside the village of Scarriff. Here you can learn to paddleboard, canoe or kayak along some purpose-built reed channels before heading out on the lake. You can also pack in a boat trip along the Scarriff River, an archery lesson, abseiling, or a zip lining experience while you are there.

To explore the area on foot get in touch with Clare Walking Tours who specialise in walking tours, holidays and short breaks in the East Clare region, on the shores of the Shannon River and Lough Derg. 

Refuel at the Garden Café in Scarriff - they grow the majority of their food in the community garden, with everything else being sourced locally. They have a wide selection of herbal teas, fair trade and organic coffee, and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.

Your visit won’t be complete without a meander at the quirky and beautiful Aistear Park in Mountshannon - make your way through its maze and along the paths overlooking the lake or travel along the labyrinth. 

Call down to the harbour and visit Gerard at Holy Island Tours to arrange a boat tour out to the island (Inis Cealtra).  Walk amongst its six ancient, ruined churches and round tower. Look out for the local White Tail Sea Eagles, which were reintroduced to the area in 2012.