Lough Erne, Ireland

This is a trip we did in the summer of 2009, we followed a canoe trail provided by www.cani.org.uk and planned to follow the entire route. The Lough consists of two parts, Upper and Lower, with the Lower opening up to over 6 or 7 miles wide.

The recommended start is Belturbet in the Republic, but we managed to start higher at Butlers Bridge. For a small fee we were able to leave our car at a new canoeing venture, the Carratraw Canoe Centre, www.carratrawcanoecentre.com

We left the canoe centre and paddled down a small river to the first part of the Lough, at first we missed the turn off, but retraced our steps and then onto Belturbet. We saw virtually no one and very little noise, the whole region is sparsely populated. After Belturbet, there were a few cruisers but people were very friendly and slowed down so as not create a wash.

The river was quite wide and occasionally opens out into small bays. Approaching Belturbet, go underneath the Bridge using the Central or left hand arch. there is a small but very shootable weir here.

We now followed the river down stream and took a man made short cut through to a wider part of the Lough. the vegetation was very lush and still very quiet. As the Lough got wider, a bit of wind sprang up and we had to paddle harder, aiming for Crom Castle. You go past a small island with a turret on. Keeping right we went past Crom castle (ruined), where there is a commercial campsite, and onto to Crom Estate. After looking at the estate, we paddled back to a different campsite, which turned out to be a jetty, with a small car park and room for one tent. This was called Trail Bay on the guide, or Derryvore on the OS map. No facilities except for a picnic bench and a cold wtaer tap on the jetty.

The wind died down and there was no noise, no rumble of traffic and no street lights. superb.


Day One
The start looking downstream
Finding the right exit
Sunshine and showers.
Very quiet, no one else on the river
A solitary fisherman
Belturbet, shops etc.
Looking back up stream at Belturbet
New holiday develpment
Tower on the Lough
Crom Castle
Trail jetty, Derryvore
A Peaceful evening.

Day Two