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Getting out on Northern Ireland's Canoe Trails

Posted on February 24, 2010 @ 12:11 PM in Canoeing

Getting out on Northern Ireland’s Canoe Trails

Northern Ireland was the first country in Europe to develop official canoe trails. has been delighted with the success of these trails as not only have they won awards – most importantly they have attracted people from all over the world.

But don’t just take our opinion. Following the launch of the Strangford Lough Canoe Trail in July 2008, Canoe and Kayak Magazine UK described Northern Ireland as ‘one of the must go canoeing destinations in Europe.’

Other advocates include:

 BBC Countryfile Magazine 

 The Independent Newspaper

 Canoeists on Song of the Paddle Forum 


If this is not inspiration enough then each trail has its own section on with trail guides, camping details, accommodation, canoe hire etc.


But how do you make Northern Ireland your ultimate canoeing experience?

How you venture out onto the canoe trails obviously depends on your canoeing ability but don’t worry there are plenty of options:


Learn from the best…

Learning to Canoe on Lough Neagh


If you are interested in getting out and enjoying the canoe trails but don’t know one end of a canoe from the other then why not take some lessons.  Northern Ireland has a great range of canoeing providers  who can teach you all the necessary skills so you can make the most of future canoeing adventures.  Even if you want to just have a go before embarking on a course then why not check out our calendar of canoeing events  which can give you that perfect introduction.


Follow the leader…


Canoeing on Lower Bann Canoe Trail

If you don’t have the time for lessons or you’re just mad keen to get out there then why not sign up for a guided trip.  This option allows you to combine the local knowledge and safety provided by a qualified guide.  These trips can be booked by individuals joining together as a group or why not get your friends or family together.  Quite often these trips involve a night camping under the stars. Check out our range of day and short breaks


Just add water…


Camping on Lough Erne Canoe Trail

Maybe you already know how to canoe but don’t want the hassle of organising the trip.  Then contact a canoeing provider who can arrange an itinerary, rent equipment, drop off and collection.  All you have to do is turn up and start your adventure. The majority of providers will ask for a minimum British Canoe Union Three Star Award (or equivalent) for the craft you wish to hire.  Alternatively many will carry out a short pre-hire practical test.


Go it alone…


Kayaking on Strangford Lough

If you’ve got the knowledge and the gear then will provide all the information you need to plan your trip.  Each trail also has its own waterproof guide which can be ordered free online.


With so many options available why not explore one of our canoe trails this year. Each canoe trail is unique and will allow you explore a different part of Northern Ireland’s spectacular countryside.



Chris Scott
Chris Scott

When not boring everyone about his little kids’ latest antics, Chris enjoys sailing and cycling, if only to offset his love of eating out and Marlborough Cabernet Sauvignon..

4 comments have been posted in reply to this article

Posted by International Student Travel Insurance on February 15, 2011 @ 2:55 AM

This really looks like fun. I did not realize that there were so many canoe trails in Northern Ireland. I guess I did not think this of this as a canoe place. However, my kids love to canoe. We will have to check this out.

Posted by Camping Holiday on March 1, 2011 @ 8:24 AM

I have always wanted to improve my canoeing skills. I owned a canoe once, but sadly it spent most of the time in my back courtyard and became the source of much play with the children of the household.

Posted by spelletjes on May 2, 2011 @ 11:39 PM

Gorgeous views you have! There is no where to go for walks as beautiful as that around where I live. You are very lucky.

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