In 1813 riders of Passage Boat Horses that towed barges along the Grand Canal were ordered to wear a special livery including “blue frock coat, scarlet waist-coat, leather breeches and boots”.
We’re a little less formal today and motor power has replaced horsepower, but we still cruise at the same gentle pace of circa 4 miles per hour from the heydays of canal travel, on our way from Sallins to Leinster Aqueduct.
Chatting with skipper Ger Loughlin en route, you will hear plenty more fascinating tales of canal history: the differing experiences of rich and poor, and the heavy horses – and occasional donkey – that once plied the towpaths, hauling boats full of passengers or cargoes of grain, Guinness, turf and the like.
Then at Leinster Aqueduct, one of the finest examples of 18th-century canal engineering, you can even have a go at pulling the barge yourselves – you might be surprised by what you can do. (A great photo opportunity, especially for children!) Relax all the way back to Sallins…
Sallins to Leinster Aqueduct (return)
Duration: 1 hour
Departs: 1 pm, 2.15 pm and 3.30 pm
Price: Adults: €13.50 – Children: €9 (Under 16 yrs). Family Ticket (2 adults, 2 children) – €40
Children: A barge trip is fun for all ages. Small children will be given a lifejacket on boarding and children must be supervised at all times by a parent/guardian.
Get the entire barge exclusive for your group for €135. Please contact us with your preferred date for exclusive private charter hire.
MV Amo is a restored traditional canal barge and is licensed by the Department of Transport and Tourism for 12 passengers. There are outdoor seats on the open decks at the bow and stern and it has a very comfortable interior with ample seating, toilet facilities, wood burning stove and a bar severing a selection of local craft beers and wines. Scheduled Cruises operate from March to October and advance booking is essential.