Stories from the Waterways: Athy Boat Tours - IntoKildare
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Stories from the Waterways: Athy Boat Tours

Enjoy a blissfully peaceful day out with Athy Boat Tours, the boat tours through the canals of Athy are a beautiful way to explore County Kildare in all its glory.

A great community initiative, Athy Boat Tours takes people for a historical ride down the Barrow Line, through the old lock gate. Owned and operated by Athy Enterprise Centre, any profits that are made on the barge go toward the upkeep of the boats and to fund other community projects in the Athy area.

The main initiative of the tours are to introduce as many people as possible to the joys of the waterways in the Thoroughbred County.


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One of the key attributes of the Burrow lock that makes it so unique are the historical elements – the lock has been the exact same for nearly 300 years, when construction started in the 1750s. Unlike other locks like the Shannon where all gates and entries are electronic, the Burrow lock gate is still manually winded up and down, giving visitors the authentic feel of the barges back in the old days.

Thanks to Athy Boat Tours and the upkeep of the canals, the waterways of Athy has seen an increase in tourism of over 500% in the last five to six years! The Barrow Blueway initiative being proposed in Athy at the moment (a Waterways Ireland initiative that would see a 112km walking and cycling track stretching from Kildare to Carlow) will further increase tourism on the canals. With the introduction of the Blueway, the Athy Enterprise Centre hope to see the canals open up to a whole new spectrum of tourists, with improved services and entrances to the canals for the disabled and persons with mobility issues.

Shot by Merchant Gate Films, this short video clip recently published on YouTube gives you an insight into what it’s like to take a leisurely trip down the canals of Kildare. Have a watch yourself and think of Athy Boat Tours next time you want to really experience the all the beauty and nature Kildare has to offer!