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Grand Canal Way

Trail Overview Details

Grade: Easy
Format: Linear
Trail Quality: **
County: Dublin, Kildare, Offaly
Category: Walking/Hiking Trails
Type: National Waymarked Trail
Length (Kms): 117.00
Climb (m): 0
Estimated time: 5 days
Start point: Lucan Road Bridge
Start point grid ref: O 029 323
End point: Shannon Harbour
End point grid ref: N 024 188
Nearest town to start: Lucan, Co Dublin
Ordnance survey map: OSI Discovery Series Sheets 47, 48, 49, 50 and 53* (*ca 3.3km to River Shannon)
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Facilities: Parking
At Start - limited space - do not to get locked in behind barrier at end of road beside Engineering firm
At End - space at Griffith Bridge and also at 36th Lock
Public transport: At Start: Bus to Shopping Centre in Lucan (about 2km off Way) and also to Milltown (about 1.5 km off Way) - Check timetables at Dublin Bus/.
At End: Limited bus service to Dublin (Monday to Friday only). Check timetables at
Bus Eireann.
Map guide available: Guide to the Grand Canal of Ireland - Waterways Ireland & Inland Waterways Association of Ireland


Yellow arrow on black background

Description of Trail

The Grand Canal was designed to connect Dublin, Ireland’s capital city westwards through the midlands with the River Shannon, and although construction work began in 1757, the waterway was not completed as far as the Shannon until 1804. It closed to commercial traffic in 1951, but in recent decades the canal has been restored for amenity use, and is well-frequented by pleasure craft of all kinds. The Grand Canal Way follows pleasant grassy towpaths, gravel and sometimes tarmac canal-side roads from Lucan Bridge near Adamstown in County Dublin 124km to Shannon Harbour on Ireland’s longest river. The route is an informal linear park punctuated by the locks that characterise canal technology, carefully restored surviving lock-keepers cottages, and the towns and villages whose existence is owed to the trade and commerce the canal brought in the 18th and 19th centuries. Much of the landscape through which the route passes has been untouched by modern agriculture and remains a linear oasis for the flora and fauna that was originally common throughout our countryside. The many towns and villages along the way provide walkers with accommodation possibilities along the route, and as public transport options are good, these places can act as starting and finishing points for those who want to sample only sections of the route.

Trail Map


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