A boat trip from Portglenone is a fantastic way to explore the River Bann. Our 90 minute boat trip from Portglenone to Lough Beg and back will take you south on the Lower Bann River on a scenic journey, our local guide will share their knowledge and stories of the local area to keep you entertained along the way.
Places of Interest along the Lower River Bann
Along the relaxing journey you will pass under the stone bridge of Portglenone, built in 1853, it was designed by Charles Lanyon, who also designed Queens University, the stones came from Esler’s Quarry in the Largy, just a few miles down the road.
Just beyond the bridge you will see the recently installed fishing stands along the Fishermans Walk, which is across the river from Portglenone Forest – a great place to visit after your boat trip. Portglenone forest has a number of short walking trails and is very well known for its spectacular carpets of bluebells during the month of May, well worth a visit.
Church Island on Lough Beg
As the boat leisurely cruises along the river, you will pass through Newferry, and into Lough Beg, where you will see Ballyscullion Park in the distance. The final point of interest along the journey is Church Island, which is steeped in history, our guide will share details of the ruins of the island’s old church with no spire! The spire was built beside the church for Bishop Harvey in the late 1700’s who wanted a view of a spire from his dwelling in Bellaghy.
It is thought that the ruins of the church date back to the time of St. Patrick who used the River Bann to navigate the island to meet with Taoide to found an early Christian settlement. On the island is a stone known as the Bullaun Stone featuring a hole that holds water. The Bullaun Stone is most likely associated with the first monastic settlement, however local anecdote has it that the hole in the stone was made by St. Patrick as he knelt to pray.
The boat will make its way back to Portglenone where you will disembark. Portglenone is a bustling town with lots of places to enjoy great food and hospitality.
Where to Eat & Drink in Portglenone (based on a local poll):
- Brunch – Fullan’s Food Hall
- Coffee & treats – The Lab
- Lunch – The Rose Cafe
- Dinner – The Wild Duck
- Drinks – The Rusty Stag @ Pat’s Bar
Activities / Events in Portglenone
- Take a stroll through Portglenone Forest, Top Wood or Fisherman’s Walk
- Relax in the marina or take the kids to the play park there
- Visit the Bluebell Festival (usually in May)
- Enjoy Gig’n The Bann (usually in July)
- Explore the Sunflower Field near Portglenone (usually in August/September)
- Get wet at The Big Splash (usually in September)