The Journey

Click the buttons below to see a map of each stage in the journey down The Royal Canal.

  • The Auld Triangle

  • The Deep Sinking

  • The Long Level

  • Reaching The Summit

  • Forgotten Road

  • The Journey's End

Episode One - “The Auld Triangle”

The Liffey › Sherrif Street › Glasnevin › Castleknock › Blanchardstown

Dick Warner meets the crew of 'Rambler'. In this first episode he and the crew travel through the Liffey Sea Lock up through Sheriff Street. In Glasnevin cemetery Dick pays his respects to one of Ireland's greatest heroes Michael Collins and his darling fiancée Kitty Kiernan. His friend Ken Whelan takes him fly fishing in Finglas and after a long days' travelling, he and the Rambler crew make it over the intricate M50 interchange and on to the 12th Lock at Blanchardstown.

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Episode Two - The Deep Sinking

Blancharstown › Leixslip › Maynooth › Kilcock

Dick and the crew of Rambler struggle through the Deep Sinking from Blanchardstown to Coolmine. This is a fearsome section of the Royal Canal haunted by the lives of the sixteen crewmen who lost their lives when the Dublin Longford Evening Passenger barge capsized in 1845. Dick worries over Rambler's hull as the crew winch and haul her under Louisa Bridge. Dick visits the splendid environs of the Duke of Leinster's former residence - Carton House and see some white-clawed crayfish. Traveling on, at the 14th Lock he meets some real canal life, the charismatic musician Jenny Wren invites him to visit her barge and serenades him with a song she has written for him.

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Episode Three - The Long Level

Enfield › Longwood › Hill Of Down › Thomastown

Dick and the crew of Rambler enter the Long Level - the stretch of the Royal Canal between the seventeenth and eighteenth locks that's 32 kilometres long. We begin in Cloncurry, where Dick visit's the grave of Teresa Brayton. Dick stops in the quiet environs of Enfield Harbour and then continues over the newly restored Blackwater Aqueduct, stopping at Furey's Pub in Moyvalley for the night. Dick and the crew travel over another spectacular aqueduct at the River Boyne where they spot some Kingfishers. At 'Hill of Down' the crew are surprised with a barbecue from the friendly local community and leave fed and watered toward the nearby bogland. Saluting the empty shells of the Leech barges, Dick stops in Thomastown for a quick round of Drive In Bingo.

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Episode Four - Reaching The Summit

Thomastown › Riverstown › Mullingar › Ballinea ›Coolnahay

Dick and the crew of Rambler begin ascending the 8 locks (18-25) that separate them from the canal's summit level. Once there it will be all downhill to the Shannon. We begin in Riverstown, Co. Westmeath where Dick explores the intriguing and abandoned railway station at Killucan. Once on the summit level, Dick and the crew enter another rock cutting reminiscent of 'The Deep Sinking' - it's narrow, shallow and difficult to navigate. They reach Mullingar and tie up for the night. Mullingar is the largest town on the Canal. The next day Dick travels up the Lough Owel feeder and visits Cullion Fish Farm. Back on Rambler, they stop at Ballinea Harbour for a delicious potato boxty. Later, Dick chats with 3rd generation lock keeper Clare Christy. We leave Rambler as it descends the flight of locks leading to the Shannon River Basin.

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Episode Five - Forgotten Road

Ballynacargy › Abbeyshrule › Ballybrannigan › Cloonbreany

Dick and the crew of Rambler are now well on their way to reaching the Shannon. At this stage in the journey their relationship with time has completely changed. They've adjusted to a much slower pace of life, a pace persisting from some earlier century. This new pace is welcome as the character of the canal is changing: instead of charging off across the countryside in a series of straight lines, it's getting twistier, posing some challenges for Rambler due to her great length and lack of maneuverability. Even with her outbursts of temperament, Dick has developed considerable affection for the 133 year old barge.

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Episode Six - The Journey's End

Mosstown › Longford › Clondara › Lough Ree

We begin our final episode in Keenagh, at Mosstown Harbour, where Dick visits Corlea Trackway Center. After passing the Longford canal junction, Dick and the crew stop in Magan's Pub in Kilashee. After spending their last night in Clondara Harbour, they pass the final lock separating them from The River Shannon. At Lough Ree, Dick and the crew celebrate as The Rambler meets her long lost sister: Chang Sha, bringing their fantastic canal journey to a close.

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