Trip on a Barge

It's getting in to Summer season and one of the things we love to do is get out and about and visit places especially in nature. I had to write a post about our outing this weekend because I'd really recommend a Barge trip with I am currently writing a post in collaboration with Provident UK on things for teens to do, featuring a barge trip as one of the possible activities but I thought that the trip merited its own post as we really enjoyed it and I got some lovely photos en route.

We opted for the Digby Lock Cruise which is a morning trip, starting at 10.00 a.m. We were really lucky with the weather especially as rain hit in the afternoon!

We headed to Sallins - the canal is really colourful and pretty at the set off point with lots of boats bobbing merrily and the bright reflection of the water.

Barge in Sallins
Blue boat on the water

Barges on the canal in Sallins
Boats on the canal, Sallins

Boat through bridge arch
Boat through the bridge arch
We were greeted by Ger, the skipper and hopped on board  There were a few other guests but plenty of room for everyone and inside the cabin is lovely and cosy with the stove going. Boat close up Boat

Inside the barge cabin
Inside the cabin

The boat goes at a leisurely 4 miles an hour but it's amazing how quickly you feel you're in another world. There is something so soothing about the rocking of the barge and you definitely have a sense of being away from all the usual hustle and bustle and stress.

I love taking pictures of course, so that's what I was doing mainly - there was so much to see and although I was a bit too far away to photograph everything, some of the highlights for me were swans nesting in the rushes, a solitary regal heron and the most adorable family of baby ducklings.  We could also see people out strolling with their dogs and there was such a lovely sense of peace.

We pulled in at one point over the Liffey and Ger told us some of the history of the canals and the area we were in.  It's absolutely fascinating to hear about, and imagine, a world gone by where the canal trips were a big progression from horses and carts.

Bargetrip boat at rest
Barge Trip Boat

River Liffey from the canal

Canal Bridge over River Liffey
Bridge over the Liffey
We went on further and through the Lock. Since I was a kid, I always found Locks intriguing - I'm not sure why exactly, maybe it's the idea of people controlling the water, it seems like such an immense thing. And I suppose it is, in a way - the nerd in me had to do a bit more research and I discovered that Pound Locks were first used in China during the Song Dynasty which was from 960 to 1279 AD! The clever engineering used to overcome obstacles and make the water more navigable was no mean achievement.

Digby Lock doors opening
Lock doors opening

Digby Lock grand canal
Lock detail

Digby lock grand canal, door detail
More Lock detail skipper Ger Loughlin
Skipper at work!

 We went a bit further - passing this gorgeous house and after a time turned to head back.

Thatched house view from the canal
Thatched House

It was lovely chatting to the other Barge Trip guests - another lady had her camera too so we had
a good natter about photography. The atmosphere is very chilled and relaxed so it's easy to enjoy.
One thing I forgot to do was bring food - kids seem to be permanently hungry so that was a bit short sighted on my part! We did, however, have some coffee on board which was nice as I was starting to feel a bit of a chill after being outside for so long. There's also a bar on board but it was a wee bit early for drinks :)

I'd totally recommend it - I guess it's a bit weather dependent but you can always bring some raingear if the weather is showery.
The barge is also available for private hire and you can check out all the different cruises and book here:

Lifebuoys on a barge
Lifebuoys on the boat

Blue rope on top of a barge
Rope and Lifebuoys

View of Lock from the Grand Canal
View of the Lock

Lock on the Grand Canal
Heading to the Lock

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  • Newcastle Family Life
    Newcastle Family Life 15 May 2017 at 12:00

    Your photos are brilliant, this looks like such a lovely relaxing trip x

    • Cliona Kelliher
      Cliona Kelliher 18 May 2017 at 13:53

      Thank you! It was fab.

  • Lauretta Wright
    Lauretta Wright 15 May 2017 at 12:44

    Our family has always wanted to go on a barge trip - and now the kids are competent swimmers it makes even more sense! This looks like a great trip and there seems to be a nice community in barging with friendly people - right up my street!

    • Cliona Kelliher
      Cliona Kelliher 18 May 2017 at 13:53

      You'd definitely enjoy it!

  • Side Street Style
    Side Street Style 15 May 2017 at 14:06

    Oh wow what a lovely way to spend an afternoon. My parents took us away on a barge weekend when I was really young - around 9yrs old and it is still one of my favourite holiday memories - loved it

    Laura x

    • Cliona Kelliher
      Cliona Kelliher 18 May 2017 at 13:54

      I'd love to do a longer trip, I just found it so relaxing!

  • Unknown
    Unknown 15 May 2017 at 14:15

    oh it all sounds lovely, i get terribly sea sick but i would hope that going so slow wouldnt result in any sickness at all!

    • Cliona Kelliher
      Cliona Kelliher 18 May 2017 at 13:54

      It really is super slow, I'd say you'd be fine :)

  • Katy (What Katy Said)
    Katy (What Katy Said) 15 May 2017 at 20:26

    This brings back memories from a holiday I had as a child. So much fun!! x

    • Cliona Kelliher
      Cliona Kelliher 18 May 2017 at 13:55

      Yep, it's a lovely way to spend some time!

  • Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...
    Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... 15 May 2017 at 21:37

    I'd love to go on a barge trip, enjoying the tranquil waters and seeing a different sight to the usual roads

    • Cliona Kelliher
      Cliona Kelliher 18 May 2017 at 13:55

      Tranquil is just how it was :)

  • Kara
    Kara 16 May 2017 at 08:37

    This looks like so much fun. We have considered a barge holiday a few times but are waiting for the kids to be a bit older

    • Cliona Kelliher
      Cliona Kelliher 18 May 2017 at 13:56

      Yea, I'd be a bit nervous if my kids were little!

  • Unknown
    Unknown 18 May 2017 at 09:08

    Looks like a great family day out; I know my crew would love this!

    • Cliona Kelliher
      Cliona Kelliher 18 May 2017 at 13:56

      Oh, it was lovely, we all got something out of it although I really should have remembered some food :)

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