The Royal Canal in Dublin is one of the hidden gems of our city, It is a lovely peaceful canalside walk/ cycle way secreted amidst the hustle and bustle of our town. Recently the Peninsula Pacers walked from Newcommen Bridge on North Strand to Ashtown, a distance of about 5.5 miles. The weather was kind to us and we enjoyed the many sights along the way. The Effin Bridge to the east of Newcommen Bridge is a piece of engineering ingenuity, an iron railway bridge which can be raised to allow boats underneath to access the canal.Under the looming of Croke Park as we passed by we were heartened to see so many canal cleaning volunteers out working hard to maintain the condition of the canal. Testament to their work is in the variety and health of the wildlife we spotted along the way.We stopped to say hello to Brendan Behan at Binns Bridge where we took the opportunity for a group photo with him.After Cross Guns Bridge in Phibsboro the surroundings become more industrial though a lot of the old buildings have been converted into apartments bringing fresh life to the area. After an enjoyable ramble of 2.5 hours we reached Ashtown where we made a beeline to the Halfway House for some very welcome refreshments.
On Saturday 5th March at 11am - the long walk group met at the Hand Park at Rush Harbour, for our return walk from Rush to Loughshinny and back. This beautiful walk went all along hugging the coast; which is a return walk of about 11kms. This is not suitable for children or people with reduced mobility or not reasonably fit! It was a glorious day with great views of Lambay Island & Rockabill Lighthouse. About half way along we came to the Drumanagh Martello Tower, the largest promontory fort in Ireland. There was significant contact between Drumanagh and the Roman world in the 1st & 3rd centuries AD - a Roman coin was reputedly found there and some pottery. We headed down into Loughshinny Harbour still very quaint where there was an FCC artist in residence in the old boathouse. We headed back taking in the views from the other direction now looking at the uniqueness of the town of Rush & the Towers at Portrane. The highlight of the day had to be the really great food at 2pm waiting on us in the “Harbour Bar” Rush, those who are the fish chowder said it was the best ever! The next long walk will be on Saturday 9th April 10 00am - maybe Rush to Rogerstown tides permitting!