A trip along the river – Killaloe,Ballina,Mountshannon and Garrykennedy

Since Denis and I started our romance all of 15 years ago we have been coming to Killaloe Co Clare.

And from the first time we went there I fell head over heels in love with the area and of course Lough derg and the river Shannon.

Denis’ parents, which is very fortunate for us have a boat which they keep docked in Killaloe all year round, so we are able to take trips out around the lake and up the river a couple of times a year.

I’ve mentioned a couple of places above and of course there are many, many other villages and towns that you can dock in along the lake and river, but rather then overload you I’ll stick to the ones we visit the most.

I’ll also at the end of the blog include links to some of the companies that you can hire boats from, and hopefully you will be able to head off and have your own adventure on the Shannon.


Two towns, literally separated by a bridge is where we spend the most of our time.

There are some fabulous restaurants,cafes and public houses on both sides of the bridge and here are a few of our favorites.

Ballina Co Tipperary

Flanagan’s Restaurant – this restaurant is right on the lake, the perfect spot for drinks, food and watching the world go by.

We have spent many an hour here sitting in their outdoor area and I cant recommend it enough.

Here’s a link to their site Flanagan’s on the lake

The Spirit of Killaloe also docks right outside here and you can take a trip up the lake on this tourist boat at certain times during the day.

Here’s a link to their site for info on the trips they provide Killaloe River Cruises

Tuscany Bistro – I have to say this Italian gives Italians in Italy a run for their money. The food and service is just top notch and it won’t break the bank either.

Here’s a link to their site Tuscany

Boruma (formerly known as Molly’s) – we haven’t eaten here since it has changed ownership, but it was always and still is a lively pub with great live music and the only nightclub on both sides of the bridge.

Killaloe Co Clare

The Wooden Spoon – the most define coffee shop with fab food and great coffee. It is very small, but you can get everything to take away so be sure to call in.

Here’s a link to their Facebook page Wooden Spoon Killaloe

Also every Sunday from 11 you will find a lovely farmers market happening right beside the bridge, make sure and check it out if you are there.

Wood and Bell Restaurant and Cafe – Unfortunately we haven’t had the opportunity to eat here as of yet, but by all accounts this is an amazing restaurant (it is on the expensive side, but would be an amazing treat).

Here’s a link to their Facebook page Wood and Bell

Mountshannon Co Clare

If you were driving Mountshannon is around 25km from Killaloe.

The village wouldn’t have much in the way of amenities I.e no grocery shop or anything but it has the most amazing maze, playground and park area. I’m not joking when I say you could easily spend hours here with the kids and it’s wheelchair accessible as well.

You can get tours from here to Holy Island which to be honest we have never visited but I’ve heard the tours are well worth it.

Here’s a link to their site where you can find out tour times etc

Holy Island Tours

You can also bring the kids swimming here with a lifeguard on duty at certain times of the year so you know they are safe (not to mention it being a fresh water lake so no stinging of the eyes)

Garrykennedy Co Tipperary

Another tiny little village and I mean tiny I.e there are two pubs one of which is a lovely restaurant but it’s right on the water overlooking the lake.

It’s a gorgeous spot with Larkins doing the food and then Ciss Ryan’s giving the lovely Irish pub experience.

If you are driving the drive from Ballina to Garrykennedy is fabulous with a gorgeous scenic viewpoint overlooking the lake that you will certainly get some great pictures for the “gram”.

So there you go, some great spots to get you going if you ever get out on the river Shannon, and even if you are driving you can stop off too.

And before I forget here are some details on hiring boats along the Shannon, and I’ll be back with more reviews etc on other towns and villages at a later date.

Silver Line Cruisers

Emerald Star Cruisers

Carrick Craft

All our love

Our Wheely Big Journey

5 thoughts on “A trip along the river – Killaloe,Ballina,Mountshannon and Garrykennedy

  1. I think I saw you and your family enjoying the match on Sunday in Cis Ryan’s. I’m delighted you enjoyed your journey on Lough derg and that Ballina/Killaloe had plenty to offer , I’m very fortunate to live here. Hope you have many more interesting journeys. 😊

    • Ah no way Sandra I did the blog up at half time 😂 well hopefully meet you there again some day x

  2. We were also fortune to meet you in sis Ryans for the great win on Sunday in the lounge with your wiz kid son.and lovely daughter lovely to hear nice things being said about a place we are lucky enough to call home. Tess

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