Valley of the Monks Canoe Tour
Still Water Self-Guided Tour
Graiguenamanagh is a medieval town dating back to 1204, nestled in a wooded valley between Mt Brandon and the Blackstairs Mountains. On this self guided tour, you will arrive into Graiguenamanagh by canoe and have plenty of time to tour the highlights and follow the Graiguenamanagh Heritage Trail.
This self-guided canoe tour will take approximately 1 hour each way. This will leave you with up to 2 hours exploring Graiguenamanagh. There are a number of excellent coffee shops if you want to re-fuel before venturing back to Clashganny. Or if you wanted to have a picnic there are plenty of spots available along the quay overlooking the river, Mt Brandon and the historic 7 arch stone bridge.
If you are interested in crafts, two places worth visiting while in Graiguenamanagh are:
- Duiske Glass situated on High Street, stocks a wide selection of traditional and modern gifts.
- Cushendale Woollen Mills: Visitors to the mill shop can view the full range of products which are produced in the adjoining mill. All these products are fully manufactured in Graignamanagh where the traditions of natural-fibre processing have been practiced for centuries.
- There are various historical sites to see in Graiguenamanagh that are included on the Graiguenamanagh Heritage Trail. In particular;Peg Washington’s Lane – reputed to be the smallest lane in the world! In the early 1800’s, the widow Peg Washington watched anxiously as new buildings were erected between her home and the Duiske River. Fearing that these buildings would cut off her water supply, she asked David Burtchaell, Chief Magistrate of the town, for a gap between the buildings to allow her access to the water. When asked what width was required she replied ‘Just the width of myself’ and so Peg Washingtons Lane came to be.
If you don’t fancy paddling back, a local taxi will have you back at Clashganny in 5 minutes and you just need to tie-up the canoes at the diving board! Or if you would prefer to walk back, that will take roughly an hour along or hire a bike from the Waterside Guesthouse!
Alternatively… take the extended tour –
continue on from Graiguenamanagh to St. Mullins. (Allow an extra 3 hours)
Pass under the beautiful and historic 7 arch stone bridge. You are now paddling through one of the most visually appealing river valleys in Ireland. A pilgram route for thousands of years. Take your time. This is something to emerse yourself in and not be rushed.
Arriving in St. Mullins, a village steeped in History, built on an ancient Monastic site. Tie up your canoe at The Mullichan café and let the historian within you explore the village. St Moling founded a monastery here at the end of the 7th century. He may have been Bishop of Ferns and also of Glendalough. The Kings of South Leinster, including the McMurrough Kavanaghs, were buried here. There are remains of several churches. These include St Mullin’s Abbey, a medieval nave-and-chancel church with a spiral stairway, and St James’s Chapel, a small oratory dedicated to St. James and the people who stopped here on their way to the camino – Santiago de Compostela.
A group of us (5 adults and 3 young children) took the “self guided valley of the monks tour” with Go with the Flow this weekend, and loved every minute of it.
Charlie was very helpful, ensuring that everyone was safe, well equipped and comfortable before heading out on the water.
The route from Clashganny to Graiguenamanagh is equally picturesque as it is approachable for novice paddlers.
I’d easily recommend this trip for anyone visiting the south east, and while we chose to paddle back to Clash from Graiguenamanagh, the option to leave the boats behind and have them collected is great!
We’ll definitely be going again!