River Bann Boat Tours

The River Bann, a passage to Lough Neagh and a gateway to the Glens

Let us take you on a gentle cruise along the picturesque Lower River Bann to discover the rich cultural heritage & native wildlife of the region. River Bann Tours is the perfect way to connect you to the historical towns and villages along the river, where you can disembark to explore the outstanding local attractions, meet the local people and enjoy the delicious food options.

River Bann Tours offer guided boat trips on the Lower Bann and out to Lough Neagh for groups. Itineraries can be built to suit the requirements of the group.

Public Tours 

Newferry to Church Island Return 

Hop aboard ‘The Goddess’ for a 45 minute round trip from Newferry and on to Lough beg! Leaving Newferry, a site famed for it’s water sports activities, you will gently cruise along the Lower Bann taking in the stunning sights and sound this majestic River has to offer.

Snap some photos of the native wildlife such as the celebrated whooping swans as they build their nests along the banks of the Bann or spot some of the other birdlife that is unique to this area. The tour reaches it’s crescendo at the world famous church island, a small island renowned for it’s historical background and literary prominency.

Start Location: Newferry

Length of Tour: 45 mins

Disembark: Newferry

Newferry Rd, Magherafelt BT45 8ND


Private Group Tours

A trip to the ‘Wee Lough’

Passing under the majestic Bann Bridge (built 1846) as you leave Portglenone Marina, you’ll view the ancient woodland of Portglenone Forest, renowned for its thick swathe of bluebells in April/May. As you travel along the meandering river to Newferry you will enjoy the wildlife and scenery, absorbing the heritage and culture of the region. Immerse yourself in the stories of Mesolithic man’s arrival to Ireland and the importance of the River Bann and Lough Neagh to their existence.

At Newferry, you may catch sight of water sports enthusiasts as they canoe, paddleboard and water ski on this section of the river. As you approach the beautiful National Nature reserve of Lough Beg, home to Church Island, depicted famously in ‘The Strand’ by Seamus Heaney. Here you may catch a glimpse of the famed Whooping Swans and a range of other birdlife that enjoy the tranquil environment along this picturesque section of the River Bann, before returning to Portglenone Marina.

Start Location: Portglenone Marina

Length of Tour: 90 mins

Disembark: Portglenone Marina

Bannview Terrace, Portglenone, Ballymena BT44 8HT

On the Jetty at Toome Canal, you’ll be welcomed onboard to a memorable experience, From Lock to Lough. Along this tranquil section of canal, immerse yourself in the beauty of this now quiet waterway, which at one time would have been a busy industrial thoroughfare.

As you approach the Lock gates, meet the Lock Keeper and hear about the heritage associated with the locks along the Lower River Bann, a brief overview of the management of water levels in the region and the controls required to ensure safe passage to and from Lough Neagh. The remaining journey along the canal, as it opens onto the wide expanse of Lough Neagh, will take your breath away!

During your trip on Lough Neagh, the largest lake in the UK and Ireland, you will be enthralled by the stories of the industries that rely so greatly on the lough and the connection to the communities and the people who live, work and play in and around the lough. Marvel at the regions’ heritage and culture, as evidenced by the array of ancient religious sites, medieval ruins and historic houses. You might even catch a glimpse of a Lough Neagh fisherman as you hear how Lough Neagh, the largets wild eel fishery in Europe, manages this and other freshwater fisheries on the lough.

Start Location: Toome Canal Jetty

Length of Tour: 60 mins

Disembark: Toome Canal Jetty

10 Railway Rd, Antrim BT41 3TD

Make a booking enquiry by emailing info@loughneaghtours.com