Official tourism website for Northern Ireland
En

Newry Canal Way

Co Armagh
Newry Canal Way

Book Tickets Online

About

The Newry Canal Way is a 20 mile long distance route running from Portadown to Newry along the restored towpath of the former Newry Canal. This linear walk/cycle route provides a flat, level surface suitable for all. This walk takes in a section of the route, between Knock Bridge and Poyntzpass.

Start Point:
J014539

Finish Point:
J041505

Route:
The towpath is part of Route 9 National Cycle Network so be aware of the joint use of this path by pedestrians and cyclists. This relaxing walk follows the towpath of the former Newry Portadown Canal, completed in 1742, it was Britain's first truly summit-level canal. At Knock Bridge take the towpath south towards Newry. The canal is on the left as you walk along this section and the River Cusher and the Belfast to Dublin railway to the right. The towpath was used by the horses which pulled the canal boats, known as lighters, along the canal. The canal runs for 18 miles from the Point of Whitecoat, just south of Portadown, to Victoria Locks at the sea south of Newry. It meanders along the borders of Counties Down and Armagh from Lough Neagh to the sea at Carlingford Lough. The inland canal ceased to operate commercially over 60 years ago. Beginning just outside of Portadown Moneypenny's Lock is the first you encounter. The Blacksmith's Cottage provides an interesting insight into this old trade. You will pass an interesting, almost intact, stone built lock at Terryhoogan with part of the lock gates remaining. Just north of Scarva, at a point known as Washbridge, the towpath narrows to pass around the abutment of the former railway bridge which carried the now dismantled railway from Banbridge to Scarva. Nearby is the Terryhoogan aqueduct which carried water from the Cusher River to the canal. Scarva village is renowned for its prize winning floral displays during the summer. During the summer season the tearooms at the Scarva Visitor Centre provide a pleasant place to enjoy light refreshments. Information on the canal and local area is on display in this facility. In season, band concerts provide music at the bandstand beside the visitors centre each Sunday afternoon. Beside the bandstand the outline of the old canal basin can be seen. Here the canal boats would have unloaded and loaded goods such as butter and coal for transport to nearby Banbridge and Gilford - and would have pulled in for the night. Rejoin the towpath and continue to Acton Lake/Lough Shark which is a haven for wildlife. The interpretative centre at Acton Lake is run by the volunteers who are restoring the waterway. It is built on the site of the former Sluice Keeper's cottage. Water from the lake was used to help control the water level in the canal. The canal rose to 78ft/24 m above sea level at Poyntzpass with the section between Poyntzpass to Terryhooghan being the summit level. 14 locks were built along the canal: 11 of them from Poyntzpass south to help the canal boats, climb to the summit level from Newry, and 3 north of Scarva to assist the descent to Lough Neagh. In recent times a group of volunteers have formed the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland Newry and Portadown branch. Their aspiration is to see the canal functioning as a waterway again. They can often be found at weekends restoring the canal. Continue to Poyntzpass ( 'Access Information' for info. on public transport). Please be aware that this walking route passes through urban areas and alongside an open water body. Volunteers who are restoring sections of the canal use power tools and saws, please heed any relevant safety information displayed. Care should be taken at all times. Please refer to the ‘Walk Safely’ information that can be found at the link below. This walk is also suitable for people with limited mobility - please see Disabled Ramblers NI link below.

Distance:
20 miles

Terrain:
90% Towpath and 10% minor road

Point of interest:
Moneypenny's Lock House, old locks, birdlife, aquatic life

Facilities:
Scarva Visitor Centre Tearooms open during the summer season from Easter to the end of September (closed Mondays). Public toilets at centre. Also shops and refreshment opportunities in Poyntzpass: also Gilford approx. 1.3 miles to the NE of Madden Bridge and Tandragee 1.8 miles via A51 from Madden Bridge.

Publication:
Newry Canal Way: An Illustrated Guide to Walking and Cycling in Craigavon

Publication availability:
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Visitor Information Centre on +44(0)28 3832 2205 or available to download on this page.

Nearest town:
Portadown

OS map:
Sheets 20 & 29

Accessible toilet facilities:
Yes

Facilities

Provider Preferences

  • Free (parking charges may apply)

Map & Directions

What's Nearby

  1. Peter Pan's Neverland provides a safe indoor environment for children to run, jump, climb…

    0.22 miles away
  2. A 1890 sophisticated three-storey brick building in the centre of Portadown.
    Facilities…

    0.26 miles away
  3. Millenium Court Arts Centre contains two purpose built gallery spaces providing a…

    0.31 miles away
  1. Edenvilla Park is a town park based in the Bachelors Walk area of Portadown. It is 25…

    0.4 miles away
  2. For a fun family day out in Portadown come on down to the People’s Park and discover all…

    0.44 miles away
  3. Gardens around this Georgian farmhouse. Experience old Irish gate, tree and sculpture…

    2.72 miles away
  4. Dan Winter’s house was repaired and rethatched in 2000 keeping original artefacts and…

    4.73 miles away
  5. Tayto Castle in the Ulster countryside is where the terrific Tayto crisps are made. The…

    4.84 miles away
  6. An 1868 listed building, easily identified by its traditional stonework, red railings and…

    4.95 miles away
  7. Lurgan Park is the second largest public park in Ireland, and is enjoyed by as many as…

    5.04 miles away
  8. The Lough Neagh Discovery and Conference Centre boasts 3 conference rooms, Tourist…

    5.08 miles away
  9. Restored 18th century lock-keeper's house and stables located on the Newry Canal.…

    5.08 miles away
  10. The Craigavon Museum Services Philip B Wilson Local History Reference Library is located…

    5.08 miles away
  11. Oxford Island National Nature Reserve is a peninsula created by successive lowering of…

    5.08 miles away
  12. Lying 1km off shore from Maghery Country Park, this island is an exciting destination to…

    5.08 miles away
  13. Dan Winters is an original mud wall thatched cottage which was built in 1623. The cottage…

    5.27 miles away
Previous Next

Virtual Tour

Map & Directions

Back to Top

Tourism Northern Ireland

Don't Miss