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Thread: Ireland's Wild River: The Mighty Shannon BBC4 iPlayer

  1. #1
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    Default Ireland's Wild River: The Mighty Shannon BBC4 iPlayer

    Some may have seen this before, I had, but its too magical not to watch again. Stunning wildlife cinematography, gentle commentary and linked together with some "want to be there" canoeing shots.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod...mighty-shannon

    Search for: Ireland's Wild River: The Mighty Shannon

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    That was a real gem of a program and I can see me watching again. Has given me some interest in visiting too, though I can see some challenges in the shuttle between ends.

    Anyone have any ideas gow much of the river is shown in the footage, i.e. is it largely as nice as it looks, or was that a select few honey spots? I might have to start doing some research.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, that was excellent.

    Two questions - the more serious one being, given that the presenter seems to wild camp quite freely, but I thought wild camping was frowned on in Ireland - is it feasible to do a canoe tour with wild camps?

    The less serious one - how does he manage to paddle what appears to be an empty boat from the stern, but get it trimmed right? It looks like the polythene version [of the Charles River] which is a heavy boat, but I think there must be some ballast hidden up in the bow for filming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JinjaCoo View Post
    That was a real gem of a program and I can see me watching again. Has given me some interest in visiting too, though I can see some challenges in the shuttle between ends.

    Anyone have any ideas gow much of the river is shown in the footage, i.e. is it largely as nice as it looks, or was that a select few honey spots? I might have to start doing some research.
    I meant to look up some of the places which were titled briefly, to see if they were one particular area. I suspect it was mostly from just a few sections, but no idea really. Research is always fun anyway!


    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_B View Post
    Thanks, that was excellent.

    Two questions - the more serious one being, given that the presenter seems to wild camp quite freely, but I thought wild camping was frowned on in Ireland - is it feasible to do a canoe tour with wild camps?

    The less serious one - how does he manage to paddle what appears to be an empty boat from the stern, but get it trimmed right? It looks like the polythene version [of the Charles River] which is a heavy boat, but I think there must be some ballast hidden up in the bow for filming.
    Also intrigued by the wild camp, so look forward to any answers!

    I briefly saw a bag in the bow in one of the shots, as I also was intrigued with his trim. And in just one shot he was full loaded, so maybe some of the distant shots were of the laden canoe. As you say, though, the Charles River plastic does have a certain gravitational pull of its own...

    I also wanted him to paddle silently more, but then the sound of the paddle wouldn't have been as iconic as viewers might expect!


    Anybody who enjoyed this and hasn't seen his two part Wild Ireland - the Edge of the World film must watch it. Though lacking canoes, it does have a small boat on a wonderful coast, and its even better than the Shannon one.

  5. #5

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    I have paddled and wild camped most of the shannon over the years. So it is very possible to wild camp on this river I have had no unpleasant experiences ever while doing so. Quiet the opposite everyone couldn't be more friendly and interested in my travels. pm me if you want specific camp sites.

    Its a very slow moving river e.g. only 1 weir between athlone and portumna about 60km, with much of the bank not accessible or suitable for camping but every few miles there are places to camp away from anyone. Some of those places are owned by semi state bodies like Coilte(Forestry) and ESB(Electricity supply) so in theory owned by all tax payers like myself, thank you very much.

    Lough Key to Lanesborough is another nice paddle and would take 4-5 days at an easy pace.

    There's plenty of towns along the way to stock up. Most towns now have toilets and shower blocks with laundry facilities etc. The toilets are free while the other services cost a euro or two using a prepaid card. I must admit I've never had a shower or washed my clothes on a trip.

    There are also a few paid for camp sites along the river too. The ones that come to mind are Carrick Camping near Carrick on Shannon, Lough Ree East Camping and Mountshannon Camping on lough Derg.

    Lough Derg is another beauty well worth a trip on its own.

    I haven't watched the video yet. Will do so shortly but I'm sure the real thing is better.

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    Thanks for all the excellent info. I hope to do this trip one day. It looks beautiful, and I'll bet there is some fascinating history as well as wildlife ...

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    I lived in Eire for ten years.

    Absolutely no problem canoeing or camping anywhere. (The usual commonsense rules apply) That includes Salmon rivers. Canoeists are a rare sight in most of the country.

    You may have been influenced by the totally opposite position regarding hillwalking. Theres almost no public footpath network in the Republic of Ireland and many farmers take exception to any walker on their land. It was not uncommon in the SW to see large signs stating 'NO HILLWALKING'!

    See here ;- Walking in Ireland Cačd Mille Failtč.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Thank you, N1all and David. The Shannon is definitely on my trip list now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_B View Post
    Thank you, N1all and David. The Shannon is definitely on my trip list now!
    No bother Chris I'd love to see some people come and enjoy the river. There's hundreds of kilometers of river and hundreds of square kilometer of lake almost unused. I'm more than happy to help anyone who wants to give it a go.

    This is Victoria Lock looking up the lilly padded canal shown in the Mighty Shannon video. This is the bypass for meelick weir. It is as mentioned the only weir between Athlone and Portumna. The lock keeper mans the little hut and will let you through the lock free of charge. Boats pay a euro or two. He even offered his manicured lawns to us for camping. That's the type of hospitality you can expect. There's plenty of wild camping below here. The following picture shows the river below meelick.









    Heres a camp spot further north below Carrick on shannon. You can see the lake through the trees if you look closely. Take your pick of hammock or tent. The following picture is the view behind me at the same stunning spot. As we were setting up camp here a walker passing by along the path offered to drive a couple of the lads to the nearest town and back. Where else would you get it?





  10. #10

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    Just saw this elsewhere.
    You can now paddle up the shannon from the comfort of your couch with google 'street view'.
    e.g https://www.google.com/maps/@53.1364217 ... 312!8i6656

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by N1all View Post
    Just saw this elsewhere.
    [FONT="]You can now paddle up the shannon from the comfort of your couch with google 'street view'. [/FONT]
    [FONT="]e.g [/FONT]https://www.google.com/maps/@53.1364217 ... 312!8i6656
    Pretty cool

    They've yet to do more than London on the Thames.

  12. #12
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    Relevant to this thread, I've copied the text and links below from a recent post on UKRGB:

    By Anna and Mícheál Howard


    Situated on the Shannon River, the longest river in Ireland, the lake stretches from the small town of Portumna all the way down to the ‘twin towns’ of Killaloe and Ballina and borders the three counties of Clare, Galway and Tipperary. Check out how they and their pooch, Watson, got on…

    Read in three ways:
    Free tablet and smart phone optimised html5 edition: https://paddlerezine.com/paddling-the-l ... ough-derg/
    Free Joomag desktop digital page-flip issue: https://joom.ag/MEIa/p102
    Perfect-bound 132-page printed edition: https://thepaddlermag.com/subs-print-paddler

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