A WALK ALONG THE ROYAL CANAL WAY FROM BROOMBRIDGE TO ASHTOWN
Work began on the construction of the 146 km long Royal Canal, to connect Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, with the upper River Shannon in 1790, and the canal was completed in 1817. It operated in competition with the Grand Canal which ran an almost parallel route never more than 30 km to the south, and with the Grand, was made redundant by the advent of the railways in the mid-19th century.
The Royal Canal was officially closed to all navigation in 1961, but like the Grand Canal, much of the Royal has been restored in recent decades.
The Royal Canal Way is a 144-kilometre (89-mile) long-distance trail that follows the towpath of the canal from Ashtown, Dublin to Cloondara, County Longford. It is typically completed in three days. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by Waterways Ireland.
In 2015, Dublin City Council began extending the walking and cycling route along the Royal Canal from Ashtown to Sheriff Street Upper. The Royal Canal Way connects with the Westmeath Way west of Mullingar, and will eventually form the eastern end of the Dublin-Galway Greenway, the final part of EuroVelo Route 2, a cycling path from Moscow across Europe to Galway.
The Royal Canal Greenway is the greenway encompassing the Royal Canal Way between Maynooth and Cloondara, with a branch to Longford. It was launched in March 2021.