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Newry Canal Way

A gentle, traffic-free walking and cycling route along a disused canal towpath in County Armagh

The Newry Canal Way follows the towpath of the now disused Newry Canal through County Armagh from Portadown to Newry, passing 13 lock gates and the pretty villages of Scarva, Poyntzpass and Jerretspass. The gentle 20-mile trail is shared by walkers and cyclists and is ideal for families. Highlights include Moneypenny's Lock, Acton or Shark Lough, Scarva Visitor Centre with its highly acclaimed Tearooms, and an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife along and within the Canal.  There are also some great views of the Mourne Mountains in County Down.

The route starts at the Bann Bridge in Portadown and ends at Newry Town Hall, incorporating part of National Cycle Network Route 9 and running along the western bank of the former Canal. 

Newry Canal operated for more than 200 years and was the first summit level canal to be built in the British Isles since Roman times. It was constructed between 1731 and 1742 to link the east Tyrone coalfields around Coalisland via Lough Neagh and the River Bann to the Irish Sea at Carlingford Lough. 

Access controls to restrict motor vehicles exist at various places along the way. These have been designed to allow cycles and standard wheelchairs to pass.

START POINT: Portadown

FINISH POINT: Newry

TERRAIN: Canal towpath: level walking on a firm path

DISTANCE: 32km/20miles

TIME: 1-2 days

MAPS: Ordnance Survey Discoverer Series (1:50,000) Sheets 20 & 29

CONTACT: Tourist Information
Armagh +44 (028) 3752 1800
Banbridge +44 (028) 4062 3322
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre +44 (028) 3832 2205
Newry +44 (028) 3026 8877


GUIDE: The Newry Canal Way 'An illustrated guide to walking The Newry Canal Way'. Available at tourist information centres.


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European Regional Development Fund