River cruisers are famously relaxing but if you find the idea a tad sedentary, check out Go With The Flow, a specialist operator of guided and self guided river canoeing holidays.
For one of his most popular and scenic routes, owner Charlie Horan, a qualified instructor, will meet you in Monasterevin, Co Kildare, give you your instructions and then wave you off on your way to New Ross, Co Wexford, where he’ll be waiting to meet you five days later.
Along the way you are entirely self sufficient, paddling your own canoe both literally and metaphorically, with nothing but bird song and fish splash to disturb you.
Bring a tent and wild camp by night or stay in hotels or B&Bs. Go With The Flow can look after all those details, leaving you to go merrily down the stream.
Because the Barrow is a completely navigable stretch of river, there are no white water bits to worry about, so it’s open to complete beginners.
More advanced canoeists can talk to Horan about taking on more challenging waters, for which he will be on hand to guide you.
But really, it’s about relaxing through activity. “It’s the most de-stressing thing you can do. Just leave your mobile phone behind and go at your own pace, stopping when you see something that interests you or places you want to explore on foot,” he says.
Most people cover around 15km a day and, as he points out, you can’t get lost: “You have no choice but to go with the flow, hence the name.”