What better way to explore Northern Ireland’s beauty and landscape safely this summer than to experience the wonders of Lough Neagh, Europe’s third largest lake and home to a variety of eel species, by boat tour.
All the Family on Lough Neagh
For husband-and-wife team Anne-Marie McStocker and Gary McErlain, a seventh-generation fisherman from Lough Neagh Tours, their lives are steeped in the heritage of the breath-taking Lough for generations. To mark International Day of Families (Sunday May 16, 2021), they are launching their new ‘Lough Neagh Family Taster Tour’ over the coming months.
The Lough Neagh Family Taster
Specially designed with safety in mind, the Lough Neagh Family Taster is a 45-minute family-friendly tour that will be offered to a ‘bubble’ of up to ten family members. Once visitors get accustomed to the sheer size of the Lough, the tour weaves through the water where your hosts will tell stories of the Lough’s history, tales of the fisher people of old, and of the interconnected landscape, ecology, and birds native to the area. The tour even takes a turn up the River Bann where guests can see how the boat navigates through the lock. The River Bann is a critical corridor for the native eels, which live almost all their lives in Lough Neagh, leaving it only once, to breed in the Sargasso Sea, on the other side of the Atlantic.
Anne-Marie McStocker said, “There is a vast history and very special heritage associated with Lough Neagh that we love to share with our visitors. Telling stories of the place and people who have worked and lived near the Lough for hundreds of years is a real passion point for us. The local Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-operative has been amongst the fore runners of wild eel producers for decades and is recognised as the largest producer of wild caught eel in Europe.”
“We designed this shorter tour to really whet people’s appetite for the richness of the Lough and allow families to experience the magic of Lough Neagh.”
There are plenty of experiences lined up for the summer season at Lough Neagh, including the Fishing Stories Tour, the Wildlife and Ecology Stories Tour, and the one-of-a-kind Lough Neagh Sequel Tour. The Sequel Tour, named after a set of poems by Seamus Heaney dedicated to the fishermen of Lough Neagh, brings to life Heaney’s poems with Gary re-enacting the traditional fishing activities described in the poems.
The Family Taster Tour costs £160 for up to ten people with many more great options.
For more information on Lough Neagh Stories and other great places to visit when it is safe to do so, visit www.discovernorthernireland.com.