Other than messing about on the water, CARRICK-ON-SHANNON, Leitrim’s county town, does not offer a vast amount to see or do, but with plenty of facilities it’s a pleasant enough focus for investigating the area, despite ugly sprawling commercial developments on its fringes. The town owes much of its prosperity to its proximity to the water, and its busy marina is often jam-packed with barges and cruisers. Carrick grew up around a strategic crossing point on the River Shannon, the importance of which was recognized by the English who began building a planned settlement that was incorporated as a borough in 1613. Nothing remains from those times and modern Carrick only began to develop after the 1840s when the Shannon navigation scheme reached the town. Its stone bridge and quays date from this period.