County Fermanagh Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
Fermanagh is undoubtedly the Irish equivalent of Britain’s Lake District, with the Upper and Lower Lough Ernes, two large lakes dotted with islands, acting as its backbone. In fact, it’s probably the most watery county in Ireland!
Exploring Lough Erne by land or by boat is a delightful experience and in summer, ferries serve several islands and cruisers are available to hire. The county town of Enniskillen is ideally located to act as a base for touring around Fermanagh whose attractions include the stately homes of Castle Coole and Florence Court, the world famous Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre and take a boat trip on a Subterranean lake at Marble Arch Caves.
History and Heritage
Fermanagh boasts a rich combination of natural and historic sights. From pre-Christian times, settlers sought the security offered by Lough Erne’s forests and inlets while monasteries were founded on several of its many islands. Carved stone figures on White Island and the 2,000-year old Janus Figure on Boa Island are just two of the ancient landmarks of the county that consistently attract visitors.
Sites to see
Enniskillen Castle, Marble Arch Caves, Castle Archdale Country Park & Visitor Centre, Castle Coole and Florence Court, Belleek Pottery, Sheelin Irish Lace Museum, Cuilcagh Mountain Park.
Sports and Leisure
Kingfisher Trail is a long-distance cycling tour that takes in four counties while the Ulster Way guided walking trail is for those who want to expend more energy.
Coarse and game fishing, notably two trout species unique to Lough Erne, makes Fermanagh a magnet for anglers.
Fermanagh’s loughs are also home to wildlife such as ducks, grebes and kingfishers so it’s heaven for birdwatchers.
Lough Erne is also popular with watersport enthusiasts, particularly sailors, canoeists and rowers and Lusty Beg island also provides water-sport facilities. Try mountain-biking in the Florence Court estate. Water-skiing is so big in Enniskillen that it has hosted major international events in the recent past.
Eat, Drink and Stay
Fermanagh’s best restaurants are largely found in the county town of Enniskillen or in its immediate neighbourhood. So it is that Franco’s, Scoffs and the dining room in the Ferndale Country House, Restaurant No.6 and Café Merlot are very highly regarded.
Others of interest include Oscar’s (after Oscar Wilde who went to school there), Picasso’s, The Sheelin and Waterfront while The Belleek Restaurant in the Manor House Hotel at Killadeas has an outstanding reputation.
Elsewhere in the county, see Blakes of Derrylin, Bilberry in Garrison and The Quays in Lisnaskea and the restaurant/pub/B&B on Lusty Beg Island (which you can only reach by boat or ferry!)
Atmospheric pubs are easy to find and among the best are Blakes of the Hollow in Enniskillen, a traditional Victorian pub. Coach Inn (Maguiresbridge), Wyvern Inn (Lisnaskea), Waterside Inn (Belcoo) and Mayfly Inn (Kesh) are also worth checking out.
March: Enniskillen Theatre Festival
June: ‘Fiddle Stone’ Traditional Music Festival - Belleek
November: Enniskillen Arts Festival
Things you have to see or do
Enniskillen Castle – surrounded by 17th Century Watergate (which exhibits the collection of the County Museum), the Castle Keep and the Arcaded Barracks.
Marble Arch Caves – for exploration of an underground river
Castle Archdale Country Park & visitor centre – including history of Catalina flying boats stationed there in WW2
Castle Coole and Florence Court – stately homes
Belleek Pottery – world famous pottery on display as well as guided tours
Sheelin Irish Lace Museum – at Bellanaleck
Cuilcagh Mountain Park – designated European Geo-park and conservation area
Fermanagh Lakelands www.fermanaghlakelands.com
Lace Museum www.irishlacemuseum.com
Belleek Pottery www.belleek.ie
Northern Ireland Tourist Board www.discovernorthernireland.com
Enniskillen Castle www.enniskillencastle.co.uk
Marble Arch Caves www.marblearchcaves.net
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