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8 ways to enjoy a cosy escape to Enniskillen

From history to award-winning food, Enniskillen is a must-visit town

Blakes of the Hollow in Enniskillen
Blakes of the Hollow in Enniskillen

Bridging the shores of the River Erne, Enniskillen blends tradition and history with a contemporary buzz.

1. Begin your stay at the stylish Enniskillen Hotel and check in to one of its boutique bedrooms before heading off to explore the cultural gems.

The Enniskillen Hotel is perfectly situated in the heart of the town. The intimate and quirky four-star accommodation takes inspiration from Irish playwrights Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde, with a restaurant and whiskey room named after the literary giants. The hotel is also close to an enticing range of locally owned restaurants and bars, so there is no shortage of vibrant pit-stops for a food and drink trail of the town.

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2. For intrepid explorers, a visit to Enniskillen Castle on the banks of the River Erne should be top of the itinerary. A 600-year-old fort, historically it guarded one of the few passes into Ulster. Its fascinating past has seen the castle used as an English garrison fort in the 17th century and later adopted as part of a military barracks.

After a major redevelopment in 2016, Enniskillen Castle is now home to two museums with a range of immersive exhibitions featuring the county's rich history as the Kingdom of Lough Erne.

The ground floor of the castle's majestic keep offers the opportunity to learn about the medieval Gaelic Maguires, who built the impressive stronghold.

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3. After your interactive history lesson, take the short walk to Franco's Restaurant, a characterful Enniskillen establishment that has been in the hands of the Sweeney family for over 30 years. Visitors can enjoy speciality pizzas topped with the very finest regional ingredients, as well as a range of locally sourced dishes, from Silverhill duck to Fermanagh lamb.

This multiple award-winning restaurant is full of charm and personality, with welcoming staff and a unique atmosphere that makes you feel right at home.

4. For a truly authentic experience, your next stop must be the renowned Blakes of the Hollow. Steeped in traditional heritage, it is one of the most famous and well-loved Victorian pubs in Northern Ireland.

This popular bar has been proudly serving the people of Co Fermanagh and its visitors for more than 125 years.

Retaining its traditional values, it has been finely preserved with a warmth that is inviting to guests of all ages.

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Take a seat in one of its cosy snugs and enjoy live music as you marvel at the remarkable Game of Thrones door, with intricate carvings depicting iconic scenes from the hit show. Blakes of the Hollow is a step into history with an authentic Northern Ireland pub atmosphere.

5. Florence Court mansion, gardens and forest park walks provide a perfect backdrop for a day of exploring. The house is the former home of the Earls of Enniskillen and holds a fascinating collection of traditional furniture.

Explore the impressive surrounding demesne and visit the famous Florence Court Yew, which is reputedly the parent of all Irish yew trees.

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6. Nestled alongside Blakes of the Hollow, Cafe Merlot offers a fine dining experience.

The award-winning chef plates up classic dishes with a modern twist, served in a relaxed surroundings with vaulted ceilings and ornate stonework.


7. The contemporary, boutique-style Westville Hotel is in the centre of Enniskillen town.

The four-star accommodation is situated in the historic waterside quarter, with 28 stylish bedrooms.

The hotel is home to the stylish Terrace Restaurant.

This eatery features a super chic, open-plan kitchen and an in-house cocktail WV bar, which offers an attractive all-day menu.

8. Before departing the town, be sure to pop in to Bush Bar and Bistro for lunch. A long-standing, family-run establishment, it is committed to the local community with a tasty artisan menu expertly showcasing local suppliers.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph