Best of Northern Ireland: Fermanagh Lakelands
From Belfast to Berlin, the Fermanagh Lakelands have been drawing in tourists for decades in search of tranquillity and relaxation.
The county is a vast haven of natural spaces where the slow pace of life seems to make quality time last longer. It’s the perfect holiday destination – right on your doorstep, but it makes you feel a million miles away.
Where to stay?
One of the most-loved spots to stay in is the Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel. Located on the beautiful banks of Lough Erne, it has just opened 14 new larch wood log panelled lakeside lodges.
Each two-bedroom lodge directly overlooks the stunning Lough Erne, with an open plan lakeview lounge leading onto a private furnished decking area. Guests have their own modern kitchen, ensuite bathrooms, a dedicated private jetty upon request and use of the hotel’s health club and Elemis spa, as well as fine-dining in Kove restaurant.
Mere minutes from the historic town of Enniskillen, the Killyhevlin is the ideal central base to explore Upper and Lower Lough Erne.
Hire a cruiser for some island-hopping. Devenish Island, White Island, Boa Island and Inish Corkish, home to Fermanagh's Black Bacon, and another 150 islands, can be all your own for a few hours or even overnight alone with nature.
Paddle the lakes on a canoe or kayak, a serene way to traverse Fermanagh’s lakelands. All you’ll hear is the soft slap of the water on your hull, and the cry of the curlew or lapwing. Upper Lough Erne has sheltered bays for beginners, while Lower Lough Erne’s windier waters provide waves for experienced paddlers.
With such a vast expanse of water so perfectly suited to fishing, every day on Lough Erne can be a different adventure. You never know what you might hook next, but with trout and salmon among the top targets and superb coarse fishing in some of the best boat and bank fishing grounds in Europe, all types of angler can succeed here.
Or if you prefer to be guided by your stomach, arrange for the Lough Erne Water Taxi to pick you up and take you on their food trail of Fermanagh’s lakeside restaurants - with great local food, stunning landscapes and a story or two along the way.
If you would like to enjoy a short break, there is a wide range of excellent accommodation available across the area ranging from luxurious hotels, to B&Bs full of character and charm, and self-catering options as a home from home.
Visit Discover Northern Ireland to plan your break or find out more about Fermanagh.
Enniskillen Castle Museums
Following a major redevelopment, the visitor experience brings to life the castle’s entire 600-year history, first as the Maguire family stronghold and on through to Fermanagh’s important role in World War II. There are two museums to explore, the Inniskillings Museum and Enniskillen Castle Museums.
One of Ireland’s finest Neo-classical houses, the magnificent 18th century Castle Coole is an opulent display of the era. See what life was like in the home of the Earls of Belmore. Take in the stately ‘upstairs’ grandeur, then visit the huge basement where an army of servants worked downstairs, and exit via their underground tunnel.
At least a million years old, this miracle of nature is a fascinating, natural underworld of rivers, waterfalls, winding passages and lofty chambers. Take the electrically powered boat and glide along a subterranean river and through huge underground caverns.
Belfast Telegraph Digital