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With the mighty River Erne winding its way through the county and swelling to create Upper and Lower Lough Erne, Fermanagh is an ideal destination for anybody who loves the water. Fishing, canoeing, sailing, and watersports are just some of the adventures you can enjoy here. But even if water leaves you cold, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Fermanagh.
The Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark at Florencecourt is a UNESCO-recognised wonderland of waterfalls, monastic sites, woods, and spectacular show caves nestled among the craggy uplands and rolling lowlands of Fermanagh and Cavan. Enjoy guided walks, activity days, and jeep safaris. Tours of the Marble Arch Caves are available during spring and summer.
Dominating the banks of the Erne, Enniskillen Castle was built by the Maguire family of Gaelic chieftains in the 1400’s, before being taken over as an English garrison and barracks. It now houses exhibitions on local and castle history and crafts in the Fermanagh County Museum, as well as military memorabilia dating back to the 17th century in the Inniskillings regimental museum. Events include medieval banquets, living-history re-enactments, open-air theatre, and children’s workshops.
Accustomed as we are to cheap, mass-produced clothes, it is difficult not to gasp at the meticulous workmanship on display at the Sheelin Antique Lace museum and shop. Set in the idyllic village of Bellanaleck, the museum houses one of the largest collections of antique Irish lace in the world, with exhibits including Youghal needle lace, Inishmacsaint needle lace, crochet, and lace from Limerick and Carrickmacross. The adjoining shop sells vintage wedding dresses, wedding veils, shawls, collars, bonnets, christening gowns, flapper dresses, feather fans, and headpieces.
Incorporating the biggest natural wood in Northern Ireland, the National Trust's lovely Crom Estate is home to numerous birds and elusive creatures such as pine martens and rare bats. Stroll from the visitor centre to the ruins of ancient Crom Castle, with its old walled garden, disused bowling green, and venerable yew trees, and look out across the reed-framed lough to an island folly, or hire a boat and row out.
This is one haircut you won’t forget: Have your hair styled while surrounded by railway paraphernalia of a bygone age at the Headhunters Barber Shop & Railway Museum in Enniskillen. From the remarkably realistic railway booking office to the general manager’s office and railway signal box, you will enjoy a nostalgic journey back to the golden era of railway, accompanied by an impressive collection of uniforms, instruments, signs, timetables, tickets,and photographs.
Former home of the Earls of Enniskillen, the imposing 18th-century Palladian mansion of Florence Court is set among tranquil surroundings in west Fermanagh, against a spectacular backdrop of mountains and forests. A guided tour will reveal the meticulously restored and exquisitely decorated interiors. Outside, you can enjoy pleasant walks through the delightful walled garden, with other attractions including play areas, a sawmill, ice house, and a thatched summer house.
Take the short boat trip from Irvinestown, just outside Enniskillen, to Devenish, the most significant of Lough Erne’s many holy islands. Established by St. Molaise in the 6th century, the settlement includes an exquisitely embellished Augustinian abbey, complete with figures and sculptures. Climb the 30-metre round tower to enjoy wonderful views.
Complete with original period furnishings, Castle Coole is one of the most exceptional neoclassical houses in Ireland, offering a snapshot of life as the Earls of Belmore lived it in a more gracious age. The history of the people who made their lives so comfortable is also presented, with a suite of servants’ quarters. Outside, you can enjoy family walks in the splendid wooded landscape.
Head to Enniskillen in August for the world's biggest annual multi-arts celebration of one of literature’s giants - Samuel Beckett. The Nobel Prize-winning writer attended the Portora Royal School in Enniskillen in the 1920s, inspiring organisers to site their festival in the bordertown. Bayreuth has Wagner, and Stratford-Upon-Avon; the organisers of “Happy Days” are hoping Beckett will do the same for Enniskillen.
Launched in 1857, Belleek Pottery is one of Northern Ireland’s oldest attractions, dominating Fermanagh’s cultural and commercial history with its world-renowned Fine Parian china. The visitor centre is housed in a building that produced the pottery until 1988 and now incorporates a museum, tea room, video theatre, and showroom. The highlight of the pottery collection is the Belleek International Centre Piece, which won its fourth gold medal at the Paris Exhibition in the year 1900.
11.1km from Enniskillen
This traditional renovated cottage in Enniskillen sleeps between two to three people in idyllic surroundings. Nestled among the trees overlooking Lower Lough Erne, it is the ideal base for exploring the many historic houses and archaeological sites in the area.
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This attractive Enniskillen holiday cottage sleeps eight people in a wonderfully scenic location overlooking the lake. The cottage has an open-plan kitchen/dining/living area and an open fire downstairs, as well as a double bedroom and shower room and toilet. The three upstairs bedrooms consist of a double room and two rooms with twin beds, and there is a bathroom and toilet on this floor.
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6.7km from Roslea
This attractive holiday rental is on the ground floor of a converted stable/barn in Roslea, Fermanagh. It has a contemporary, open-plan fitted kitchen/dining/living room with ample storage and worktop space and every modern convenience. The house is eco-friendly, with a fully equipped bathroom with bath and solar-heated, naturally harvested rainwater. Natural pine wood is used extensively throughout the house.
15.3km from Enniskillen
Relax in the comfort of a new, fully-equipped residence on the edge of Enniskillen. With a three-star rating from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the property sleeps six. Of the property's three bedrooms, two are ensuite, with one of the ensuite rooms on the ground floor. Facilities include TV, video, microwave, washing machine, and tumble dryer. There is a fully equipped kitchen, central heating, and ample off-road car parking. Children will enjoy the safe, enclosed garden. Cot and highchair available.
Operated by Visitravel Ltd., Registered in Ireland, No. 486102. Registered Office: FEXCO Centre, Iveragh Road, Killorglin, Co. Kerry, Ireland.
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