What it's like
Fermanagh is visited by many boating enthusiasts and anglers. It’s easy to see why: Lower Lough Erne is a marvellous stretch of water dotted with wooded islands and interesting heritage sites.
The Upper Lough is more a series of channels and is a haven for aquatic birds. If you have a day or two to spare here it’s well worth taking a cruise to some of the historic settlement sites like Devenish or White Island. There are plenty of places that hire boats or canoes out.
Fermanagh is also a magnet for spelunkers, as the karst limestone hills house an enormous network of caves.
For the walker, there are some good upland routes around Cuilcagh mountain. The part of the Ulster Way that passes through Fermangh has some lovely sections, notably around Upper and Lower Lough Macnean and Belmore Forest. There are short circular walks and strolls around various pleasant localities, such as the National Trust’s Castle Coole and Florence Court.
The shores of Lower Lough Erne are dotted with atmospheric tower houses (fortified dwellings), burial chambers and stone circles. The best view of this massive expanse of water must be from Lough Navar Forest; you gaze across to the Blue Stack Mountains of Donegal one way, and down to Benbulbin in Sligo another.
Enniskillen, the county town, is a great place for a stroll, too. Fine churches, ancient watering holes (especially Blakes) and the craft centre at the Buttermarket are all worth checking out.
- Cuilcagh Mountain Well worth exploring, though boggy. Great views and the Marble Arch Cave system is beneath your feet.
- Castle Archdale Forest Mixed woodland; a 'new' and an old castle; and a trail around the relics of the WWII flying boat base that illegally used neutral Irish airspace to defend shipping from U-boats.
- The Cliffs of Magho A great variety of forest walks can be done in Lough Navar forest. Whichever you choose, it would be shameful not to walk the clifftop path; this has to be one of the best viewpoints in the north of Ireland.
Must see and do
- Visit the Marble Arch caves If the water's low enough the underground boat journey is fabulous.
- Climb the round tower on Devenish Island Unusual as it's complete and you can actually scale the ladders right to the top. www.ehsni.gov.uk/devenish
- See the Janus Figure Also know as the Lusty Man, this small but perfectly formed carving is one of the oldest stone statues in Ireland.
Destination County : Fermanagh