News  |  March 21st, 2024

Clogher Valley to Cuilcagh Road Trip

Cuilcagh Boardwalk Fermanagh

Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail, also known as The Stairway to Heaven, is one of the most, if not the most, popular tourist attractions in the Fermanagh Lakelands.

The fascinating and extremely Instagrammable trail meanders through a large area of blanket bog with the final part of the journey up the mountain being the famous boardwalk and staircase.

Luckily, for any visitors in the Clogher Valley area, you don’t have to travel too far to take on the 2-4 hour hike. From Fivemiletown to Cuilcagh it is roughly a 40-45 minute drive.

To help you plan for this exciting day trip, we have compiled an extensive, step-by-step guide called the Clogher Valley to Cuilcagh Road Trip.

In our guide you will find information about:

  • Preparing for the trip (Where to eat beforehand and where to stock up on supplies)
  • Directions from Fivemiletown to Cuilcagh
  • What to expect when you arrive
  • Walking the trail
  • Local venues to eat on your journey home
  • How to chill out back in the Valley when you return

Starting at our very own Blessingbourne, let’s begin our journey to the Stairway to Heaven.

(P.S. Pets aren’t allowed on this walk – sorry to all of our pet-loving visitors!)

The Clogher Valley to Cuilcagh Road Trip Guide

Cuilcagh Boardwalk - Clogher Valley to Cuilcagh roadtrip

– Preparing for Your Journey from Clogher Valley to Cuilcagh

For the benefit of our guests and visitors, we are starting at Blessingbourne Estate in the thriving small town of Fivemiletown, nestled in the southwestern end of Clogher Valley.

We recommend leaving in the morning so you give yourself plenty of time for the journey, the walk, and the journey home.

Let’s start with prepping for the trip ahead:

  • Breakfast and coffee at The Potter’s Hand Fivemiletown

The Potter's Hand Breakfast options

There’s no better way to start your trip than to tuck into a delicious, hearty breakfast at a local, family-run cafe in Fivemiletown, The Potter’s Hand.

We guarantee that no matter what your tastes or dietary needs are, you will find something you love here that is made fresh from local produce.

From a traditional Full Fry, Breakfast Baps and Loaded Soda Stacks to Eggs and Avocado on Sourdough, Acai Bowls and Loaded Pancakes, you’ll be leaving well set for the long day of hiking ahead.

  • Stock up on supplies at Beatty’s Spar Fivemiletown

A short walk down the main street is Beatty’s Spar. The local supermarket has everything you will need for your trip up Cuilcagh Boardwalk.

We would advise buying a few bottles of water, snacks such as fruit, crisps or chocolate, and maybe a sandwich or salad because it will be at least 4-5 hours until you stop for food again.

– Directions from Fivemiletown to Cuilcagh 

Road sign to Cuilcagh

Image credit: Fermanagh Herald


The drive from Clogher Valley to Cuilcagh takes roughly 40-45 minutes and is 27-30 miles depending on your route.

We are directing you via the main road, through the beautiful island town of Enniskillen, which is a few minutes longer but has the best roads and if you plan on stopping off here on the way home, at least you are familiar with this route.

Pre-warning – your phone’s maps might take you a different route through Maguiresbridge, Carrybridge and Macken, which is fine, but maybe less straightforward.

We advise taking the main roads past Maguiresbridge, Lisbellaw and into Enniskillen. From there you drive out the Sligo Road until you get to the Three Way Inn where you turn left onto the Swanlinbar Road.

Stay on this road until you reach Florencecourt where you turn right up the Marble Arch Road.

Your last turn will be onto Marlbank Road where you continue for about 2 miles and you will see the car park for the trail on your left-hand side.

– Arriving at Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail

Car park at Cuilcagh - Clogher Valley to Cuilcagh

Image credit: Your Ireland Vacation


Please note that there is a safe car park at the entrance to the trail and it costs £6 per car. You can pre-book your space here or pay when you arrive.

From here you take the gravel path to begin your hike.

– Walking Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail

Beginning of Cuilcagh trail

Image credit: All Around Ireland


The beginning of your walk is a gravel path through a beautiful landscape of blanket bog and limestone rock.

This part of the walk is a relatively easy 4km and in the skyline ahead you will see the eye-catching Cuilcagh mountain.

After this, you start your ascent on the wooden boardwalk, which is there to protect and conserve the biodiverse bogland beneath.

The final part of your hike will take you to the famous Stairway to Heaven. Here, you will see jaw-dropping views of the local area including the boglands and rugged mountainous landscape.

Once you arrive at the viewpoint you will have your chance to soak up the views and capture some memorable photos to cherish.

Views from top of Cuilcagh stairway - Clogher Valley to Cuilcagh

Image credit: National Geographic


  • Distance and time: Anything from 2-4 hours.
  • Difficulty: Medium – Difficult. It is quite a long walk at 11km and the boardwalk climb is steep.
  • Preparation: Please be sure that your group is capable of such a big climb, wear the correct clothing (waterproofs, boots or walking shoes), bring any medical equipment needed, and food and water.

– Journey back to Clogher Valley

After your memorable but no doubt very tiring day of walking, you will make your way back to Blessingbourne.

In this guide, we are giving you 2 fantastic options to stop and refuel.

  • Option 1 – via Customs House Inn, Belcoo (for those who are hungry!):

Food at Custom House Belcoo

Take the short 12-minute drive from Cuilcagh, through Blacklion, to the Customs House Inn, Belcoo.

This wonderful local, family-run venue offers you a variety of delicious dining options in their Bistro or Bar and Lounge.

The journey back from here is only 45 minutes and relatively straightforward.

Just follow the Sligo Raod the whole way into Enniskillen and from there you will drive out the Dublin Road, via Lisbellaw and Maguiresbridge, just as you did coming the opposite way.

  • Option 2 – pitstop in Enniskillen at Pat’s Bar:

Pats Bar enniskillen burger

If you prefer to hold off on food you can head back to Enniskillen in the direction that you came and stop off at one of our favourite and cosiest venues in the island town, Pat’s Bar.

Their classic bar menu is jam-packed with tempting options such as buffalo chicken wings, steak burgers, and chicken curries.

– Back at Blessingbourne

Welcome hamper at Blessingbourne

Now you have made it back from your long day of adventures, it’s time to relax.

When staying at Blessingbourne’s self-catering accommodation, you can kick your feet up in front of the wood-burning stoves and tuck into our delightful hampers stocked with locally sourced goods. Stick on a movie or TV series, pour a glass of wine and the perfect evening lies ahead.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for nighttime entertainment, head up to Fivemiletown Main Street to the local pubs, Tanyard Tavern, Downeys Bar or Scotts Bar.


Hopefully, you will find this guide useful if you are visiting Clogher Valley and want to view one of the top attractions in Ireland while you are here. If you have any more questions about a trip to Cuilcagh from Clogher Valley, contact us today and we will be happy to help.

For more help planning your visit to Clogher Valley, read our blogs on The Best Dog Walk Trails in Tyrone and Fermanagh and Things You Must Do in Fermanagh.

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