News | February 14th, 2020
Fermanagh is one of the most fascinating hidden gems on the island of Ireland. The lakeland county is situated in the North-West of the country and has an abundance of stunning, natural landmarks, intriguing historical sites and buildings as well as thrilling adventures for families and young people to enjoy.
With lakes, rivers, island, mountains and castles galore, you will do well to fit everything into one trip to Fermanagh. Bearing that in mind, we have come up with a list of what we feel are the top 12 things you must do in Fermanagh.
Have a read of this guide and hopefully you will get the inspiration needed to book a holiday to this beautiful county.
The Top 10 Things you must do in Fermanagh
Commonly known as the Stairway to Heaven, Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail is probably the most well-known tourist attraction in Fermanagh and is a must-do on your trip.
The trek is roughly 7.4km with the famous boardwalk taking up 1.6km of the walk. The first 5.8km of the mountain hike is on a limestone gravel path surrounded by stunning, natural and species-rich bogland. The hike itself is moderate in difficulty and can take anything between 3-7 hours to get up and down but it is well worth it for the amazing views from the summit.
This is one of those adventures that will guarantee you get a truly Instagram worthy snap!
You can’t visit the Fermanagh Lakelands without getting out on the water to see the county from a different and wonderful point of view. There’s not many better ways to do this than by hopping on-board the Erne Water Taxi.
The luxury, yellow, 8-seater boats can take you on a variety of tours from the comfort of the closed cabin, meaning you won’t have to brave the elements!
You can choose from a variety of beautiful, scenic tours including Upper Lough Erne or Lower Lough Erne, or an islander pass to Devenish Island, to name but a few.
If you’re looking for thrill on your visit to Fermanagh, you should try out Blessingbourne Estate’s exhilarating 13km mountain bike trails.
Located near the Fermanagh and Tyrone border, the bike trails and pump track which are located on the historic 550-acre woodland estate is one of Northern Ireland’s premier mountain biking experiences.
There is a great blend of beautiful routes for beginners where you can take in lovely lake views, to challenging loops with drops, jumps and rocky terrain for those looking a proper adrenaline rush! This is an excellent day out for families and groups of all ages and abilities.
Blessingbourne also offers a variety of dog friendly ideas in Fermanagh from their accommodation to walking trails making it the ideal location to visit with your pets.
One of the most unique things to do in Fermanagh is to visit the jaw-dropping Marble Arch Caves where you will follow in the footsteps of famous explorer Edouard-Alfred Martel, who was the first to explore the caves in 1895.
The caves are made out of limestone rock and were formed over 1000’s of years by flowing water which dissolved the rock and made incredible passages that have made the wonderful caves as you see them today.
While on the tour you will venture through the caves on carefully constructed paths and enjoy a fun boat trip in an underground river while being guided by enthusiastic and funny tour guides.
Fermanagh is blessed with a number of historic estates that were owned by lords and ladies, and are now open to the public. Take your pick between visiting Florencecourt House, Castle Coole in Enniskillen or Crom Estate in Newtownbutler – all of which are stunning locations with beautiful, scenic walks.
You can also get a take a trip back in time by taking a tour of mansions on the estate and get a great insight to how people lived back in the 18th century in Fermanagh.
If you’re looking for a truly unique thing to do in Fermanagh while you visit, check out Trannish Island Bothy – a back-to-nature camping experience on a deserted island!
Trannish Island is a historic island on Upper Lough Erne that has been uninhabited for many years but Share Discovery Village has created a cosy campsite upon it with a campfire and BBQ area. The only way to access the island is by paddling out and then you will be able to relax in peaceful serenity away from the hustle and bustle of modern day life.
There is also a glamping option within the cosy dwelling on the island which is perfect for those who would like a little more comfort. This is a brilliant idea for families, a group of young people or any nature enthusiasts to take part in for a night or two.
The spectacular forest walk at Lough Navar Forest is a must visit for nature enthusiasts, keen walkers and anyone looking to top up their Instagram with stunning pictures!
The 5km walk will take you through untouched native woodland, many hectares of bog, beautiful open water and coniferous forest. There are many amazing viewpoints along the walk such as Aghalameen Viewpoint, Carrick Lough Viewpoint and the crown jewel, Magho Viewpoint.
The Magho Cliffs, where you will find Magho Viewpoint, are a 9km long limestone escarpment dominating the southern shore and skyline of Lower Lough Erne on the northern edge of Lough Navar Forest. The spectacular view of Lough Erne is extremely popular with photographers and is arguably one of the most dramatic on the island of Ireland. This is definitely one thing you must do in Fermanagh!
From Enniskillen to Irvinestown, Newtownbutler to Monea, there are ancient castles spread right throughout Fermanagh.
Enniskillen boasts one of the most famous, which is now the Inniskillings Museum. While visiting the Lakeside stronghold you will journey through hundreds of years of history, not only from within the castle but also from moments in time throughout Fermanagh and further afield. The Museum holds Bronze Age swords and findings from ancient, local Crannogs that are a wonder to behold.
Other castles that you can visit in Fermanagh include Castle Archdale, a flying boat base for the US Army during World War II, Monea Castle, built in 1618 and the ruins of Portora Castle in Enniskillen.
No holiday in Ireland would be complete without settling down to a refreshing drink in a cosy, family-owned pub. Blake of the Hollow is the perfect place to do this in Fermanagh.
Located on the main street in Enniskillen, Blakes of the Hollow is a world famous bar that has been family owned for over 125 years. Here, you can sit and chat with the locals who will have a tale or two to tell, enjoy the live music in The Atrium from talented local signers and any Game of Thrones fans out there can get a look at the famous Game of Thrones door that was made from the wood of a fallen tree at The Dark Hedges which featured on the hit TV show.
Devenish Island Monastic Site is one of the oldest and most famous landmarks in County Fermanagh. Founded by St Molaise in the 6th century, the site is most famously known for being raided by Vikings in 837.
The magnificent Round Tower, one of the most famous images of the island, St Mary’s Church, St. Molaise’s House and Teampull Mór are some of the striking sites that you will see, alongwith the beautiful carved 15th Century High Cross.
Devenish Island is only accessible by boat but there are a selection of top boat hire and tour companies who can help you make it out including Erne Water Taxi, Erne Boat Hire and Erne Tours.
There are many heritage sites throughout Fermanagh and tours can be arranged with enthusiastic guides who have steeped themselves in the history of the locations.
One such Heritage tour, is of Blessingbourne Country Estate which dates back to the 18th century, where you can take a number of different tours guided by the resident family, the Lowrys, who are descendants to the original owners, the Montgomerys.
There are tours of Blessingbourne House, Garden tours, visits to the Costume & Carriage Museum and an Art & Metal Craft History tour that all give a fantastic insight into life in Fivemiletown at that time.
Other Heritage Tours include visits to sites such as White Island, Kilmore Cathedral, monastic sites, pre-Christian sites like Drumskinney Stone Circle, or Caldragh Graveyard with its 2,000 year old enigmatic “Janus” statue, Irish famine Locations such as workhouses and the Ardess Famine Trench Grave.
For any youngsters or families looking for action-packed things to do in Fermanagh, look no further than Share Discovery Village, a lakeside activity centre in Fermanagh with over 30 activities on land and water.
Make a splash on their thrilling Water Park on Lough Erne, go for a relaxing paddle in a canoe, kayak or on a SUP board, or stay on land and take on their 30ft climbing wall or test your aim during a laser tag session. Group and families are guaranteed a fun-filled adventure here.
As you can see, Fermanagh truly is the definition of a hidden gem in a country full of wonderful tourist destinations. With such a stunning natural landscape and a profuseness of historic sites, it becomes clear why a holiday to the county is so appealing for many people coming from afar.
There is something for everyone in Fermanagh – activities for kids and families, tours for couples and those interested in wildlife and history and a plentifulness of water for keen anglers.
Hopefully, these tips for things you must do in Fermanagh help you make the most of your visit – or maybe we have added to your headache by adding additional items to your itinerary!
Anyway, happy planning folks!