24 Hours in Enniskillen

What to do, where to go in historic Fermanagh town of Enniskillen.

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Lough Erne Resort

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For five star treatment, Lough Erne Resort in Enniskillen is top of list. The luxurious rooms in hotel are replicated in family lodges adjacent to hotel, which each has its own views of lough and added benefits of a spacious living area and dining table. A golfer’s paradise, it is venue of choice for Ulster man Rory McIlroy, with a Nick Faldo-designed course and training academy and a second award winning Castle Hume Course. Non-golfers are well catered for too, with Thai Spa offering relaxing treatments; younger guests, or ‘Cygnets’ are made to feel special during their stay. There is an excellent take on Irish food in fine dining Catalina restaurant. Chef Noel McMeel goes extra mile to source local produce and creates stunning dishes with a focus on seasonality. Ghillie Packie Trotter does fly fishing tutorials, and fishing is available year round on lake.

www.lougherneresort.com

 

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Castle Coole

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A grand, stately home, Castle Coole is neo-classical 18th century home of Earls of Belmore. The estate’s wooded landscape park makes it ideal for long walks, with parkland sloping down to Lough Coole, and grounds are open all year round. The house itself is open from March to September and tours show off rich decorations and furnishings of home, with regency interiors including a State bedroom as prepared for King George IV. The unique servant’s tunnel and suite of servants’ rooms and quarters reveal what it was like for those working below stairs, and a packed schedule of music events at house throughout summer keep National Trust property alive.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/castlecoole

 

Devenish Island

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Visit monastic site of Devenish Island, containing remains of 6th century St Molaise who founded monastery. The remains include a Romanesque church and a striking 12th century round tower which dominates island, and which visitors can still climb to this day. Intricate carved details, a museum with sculptures from within church and a rich history from its foundation to its later use as an Augustinian Priory are all good reasons to visit, while journey there itself is a tourist attraction. Accessible only by ferry (which starts on Good Friday and operates until mid-September) from Trory Point, visitors must cross waters of Lower Lough Erne.

www.enniskillen.com/devenish_island

 

The Sheelin Lace and Vintage Fashions

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The thatched museum houses a private collection of over 700 garments which shows five types of lace historically made in Ireland, each dating from 1880-1920. Discover unique qualities of Carrickmacross, Limerick Lace, Youghal Needlelace, Irish crochet and Inishmacsaint Needlelace, each with their own distinctive patterns and skills displayed in fine vintage pieces. The adjoining shop, which is open all year, sells antique and vintage lace, and has everything from decorative table linen to beautiful, hand-embroidered christening gowns, handkerchiefs and bonnets, selected with care by museum and shop owner Rosemary Cathcart.

www.antiqueirishlace.co.uk

 

Enniskillen Castle

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This 600 year old castle was once stronghold of Maguire clan. The original medieval building was a small square tower-house, built to protect Fermanagh from marauding clans. In 1600s, castle became an English garrison fort and, after that, served as barracks for a number of years. Today, castle grounds are home to two museums – Fermanagh County Museum which documents heritage of this Ulster county, and Inniskillings Museum, documenting resident cavalry regiment at Enniskillen Castle, Inniskilling Dragoon Guards. Lively exhibitions and family activities keep younger visitors involved and a busy calendar of events at castle sees visiting artists show their works. As well, food and craft fairs and training courses take place throughout year.

www.enniskillencastle.co.uk

 

 

 

– Shauna O’Halloran

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