Categories: County Fermanagh

For a county so steeped in water and water activities, you’ll be surprised at the massive range of things to do in County Fermanagh. From clifftop views to bridal veils and castle walls, there’s heaps here for everyone to get stuck into and draw inspiration from – these are just a few of our favourites. 

Islands of magic and delight 

Lough Erne’s vast expanses of water are one thing, but its plentiful islands are a whole other experience. They’ve drawn pilgrims, visitors and the plain curious for centuries, which means that a trip to them today is more rewarding that you might think. The cemetery on Boa Island is home to two unique stone idol carvings dating back to Celtic times. The larger is a fascinating Janus figure; the smaller, known as ‘Lustyman’, is thought to be a female. Both nearby White Island and Devenish Island are also filled with Celtic mythology and early Christian symbols, including a very well preserved round tower and cloisters on Devenish Island. Explore it all via a pleasant boat trip from Castle Archdale or hire your own kayak or canoe and paddle across. 

Drive through Navar Forest 

Any Fermanagh local will recommend the seven-mile drive through Navar Forest. The view from the car park at the top of the cliff looks over Lough Erne from Enniskillen to Donegal and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s one of the most amazing views you will ever see. Alternatively, you can walk along the boardwalk trails in the forest as they loop around the lakes before they begin the steady ascent up the slopes past the remains of ancient Irish crannogs and native forest up to the Magho Cliff.

See the prettiest shop in Northern Ireland 

Swathes of antique lace, vintage clothes, bridal veils, jewellery and gloves will seduce you in a beautiful spectacular at the thatched Sheelin Lace Shop. Then go next door to the Sheelin Kitchen, and what might be the most decadent display of treats and desserts in the country.  

Sleep the night away in ultimate luxury or under the stars – or both 

Life slows down in Fermanagh, so there is nowhere better for a relaxing break. The fresh air and lakeside stillness induces deep, generous sleep. And round here you can sleep almost anywhere – from a 7-berth cabin cruiser to a lakeside cottage with its own jetty to divine luxury at the Lough Erne Resort (5*) where countless world leaders and celebrities have spent many nights. 

Go castle hunting 

Fermanagh has castles aplenty – proper castles, with turrets, follies and expansive gardens. Get your medieval tabard on and explore the hidden castles of Tully and Monea. Alternatively book a stay in the unbelievably beautiful Belle Isle Castle (4*), or live like a lord and lady with afternoon tea at Crom Castle. Enniskillen Castle sits right on the edge of the Erne guarding the town and is worth exploring – especially when its hosting one of the town’s many festivals. 

Descend into the depths at the Marble Arch Caves 

Unexplored until little over a century ago, the Marble Arch Caves feature stalactites, cavernous passages, underground pools and streams which have been formed and reformed as the water slowly dissolved the limestone bedrock over countless millennia. Go and explore the extensive caves on foot and by boat with one of the popular guided tours and you’ll discover a mind-boggling amount of fascinating facts about geology, geography and archaeology. 

Open a door to Game of Thrones® 

Enniskillen’s Blakes of the Hollow hosts one of the Doors of Thrones, unique doors carved from fallen trees at the Dark Hedges near Ballycastle, County Antrim. But that connection isn’t the only reason to visit these welcoming watering hole as it’s also one of the most famous and well recognised Victorian pubs in Ireland. Filled with carved wood, stained glass, ornate details and hidden nooks and crannies, Blakes of the Hollow has snugs that are crowded with groups of people looking for a famously poured pint of Guinness or a delicious Irish coffee. Live traditional music is played every Friday creating a genuine Irish pub atmosphere that is not to be missed. 

All aboard at the Railway Museum 

Possibly the most must-not-miss experience in Fermanagh – The Headhunters Barbers Shop & Railway Museum has a truly marvellous collection of memorabilia that should fascinate everyone, not just railway enthusiasts. Hear how railways opened up the lives of Fermanagh people, and if you need a haircut you can get one of those too… but no pressure, and free entry, making it one of the most fun things to do in Fermanagh. 

Feast on the best of local food and drink 

There’s a long and distinguished tradition and community of growers, bakers and makers in County Fermanagh. This makes for an absolute smorgasbord of places to eat and drink and indulge all your senses at once. Tucked away on Church Street, Enniskillen is one of Northern Ireland’s best restaurants. 28 at The Hollow offers modern cuisine that gives established, classic dishes a global twist that makes all the difference. Glen Wheeler, head chef has brought his Michelin-standard experience to bear in the kitchen and dining room here. The finest local ingredients are transformed into exquisitely prepared, cooked and presented dishes such as venison loin with spiced red cabbage or pheasant noodle with thyme jus. 

Paddle your way to heaven 

Last and by no means least is the water. It’s everywhere in Fermanagh and you’ll find more ways to make the most of it here than anywhere else. Cabin cruisers, kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, launches, jet-skis and other craft are readily hired and offer easy and fun ways to take to rivers and lakes and find your way from jetty to marina, from town to island and all points in between. While you’re at it, pick up a fishing rod and have a try for the plentiful pike, roach, bream and hybrids for which the county is justifiably-famed. This place will have your heart forever – hook, line and sinker. 

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure information is correct, we strongly advise checking in advance before you travel to your intended destination to ensure its open and book tickets if applicable. 

Janus Figure, Boa Island
Churches & Sacred Sites
Janus Figure, Boa Island

In Caldragh Cemetery on Boa Island, Lower lough Erne stand two unique stone carvings. The larger of these is a Janus figure

Devenish Island Monastic Site
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
Devenish Island

Famous for its perfect 12th-century round tower and ruined Augustinian abbey, Devenish Monastic Site was founded in the 6th century by Saint Molaise on one of Lough Erne’s many islands.

Castle Archdale Countryside Centre & War Museum
Visitor Centres & Museums
Castle Archdale Countryside Centre & War Museum

The country park boasts beautiful woodland and lough shore walks, an insect garden and wildflower meadow. Castle Archdale was the main flying boat base during WWII, highlighted in an exhibition in the visitor centre entitled ‘Castle Archdale at War’.

Lough Navar Forest
Forest Parks
Lough Navar Forest

Seven-mile drive through the forest to a magnificent panorama over Lough Erne. Viewpoints, picnic sites. Red deer, wild goats. Marked trails. Wheelchair access limited.

Lough Erne Resort
Hotel
Lough Erne Resort

Lough Erne Resort is Northern Ireland's five-star countryside retreat. Dine by the lakes, walk in nature, play championship golf, pamper yourself in The Thai Spa or discover the beautiful Fermanagh attractions.

Tully Castle
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
Tully Castle

This fortified house and bawn are set on Tully Point and were built for Sir John Hume who occupied the house until 1641 when it was attacked and burned on Christmas Eve by Rory Maguire and the inhabitants massacred. It was not lived in again.

Monea Castle
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
Monea Castle

Built for Malcolm Hamilton and completed in 1618, it has a Scottish look about it, with corner turrets at one narrow end of a rectangular four-storey building and with two massive full-height round towers having angular tops guarding the entrance.

Belle Isle Castle
Guest House
Belle Isle Castle

Nestling close to the water's edge and set within a landscape of lakes and islands of gently rolling hills and fragrant woods, Belle Isle Castle provides self catering or fully catered accommodation.

West Wing, Crom Castle
Self-Catering
crom castle fermanagh

Lying on the beautiful shores of tranquil Upper Lough Erne, amongst an archipelago of wooded islands and woodlands, Crom Castle is a romantic nineteenth century Victorian Castle set in a 1900 acre estate.

Enniskillen Castle
Visitor Centres & Museums
Enniskillen Castle

Situated beside the River Erne in County Fermanagh, was built almost 600 years ago by Gaelic Maguires. It was strategically important throughout its history. In the 17th century it became a garrison fort and later a military barracks.

Marble Arch Caves
Guided Tour
Guided Cave Tour

The show cave will be closed from Monday 12 September to early January 2023. Guided Cave tours will not be available during the closure period. This closure is to facilitate the installation of a new cave lighting system. A range of above ground experiences and events will be running for visitors to enjoy during this period. The Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre and car park will remain open.

Blakes Of The Hollow
Pub / Nightclub
Blakes Of The Hollow

Renowned for its traditional Irish heritage, Blakes of the Hollow Is one of the most famous and well recognised Victorian pubs in Ireland. It is a must see attraction which has graced Co. Fermanagh’s shores for over 125 years.

Headhunters Barber Shop & Railway Museum
Visitor Centres & Museums
Headhunters Barber Shop & Railway Museum

A trip to Headhunters Barber Shop & Railway Museum is like taking a remarkable journey into the past bringing the golden age of steam travel vividly to life. It's the only barber shop and railway museum in the world and a friendly welcome awaits!