This post, the latest in a series of 32 covering the entire island, offers a few ideas for things to do on a weekend in Country Fermanagh. The following is just one sample itinerary based on the information in our book Exploring Ireland: a guide to the Irish outdoors, where you will find plenty more details, ideas and inspiration.
WALK TULLY CASTLE LOUGHSHORE WALK
A gentle 1.9km loop (black arrows) along the wooded shoreline of Lower Lough Erne, past the ruins of the 17th century Tully Castle.
EXPLORE LOUGH ERNE CANOE TRAIL
A 50km canoe trail spans Upper and Lower Lough Erne offering great scope for overnight paddling trips. The Upper Lough’s maze of islands and channels is more sheltered and better suited to those new to canoeing. There are a number of small uninhabited islands which are ideal for wild camping as well as official campsites and the bothy on Trannish Island
The Lower Lough is much more open and in windy weather it can get very rough so it’s best left for more experienced paddlers.
The lakes are linked by the slow-moving River Erne. It’s usually possible to canoe upstream against the gentle current, with Enniskillen as a useful starting point for a trip into the Upper Lough. Anyone planning a trip should download the excellent trail guide and map from canoeni.com.
This small island off the southern shore of Lower Lough Erne is home to the remains of a monastic church and a stone cross that date from the 10th century. The elevated site, which has good views over the lake, can be accessed from the water via a
jetty on the southwest corner of the island. It’s also possible to walk through a farmer’s field and cross over to the island on the pontoon bridge.
EAT THE BOATYARD DISTILLERY
Based on the family farm on the banks of Lower Lough Erne this distillery uses organic and, where possible, local ingredients to produce two gins and a vodka. One of the botanicals that is key to the distinctive flavour of the gin, sweet gale, is harvested from the bog that surrounds the farm. Tours run daily during the summer.
STAY TRANNISH ISLAND BOTHY
This bothy is a restored cottage with minimal facilities. Being on a small island it is only accessible by boat. You can hire a canoe from Share Discovery Village, who also manage the bothy, to make the 3km paddle. The bothy sleeps 12 but you need to bring your own sleeping mat and bag. There is a wood-burning stove but no kitchen so you need to bring your own cooking equipment including cooking stove, cutlery etc. Outside there is a compost toilet, a shower and a covered BBQ area. It’s also possible to camp in the garden.