Set between the meandering waters of the River Erne, Enniskillen is a lively waterside town with an imposing castle and busy marina. Cabin cruisers ply the waters in summer and a host of restaurants, pubs and cafés spill out onto the streets. A network of waterways surrounds the town, which connect Upper and Lower Lough Erne. Between them are the blanket bog and limestone plateau of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, a UNESCO-protected area of international importance.
Dominating the town’s waterfront is Enniskillen Castle, which sits on a river island overlooking the town. The twin-turreted castle was a stronghold of the ruling Maguire chieftains and dates from the early 15th century.
You can tour the castle and visit its two museums, which hold exhibits on the history of the town, life in the surrounding region, and the castle itself. Among the displays is a 1,000-year-old block of bog butter.
County Fermanagh stretches beyond the town, one of the six counties of Northern Ireland and a region defined by lakes and waterways. To the west is Lower Lough Erne, an expanse of water riddled with islands, many of which offered sanctuary to religious communities over the years.
You can take a boat trip to Devenish Island to see the remains of a 6th-century Augustinian monastery, or visit the small church on White Island, which is known for its unusual 9th-century stone figures.
Just south of the lake, the Lough Navar Forest Park offers scenic walking with sweeping views from the Cliffs of Magho, a limestone escarpment overlooking the lake. The scenic landscape attracted the gentry, and you’ll find an array of stately homes in the area, including Castle Coole and Florence Court, as well as a choice of impressive hotels that make the most of the region’s history and setting.
One of the biggest attractions around Enniskillen is the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. A network of caverns carved into the limestone plateau by subterranean rivers, the caves are well worth a visit. You can tour the underground chambers, take a boat trip along the subterranean Cladagh River and hear about the unusual geology of the area.
Above ground, the park encompasses the Cuilcagh Mountains and the blanket bog that covers the plateau. A boardwalk trail crosses the fragile bog and extends up to the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain (666 m /2,185 ft). It’s nicknamed the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ for its panoramic views.
The mountain sits right on the border of Northern Ireland and the Republic, and many of the surrounding villages straddle the border, oblivious to the region’s troubled past. One such village is Belleek at the western end of Lower Lough Erne. The village is home to Ireland’s oldest pottery and is known for its fine Parian china. You can take a factory tour and see the pottery being made on site.
Best time to visit Enniskillen
Enniskillen is a year-round destination, but summer offers long days, pleasant weather and a lively feel. Spring flowers between April and June, and the vivid tones of autumn foliage between September and October make these our preferred times to visit. Winter is much quieter, but happen on a clear, snowy day and the landscape looks more impressive than ever.
Map of Enniskillen
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Places near Enniskillen
- County Donegal 46 kilometers away
- Sligo 55 kilometers away
- Northern Ireland 71 kilometers away
- Derry/Londonderry 76 kilometers away
- Newgrange and the Boyne Valley 106 kilometers away
- Belfast 114 kilometers away
- Giant’s Causeway 124 kilometers away
- Dublin 143 kilometers away
- Galway 152 kilometers away
- The Burren 174 kilometers away
- Connemara 183 kilometers away
- Kilkenny 191 kilometers away
- Inis Mór 191 kilometers away
- Limerick 198 kilometers away
- Waterford 236 kilometers away
- County Wexford 237 kilometers away
- Cork 279 kilometers away
- Cobh 282 kilometers away
- Killarney 284 kilometers away
- Kinsale 300 kilometers away
- Dingle Peninsula 302 kilometers away
- Kenmare 304 kilometers away
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Accommodation choices for Enniskillen
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