Saturday, 11 January 2014

Great option for a weekend away - beautiful County Fermanagh

Aaand.... I'm back! After some weeks of not giving any life signs, I've found a tiny time window to write about our weekend (or should I say weekendS?) in County Fermanagh.

It all started in November: we wanted to get away for the weekend. We were looking for a place we had not been before, not too far away from Dublin and full of nature we could explore.

The search was not difficult: we found County Fermanagh and, after reading just a little bit about it, we made up our minds. 

As you may know, Fermanagh is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. It is a beautiful piece of land partially covered in water: only the twin lakes of Lough Erne (Upper and Lower) already cover one third of the county. Add to that many other smaller lakes, rivers and canals and you'll get a total of more than 700 kms of waterways. See it marked in this superb Ireland map I found in the site Ireland 101:

Looking for acommodation was not that difficult: the accommodation we chose was Fermanagh Lakeland Lodges, literally on the shore of Lower Lough Erne, surrounded by peace and quiet... we couldn't have chosen a better place. The house was perfect for the 5 of us (actually, the house where we stayed had room for 6 people) and it had all that we needed. Clean, warm at night and nicely decorated: just what we needed!

Belleek was only approx 15 kms away, so we had the chance to visit this charming little village. Did not have the time to go to the Belleek pottery factory though... maybe next time! But we went to The Thatch, a lovely little cafe worth visiting: my kids just loved the warm homemade muffins and the pecan pie! Do not miss it if you visit the village

Following the advise of Michael, our host from Fermanagh Lakeland Lodges, we drove from Belleek along Lough Erne´s South shore and we visited Tully Castle  - where the kids played knights for a while :-) 

and LOUGH NAVAR FOREST PARK (in capitals on purpose because it's a must see visit. We had heard and read about the panoramic drive so we were thinking of just driving around the park, but when we got there, we found a sign that indicated that cars were not allowed on the day: best thing that could happen to us!: we walked up, could experience slowly what the park had to offer: the landscapes, the clean air, the fresh smells

and... we made new friends in our walk: Ben the goat was our local tourist guide (and we paid nothing to have him!), he walked along with us all the way up to Aghameelan Viewpoint, even let us take a couple of group pictures with him and also walked down to the car. Best tour guide ever! The kids were amazed (and the adults as well!): what an experience...

We liked Fermanagh so much that we've returned there during the Christmas break: to the same house!. And the second time has been as good as the first. We've spent most of the time outside: walking around the house, 

playing football (with local sheep as our public),

playing chess by the fireplace in the evenings,

what else could we ask for??? see wild and fierce animals just outside our door step?? we had that!

night walks??? box ticked as well!

All in all - great option for a relaxing weekend just outside Dublin. And let your inner kid instincts fly!!!

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