Bellanaleck is situated just 5 miles from Enniskillen on the river between Upper and Lower Lough Erne. It is ideally placed to explore the whole of the Erne and gives easy access to Enniskillen and on up to Kesh and Belleek via Devenish Island and other historic sites. Heading south from Bellanaleck, you pass through Carrybridge on the way ot Upper Lough Erne and complete tranquility. Bellanaleck benefits from having a Bar and Restaurant on site and a shop and take-away just a 10-minute walk.
Cruising Upper and Lower Lough Erne
Heading north from Bellanaleck, you come to Lower Lough Erne and from here a vast network of interconnecting loughs, rivers and backwaters unfolds that would take a lifetime to explore. These waters are framed by magnificent country - lush green rolling meadows give way to craggy uplands with spectacular cliffs that then lead on to uninterupted open moorland. This is truly breathtaking lakeland, unrivalled throughout Europe.
From the loughs the night sky is jet black and studded with a panorama of brilliant stars. The long summer days are so peaceful - hardly another boat will interrupt your calm. There are numerous free moorings along the waterway, many on uninhabited islands - just you and your family.
Lower Lough Erne, the most northerly of the two loughs, is a great expanse of open water fringed by mountains and dotted with islands. Upper Lough Erne is filled with dozens of islands, so it is more like a meandering river than a lake. Some islands have jetties and offer perfect lunchtime picnic stops.
Heritage features high on the Lough Erne tour - a perfectly preserved 12th century round tower on Devenish Island is easily reached by boat - and if you like your heritage older, there are some 6th century carvings on White Island. And for something more active, there are watersports centres on both lakes, offering sailing, waterskiing and kayaking.
Enniskillen, lying between the two loughs, is a picturesque market town and fascinating heritage centre. By day this busy town brims with shops, museums, a sport centre and castle. By night, Enniskillen comes alive with happy holiday merriment from the wealth of original pubs and restaurants that offer delicious international culinary delights.
The Shannon-Erne Waterway (formerly the Ballinamore and Ballyconnell Canal) was re-opened in 1994 and links the Erne to the Shannon. The canal itself is a delightful cruise, meandering through a series of rivers, canals and loughs, with the odd colourful pub and eating place along its banks. There are 16 locks along the canal - but they are all hydraulicly controlled, so life couldn't be any easier.
Those of you taking a one-way hire onto the Shannon will see plenty of the Erne on your way.
Lough Erne and Shannon-Erne Waterway
Lower Lough Erne, the most northerly of the two Loughs, is a great expanse of open water fringed by mountains. Upper Lough Erne is filled with hundreds of islands; many have jetties and make perfect lunchtime picnic stops.
Enniskillen, lying midway between Lower and Upper Lough Erne, is a picturesque market town and fascinating heritage centre. By day this busy town brims with shops, museums, a sport centre and castle. By night, Enniskillen comes alive with happy holiday merriment from the wealth of original pubs, clubs, and good restaurants that offer delicious international culinary delights.
The Shannon/Erne Waterway spurs off Upper Lough Erne, linking the Erne system to the mighty Upper Shannon at Leitrim. The link itself is a delightful cruise, meandering through a series of rivers, canals, and Loughs with colourful pubs and eating-places along its banks.
Lower Lough Erne
A large border town with many and varied shops, ATM machines, pharmacy, post office and a hotel that serves very good food. There is also a lovely little coffee shop and a few pubs that serve food. It is well known for its fine parian china and there are also a number of other makers of crystal and china in the town. There are numerous craft and gift shops, so it won't be hard to find a souvenir of your holiday! At Belleek you are only 7 km from the west coast of Ireland where a short taxi ride will allow you to meet and greet the great Atlantic Ocean.
Belleek Pottery Tel +44 (0)28 6865 8501 www.belleek.ie
Belleek is most famous for its fine parian china which is the oldest china in Ireland and has been made here for 150 years. The visitor centre is now one of the top 5 visitor attractions in Ireland and features a showroom, museum, video theatre and tearoom. Tours are available on weekdays.
Explore Erne and Tourist Information Centre Tel +44 (0)28 6865 8866. An audiovisual exhibition of the history of Lough Erne.
Fermanagh Crystal Tel +44 (0)28 6865 8631
Makers of crystal table and giftware. Tours available of the factory and showroom.
Gilmartin's Irish Craft Shop Tel +44 (0)28 6865 8371
Beautiful craft shop on the main street, where you are sure to find the perfect souvenir of your holiday.
Taxi - Conor Gallagher Tel +353(0)86 3836334
This is a very peaceful, secluded spot. The 16th century Castle, surrounded by forest, is now a ruin. A walk around the woodlands is a must to experience the "get away from it all" feeling. The Forest Park is a sanctuary for wild birds and deer and there are various short walks and nature trails and a picnic area. At the entrance is the Fiddle Stone, in memory of a local fiddler who drowned in 1770.
This is a private 75 acre island with excellent facilities. There is a restaurant, bar, leisure facilities and plenty of opportunity to explore the island with various walks and nature trails. From Lusty Beg, you can take the chain ferry to Boa Island with its famous carved stone statues, situated in the Cladragh Burial grounds. If you prefer somewhere more secluded, you may prefer the neighbouring island of Lusty More.
A restaurant only mooring at Drumrush Lodge. Bar and Restaurant service.
Just north of Kesh, the jetty at Muckros is an out of town alternative, but it can be very busy with jet skiers, especially at weekends.
A cruise along the beautiful tree lined Kesh River will take you to the village of Kesh, with all the amenities of a small town including ATMs, post office, pharmacy, shops, restaurants and a Tourist Information Office. If you are visiting Kesh in August, you can enjoy the Kesh carnival, an annual week-long celebration.
This important monastic site is only accessible by boat and features the ruins of a 12th century church with fantastic Romanesque doorway. Set into a wall, there are six intriguing archaic stone figures that have been gathered from different locations in Co. Fermanagh. Not much is known about them, but it is thought that they date from around the 6th century.
Castle Archdale Country Park is an important conservation area with nature trail, butterfly gardens and wildflower meadows. It was originally a plantation castle, but was destroyed in 1689 and all that remains are the fine stable buildings, which now house an Exhibition Centre. Visit the ancient collection of farm machinery or memorabilia of World War 2 when Castle Archdale was an important base for flying boats. For refreshments, there is a pub, a coffee shop serving lunches and sandwiches and a chip shop.
From here you can access the very scenic Lough Navar Forest Park and the cliffs of Magho. Venture to the top of the cliffs (a strenuous 8 mile walk) for dramatic views across Lough Erne to the Donegal Mountains.
Here you can see the remains of a 17th century fortified house and gardens with visitor centre and exhibition. Open from Easter to end of September every day 10am -6pm. Admission free.
A marina-only mooring with Derrygonnelly as the nearest village. Tully Bay Marina is surrounded by breathtaking unspoilt scenery and wildlife and gives a taste of what lies ahead.
Island moorings on Lower Lough Erne:
Crevinishaughy Island. There are 2 different jetties at opposite ends of the island, both lovely sheltered areas for an overnight island stay. No facilities on the island, just lots of peace and quiet.
Davy's Island. A secluded, wooded island
Tom's Island, which is not actually an island, but a penninsula with a lovely forest walk.
Inish Davar, south of Tully Bay, near Rossigh is highly recommended for a secluded picnic and a lovely woodland walk. If you visit in Spring, you'll see it carpeted with bluebells.
Innishmacsaint is an important ecclesiastical site. The most notable feature is the undecorated High Cross.
From here, there is a lovely walk of about 5km around Ely Lodge Forest. Or take a walk to the viewing platform for extensive views across Lough Erne.
A good point to stop off for refreshments. The Waterfront Restaurant is just beside the jetty.
Home to Manor House Marine. You will find all service facilities here as well as many leisure activities including tennis court, table tennis and pitch and putt. There is also a par 30, 9 hole golf course on site. The Manor House Hotel is located just up the hill from the marina and has an excellent restaurant and bar with regular live entertainment. There is also a leisure complex and swimming pool at the hotel.
One of the most important monastic sites in Ireland dating back to the 6th century. There is a very well preserved round tower from the 12th century, a small oratory known as St. Molaise's House and a number of ancient churches. The accompanying graveyard is very interesting and contains a superb 15th century High Cross. The site is well worth a visit. The main jetty is at Devenish East, but if it's too crowded, try Devenish West.
Enniskillen is the county town of Fermanagh and by far, the largest settlement in the area. It is built on a natural island separating Upper and Lower Lough Erne, and there is a selection of mooring locations dotted along the banks. It is home to many attractions, so visit the Tourist Information Centre on Wellington Road where you will find helpful information and brochures. There is a 24hr shop on Queen Street for essentials. There are also a number of ATM machines, post office, pharmacy and all the amenities you would expect of a large town.
Enniskillen Castle and Museum Tel +44 (0)28 6632 5000 www.enniskillencastle.co.uk
Enniskillen has been the main crossing point of the Erne throughout history and the castle has guarded this strategic location since the 16th century. It now houses 2 museums - the Fermanagh County Museum and the Inniskillings Museum.
Forthill Park and Coles Monument.
A wooded town park in the centre of Enniskillen. There are 180 spiral steps up the monument with magnificent views of Enniskillen and the surrounding area. Open 1.30pm - 3.00pm, tickets can be purchased at the Tourist Information Centre.
Marble Arch Caves Tel +44(0)28 6634 8855 www.marblearchcavesglobalgeopark.com
This Global Geopark is a short taxi journey from Enniskillen but is worth it for one of the finest show caves in Europe. Discover a fascinating underworld of rivers, waterfalls, winding passages and lofty chambers.
Florencecourt Tel +44 (0)28 6634 8249
This 18th century National Trust property is set in a dramatic backdrop of mountains and forests with beautiful nature walks and a children's play area.
Could be combined with a visit to Marble Arch Caves as these 2 visitor attractions are in the same area.
The town centre is built around the long main street, where you will find many high street shops as well as small boutiques and independent traders. As the main retail hub in the area, the town is busy and bustling and has a unique character.
Erneside Shopping Centre. With a jetty right outside the Shopping Centre, it couldn't be more convenient. You will find many high street shops and there are also 2 supermarkets beside the Erneside if you need to top up your provisions for the boat.
Buttermarket Craft and Design Centre. Housed in a restored dairy market, this is the place to go for crafts and local produce.
Fermanagh Lakeland Forum Tel +44 (0)28 6632 4121 www.lakelandforum.com
A large sports and leisure centre with swimming pool, fitness centre, soft play area for toddlers and cafeteria. Beside the forum is The Zone, an outdoor leisure facility for children and young people, with tunnels, slides, jungle walk, cargo nets and much more. Entrance to The Zone is free of charge.
Enniskillen Omniplex Tel +44 (0)28 6632 4777 Seven screen cinema showing all the latest movie releases.
FlexiCabs Tel +44 (0)28 6632 4848
Lochside Car Hire Tel +44(0)28 6632 4368
Upper Lough Erne
Ardhowen Theatre Tel +44 (0)28 6632 3233 www.ardhowentheatre.com
Heading south from Enniskillen takes you to The Ardhowen Theatre, a venue renowned for staging an excellent variety of performances from musical and theatrical to children's entertainment. It also has a very good restaurant and 2 bars.
Castle Coole Tel +44 (0)28 6632 2690
Not far from the Ardhowen, on the opposite side of the road is Castle Coole, a magnificent National Trust Irish Country House. Set in a beautiful wooded landscape park, it is ideal for family walks.
The Killyhevlin Hotel has its own jetty, so is very convenient for bar and restaurant facilities. There is a choice of formal dining in the Regatta Restaurant or informal bar meals in the lounge. The hotel also has a leisure centre.
A lovely secluded mooring if you fancy some peace and quiet. No facilities here except a picnic table. Best avoided at weekends during high season as it gets busy with water skiers.
Carrickcraft's marina on Lough Erne. The Moorings Restaurant - Lakeside restaurant and bar with a casual atmosphere, a short walk from the village of Bellanaleck.
From the jetty, it is about 10 minutes walk to the village, where you will find a supermarket, post office, The Sheelin Coffee Shop and a small Lace Museum.
The Sheelin antique Irish Lace Museum Tel +44 (0)28 6634 8855 www.irishlacemuseum.com
The award winning museum houses over 700 exhibits dating from around 1900. You can also shop for unique vintage pieces.
Inishmore is the largest island on Upper Lough Erne with 2,500 acres. A visit to the island will give you an insight into Ireland in days gone by. The only public mooring on Inishmore is at Tully jetty or Carrybridge. In the evenings, Tully is a lovely place to see the full effect of the sun setting.
Home to Carrybridge Boat Company, you will find all facilities here such as service block, water etc, although the closet shops are in the village of Lisbellaw, about a 40 minute walk from Carrybridge. The Carrybridge Hotel is located at the marina and offers good food in the restaurant and entertainment in the bar at weekends.
You will find good facilities here and a small beach area, which is lovely in good weather. There is a very nice walk of about 7km to the top of Knockninny Hill where you will be rewarded with panoramic views of Upper Lough Erne. Knockninny Country House Hotel is located right beside the jetty, however it does not offer meals to non-residents unless a private party has been booked in advance.
There are no facilities here but it is a lovely out of the way location for an overnight stop. There are no paths on the island, so a walk will see you scrambling through bushes and trees.
An ideal location for a quiet lunchtime stop. This is a small jetty with picnic tables.
Share Holiday Centre
The Share Centre is an outdoor activity and adventure centre offering lots of activities for all ages. There is also an indoor leisure centre, swimming pool and coffee shop. There is a small fee required to moor at this location, but it entitles you to free use of the facilities. More details are available at www.sharevillage.org or tel +44 (0)28 6772 2122. The closest town is Lisnaskea, the second largest town in Co. Fermanagh.
There are no facilities here and it is quite exposed, nevertheless, it is a nice location for a short stop.
A small jetty not far from the Lisnaskea Boat Club if you plan to pay them a visit. Or you could take a taxi into the town of Lisnaskea.
There are many islands in Upper Lough Erne worth a visit, but the most notable of these is Inish Rath, which is home to a welcoming Hare Krishna Community. It is a centre for the Hindu faith but also a nature reserve, where you can enjoy the peaceful woodland walks. www.krishnaisland.net Tel +44 (0)28 6772 1512.
This jetty now has a lovely picnic area and a small pebble beach.
Located in Trial Bay, from this jetty it is just a short walk to Trinity Church, the family church of Lord and Lady Erne.
Crom Estate National Trust
This is one of Ireland's most important nature conservation areas, with 2000 acres of woodland to explore. There are a number of woodland walks and nature trails. The old farm buildings have been converted into a visitor centre and tearoom. There are 2 castles - the older castle is close to the visitor centre and the well-preserved 19th century castle is still inhabited and not open to the public.
For further details, call +44 (0)28 6773 8118.
One of Irelands best known fishing centres with ample mooring at the large marina. The traditional market town is a short walk away with many shops, banks and post office. The town comes alive during the summer months welcoming visitors from across the globe. There are a number of pubs and restaurants within walking distance.
Turbet Island - motte and bailey
Belturbet Station Tel +353 (0)49 9522 074
A historic old railway station, which was the connecting point of the Cavan and Leitrim narrow gauge railway and the GNR standard gauge railway. It now houses a visitor centre and tea room.
Taxi - Benny Corby +353 (0)87 2561243
A very attractive marina on the shores of Lough Garadice with very good service facilities. It is also a very good area for fishing. The closest towns are at Ballymagauran and Newtowngore, both about a 30 minute walk from the mooring, where you will find shops, restaurants and pubs.
This friendly town located at the foot of the Sliabh An Iarainn, translated as The Iron Mountain, boasts two marinas. Groceries can be purchased at the local supermarket and there is an ATM machine. There is a map board of the town and surrounding areas at the marina and a Tourist Information Office in the main street, in Smyth's Gift Shop. The restored library in the town now houses an interesting heritage and genealogical research centre where you can trace your Irish roots. Like most Irish towns, there is no shortage of pubs in Ballinamore. A short walk up the Main Street will reveal a number of options - many also serve good food.
A series of way marked hill walks have been developed in the nearby Sliabh An Iarainn Mountain, varying in length from 30 minutes to 3 hours. They are marked on a map board at Aghacashel Post Office and further details can be obtained in the shop. It is about a 15-minute taxi drive from Ballinamore.
A timeless little village steeped in the folklore of Sheebeg and Sheemore, the two surrounding mountains regarded as home to the fairies or "little people". The warrior Fionn Mac Cumhal is said to be buried on Sheebeg. The view from the summit of Sheebeg is breathtaking. Keshcarrigan is well known for the great music pubs.
This little village is the gateway to the Shannon. The village pulled itself from near ruin in the 1600's when Donal O' Sullivan ended his long march from Kerry at Leitrim Castle, the ruins of which you can still see close to the marina. Leitrim is now a thriving little town with many mooring facilities and is a popular stop off as the entrance to the Shannon Erne Waterway.
Please note that most of Lough Erne is in Northern Ireland so please bring sufficient Sterling currency for your stay. Most of the Shannon/Erne Waterway is in the Republic of Ireland, so you will need Euros along its length. Both currencies are accepted at our Bellanaleck Marina.