Bellanaleck → Enniskillen → Devenish Island → Belleek → Kesh → Enniskillen
→ Crom Castle → Belturbet → Ballyconnell → Bellanaleck
Lough Erne Boat Hire
Lough Erne has become a very popular boating holiday destination year in year out, with the always improving work of the Waterways Ireland throughout the Shannon and Erne, Giving you confidence and ease with cruising. Hiring a boat is the only true way to see all around the Upper and Lower Erne, so make 2021 an unforgettable experience for the whole family, Even pets!
Moor up at many points throughout Lough Erne - A Lough Erne Boat Map is updated every year and is provided with every trip.
Where is lough erne?
Based in County Fermanagh northern ireland, Lough Erne comprises two parts. Lough Erne is split horizontally in the middle with the town of Enniskillen which breaks up the Lower and Upper Lough Erne.
Lower Lough Erne
Discover the beautiful Islands of Lough Erne, Moor up and spend all day venturing through the untouched natural habitat. Moor up in:
- Devenish Island
- Boa Island
- White Island
- Lusty Beg
- Lustymore Beg
- Woodland walks
- Historical ruins
- Bike trails
Upper Lough Erne
- Inis Rath
- Crom Castle Historical ruins
- Woodland walks
- Swimming Cows
- Historic Ruins
- Turbet Island
- Outdoor activities
- Bike trails
Set off from Bellanaleck to get to Enniskillen, the county town of Fermanagh, for your first night. Visit the Castle Museum, the Leisure Centre and the many shops and bars. It’s early to be stocking up on supplies, but remember that there are not as many towns and villages on the Erne, so it may be worth doing some basic shopping.
Next day head north to Devenish Island with a magnificent 12th Century Monastic Settlement and well-preserved Round Tower. You can spend the night here but you are on an island, so no facilities.
Head off early the next morning to get to Kesh which is up a very small winding river. Spend the night and top up on shopping. Cruise along the northern shores to Belleek, home to the world-famous pottery (tours available), before coming back along the western shore, staying in Tully Castle (no facilities, just you and the sky).
Next day, head back down to Enniskillen, maybe stopping off at the famous Lough Erne Golf Resort for a round of golf (or a round of sandwiches). And on to Bellanaleck to finish your week’s cruising.
What to do in Lough Erne - Cruise for 7 nights
1 Hour North To Enniskillen
An hour’s cruise north of Bellanaleck will take you to the island town of Enniskillen where you will stay for your first night. There is a wide choice of bars and restaurants in the town, one of the most popular is Blakes of the Hollow, where you will have a choice of the old Victorian bar at the front, unchanged for 100 years, or the more modern restaurant at the back.
Activities In Enniskillen
You could choose to spend the day in Enniskillen visiting the many sites such as Marble Arch Caves, one of the finest show caves in Europe, or walk the famous Cuilcagh Boardwalk, aka “Stairway to Heaven”, just a short taxi journey from Enniskillen. The county town of Fermanagh is also great for shopping, with the Buttermarket Craft and Design centre, the place to go for crafts and local products. Or you could take in a round of golf at Lough Erne Golf Resort.
The county town of Fermanagh, there is a wide array of activities to take apart in, including:
- Headhunters Barber Shop & Railway Museum
- Enniskillen Castle Museums
- Castle Coole
- Cole’s momument
- The Buttermarket Craft Centre
- Saint Macartin’s Cathedral
- Enniskillen Taste Experience
- Castle archdale
Discover some of Lough Erne's Famous Landmarks
Cuilcagh Mountain Walk
Also known as the famous ‘Stairway to Heaven’ or as the Cuilcagh Boardwalk. Known for a great location for hiking and breathtaking views. It is also the highest peak in Fermanagh and the bordering county.
There is plenty to explore on the Cuilcagh mountain paths, whether you're climbing the stairway, to walking the paths around the park, there are many hiking trails available to enjoy.
Cuilcagh Mountain has many geological spots of interest which adds to the magical mystery of the mountains of Cuilcagh. There is also the dormant Volcanic Cuilcagh Dyke and its wonderful magnetic anomalies if you are the curious type, there are many features inside the park.
Marble Arch Caves
Walk 0.7 mile and find yourself immersed in the Marble Arch Caves beside the Cuilcagh mountain, The Caves are also part of the UNESCO Geopark initiative and its recognised around the world for its outstanding geological beauty.
Share Village Water Activities
The Share Village in Enniskillen offer a wide range of activities while cruising the rivers. Ideal for families and adults of all ages.
Lough Erne Golf Resort
Now with its own private jetty, the world-famous resort is now available from a boat.
Enniskillen Golf Club
Located within the confines of the Castlecoole Estate, just a few miles from the town centre, Enniskillen Golf Club is a parkland course which commands outstanding views over the town and surrounding countryside. You should moor at Broad Meadow in Enniskillen town.
Blacklion Golf Club
From Enniskillen town, a 15 minute taxi journey will take you to Blacklion Golf Club, a scenic parkland course with magnificent views of Lake Macnean, the islands and surrounding hills.
Visit the untouched Devenish island, built in the 12th century, the famous round tower and abbey still remains to this day.
Today Devenish Island is know as one of the most historically significant monastic sites in Ireland. Devenish Island is only accessible by boat, giving you the breathing space to fully enjoy the island in all it's glory. Spend as long as you and imagine life on the Devenish Island.
Each season you can visit the Devenish Island museum, Operating from Easter to mid-September open every day 10am to 6pm. Tel: +44 28 6632 2882
5 Hour North To Belleek
Cruising north, 5 hours will take you to the border town of Belleek, the furthest north you can cruise on Lower Lough Erne.
Why not stop off on the way at Tully Castle, where you can see the remains of a 17th century house and gardens. Belleek is home to the famous Belleek Pottery and it is definitely worth a stop off at the visitor centre and factory, where they have been making parian china for over 150 years.
The Thatch coffee shop in Belleek is the only original coffee shop in Co. Fermanagh and when you’re here, you can pick up your fishing tackle for the remainder of your holiday.
Lusty Beg Island
Cruise across the northern end of Lower Lough Erne, stopping off at Lusty Beg to explore the many nature trails and have lunch at the excellent restaurant on the island, Take time and enjoy the amazing spa treamtents available at the resort.
Islands of Lough Erne
The tree lined Kesh River will take you to the village of Kesh. If you happen to be here in August, take part in the week-long celebration which is the Kesh carnival. You could dine at the Mayfly Inn, which often has live music in the evenings.
Leaving Kesh, head south again back toward Enniskillen, stopping off at White Island, an important monastic site with the ruins of a 12th century church or Devenish Island which dates back to the 6th century and boasts a well preserved round tower and a 15th century High Cross.
Heading into Upper Lough Erne (south of Bellanaleck), one of the most popular stop offs is Crom Castle estate, one of Ireland’s most important nature conservation areas with 2 castles, a visitor centre and tea room.
A few hours further south is the traditional market town of Belturbet. Visit the historic building of the old railway station, which has been completely restored and now houses a visitor centre and tea room. Belturbet is also a well known fishing centre in this area. Before leaving the town, be sure to visit the Seven Horse Shoes, a traditional pub and restaurant where you will get a great meal and plenty of craic with the locals.
Shannon Erne Waterway
Further south will take you out of Northern Ireland along the Shannon-Erne waterway, the canal which links Lough Erne with the River Shannon, with its 16 locks. You should experience going through one of the locks, operating the push button lock gates with your swipe card – remember to pick this up at Bellanaleck when you pick up your boat.
The first town on the canal is Ballyconnell, which is the furthest south you will probably get to. Before you head back north, be sure to try a steak at the Angler’s Rest, which has a reputation for the best steaks in the area. Heading back up towards Bellanaleck, you could stop off at many of the smaller islands on Upper Lough Erne, such as Inish Rath, home to a welcoming Hare Krishna community, and then back to the Carrickcraft marina in Bellanaleck to drop off your boat.