Fermanagh’s largest, most famous lake is actually two in one extending 50 miles. Lower Lough Erne stretches for 26 scenic miles towards the Atlantic. The more peaceful Upper Lough Erne flows southeast form Enniskillen and is a mesmerizing labyrinth of secretive islands, where boatmen need a chart to plot their course.
Many parts of the lakeside are high and rocky, with numerous secret coves and inlets to explore. Together the two parts of Lough Erne have 154 wooded islands. A boat tour is the best way to experience the space, solitude and beauty of this floating world. Waterbuses and boats depart from Enniskillen.
Erne islands were important places for Stone Age island hoppers, and as holy sites for early Christians. Devenish has an impressive round tower, while on White Island, the ruins of a 12th century Romanesque church includes ancient carved figures. For centuries, visitors to Boa Island have puzzled over the intriguing stones depicting ‘Celtic idols’. Most islands are uninhabited; some are nature reserves supporting an amazing variety of birdlife. Many are so tiny they barely contain a couple of trees.
Since the restoration of the historic canal between the Erne and the Shannon River, the entire stretch from Enniskillen to Limerick, over 200 miles of navigable water, is open to pleasure cruisers. The largest inland waterway in the British Isles attracts visitors from around the world.
See our Activities section to learn about the many facilities and adventures on offer for boating and angling visitors. Or ask at Reception and we’ll get you afloat.