Ireland is a watery place of many lakes, rivers and canals. So it's quite an achievement to be the most watery county of all. Yet this is but one of Fermanagh's many claims to distinction. It is the only county in Ireland through which you can travel the complete distance between its furthest extremities entirely by boat.
Rivers often divide one county from another, but Fermanagh is divided - or linked if you prefer - throughout its length by the handsome waters of the River Erne, both river and lake. Southeast of the historic county town of Enniskillen, Upper Lough Erne is a maze of small waterways meandering their way into Fermanagh from the Erne’e source in County Cavan.
Northwest of characterful Enniskillen, the river channels open out into the broad spread of Lower Lough Erne, a magnificent inland sea set off against the spectacular heights of the Cliffs of Magho. Through this broad lake, the River Erne progresses to the sea at Ballyshannon in Donegal by way of a rapid descent at Belleek in Fermanagh..
It's a stunningly beautiful county with much else of interest, including the Marble Arch caves, and the great houses of Castle Coole and Florence Court, the latter with its own forest park nestling under the rising heights of Cuilcagh (667m) – beyond it, the River Shannon emerges to begin its long journey south
For those who think lakes are for fishing rather than floating over, in western Fermanagh the village of Garrison gives access to Lough Melvin, an angler's heaven which is noted particularly for its unique sub-species of salmon, the gillaroo. You just can't escape from water in this county, and Fermanagh is blessed as much of the rest of the world contemplates water shortages.
Local Attractions and Information
Belleek Porcelain and Explore Erne Exhibition +44 (0)28 68 659300
Bellanaleck Sheelin Lace Museum +44 (0)28 66 348052
Enniskillen Ardhowen Lakeside Theatre +44 (0)28 66 325440
Enniskillen Castle Coole House & Parkland +44 (0)28 66 322690
Enniskillen Enniskillen Castle +44 (0)28 66 325000
Enniskillen Florence Court +44 (0)28 66 348249
Enniskillen Lakelands Tourism +44 (0)28 66 346736
Enniskillen Lough Erne Cruises +44 (0)28 66 322882
Enniskillen Tourism Information +44 (0)28 66 323110
Enniskillen Waterways Ireland +44 (0)28 66 323004
Florence Court House and garden +44 (0)28 66 348249
Florencecourt Marble Arch Caves +44 (0)28 66 348855
Garrison Lough Melvin Activity Holiday Centre +44 (0)28 68 658142
Kesh Ardess Craft Centre +44 (0)28 68 631267
Kesh Castle Archdale Country Park +44 (0)28 68 621588
Newtownbutler Crom Castle +44 (0)28 67 738174