Things to see and do
While many visitors come to the Lakelands to relax and succumb to the quiet beauty of the scenery, there’s a lot more to offer than just refreshing tranquility. If you’re someone who likes the great outdoors then you’re in for a treat as the very best that nature has to offer is right on your doorstep! Fishing, cycling and walking opportunities are abundant; and golfers can test their skill on manicured parkland courses overlooked by breathtaking backdrops. Adrenaline hunters can tackle the larger lakes on canoes and kayaks; or even try their luck wakeboarding, waterskiing and windsurfing. But for the more laid-back, the Shannon-Erne waterway offers some of the best cruising in the land and is renowned throughout Europe for its pristine depths, friendly locals and idyllic terrain.
Lunch and learn at the Belle Isle Cookery School, County Fermanagh, a secluded paradise with an authentic country house atmosphere matched by the delicious local produce. Add the art of cheese-making to your skill-set at Corleggy Farm, Cavan. Of course, you can leave the culinary magic to the masters at MacNean House & Restaurant in Blacklion, County Cavan, where esteemed chef Neven Maguire rustles up fine dining and good old-fashioned Irish hospitality. A stroll in one of the region’s beautifully kept gardens is the perfect way to walk off your indulgences. Emo Court House and Gardens, County Laois, Hilton Park, County Monaghan and Crom Estate, County Fermanagh are just a few of the highlights. For a touch of history with modern conveniences, check into one of the luxury castle hotels. Lough Rynn Castle, County Leitrim, and Castle Leslie, County Monaghan, are both secluded and occupy exceptionally beautiful grounds, as well as the highest levels of comfort and service.
From castles to caves, the Lakelands does fascinating sights as effortlessly as beautifully as it does liquid landscapes. Enniskillen Castle, County Fermanagh, was built almost 600 years ago by Gaelic Maguires. It occupied one of the most strategically important passes into Ulster, which means wonderful views of the city and surrounding region these days. Take in the impressive tiered splendour of Belvedere House by the shores of Lough Ennell, and the real-life soap opera that resulted in the ‘Jealous Wall’. The lives of the Parsons family over the last 400 years can be unearthed at their ancestral home of the Birr Castle Demesne; while a trip to Clonmacnoise, an early Christian heritage site founded by St Ciaran in the mid-6th century, will really take you back. Natural attractions have been hear the longest though – millions of years in the case of the Marble Arch Caves European Geopark in Fermanagh, which our blog feels is like a natural theme park.