Enniskillen Travel Guide

  • Portora Castle
    Portora Castle
    by wabat
  • Enniskillen Castle
    Enniskillen Castle
    by wabat
  • Devenish Island - Monastic Ruins
    Devenish Island - Monastic Ruins
    by wabat

Enniskillen Highlights

  • Pro
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    wabat says…

     More than meets the eye. 

  • Con
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    wabat says…

     Weather can be disappointing at times 

  • In a nutshell
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    wabat says…

     My birthplace so hard to be independent 

Enniskillen Things to Do

  • Devenish Island

    I will admit up front to not having actually visited Devenish Island on my most recent trip to Enniskillen – the attached photos are taken from the “mainland”. I am strongly of the view that one should not write tips/reviews on places one does not have first hand experience of. I do feel qualified to write this tip as I have visited Devenish Island...

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  • Out and about at Florence Court House

    Florence Court House is set in beautiful parkland, woodland and gardens (the Pleasure Grounds) with stunning views across to Benaughlin and Cuilagh Mountains. Take a seat in the (Pacific Island inspired??) Summer House and admire the mountain view as well as the garden itself (picture one).The estate includes a walled garden (replete with Rose...

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  • Florence Court House

    This National Trust property was the home of the Cole (Earl of Enniskillen) family from the early 1700s to 1973. The Cole family, originally William Cole arrived in County Fermangh from Devon, England, in around 1612 when he was awarded the island of Enniskilen as part of the Plantation of Ulster. William Cole renovated and extended Enniskillen...

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  • Inniskillings Museum

    This museum, in the Keep or main castle building (along with a section on the Maguires) and former stables of Enniskillen Castle houses artefacts from the two army regiments raised in the town. This is a great museum if you are interested in military history.Enniskillen is the only town in the British Isles to have raised two army regiments bearing...

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  • St Michael’s Roman Catholic Church

    Built in 1875, shortly after the current incarnation of its Protestant neighbor across the street (St Macartin’s Cathedral ), St Michael's was designed by John O’Neill a very distinguished 19th century Ulster Catholic architect. His design had included a belfry and spire but these could not be built at the time because of soft foundations. A unique...

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  • St Macartin’s Cathedral

    Having secured Enniskillen in 1607 during the Ulster Plantation, William Cole set about developing the town. The Island had two small hills. Cole decided that the higher of the hills would be the site of a church while the slightly lower would be used as a market place – the Townhall now occupies the latter site.Apart from a small lattice window...

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  • Fermanagh County Museum

    This is a local museum concentrating on the (mainly non military) history, archaeology, natural history, local art and culture of County Fermanagh. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions from time to time. The Museum started out its life in 1976 in the Enniskillen Castle Keep but moved to its current specially built building in 1992-3 though a...

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  • Enniskillen Castle Complex

    The castle complex consists of a number of buildings including the Keep (main castle), the Watergate, a magazine, various barracks buildings and a reception area. The reception area which houses the Fermanagh County Museum was opened in 1992-3. The first castle, or forerunner of the current castle (keep) -picture four- was built pre 1428 by Hugh...

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  • Boer War Memorial

    The Boer War memorial, now located just outside the entrance to the Enniskillen Castle complex, commemorates those who lost their lives, from the two Enniskillen raised Regiments of the British Army - the Royal Inniskillings and the Inniskilling Dragoons in the 1899-1902 Boer War.The 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers arrived in Durban in...

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  • The Forthill Promenade and Pleasure Park

    A rather formal name for a very pretty little park worthy an hour or so of your time – locals refer to it as Forthill Park or simply Cole's Monument. You might secure a rather strange look about town if you enquire as to the whereabouts of the Pleasure Park!Prior to being called Forthill Park, from Plantation times (early 1600s) this small park was...

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  • The Marble Arch and Cladagh River Walk

    While the Marble Arch Caves are in themselves a primary tourist attraction in County Fermanagh you should certainly allocate a bit of extra time to your trip here so that you can have a walk overground in this beautiful part of the Country. The Global Geopark area in which the caves are located offer a large number of walking opportunities – you...

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  • Marble Arch Caves

    The UNESCO recognised Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark is host to the Marble Arch showcaves which include fascinating natural underground rivers, waterfalls, winding passages and lofty chambers. For the feature spotter, there is an ample supply of stalactites, stalagmites, pillars, cave curtains, rimstone pools, flowstones, fossils and an...

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  • Castle Archdale Country Park,

    HistoryThe original building on this site, and the one which gives it its name, was a Plantation castle built in 1615 for the English planter, John Archdale, on land granted in 1612. The Castle was temporarily captured during the 1641 Irish Rebellion when Irish rebels attempted, unsuccessfully, to remove the Plantation settlers from Ireland. The...

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  • Meet the Bishop at Killadeas

    On your right hand side as you enter the graveyard of the Priory Church of Killadeas are several interesting stones dating from the 7th – 9th centuries, especially interesting for their very obvious overlap of ‘pagan’ and Christian imagery.Probably the most well known and pictured is the Bishops Stone (pictures one and two). This stone has clearly...

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  • Secure Everlasting Love in Lisnaskea

    Lisnaskea is the second town of the county of Fermanagh in Northern Ireland with a population of 2,500.The Corn and Potato Market in the centre of the town was established by the 3rd Earl of Erne in 1841 when the Celtic cross – the “Adam and Eve Cross” on a much older pedestal – the "Barter Stone" was placed in the square – closer to the fence than...

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  • Castle Balfour, Lisnaskea

    Sir James Balfour, a Plantation undertaker from Fifeshire, Scotland, built Castle Balfour about 1618 on the edge of a low limestone cliff on the edge of the present town of Lisnaskea to assist in the securing of the plantation of Ulster, occurring at this time. Like many of the Plantation castles in County Fermanagh, the architecture is Scottish...

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  • Enniskillen Town Hall

    The Town Hall is located in the centre of Enniskillen (at the Diamond) and on one of two hills on the Island. Atop the other hill a couple of hundred metres away is St Macartin’s Cathedral.The renaissance style building of dark Carrickreagh limestone finished with Dungannon sandstone columns, cornices and statues was built in 1901. Its copper dome...

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  • St Mary’s and the Hanging Tree

    St Mary’s Church in Ardess, where the Ardess Famine Pit (see my separate tip) is located, was originally built in 1387. Part of today’s present stone built structure can be dated as far back as fifty years before the Reformation. The earliest recorded headstones here (the earliest known example of sculpted headstones in Ireland – many in the form...

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  • Ardess Famine Pit

    “Within this famine pit lieth the unknown dead 1845-1850” – inscription on the Famine Pit Memorial.As global leaders meet for the G8 Summit, outside Enniskillen in June 2013, to discuss global hunger among other things, I wonder how many will recall the death of over a million from starvation in the 1845-50 Irish famine? I am sure that few will...

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  • Crevenish Castle

    The remains of Crevenish Castle are south-east of the village of Kesh on the Crevenish Road, or 'the back road' as the locals call it – a beautiful drive in itself.The Castle (originally called Castle Hassett) was built by Thomas Blennerhassett a native of Norwich, England. Blennerhassett secured his land here - confiscated Maguire property - in...

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  • Janus and the Lusty Man

    I have to say I was rather surprised when I visited Caldragh Cemetery on Boa Island, Lower lough Erne. For many years I have seen just close-up pictures of “Janus” and the “Lusty Man” (properly referred to as the Boa Island and Lustymore figures respectively) and accordingly, or for whatever reason, assumed them to be at least a couple of metres...

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  • Drumskinny Stone Circle - Fermanagh's...

    There are many examples of stone circles in high bogland in North Fermanagh and neighbouring counties. Based on the recovery of artifacts, which I refer to later, in the 1962 excavation of the site it is thought to date from around 2000 BC or earlier – the early bronze age – and apparently the peak of the “stone circle era”. This is one of the best...

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  • Tully Castle

    I have already noted on my Portora Castle and Monea Castle reviews that a series of castles were built in County Fermanagh (and elsewhere in Ulster) in the 1610s and 1620s by settlers who arrived in the Plantation of Ulster around this time. The castles served a dual purpose – a display of wealth and power over the supplanted Irish and a line of...

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  • The Church of St. Molaise - Monea

    A century after St. Patrick's death and paralleling the growth of monasticism in Ireland in the sixth century, St. Molaise, founded a monastery on nearby Devenish Island. The Reformation and defeat of Ulster's Irish Chieftains by the English and Scottish Plantation settlers finally brought the monastic communities on Devenish to an end in 1603....

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  • Monea Castle

    This is most complete and the best preserved of Ulster’s plantation castles and well worth a visit. I have also written tips on two others, Portora and Tully both nearby in Co. Fermanagh.The so-called plantation castles were built in the 1610s and 1620s to consolidate the Ulster plantation of that period – when Ulster was colonised (following the...

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  • Portora Castle

    Portora Castle is located on the south bank of the River Erne overlooking the narrowest part of the river before it widens into. Lower Lough Erne. Archaeological digs have recovered Stone Age axes, Bronze Age swords and Iron Age ornaments proving that this has been an important and busy crossing point between the provinces of Connacht and Ulster...

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  • Portora – The Royal School

    Apart from their excellent writing skills what does Wabat (that’s me!), Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and Henry Francis Lyte have in common?Answer: We all went to the same school – Portora Royal School in Enniskillen. In fact, not only did we attend, each of us signed an enrollment register retained by the school. Wilde’s signature was hidden and his...

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Enniskillen Hotels

Enniskillen Shopping

  • Quality local Arts and Crafts

    Much of the original Old Buttermarket built in 1835 was carefully restored in 1990. The renovated buildings now house around sixteen art & craft units, a general gift shop and a coffee shop. This is a great place to pick up some locally made souvenirs including pottery, ceramics, handmade jewellery, textiles, original art and Irish fishing flies...

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  • changing money

    At time of wrining (Dec 09) this bureau de change offered a far better rate than the pOst office or any of the banks.Located by the side of B & M bargains right in the middle of town.Fast, efficient and keen. Can't ask for more !

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  • Enniskillen Hotels

    9 Hotels in Enniskillen

    648 Reviews and Opinions

Enniskillen Local Customs

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo

    by sourbugger Updated Dec 9, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Being so close to the 'Border' (there are no border controls these days) many of the shops in the town will accept Euros in cash.

    Do ask before you buy, as it would be a little embarrassing if you are trying to pay for a purchase and you don't have any 'real' money.

    Exchange rates vary widly. If you have euros are spending them then always check the rate they are offereing. You could get a bargain as a shop may off a premium over the normal exchange rate as an inducement to Southern shoppers. Chain stores are more likley to offer a less keen rate

    Handy if you are only in the 'North' for a couple of hours.

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Enniskillen Favorites

  • diamond_skies's Profile Photo

    by diamond_skies Written Jul 7, 2005

    Favorite thing: If you happen to travel to Enniskillen in June/July, keep an eye out for the lovely purple or white orchids (dactylorhyza). They can be seen growing in grassy areas such as the verge on the roadside and can easily be missed. Please do no pick them!

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