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Is Enniskillen A Good Place To Live

  • Date: January 10, 2024
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Everything You Need To Know About Relocating To This Fermanagh Town

Few things in life decide our happiness more than where we decide to live. Good news if you’re thinking of setting up camp in Enniskillen: this scenic island town on the Irish border has frequently been voted one of the best places to live – not to mention one of the happiest.

In fact, in 2023 it scooped the coveted top spot in the Sunday Times Best Places To Live In The UK list.

Meanwhile, in 2022, Enniskillen was voted happiest place to live in Northern Ireland, alongside Omagh.

Enniskillen has an obvious USP: It’s Ireland’s only island town. It has beautiful scenery, a thriving food scene, good schools, and is relatively safe.

So, is Enniskillen a good place to live?

We’ll answer that for you, but first things first…

A bit about Enniskillen

Enniskillen, the county town of Fermanagh, is home to about 14,000 people. This picturesque settlement is situated on a natural island that separates the upper and lower parts of Lough Erne – one of Northern Ireland’s biggest waterways.

One of its most striking features is Enniskillen Castle, which overlooks the Lough. Built in the 15th century, it was a stronghold of the Maguires, and is now a popular tourist destination.

Packed with character, Enniskillen has a lot to offer besides beautiful views and historical attractions, with restaurants, coffee shops, and bars a-plenty, a thriving arts and crafts scene, many local, independent retailers, and a bustling atmosphere, to name just a few.

 

Before moving here there are a few things you might like to consider. Such as…

Cost of living

Like most other parts of Northern Ireland, the cost of living in Enniskillen has risen in recent years. However, Northern Ireland still remains cheaper than other parts of the UK.

According to MoneyFarm, it’s 1.27 times cheaper on average when compared to England, Scotland, and Wales.

If you plan on renting, Home.co.uk says you can expect to pay an average of £719 per month for a three-bedroom home, as of January 2024.

Meanwhile, if you’re buying a property, the UK House Price Index shows that NI house prices surged by 1.4% in the final quarter of 2023, giving an average house price of just under £174,000.

How does Enniskillen stack up compared to other parts of NI? The lowest average house prices can be found in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon while Lisburn and Castlereagh had the highest price of just over £203,000. Enniskillen house prices fall somewhere in the middle. (Not bad for lake views, right?)

What about other expenses?  The cost of general living expenses like public transport, eating out, and childcare, are relatively low when compared to other towns and cities in the UK.

 

Public transport

There’s no rail in Enniskillen. But otherwise, the town is fairly well connected with local bus routes and connections further afield.

You can easily take a jaunt across the border to Sligo or Donegal, or travel to Belfast (roughly 90 travel time) or Dublin (allow two plus hours.)

Jobs outlook

Searching for a job in Enniskillen? Good news: unemployment is generally low here. In fact, Northern Ireland had the lowest unemployment rate in the UK for six consecutive years and hit a record low in 2019.

Some of the biggest sectors in Enniskillen and the surrounding areas include agriculture, construction, hospitality, and transport, storage and communications.

If you’re a freelancer or remote worker, you can hotdesk at The Enniskillen Workhouse or Fermanagh Enterprise.

 

Shopping

People travel from both sides of the Irish border to shop in Enniskillen. You can expect to find loads of familiar high-street retailers here, as well as the major supermarkets, including Asda, Tesco, Lidl and Dunnes Stores.

Dotted throughout the town are some local retail gems, like Fermanagh Cottage Industries, which is a treasure trove of brick-a-brack and quirky souvenirs.

This round-up of Enniskillen’s shops will tell you all you need to know about the town’s retail offering, whether you’re picking up potatoes for your dinner or nabbing a bargain outfit in the sales.

 

Things to do

If there’s one thing Enniskillen has in spades it’s beautiful scenery, and so on a dry day you shouldn’t be short of activities. (We’ve rounded up some of the best Enniskillen walks here.)

Some of the top attractions in the town and surrounding areas include:

  •       Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail
  •       Castle Coole
  •       Marble Arch Caves
  •       The Boatyard Distillery
  •       Enniskillen Castle
  •       Florencecourt House & Grounds
  •       Ardhowen Theatre

 

Eating out

You’re spoiled for choice with places to eat out in Enniskillen. In recent years, the town has seen an explosion of new lunch spots – check out eight of our favourite Enniskillen lunch spots here.

It also has plenty to offer for those looking for an evening meal, whether you’re after traditional pub grub, Greek tapas, Indian buffet, fine dining, or just something tasty.

Got a hankering for something specific? You’ll find most of the popular cuisines in Enniskillen.

 

Nightlife

Whether you prefer a quiet pint or a lively night out, you’ll certainly find a watering hole to suit your tastes in Enniskillen.

The town is home to many pubs and bars, and a handful of nightclubs – most of which are dotted along its handsome main street.

Hotspots include Charlie’s Bar, a friendly family-run establishment with a traditional Irish pub feel, and Magees, a lively contemporary bar with a great atmosphere.

Want to know more? You can read our comprehensive guide to Enniskillen’s nightlife scene here.

 

Scenic and welcoming, with a great atmosphere and a relatively low cost of living. We may be a touch biased, but we reckon Enniskillen is a great place to live.

Written By Victoria Stokes

Victoria Stokes is a writer and journalist hailing from County Fermanagh who sings the praise of ‘our wee town’ to anyone who will listen. She’s had a prolific and long-spanning career in online and print media and is often found with an espresso martini in one hand and her passport in the other.

Photo credit: Micheal Leslie

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