In Enniskillen – and County Fermanagh – we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to the great outdoors (though we’re rarely so spoiled when it comes to the weather.)
Our town is home to some of the most beautiful nature walks and forest parks in Northern Ireland and beyond, and is known near and far for its magnificent waterways. (There’s a reason we were voted one of the best places to live in Ireland.)
Whether you’re a local wanting to make the most of a sunny day or a tourist hoping to soak up some nature on your stay, we’ve rounded up some of the very best walks to do in Enniskillen and the surrounding areas.
Perfect for those wanting a leisure stroll, a walk around Enniskillen Castle doesn’t just offer views of the 15th century stone fortress, but of majestic Lough Erne: the jewel in Enniskillen’s crown.
The footpath around Enniskillen Castle runs adjacent to the water and is a perfect viewing spot for those keen to take in the beauty of the River Erne. With benches along the way, you can sit and watch the boats sail past or look out for jet skiers.
If you’re feeling energetic, squeeze in a lap around the playing fields next to the Lakeland Forum Leisure Centre afterwards – or if you’re thirsty, stroll up to the nearby Devenish Bar for a pint of the cold stuff.
Set in a 1,200 acre wooded estate, Castle Coole is situated right on the outskirts of town and is the perfect place for a scenic walk, jog, or run. It features a 1.1-mile loop and should take you around 30 minutes to complete.
Home to a striking 18th-century neoclassical castle, the site includes wooded areas that are lush with greenery and paths that run along the river’s edge. While there you can also explore the outside of the castle, check out the historic ice house, and visit the castle courtyard.
Walking with little ones? There’s a play park on-site to keep them amused and picnic benches throughout.
Combining heritage, scenery, and conservation efforts, Castle Coole is a must for history and nature lovers alike.
Located just outside of Enniskillen town on the Lough Shore Road, Ely Lodge is a peaceful forest park that spans over 250 hectares. Nestled beside the shores of Lower Lough Erne, the forest features many walking trails of different lengths.
The area is buzzing with wildlife – from swans idly floating across the water to birds chirping in the trees – and is lush with many deciduous and coniferous tree species, green moss, wood sorrel and ferns.
While you’re there, walk out onto one of the many jetties to get a better view of the expansive waterway or park up at one of the picnic tables for a snack and some liquid refreshments. It’s the perfect place to be at one with nature.
At Castle Archdale, you’ll take in the sheer expansiveness of Lough Erne. Snaking around the water’s edge, the main trail at Castle Archdale allows you to see the Lough in all its exquisite grandeur, with views of the river at some of its widest points.
The 4km loop around Castle Archdale will take you through secluded forested areas that feel almost other-worldly and lead you to the perfectly preserved castle courtyard. There, you’ll also find a museum and tea rooms. As an RAF base during World War 2, there’s plenty for history buffs to learn on their travels too.
On the 20-acre haven, you’ll also find picnic and BBQ spots, free showers and changing areas (should you choose to take a dip while out on your walk) and a play park to keep the kids entertained.
There’s also a shop should you want to bring a coffee or an ice cream on your stroll.
Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Boardwalk
Situated just 10 miles outside of the town, the Cuilcagh Boardwalk has been a popular spot since the new trail opened to the public – and beautiful pictures of its breath-taking views regularly appear on Instagram.
The walk takes you through one of the largest expanses of blanket bog in Northern Ireland, culminating in a steep ascent up ‘The Stairway To Heaven’ where you’ll find panoramic views of counties Fermanagh and Cavan.
Heed our advice: fuel up with a good breakfast and a strong mug of coffee before you go as you’ll need to conquer 450 steps at the end of this 9.2km walk, but – trust us – on a good day, the views are well worth it.
The walk should take you the guts of three hours. It’s a good idea to check the weather beforehand and bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Don’t forget a flask of tea and some biscuits for a pitstop at the top while you’re at it.