Lough Erne

Your one-stop hub of information about Lough Erne including facts, things to do and where to stay.

What is Lough Erne?

Lough Erne, the second-largest lake system in Northern Ireland and Ulster, and the fourth largest on the island of Ireland, is a picturesque and idyllic location that’s perfect for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. With its two lakes – the Upper Lough (19 km in length) and Lower Lough (42 km in length) – connected by the River Erne, Lough Erne offers a breathtaking landscape that’s sure to impress.

Stretching 40 miles (64 km) long, with an average width of five miles (eight km) and a maximum depth of 200 feet (60 m), Lough Erne is a veritable playground for anyone interested in tourism, island exploration, fishing, or yacht club activities.

Enniskillen, a charming town located on the short stretch of the river between the two lakes, is a popular destination for those seeking a rural getaway to the countryside. Additionally, there are several other neighboring lakeside towns and villages, such as Belleek, Kesh, Killadeas, Belturbet, Pettigo, Derrylin, Trory, and Ballycassidy, that offer visitors a unique taste of rural Northern Ireland.

With over 150 islands, coves, and inlets, Lough Erne is a fantastic place to explore, whether you’re a local or a tourist. The lake system is teeming with a variety of fish species, making it an ideal location for those interested in fishing. Moreover, for those with an interest in yacht club activities, Lough Erne offers an unrivaled sailing experience, with its calm waters and gentle winds making it perfect for beginners and seasoned sailors alike.

In summary, Lough Erne is a hidden gem that offers a wealth of activities and experiences for anyone seeking a break from the stresses of modern life. With its stunning landscape, quaint towns and villages, and abundance of islands and coves, Lough Erne is an ideal location for anyone interested in tourism, island exploration, fishing, or yacht club activities.

Lough Erne History

If you’re a history buff looking for a unique destination, look no further than Lough Erne, located in the heart of County Fermanagh. This stunning lake system is steeped in history, dating back centuries and boasting a wealth of fascinating stories and anecdotes.

One of the most intriguing examples of Lough Erne’s historical significance is its role during the Second World War. The Royal Air Force station Castle Archdale, located on the shores of the lake, played a vital role in the Battle of the Atlantic, providing an essential airbase in the fight against U-boats. Thanks to a secret agreement with the Irish Government, flying boats based at the station were permitted to fly straight across neutral Ireland to the Atlantic, a route that avoided the two-hour detour that would have been necessary for planes based in Northern Ireland.

Beyond its military history, Lough Erne has a rich and diverse past that’s sure to captivate anyone interested in tourism, island exploration, fishing, or yacht club activities. The lake system has more than 150 islands, each with its own unique history and character. From the monastic sites of the early Christian period to the fortified castles of the Plantation era, the islands of Lough Erne are steeped in history and offer a fascinating glimpse into the past.

For those interested in fishing, Lough Erne is an ideal location, with a wide variety of fish species to be found in its waters. Anglers can cast their lines for trout, pike, bream, roach, and perch, to name just a few of the species that inhabit the lake.

Moreover, for those with an interest in yacht club activities, Lough Erne is an unparalleled sailing destination. With its calm waters and gentle winds, the lake system provides a perfect location for beginners and seasoned sailors alike.

In summary, Lough Erne is a truly unique destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in the region’s military history, its ancient settlements and monastic sites, or its world-class fishing and yacht club activities, Lough Erne is a must-visit location for anyone seeking an unforgettable vacation experience. So, pack your bags and head to County Fermanagh for a trip that you’ll never forget!

Lough Erne with tourism, islands, fishing & yacht club
Lough Erne with tourism, islands, fishing & yacht club

Islands of Lough Erne

Lough Erne contains many small islands and peninsulas, some of the best known being:

Devenish Island

Devenish Island, also known as the Isle of Oxen, is about one and a quarter miles long and two-thirds of a mile wide. It was a holy place of worship, scholarship and burial that welcomed pilgrims and residents for work and prayer. It was also a safe meeting place for powerful chieftains and religious leaders, and thus was given the name ‘Devenish of the Assemblies’.

Its 70 or so acres supported a sixth-century monastic site founded by St Molaise, which was raided by Vikings and burned in the twelfth century, but it rose again to flourish in the Middle Ages.

Many venture to Devenish Island to take in the tranquil atmosphere and think about the history that filled this landscape in the centuries before. The remains of the buildings you see today date from the 12th, 13th and 15th centuries. Remnants of the island’s earlier history remain hidden beneath your feet. When you visit, expect to see ruins such as St Molaise’s Church, St Mary’s Abbey, and a round tower – and feel the eerie echoes of the Island’s rather turbulent 1,500-year history.

Devenish Island can be found just outside Enniskillen, County Fermanagh approximately one and a half miles by car, followed by a short boat trip. Ferry trips can be booked through Castle Archdale Country Park.

Lough Erne with tourism, islands, fishing & yacht club
Lough Erne with tourism, islands, fishing & yacht club

White Island

White Island, situated in Castle Archdale Bay off the eastern shore of Lower Lough Erne, is a hidden gem that’s steeped in history and intrigue. The island is home to the ruins of an ancient church, built on the site of a sixth-century monastic settlement, making it an ideal destination for anyone interested in history or island exploration.

Inside the ruins of the church, visitors can see a group of mysterious carved figures and a still-intact arched Romanesque doorway. These incredible features are State Care Historic Monuments and offer a fascinating glimpse into the island’s past. The carvings are believed to have been seized during a Viking raid in the ninth century before being discovered by workmen 400 years later. The workmen then used them in the construction of the now-ruined church, adding another layer of history and mystery to this incredible location.

To visit White Island, simply head to the marina in Castle Archdale Country Park, located near Irvinestown, and take a ferry to the island. The journey itself is an experience, with stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the tranquil waters of Lower Lough Erne.

In summary, White Island is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in tourism, island exploration, or history. With its ancient church ruins, mysterious carved figures, and intact Romanesque doorway, this island offers a fascinating glimpse into the past and is sure to intrigue and captivate visitors. So, pack your bags and head to White Island for an unforgettable vacation experience that you’ll treasure for years to come.

White Island, Lough Erne with tourism, islands, fishing & yacht club

Boa Island

Boa Island is located near the north shore of Lower Lough Erne, which is accessible by road bridge.

Boa was named after Badhbh (pronounced ‘Bive’), an ancient goddess of war, which seems at odds with this idyll surrounding.

At Caldragh Cemetery you’ll find a tiny graveyard that boasts two of the most enigmatic statues on the island of Ireland. The largest of the figures is the Boa Island bilateral figure. It is regarded as one of the most enigmatic and remarkable stone figures in Ireland. It is called a Janus figure because it has two faces, reminding some of the Roman two-headed deity Janus, however, it is not a representation of Janus. It is thought to represent a Celtic deity and could represent a Celtic goddess as readily as a god, especially given the name of the island.

On the top of the bilateral figure is carved a deep indentation of unknown purpose, where tourists often place small mementoes such as coins in it for good luck.

From Fermanagh Town take the A32 North, then the B82 for about 10 kilometres then drive onto Boa Island (sign-posted).

Lough Erne with tourism, islands, fishing & yacht club

Other Lough Erne Islands

Of all the islands of Lough Erne, the largest islands are Inishmore (at the northern end of Upper Lough Erne) and Galloon Island at the lower end of Upper Lough Erne. The next largest is Boa Island, within Lower Lough Erne. All three of these comprise multiple townlands. Many of the next largest islands constitute a single townland.

Islands in the lower lake include Cleenishmeen Island, Crevinishaughy Island, Cruninish Island, Ely Island, Goat Island, Horse Island, Inish Doney, Inish Fovar, Inish Lougher, Inish More or Davy’s Island, Inis Rath, Inishmacsaint, Inishmakill, Lustybeg Island, Lustymore Island and White Island.

Those in the upper lake include Bleanish Island, Crehan Island, Dernish Island, Inishcorkish, Inishcrevan, Inishfendra, Inishleague, Inishlught, Inishrath, Inishturk, Killygowan Island, Naan Island and Trannish.

Several of the islands are privately owned and occasionally come on to the open market.

Lough Erne Tourism

Lough Erne is full of tourist attractions and activities, including:

Lough Erne Golf

The Faldo Championship Golf Course was designed by six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo and offers superb all-year-round playing conditions.

The spectacular Fermanagh Lakelands setting provides a stunning backdrop to the course. There are stunning views from every vantage point and the waters of the Lough come into play on 11 of the 18 holes.

A top 100 course in the UK and Ireland – it measures 7,071 yards from the tips and is a Par 72. The course record of 68 was set by Rory McIlroy (touring professional 2009-2011) and still remains unbeaten.

Whether it be for society outings, tournaments, corporate and fundraising events or for those who just want to experience 18 of the very best golf holes in Ireland, the Faldo Course is a must-play venue where you will remember every hole and every shot. Each hole has been individually named in line with its individual traits and a tribute to the local area and each is beautifully framed in the natural landscape.

Lough Erne Yacht Club

The Lough Erne Yacht Club sits on the eastern shore of Lower Lough Erne, on Gublusk Bay. It is a clubhouse that offers full facilities, including jetties and moorings to accommodate sailing as well as motorised boats of varying sizes.

At Lough Erne, visitors can expect unspoiled sailing and cruising waters. The lake is not congested like many other waterways, meaning you can cruise or sail for hours without the worry of meeting another vessel. There is no commercial traffic other than several sightseeing tours which are there to enjoy the nature-lovers paradise that is Lough Erne.

Lough Erne’s many bays, inlets and islands are within a short distance of the Yacht Club, making it a great departure spot for exploring the fascinating and stunning surroundings of the lake.

Whether you want to sail or waterski – there’s no better way to enjoy the natural beauty of Lough Erne.

Lough Erne Fishing

With over 300 square miles of water, Lough Erne is one of the finest coarse fishing waters in Europe, and has become popular as a competition venue for anglers.

With its many loughs and rivers, the Fermanagh Lakelands offer game and coarse anglers the opportunity to fish for a range of species. For game anglers, expect to find salmon and wild brown trout as well as stocked rainbow trout. The famous sonaghan, ferox and gillaroo can also be found in these diverse waters. Coarse anglers will enjoy the chance to find bream, pike, roach, pollan, perch, tench and many more.

Enniskillen is full of specialist tackle and bait shops. Here, you can get equipped with the latest in lures, reels, and rods so you can truly enjoy the Fermanagh angling experience.

Some great fishing spots at Lough Erne include:

The Navar Lakes comprise three main lakes: the Achork, Meenameen and Glencreawan. These lakes are located in nearby Derrygonnelly, with the Achork and Meenameen Lakes having a high number of brown trout, while the Glencreawan Lake has a mix of brown and rainbow trout. For experienced anglers who want to do fly fishing, spinning and worm fishing – the Achork and Meenameen Lakes would be the best options. Glencreawan Lake provides the best results for fly fishing only.
Located in Belcoo, Lough Scolban is full of pike fish, with some weighing up to 9 kg, as well as plenty of perch and roach which tend to be on the smaller size. Trout and bream are occasionally found in this lake, too.

At Lower Lough Erne, which is best accessed from Enniskillen, the mayfly makes its appearance in mid-May and continues for three to four weeks. So if you are into fly fishing, this is the perfect time of year to book a fishing break at Lough Erne.

Blessingbourne Estate, which is located near Fivemiletown, is home to a large stately Manor House which offers peaceful walks and exciting bike trails for all visitors to enjoy. The main attraction for anglers are the two Blessingbourne Lakes which sit amongst the woodland within the estate. The larger lake is around three metres deep and is best known for its specimen pike, perch, roach and rudd fishing. If you wish to fish on the Blessingbourne Lakes, you must first have the Landowner’s permission prior to arrival.

Note: all locations mentioned above require a full fishing licence from The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Lough Erne waterbikes

At Erne Adventures you will be taking cycling off the road and onto the relative safety of the water. Explore Ireland Island Town in the dark onboard our Hydrobikes with Lights. This is a new and unique water experience where you really will see Enniskillen from a completely different perspective. Hydrobikes provide a gentle, low-impact aerobic total body workout; but it all depends on how fast you pedal.

Take a hydro bike out for a leisurely ride, a fast cardio workout, a photography session, or fishing.

FUN, SAFE, AND UNSINKABLE – The hydrobikes are a perfect way to experience water sports. Hydrobikes are super dog friendly, and your furry friend will love the ride as much as you will.

The world’s first and most durable hydrobike, manufactured in the USA. Carry compartments and drink holders. 

Hydrobikes are single-seated, one person per bike. Min Age 11. All riders should have a leg inseam of 26 inches to reach the pedals.

Lodge At Lough Erne

Lodge Master Bedroom
Reeds Bridge at Lough Erne
Lodge Kitchen
Lodge Bathroom
Lodge Dining
Lodge Master Bedroom ensuite

When staying in Fermanagh, its best to stay by the water to make the most of your time here and ensure a truly relaxing, tranquil experience. The Lodge at Lough Erne offers guests luxury self-catering with an exclusive ‘home from home’ experience.

The French chalet-style three-bedroom property sleeps up to six adults and two kids (using a sofa bed at an additional charge), making it an ideal choice for groups and families looking for a place to unwind after a fun-filled rural getaway.

Nestled within grounds of Northern Ireland’s first Tourism NI and AA 5 Star Resort, Lough Erne Resort, The Lodge directly overlooks Castle Hume Lough and the fourth green of the renowned Faldo Championship Golf Course.

Guests can make themselves at home as soon as they step in the door. The Lodge is a comfortable, beautifully designed holiday home featuring modern interiors. Highlights include: three spacious bedrooms, a large open plan kitchen and a dining area which opens out onto a paved patio area with outdoor furniture, a spacious living area and utility room.

Conveniently located a short walk away from the Lough Erne Resort; guests of The Lodge at Lough Erne can enjoy the luxury Resort’s facilities at an additional charge. These include: the Thai Spa, fitness suite, a variety of dining experiences with menus curated by acclaimed chef Noel McMeel, two championship golf courses and the chance to perfect skills at The Golf Academy.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s included on-site at The Lodge at Lough Erne:

Facilities at The Lodge at Lough Erne

The Lodge At Lough Erne is a pleasant stroll away from the five-star Lough Erne Resort, where guests can enjoy the Resort’s luxury facilities during their stay for an additional charge.

On the ground floor of The Lodge, there is a full-size kitchen/dining room with full self-catering facilities including a dishwasher. The dining area seats six beside a gas fire and 50 inch Smart TV. There are also two bedrooms (one twin room and one double room) along with a bathroom and a utility room.

Upstairs, you will find the living room that comfortably seats eight people with panoramic views of the fourth green in front of the Lough Erne Golf Resort. Another gas fire and Smart TV can are available for guests to use. The master bedroom, ensuite and sofa bed are also located on this floor.

How to Get to Lodge at Lough Erne

You can find the Lodge at Lough Erne five minutes away from Enniskillen (St Angelo) Private Airport. It is a 90-minute drive from Belfast International and Belfast City Airport, and 120 minutes from Dublin Airport.

Lough Erne FAQ

Lough Erne is a large lake system located in Northern Ireland, made up of two lakes, Upper Lough Erne and Lower Lough Erne, which are connected by the River Erne. The lake system is situated in the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands, a region known for its natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere.

The Lodge at Lough Erne is a luxurious four-star self-catering property situated on the ground of the Lough Erne Golf Resort. This stunning Fisherman’s Style Chalet offers breathtaking views of the surrounding lake and golf course and is an ideal destination for anyone seeking a luxurious vacation experience or attending a wedding at Lough Erne Resort.

The Lodge at Lough Erne offers three bedrooms a living rooms, two toilets and a full size kitchen with dining area. The Lodge at Lough Erne is separate to the Resort.

Nearby the Lough Erne Resort offers a wide range of facilities, including a championship golf course, a luxurious spa, a fitness center, and several dining options. The hotel also features conference and event spaces, making it an ideal location for corporate events and weddings.

Lough Erne offers a range of activities, including fishing, kayaking, hiking, and golfing. The lake system is also home to several small islands, many of which have historical and cultural significance, making it a fascinating destination for island exploration.

The best time to visit Lough Erne depends on your interests. For those interested in fishing, the spring and autumn months are the best time to visit, as the fish are most active during these seasons. Summer is a popular time to visit, as the weather is generally warm and pleasant. Additionally, autumn is an excellent time to visit for those interested in golfing, as the cooler temperatures make for comfortable playing conditions.

There are several neighboring towns and villages around Lough Erne, including Enniskillen, Belleek, Kesh, and Belturbet, which offer a range of attractions and activities, such as museums, historic sites, and shops. Additionally, there are several other lakes in the region that are worth exploring, including Lough Melvin, Lough Navar, and Lough MacNean.

In summary, Lough Erne is a stunning destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking a luxurious vacation experience at the Lodge at Lough Erne or interested in exploring the natural beauty and cultural significance of the region, Lough Erne is sure to captivate and enchant visitors of all ages and interests.

No. The Lodge at Lough Erne is a sister property of the Belmore Court & Motel and is totally independent from the Lough Erne Resort.

The Lodge is within 5 minute walking distance of the resort and guests are welcome to use their facilities like any other Resort non-resident.