From exquisite lakeside lodges to chic urban boltholes, Enniskillen and Lough Erne are filled with diverse retreats in truly magnificent settings. Live it up at a sumptuous five-star resort, relax in a remarkable bubble dome, or sleep with the sound of the wind rustling the trees in a gorgeous country park.
Hotels in Enniskillen:
Stay in Enniskillen town and you’ll have everything on your doorstep – great restaurants, cosy cafés, fun-filled adventures at the Water Activity Zone, and history at Enniskillen Castle. It’s a great place to bed down and the wide range of accommodation means it’s easy to find something to suit. Right in the centre of town, on the edge of Forthill Park, the boutique-style Enniskillen Hotel delivers what they describe as “Motel Standard” rooms – compact, nicely designed and very comfortable. Boasting a bar and restaurant, the hotel is about a 10-minute walk from the Ardhowen Theatre and offers free parking on site. Four-star accommodation is on the cards at the Belmore Court & Motel, with 60 bedrooms that range from standard to family. The motel is a great option for families, too, with townhouses that have been converted into one and two-bedroom apartments. Or try the Westville Hotel, with spacious and nicely designed rooms, a lovely terrace restaurant and in-hour cocktail bar. enniskillenhotel.com; motel.co.uk; westvillehotel.co.uk
Castle Archdale Caravan Park:
Chirping birds, lapping of water against the shore, the sound of soft breezes rustling leaves – if you want to embark on a total escape, then make your way to Castle Archdale. With an exceptional location on the shores of the lough, the caravan park and pitching facilities here are excellent, with everything at your fingertips from playparks to watersports to wifi! And with a setting boasting acres of pristine woodland, you’ll find you’re never short of something to do. castlearchdale.com
Lough Erne Resort:
Rising from the lush green green parkland of County Fermanagh like a fairytale castle, Lough Erne Resort has it all: rippling waters, gourmet food and two championship golf courses. With a great location just a 10-minute drive from Enniskillen and close to some great walks at Ely Lodge and Lough Navar Forest, the resort is a luxurious refuge and makes for a very relaxing break. As well as excellent golf facilities, there’s a Thai spa, a 3 AA Rosette restaurant featuring excellent local produce and children’s entertainment. The on-site lodges are a good choice for families looking for slightly more space. lougherneresort.com
Finn Lough Resort:
Perched on the edge of the lake amongst sleepy woodland, Finn Lough is so much more than just a place to sleep. Quirky and unique, this is a stunning retreat where you’ll find an amazing Scandi-style spa set in the forest, a small private cinema and a wealth of activities from cycling to canoeing. For a real adventure, opt for a night in one of the stunning bubble domes and enjoy with star-spangled skies and a feeling of being utterly immersed in nature. For dinner, make a date at the excellent restaurant for elegant dishes such as wild game pot pie and roast duck a la rhubarb. finnlough.com
Lusty Beg Island Resort, Kesh:
Sitting on its very own island in the middle of Lower lough Erne, even getting to Lusty Beg feels like fun. Hop on the ferry for a journey across the swaying waters (it takes less than five minutes) and you’ll arrive on an island that seems to wow you with panoramic views at every turn. Opt for luxurious lakeside guest bedrooms, or go for a gorgeous wood cabin with private verandas. Wherever you choose to stay, you’ll enjoy a day that is as relaxing or as active as you make it with an island spa, activity centre, tennis court, children’s play area, and bars and restaurants. lustybegisland.com
Manor House Country Hotel:
Mixing a dose of old-world charm with modern luxury, the origins of Manor House date back to the 17thcentury, making the hotel today a seamless blend of hospitality and history. Bedrooms range from Luxury Premier Suites to Family Rooms, and there’s a good leisure centre with a large swimming pool where you can chill out after a busy day exploring. Set about a 15-minute drive from Enniskillen, the hotel is a good base for accessing Castle Archdale Country Park as well as the shops, cafes and restaurants of Enniskillen town. manorhousecountryhotel.com
Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges:
Benefitting from proximity to Enniskillen town as well as a stunning lakeside location, Killyhelvin offers the best of both worlds. The beautiful gardens are ideal for whiling away afternoons in summer, while in winter you can enjoy the indoor swimming pool, outdoor hot tub and gym, and Elemis spa. The hotel rooms are comfortable and spacious, with great family rooms, as well as beautiful riverside self-catering lodges. killyhelvin.com
Carrybridge Lakeside Lodge:
Carrybridge serves up pure rustic relaxation on the scenic shores of Upper Lough Erne, and is a very popular stop-off for boaters who drop in for a dose of good food and local hospitality. Comfortable, well-priced bedrooms and lovely outdoor areas with views over the still blue waters seal the deal. carrybridgelakesidelodge.com
Mahon’s Hotel, Irvinestown:
A great all rounder, Mahon’s makes a good base to explore the best of Lower Lough Erne. Weekend nights local bands liven things up in the bar, while the dining room here serves a popular carvery lunch every day, as well as an evening a la carte menu. Family rooms are available and the hotel is well known for its friendly welcome and helpful staff. mahonshotel.co.uk
Dotted all around Lough Erne, you’ll find a wealth of excellent B&Bs that provide cosy, comfortable accommodation with local recommendations and a very personal touch. There’s the Erne Valley Bed and Breakfast, a delightful secluded residence on the east shore of Lower Lough Erne; there’s the beautifully situated Corrigan’s Shore House, right on the edge of Upper lough Erne; and there’s farmhouse friendliness at Lackaboy House, on the edge of Enniskillen town. Rural seclusion or the buzz of the town – when it comes to B&Bs you’ll definitely find something to suit.
For longer stays and maximum flexibility, self-catering around Upper and Lower lough Erne is the way to go. There are wonderful self-catering properties to choose from, including those located on hotel grounds, such as Lough Erne Resort, Killyhelvin and Lusty Beg, where you can use the resort’s facilities. Or opt for some of the excellent private cottages, such as the luxurious Rossharbour Resort. Want something truly special? Book one of the restored Courtyard Apartments at the exquisite Belle Isle Castle. The estate here is a stunning escape for kids, with lakeside walking trails and friendly donkeys. Also, you can book with Family Self Catering Ireland.com, located within Enniskillen town and within walking distance of all of the town's amenities. And don’t miss some of the National Trust’s charming local offerings, such as the apartments at Crom Estate and Butler’s Apartment in Florence Court.