Suggested cruising options Bellanaleck*
Travel between picturesque villages of Ireland

One week
Add to my favourites
By :
Belleek, Ballyconnell
Around 140 KM
from 1723 EUROS**
* Cruise suggestions: non contractual information
** All prices are calculated on the basis of a two day weekend in low season.
  • 01-cuilcagh-countain-1200x800
  • 02-enniskillen-2-1200x800
  • 03-enniskillen-nuit-1200x800
  • 04-bellanaleck-1200x800
  • 06-lough-erne-1200x800
  • 07-restaurant-shannon-1200x800
  • 08-devenish-island-1200x800
  • NICOLS-0610-109

Description of
the boating holiday

The River Erne - from north to south

Travel along the River Erne almost to its mouth, then up to Ballyconnell. A one-week boating holiday here sees you cross large lakes and visit small, charming and picturesque villages.

Departure base

Welcome to Northern Ireland! Here, as you are in Great Britain, pounds sterling is the currency used. Bellanaleck is a peaceful little village on the banks of the River Erne with a central location between the large Upper Lough Erne and Lower Lough lakes.

Before picking up your Nicols canal boat, go (by car) to the Marble Arch cave, classified as a "Global Geopark" by UNESCO for its geological interest. With more than 11km of tunnels formed by three underground rivers over the centuries the site is well worth the detour whether you choose a visit led by a specialist caving guide or simply take a self-guided tour. Right next to it is the Cuilcagh hiking trail (12km round trip) which is a wooden pontoon that winds through the middle of an unspoiled bog, until you reach the highest point of Cuilcagh Mountain from where the view is breathtaking. After all these adventures, head to the marina for the start of your boating holiday on the River Erne.

Places to see and things to do

Enniskillen: home to a magnificent castle on the banks of the Erne

A small island town in Northern Ireland, Enniskillen is surrounded by the different waters of the River Erne. Before mooring in one of the marinas, take a tour of the island to enjoy the best views of its 16th century castle. From your self-drive canal boat, the fortress will be all the more impressive. Once you have moored in Enniskillen, a wide variety of activities are available to you: visit the castle and its military museum, enjoy watersports activities at the Blueway Water Activity Zone, discover the neo-classical castle of Castle Coole, golf, shopping, angling (fishing license required)… You will also find a large number of pubs and restaurants in which to spend typical Irish evenings, with family or friends.

Lower Lough Erne: a delight for hikers and anglers

A large expanse of shallow water located north of Enniskillen, Lower Lough Erne is a paradise for fishermen, but also for hikers. Wander around Tully Castle or Monea Castle, walk to the Magho cliffs for a view from which you can see the Atlantic Ocean, or climb to the Blackslee Waterwall waterfall in the heart of an enchanting forest of pines and poplars.

Belleek: internationally renowned porcelain

It was following the Great Irish Famine that the village of Belleek became well known: in 1857, after more than 10 years of food crisis, a local business owner created the porcelain workshop Belleek Pottery to boost employment and promote economic recovery. After initially only manufacturing purely functional objects, the company then became synonymous with luxury items, even supplying Queen Victoria herself! Take a tour of the workshops during an educational guided tour with something to keep the whole family entertained.

Upper Lough Erne: become great lakes explorers

South of Bellanaleck is Upper Lough Erne, a large lake dotted with dozens of islands, sometimes deserted, sometimes inhabited. Set sail and explore some of them aboard your canal boat and spot the few castles that sit enthroned on the shores of the lake including Belle Isle Estate, Crom Castle and Crichton Tower. For airsoft enthusiasts 11 years old and over, the Battle Camp Activity Centre is for you! Simply wear sensible shoes and clothing – everything else is provided by the centre.

Crom Castle: Irish architectural heritage

During your navigation on Upper Lough Erne you will come across this little architectural gem. Crom Castle has two parts to it: the first dates from the 17th century and was built by a wealthy Scottish owner. Destroyed in 1764 by fire, the original building is now in ruins. The second building is a result of the reconstruction of the castle, carried out in the 19th century. Although this reconstructed part is today the private property of the Count of Erne, the ruins of the old Crom Castle are open to visitors, so do not hesitate to stop there!

Ballyconnell: a village to slow down and enjoy with the family

At just 2km from the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, a stopover in Ballyconnell is the ideal place to realise that you’re on your holidays! Visit places such as the Woodford River Walk footpath, Cavan Adventure Centre for watersports, and golf, a spa and restaurants at the Slieve Russell Resort.

This is the end of your boating holiday on the River Erne. Retrace your steps towards Bellanaleck to return your self-drive canal boat.

Canal boats available

invalid date
Your itinerary

They tried it and love it

Holiday reviews from Bellanaleck

See all reviews for this base

Our rejuvenating boating holiday allowed us to discover Ireland in a new light! We loved the travel through small villages where we were always greeted by a pub or restaurant and local lively music.

Sylvie and Bernard, Lyon (69)