Take advantage of your self-drive canal boat rental to venture on the waters of the River Erne towards Belleek, world famous for its crafts. No boating experience or licence needed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's already the end of your boating holiday on the River Erne. Return to Bellanaleck to return your canal boat ready for the next crew.
Holiday reviews from Bellanaleck
FREEDOM OF THE IRISH LANDSCAPES
We’ve enjoyed boating holidays previously so thought we’d try Ireland for the first time – and we weren’t left disappointed. We especially liked the large lakes with their dozens of islands, on which we were sometimes the only human beings!
Robert, Tours (37)