August is Love NI Meat month and if you’re looking to sample some of Northern Ireland’s best, Fermanagh is the place. One of the best ways to take in its breathtaking landscapes is by water, before stopping off and dining on the many delights from the surrounding farmland.
Water Trails in Fermanagh
They say you can only truly appreciate Fermanagh’s watery wonderland, the Fermanagh Lakelands, if you’re afloat. With more than 700km of rivers, lakes and canals sensitively developed to create the perfect environment for boating holidays and lakeside adventure breaks, a canoe trail is one such activity waiting to be experienced.
The Lough Erne Canoe Trail is one of the most popular canoe trails in Northern Ireland because of its suitability for a range of abilities.* There are a number of itineraries highlighting the best the canoe trail has to offer available on CanoeNI. However, with so many foodie places to explore, we’ve highlighted a half day paddle from Enniskillen Castle to Devenish Tower so you can pack both activity and food into your getaway.
Starting from the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum which offers easy access to the water it won’t be long until you pass the famous Watergate at Enniskillen Castle – best seen from the water! Circumnavigate the island town before continuing downstream to approach Portora Lock Gates after which the river widens into Lower Lough Erne and winds its way towards the 81 foot 12th century tower on Devenish Island. Explore the island before reaching the end of your trip a short paddle away at Trory Jetty.
O’Doherty’s Fine Meats
An award winning specialist meat retailer, a visit to O’Doherty’s Fine Meats on Belmore Street, Enniskillen is a must. Inventor of the famous Black Bacon Pat O’Doherty keeps his own herd of pigs living freely on Inish Corkish Island, Upper Lough Erne. A butcher with a passion, not just for food but for local history, Pat has recreated old Irish farming traditions to create some of the most delicious bacon around. His Ulster Corned Beef is also highly recommended.
Frou Frou Café, Enniskillen
This shabby-chic café in the heart of Enniskillen town makes delicious home bakes as well as serving Fermanagh black bacon quiche and Guinness bread.
This family-run 4* hotel is as much part of the landscape as its stunning lakeside setting. Complete with health club, pool and spa, the Killyhevlin Hotel also serve a great Ulster fry. After your paddle tuck into the carvery or an afternoon tea with unspoiled views of scenic Lough Erne.
A working beef and sheep farm, Arch House is a 4* bed and breakfast using local produce wherever possible including the famous Fermanagh bacon in their Ulster fry helping it to win a Taste of Ulster Award.
While you’re there…
Belle Isle Cookery School
Situated on the magnificent Belle Isle Estate on Lough Erne, with cattle and sheep grazing the meadows, free-range hens and walled kitchen garden, Belle Isle Cookery School has the perfect ingredients for embarking on a culinary adventure in one of the most beautiful settings in Ireland.
Orchard Acre Farm
A stone’s throw from Lough Erne, local farmer Teresa and her husband share their passion and knowledge about food with guests during cookery courses and food-related events in their Eco Barn at Orchard Acre Farm. Choose to be directly involved in harvesting, get up close to the cooking and delight in dining on farm fresh foods as you take the food from plot to plate.
Plan Your Foodie Weekend in Fermanagh
Everywhere you look in Northern Ireland you’ll never be far from a restaurant, a local market, a famous butchers or a special festival or event that celebrates the joy of cooking, eating and drinking. With so much to tantalise the taste buds, plan your next foodie getaway with a short break to Northern Ireland and enjoy our award winning meat producers and products this Year of Food and Drink.
For more Northern Irish food and travel inspiration discovernorthernireland.com for even more great recipes, or join the conversation online with #EnjoyNI16.