Enniskillen (Irish: Inis Ceithleann, "Ceithlenn's island") is in Northern Ireland. It is an island town situated at the midpoint between Upper and Lower Lough Erne. It is the County Town (capital) of County Fermanagh.
The town was the site of several events during The Troubles, the most notable being the Remembrance Day bombing in 1987 by the IRA which killed 11 people. The former US President Bill Clinton opened the Clinton Centre in 2002 on the site of the bombing.
Belfast to Enniskillen about 1hr 40mins, Dublin to Enniskillen about 2hrs 15mins.
These routes operate in both directions.
There is no rail network connected to Enniskillen. The closest stations are Portadown in Northern Ireland (60 miles) and Sligo in the Republic of Ireland (40 miles).
Enniskillen has a small non-commercial airport on the town outskirts called St Angelo. Prior permission is required from the airport to land any aircraft.
Enniskillen is renowned for its loughs (lakes) and waterways. Although there are no commercial services to the area there are many marinas around the town and throughout the county where leisure vessels can be rented and berthed. Ireland's waterways and canals are operated by Waterways Ireland. Enniskillen is accessible via the waterway system from as far away as Athy in County Kildare, Limerick and Dublin.
Even though Enniskillen is the biggest town in County Fermanagh, it's still possible to visit all the major tourist attractions on foot. You will find it difficult to get lost in Enniskillen, as an island town everything is very centralised. At most you may need directions to that one shop or bar you are looking for and it is easy to know where the town ends as it quickly melds into residential areas.
There isn't much traffic (by UK standards), however it can become congested around peak times, at the weekends and bank holidays, or in the unlikely event of road closures. Town centre parking is scarce, so parking at the Erneside shopping complex and crossing by the footbridge is generally the most sensible option. Traffic Wardens in the area are notorious for issuing fines so make sure you are not parked in restricted areas or for longer than allowed and always have a parking ticket displayed on your vehicle in paid parking areas.
There are many taxi services in the town should you not fancy walking. Taxis in the UK and Ireland are required to be registered. The taxis will display an additional plate on the front and rear bumpers showing vehicle info and drivers should have ID on display within the front of the taxi.
A number of taxi services in Enniskillen are metered; however, the normal price for a journey in and around the town is about £3. Outside of the town prices can vary depending on taxi firm and, many times, the driver. The general rule of thumb is £1 per mile outside of the town. Prices/rates can increase on a Friday, weekend night or on a bank holiday, especially if you are travelling far outside of town.
Taxis can be difficult to locate at weekends after a night out so it is recommended that you book a return taxi in advance if you need one. Most taxis will line up in The Diamond (Town Centre) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights but may be scarce towards the end of the night as the bars empty.
- A2B Taxis, ☏ .
- County Cabs, ☏ .
- Diamond Cabs, ☏ .
- Patsy, ☏ .
- Speedie Cabs, +44 28 6632 7327. 24hr
- Star Taxis, ☏ . 24hr
A bus service operates in and around Enniskillen provided by Translink and Ulsterbus, and there are many bus stops located around town with day tickets available, so you don't always need to keep buying new tickets. You should ask for a day ticket when boarding the bus, and hop off at the desired bus stop. It mainly operates around the residential areas of the town, however the service also travels to the main shopping areas of town and the South West Acute Hospital.
Note that the number of stops/times the bus operates at can change depending on bank holidays or at the weekends (reduced times on Saturdays, and the service does not operate on Sundays) or may in the event of extremely poor weather conditions.
Timetables are available from the Ulsterbus station near the Erneside footbridge and the Lakeland Forum.
- Enniskillen Ulsterbus Depot, Shore Road, ☏ .
- 1 Enniskillen Castle & Museum (Town centre). 16th century. The castle's watergate is the most charismatic and characteristic site in Enniskillen, perhaps best viewed from across the River Erne on Henry Street or Castle Island. The museum, spread over the castle's stables and keep, has very little information on the castle itself or the sieges and defences of Enniskillen, focusing instead on the regimental history of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. There are medals, uniforms, period firearms and other memorabilia relevant to the regiment (amalgamated into the Royal Irish Rangers in 1968, and since 1992 into the Royal Irish Regiment).
- 2 Cole's Monument, Forthill Park. in memory of the late General the Hon. Sir G. Lowry Cole
- 3 Saint Macartin's Cathedral. 19th-century with 150-foot (45 m) tower and spire
- St Michael's Chapel.
- Enniskillen Town Hall.
- 4 Portora Castle. 17th-century ruins
- 5 Castle Coole, BT74 6JY, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The late-18th-century neo-classical mansion, designed by James Wyatt, is one of the most perfect specimens of Irish Georgian architecture, built to impress and still with most of its original furniture. It is now a National Trust property; house tours are by guided tour only.
- 6 Florence Court, BT92 1DB, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. An 18th-century house about 10 miles from the town centre. This venue normally hosts family events on bank holidays and tours of the house are available during the summer. You can also take a subterranean boat-trip in the nearby Marble Arch Caves.
- 7 Devenish Island.
Unless there is an event on in town then there isn't an awful lot to do in Enniskillen itself. You can see most of the main town attractions in a day but it is the best base from which to explore the many other sights in the County. The main day to day pastimes are shopping and enjoying the local bars and cafes.
- 1 Ardhowen Theatre, 97 Dublin Road, ☏ . professional drama, classical music, opera, ballet, contemporary dance, ....
- 2 Lough Erne. Enniskillen's main tourist attraction, which covers about a third of County Fermanagh. It is a major centre for fishing and all water-sports, attracting visitors from as far away as Germany and Poland. Day tourists can take a boat trip (summer only) from the jetty near the castle. If you're staying longer it's possible to hire a cruiser and visit the loch's many small islands.
- Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). During the Spring and Summer months the championships are in session. You may be able to catch a match at Brewster Park, home ground of the Fermanagh County teams.
As a very tourist driven town, people are generally friendly and will help you with directions and personal recommendations of where to eat and drink. The official language in Northern Ireland is English with Irish and Ulster Scots considered unofficial, or regional languages, so you will see signs in the town with all three languages. No-one in the area speaks Irish or Ulster Scots in day to day life so English is the only language you need. As Fermanagh is a very rural county accents and dialects can differ considerably between those from urban areas and those from the countryside. People can have a tendency to speak quickly however generally slow down if asked or they sense you have a hard time understanding them.
Enniskillen also has a significant Eastern European population, the largest being Polish, Lithuanian and Latvian so it is common to hear these languages around the area too.
- The Erneside Shopping Centre. has all the major shops that you'd expect to find in Ireland, such as River Island, Next, Monsoon and Argos. There is also a Costa Coffee, and a Beleek Living store selling the famous Beleek pottery for which Fermanagh is renowned.
- Dunnes Store, Forthill Street. is a supermarket that sells reasonably priced food, clothes, domestic goods (etc.).
- ASDA (Part of Walmart Group) and Tesco are the two biggest supermarkets in the UK and have reasonably priced food, alcohol and household goods. They are large stores and are directly opposite each other.
- The Buttermarket near the town centre has many small shops selling traditional crafts and art work among other things, and is very popular among tourists.
- There are also many shops in the town centre which are able to cater to various tastes and have a lot to offer, such as a Sports Direct, B&M Bargains and Cex.
A large percentage of Fermanagh's income is based on tourism and Enniskillen has developed as a strong "Coffee Culture" town. There are many cafes and restaurants in Ennniskillen that cater to this trade. You can find many independant and local cafes, bars and restauraunts as well as global chains such as KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Caffe Nero etc. There are a number of bars within the town that offer "pub grub", including Pats Bar, Bush Bar, Granny Annies and The Crowes Nest.
There are also a number restaurants, cafes and takeaways around the town providing Greek, Chinese, Indian and Vegatarian/Vegan cusine.
There are a large number of licensed pubs within the town, the vast majority of these are located in and around the town centre and are easily found. It is said you can not walk out of one pub without seeing another. Bars and pubs include;
- Blakes of the Hollow, 6 Church St, ☏ . A bar complex with 3 different bar areas as well as a nightclub. Oldest pub in Fermanagh
- Pats Bar, 1-5 Townhall St, ☏ . 4 bars over 2 floors and a disco area
- Bush Bar, 26 Townhall St, ☏ .
- Charlies Bar, 1 Church Street, ☏ . Traditional Irish bar.
- [dead link] Crowes Nest, 12 High Street, ☏ . Usually has live Irish music on Tues nights
- The Cornerstone bar, 1 Queen St, ☏ .
- Corner Bar, 22 Townhall St, ☏ .
- [dead link] Lough Inn, 1 The Brook, ☏ . Live Irish music Saturday evenings.
- Magees Pub (Magee's Spirit Store), 21 East Bridge Street.
- Willie Ramblers, Forthill St, ☏ .
- The Horseshoe, 66 Belmore St, ☏ .
- [formerly dead link] Devenish Bar, 24-28 Darling Street, ☏ .
Most of the above mentioned bars will have entertainment advertised and the vast majority come alive at the weekends with discos or live music.
Licensed premises in Northern Ireland are required to stop serving alcohol at 01:00. Bars close around midnight during the week but stay open late on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Generally last orders are called just before 01:00. You will be given half an hour or so after this in which to finish your drinks and vacate the premises, so a night out will generally end around 01:30 to 02:00.
- 1 Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 4-star hotel, health club and spa.
- 2 Belmore Court Motel, Tempo Road, ☏ .
- 3 The Enniskillen Hotel, 72 Forthill St, ☏ .
- 4 The Westville Hotel, 14-20 Tempo Rd, ☏ .
Despite its troubled past, Northern Ireland as a whole has the second lowest crime rate within the EU. Enniskillen has been awarded Purple Flag status which is a UK and Irish initiative similar to the Blue Flag system seen on beaches. The Purple Flag scheme recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres at night. The majority of crime around Enniskillen is attributed to Anti-social behaviour which would normally occur at the weekends. As most people congregate around the Town centre (The Diamond) and Forthill Street (known locally as 'Chippy Street' due to the large number of takeaways), this is where most disturbances arise once the bars empty. Any trouble is normally confined to disagreements between locals with incidents involving visitors being very rare. There is normally a small Police presence around these area's on busy nights, however there is also CCTV located throughout the town as well as 'Panic Points' (intercom boxes which can be used in an emergency). Note that Panic Points are for emergencies only, not for public information or directions.
The county of Fermanagh is quite conservative when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues. There are practically no gay scenes outside of the main cities of Belfast and Derry/Londonderry. There have been serious attacks on local members of the LGBTQ+ community in the past so romantic displays of affection between same-sex couples are rarely seen.
Take extreme care if swimming in the Lough (if intoxicated avoid it entirely), as many people have lost their lives due to the strong currents around the town.
- Emergency Services (Police/Ambulance/Fire & Rescue) - 999 or 112
- Police - 101
- RNLI Lifeboat Rescue - +44 28 6638-8019
- South West Acute Hospital - +44 28 6638-2000
- Take a trip around the world famous Belleek Pottery factory, situated in Belleek about 20 miles from Enniskillen.
- Belturbet, Ireland