Irvinestown is a small town historically in County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland; these counties have been abolished so it's now within Fermanagh and Omagh District. In 2011 it had a population of 2267, so it's the largest settlement along the north shore of Lower Lough Erne. Originally it was called Necarne - take your pick from Na Caorthann, the rowans, or Na Cairn the heap of stones. In 1618 during the Plantations it passed to a fellow called Lowther, who called it Lowtherstown. In 1667 it was sold to the Irvine family, but not until early 19th century did the village adopt their name.
Irvinestown is on A32 ten miles north of Enniskillen and 17 miles southwest of Omagh.
From Belfast or Dublin take the bus to Enniskillen and change. Ulsterbus 194 (a-j) runs every hour or so from Enniskillen to South West Hospital, Ballinamallard and Irvinestown (30 min), continuing to Lisnarick and Kesh. One bus a day extends to Pettigo on the border.
You need wheels in this scattered district. A bike would do.
- 1 Garden of the Celtic Saints is a collection of religious outdoor sculptures opposite Devenish Parish Church.
- 2 Necarne Castle (Castle Irvine), Irvinestown BT94 1GG. 24 hrs. This 19th century hall is long derelict, leaving only a facade. You can stroll the grounds, dogs on leads welcome. Events such as show-jumping are sometimes held here. Free.
- 3 Castle Archdale, Enniskillen BT94 1PP. Lakeside country park. The outbuildings are all that survive of the 18th century mansion, with scraps of the earlier castle northeast. There's a tearoom and information centre. During World War II this was an RAF base for Flying Boats patrolling the Atlantic. The concrete maintenance areas have been turned into a caravan park and campsite, see Sleep.
- 4 White Island has the remains of a 12th century monastery church, with stone figures that were originally free-standing but that have been set into the walls. Boat trips visit from Archdale, and they may also call at Abbey Davey's Island hugging the shore which likewise has a 12th century church ruin. The lower lough has some 154 islands to fossick around.
- 5 Caldragh graveyard on Boa Island has three stone figures from of pagan deities from around 500 AD. Two are by their original location, and the Lustymore figure has been moved from that islet. Caldragh is reached off A47 which traverses Boa Island, thereby avoiding crossing in and out of the Republic for a few yards - the border touches the lough at the outlet of Termon River. The island is named for Badhbh a Celtic war goddess, not boas which St Patrick supposedly banished along with the Irish cobras, mambas and kraits. A couple of miles further east is the ferry to Lusty Beg island resort, see Sleep.
- 6 Drummoney Falls only cascade a few feet, but it's a pleasant woodland setting with glorious autumn colours.
- 7 Drumskinny Stone Circle is from 2000 BC. It's by the junction of Montaighroe Rd and Drumskinny Rd.
- Bawnacre Leisure Centre is on Castle Rd south side of town.
- Golf: Springhill Country Club is in Trillick 12 miles east of town. There's also a course at Manor House Marine.
- Irvinestown Truck Festival is a charity fundraiser held in July. The next is probably 16-18 July 2021, tbc.
- Lady of the Lady Festival is a community summer event which includes Truckfest. The next is probably 9-18 July 2021, tbc.
- Spar is on Dromore Rd northeast side of town. It's open M-Sa 06:30-23:00, Su 08:00-22:00.
- Molly's, 18 Main St BT94 1GJ, ☏ . Daily 12:00-21:00. Good food and service.
- Town Chippy, 6 Pound St BT94 1HE, ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-22:30, Su 17:00-22:00. Gets mixed reviews.
- Also along the main strip are Mozzarella Fella's, Lily House Chinese, and two kebab shops.
- Necarne Arms is at the foot of main street next to Mahon's Hotel.
- 1 Mahon's Hotel, 12 Mill St BT94 1GS, ☏ . Friendly reliable place does good food. B&B double £70.
- Castle View Cottage, Castle Irvine Rd BT94 1EB, ☏ . This cottage by Necarne Castle is available for self-catering.
- Necarne Manor is also by the castle. It didn't open in 2020.
- Castle Archdale has a campsite (2-person tent £25) and touring pitches (£30).
- 2 Manor House Marine, Killadeas BT94 1NY, ☏ . Self-catering cottages by the lough and marina. They also hire boats for day-trips or extended cruises. Room £150 / night.
- 3 Lusty Beg Island Resort, Boa Island BT93 8AD, ☏ . This upscale resort hotel is on a private island reached by ferry from Boa Island. It remains closed ufn in 2021.
As of April 2021, Irvinestown has 4G with EE, O2 and Vodafone, and a mobile signal from Three. 5G has not reached this area.
- Omagh has the Ulster American Folk Park.
- Enniskillen is on the navigable river between Upper and Lower Lough Erne. Castle Coole is a grand stately mansion.
- Donegal Town is the first sizable place you reach in the Republic, on the Wild Atlantic Way.