Fermanagh

Fermanagh

Ireland's Lakeland County, Fermanagh is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland, bordering the Republic and is renowned for its fishing and boating.

According to local legend Fermanagh was once a vast dry plain with a magic well at its centre. The well was covered from the sunlight in case it bubbled over, but one day two lovers eloped by the well and toasting their health, they left the well uncovered. The waters bubbled over for centuries and created the lakes of Lough Erne, which stretch for 80km over the county.

Lough Erne is split into the Upper Lake and Lower Lake with some 154 islands. Lough Erne is navigable to the sea with the Shannon-Erne Waterway, passing through 804km between Belleek and Limerick. The Upper and Lower lakes are separated at the town of Enniskillen, which has commanded this ancient passage route since prehistory.

Enniskillen is the county town of Fermanagh and the town is dominated by Enniskillen Castle, which was long the stronghold of the Maguire Clan. Outside Enniskillen is the 18th Century stately sprawl of Castle Coole, set within splendid grounds.

Fermanagh borders County Tyrone to the north east, County Donegal to the north west, with counties Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan are along its southern borders. At the border with Cavan are the Cuilcagh Mountains, which contain one of Ireland's most impressive limestone cave systems the Marble Arch Caves.

Some famous people with family roots in Fermanagh include former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Ulysses Grant, and writer Rudyard Kipling.

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