Lough Erne

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Lough Erne is a vast network of interconnecting loughs, rivers and backwaters unfolds and would take a lifetime to explore. These waters are framed by magnificent country - lush green rolling meadows give way to craggy uplands with spectacular cliffs that then lead on to uninterrupted open moorland. This is truly breathtaking lakeland, unrivalled throughout Europe.

Devenish Island

From the loughs the night sky is jet black and studded with a panorama of brilliant stars. The long summer days are so peaceful - hardly another boat will interrupt your calm. There are numerous free moorings along the waterway, many on uninhabited islands - just you and your family.

Lough Erne Knockninny

Lower Lough Erne, the most northerly of the two loughs, is a great expanse of open water fringed by mountains and dotted with islands. Upper Lough Erne is filled with dozens of islands, so it is more like a meandering river than a lake. Some islands have jetties and offer perfect lunchtime picnic stops.

Heritage features high on the Lough Erne tour - a perfectly preserved 12th century round tower on Devenish Island is easily reached by boat - and if you like your heritage older, there are some 6th century carvings on White Island. And for something more active, there are watersports centres on both lakes, offering sailing, waterskiing and kayaking.

River Erne County Fermanagh

Enniskillen, lying between the two loughs, is a picturesque market town and fascinating heritage centre. By day this busy town brims with shops, museums, a sport centre and castle. By night, Enniskillen comes alive with happy holiday merriment from the wealth of original pubs and restaurants that offer delicious international culinary delights.

The Shannon-Erne Waterway (formerly the Ballinamore and Ballyconnell Canal) was re-opened in 1994 and links the Erne to the Shannon. The canal itself is a delightful cruise, meandering through a series of rivers, canals and loughs, with the odd colourful pub and eating place along its banks. There are 16 locks along the canal - but they are all hydraulically controlled, so life couldn't be any easier.

Those of you taking a one-way hire onto the Shannon will see plenty of the Erne on your way.