Fun and Frolics in Fermanagh…January 3, 2019
Happy New Year to you and your four legged chums. The past few weeks have been a tad hectic seeing us distribute 30,000 copies of the 1st Dog Friendly Map to all the listed venues, along with Visitor Information Centres in Derry, Belfast and the Causeway Coast, Dublin and some additional venues that requested them. We have been delighted with the response, and if truth be told, a bit overwhelmed by great feedback and demand for the map since it was launched. It would seem that while digital media has its place, the dog lovers of Northern Ireland have long been waiting for this publication. I’m as guilty as the next person for not remembering a place that has been recommended, so for me the map is the ‘go to’ reference guide for places to eat, stay and have fun with your dog.
Dog Friendliness is growing
The Dog Friendly scene in NI is definitely gaining momentum, and I’m sure in the not too distant future we will give the Europeans a run for their dog friendly attitudes! The increase in dog Friendly venues has been significant in the past year as businesses capitalise on the ‘hound pound’.
Over the next few weeks, we will be issuing the businesses on the map with a Dog Friendly NI certificate, and sticker so they can be easily identifiable to customers. When you pop in to these venues, share your pics of you and your pooch enjoying yourselves using the hashtag #DogFriendlyNI – growing awareness of all these fab places helps to ensure our society becomes more accepting of our pooches and creates a more tolerant and dog friendly Northern Ireland. Of course with more venues and more dogs around, there is always the risk of more dog poo. PLEASE be a responsible dog owner and pick up after your dog.
One of the venues on the map that welcomes dogs to stay in their accommodation is Tullymill Cottages in Fermanagh…having stayed there with my dog I thought it useful to share the experience.
Fermanagh is a wonderful county to explore, and what a treat to have found practical and cosy dog friendly accommodation in Tullymill Cottages a couple of years ago. I’ve now stayed a couple of times since they hit my radar! When going to Fermanagh it’s always advisable to have your waterproofs. As I like to quote; “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing“ and Fermanagh can get its fair share of rain!
The Cottages are located opposite to the National Trust Florence Court property, which is very accessible and so handy for walking the dog. There are 5 Cottages in total with two or three bedrooms, living area with kitchen diner, enclosed garden to the rear and parking at the front of each property. The kitchens are fully equipped with all you could need for a holiday retreat and with a real fire on the go, it makes for a super relaxing break. If you’re lucky with the weather there are also picnic tables out front to enjoy the Fermanagh sunshine. The cottages I stayed in had a great balcony overlooking the living room, with a double/twin bedroom upstairs with adjoining bathroom, and downstairs another double/twin with smaller toilet and sink, and a great storage cupboard. Some cottages can also be inter-connected making it perfect for a larger family or group.
As a National Trust member, I’ve visited several NI properties and was very impressed with Florence Court. You can access part of the property via a side gate opposite the Cottage entrance, but full access to the grounds is via the main entrance a stone’s throw down the road from the Cottages. The splendour of the driveway up to the main car park is stunning, and the visitor centre is modern with great friendly staff. There are trails, a walled garden, trikes to hire, a coffee dock and shop and if you’re in luck sometimes you can purchase fresh vegetables from the garden too. Click here for more information on the North West Trails. The main trails in the area are great for walking further afield so check out some routes in advance of your trip.
Marble Arch Caves, Cuilcagh Mountain boardwalk trail (not dog friendly), Enniskillen and the pretty border town of Belleek are all close by to explore at your leisure. Pat’s Bar in Enniskillen has just opened its doors to our beloved pooches, and with great food on offer it’s a fab spot when you take a wee run into the town. Carrybridge Lakeside Lodge is also dog friendly and you can have a bite to eat here with Fido by your side.
Georgie and I also enjoyed the fabulous Lough Erne boat tour which took us out to Devenish island – this was Georgie’s first experience afloat and after the initial ‘don’t put me down’ clinging to me moment, the wind soon took to her ears and she loved the journey. The area around Enniskillen Castle has a cute boardwalk/path and it makes for a picturesque dander along the Lough, taking in the paddle boarders, and cruisers on the jetty. We also met a couple of Dandy Dinmont Terriers from England who loved their NI break!
On site at Tullymill is the beautifully converted Tullymill restaurant. It’s not dog friendly, but at a stone’s throw from your front door Fido should be alright on his own for an hour or two while you grab some quality time over dinner. You can always bring back any leftovers in a doggy bag and earn those brownie points. The service and food is exceptional and akin to a fine dining. They are open at weekends and booking is recommended.
En route to Tullymill, I stopped for a ‘big shop’ in Enniskillen (Tesco, Asda, Dunnes are available) – while you don’t need to go via Enniskillen, I love doing a holiday shop and treating ourselves to few naughty extras! The cottages are in the countryside, so it’s best to stock up on food and drink supplies for you and your dog. Enniskillen is a great border town, with super shops, bars and cafes – a fab find was the Jolly Sandwich Bar at the top of the town, so do pop in and support local businesses. To check out the location of the cottages click here.
Quality: NITB 3 star rated
Cleanliness: Fresh clean sheets and towels on arrival.
Facilities: All kitchen equipment provided, a basket of wood for the fire, heating and electric included, fenced in garden to rear, parking, outdoor area.
Location: Rural, countryside location. A chemist and Doctors are within a couple of miles.
Things to do: Florence Court National Trust, North West Trails, Enniskillen Town, Belleek, Carrybridge, Lough Erne Boat Tours, Marble Arch Caves, Devenish Island.