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Enniskillen, Northern Ireland was lulu?s most recent jaunt. Located in lush county Fermanagh, Enniskillen was a pleasure to visit, and somewhere i?ll be most content to visit again. Being from derry, I don?t often get the chance to visit county Fermanagh, as it doesn?t border my home, and for a young person, it just doesn?t have the reputation of being an exciting place. But i sorely miss-judged Enniskillen. it may not be great for shopping or excitement, but i had a wonderful few days there last week.
+++ First Impressions of the Town +++
I live near a city, so my first impressions were that the town was very small. However it was extremely tidy. Enniskillen is a town on an island, which makes it completely unique, everywhere you look, there is water, and you must cross bridges to get into the town and even more bridges to get to the shopping centre. This was a lovely experience, pretty is the only way that i can describe it!
Many of the buildings are very old, and the new ones are built to blend in, with lots of stone cla
dding, and fancy little windows. the architecture of the town adds to the almost quaint atmosphere, and the whole area feels cosy and welcoming. I found it quite funny that even the shopping centre has a jetty outside, for customers to pull up their boats! The customs are almost mediaeval, but the facilities are all new, and it blends indistinctly. Seemingly boats are almost as common as cars in this town.
+++ Eye Catching Aspects +++
Going through Enniskillen the building that caught my eye was the castle, It is a full structure and I?m sorry to say that my boyf wouldn?t take me inside to have a look (he thought it was boring!) But we did walk around the beautiful building. The swans were swimming in the river, and little mallard ducks were wandering around between our legs, almost tame. Incredibly beautiful for a town- to interact with nature in such a way,
We wandered through a few streets, walked past a Cof I cathedral, and R.C chapel and Presbyterian Church, all within a few metres of each other. I thought this was a good reflection of the town?s friendly atmosphere, as I?ve not encountered different churches so close together in Northern Ireland before.
+++ Shopping in Enniskillen +++
I?m afraid I was unimpressed with the shopping facilities in the town. There was a moderately big shopping centre called Erneside, it contained the ?usual? shopping mall shops: Exhibit, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Next, Holland and Barrett, Outside on the street there was Iceland, Woolworth?s Easons. But not much more (that I could see anyway!) However I did find a great little shop called Clockwork Orange, unfortunately it was down a back street, and outsiders would only fi
nd it by accident!
Enniskillen may lack in trendy shopping facilities, but the art culture is very much alive in the town, right in the town centre there is a courtyard shaped development called the Buttermarket. It has loads of little shops where Irish crafts are made and sold. Photography and Painting thrives here. But then this is a town well known for it?s famous sons.
+++ Bars and Restaurants +++
Unfortunately, I haven?t spent enough time in the town to write a lot in this section, but we did visit a terrific restaurant in the form of ?Francos? Informal and friendly, with great food. I was very impressed. Regarding Nightlife, Enniskillen is not very well known for nightlife. There are two main pubs in the town (these are huge, with several floors) ?Pat?s Bar? and ?Blakes? both are very spacious and welcoming, while staff are friendly and Efficient. Although I personally have no experience of it, I know there is a Wetherspoons, and of course as with all towns, you will find the obligatory KFC and McDonalds.
+++ Worth Visiting when you?re in the Area +++
* Portora Royal School.
From Portora one can view the whole of the town from the top of the hill. This school is the oldest in Ireland- 1608! , and boasts Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and the Divine Comedy?s ?Neil Hannon? within it?s past pupil list! Oh, and the bloke who wrote ?Abide with me? also went to Portora!
* The Round-O.
This is a little recreational area, where people can bring their boats to, and children can feed the gorgeous and very docile swans and ducks. There is also a little play-park for small kids. Picturesque would be the most appropriate word!
* Cole Memorial
>This isn?t the official name for this monument, but I can?t actually remember who this guy was. However, when in the town, if you look up to the hills you will see a statue on a pillar rising up above everything else. This is the memorial, and from April to October, for the princely sum of 70p you can walk up all the steps to look at Enniskillen from a new viewpoint. And if that doesn?t tickle your fancy then you can simply stroll along the pretty gardens that it is located in.
All of these could be visited in a day, and are well worth taking a trip to. Of course Fermanagh as a county is famous for the ?Marble Arch Caves,? ?Devenish island? and ?Bellek Pottery? so there are plenty of other attractions for the tourist. Just don?t forget to pack your boat!
+++ Summary +++
Enniskillen people, or should I say, Fermanagh people in general, are very friendly and welcoming. Each person I?ve met has had a terrific sense of humour, and has been easy-going and pleasant. Of course, as I?m not from here, I can only give the outsider?s view, and I must say that I was bowled over by the beauty and curious customs still very alive in this town.
The Enniskillen bombing is regarded as the turning point within the troubles in Northern Ireland, when in the mid-80s the town was devastated by the deaths of innocent civilians. But this town has rebuilt itself from that awful period, and is fast becoming one of Northern Ireland?s most fondly regarded cities. Where else could ducks safely mingle with pedestrians!?
Go to Enniskillen. You won?t regret it!
Enniskillen, has got to be one of the nicest towns in Northern Ireland. It location is set on the shores of Lough Erne, and it is such a great commercial town. This town has so much going for it - it is full of history ( the watergate dates back to the watergate dates back to the 1600's) , there is Forthill park, Coles Monument, The castle, the old market place, workhouse site and many more historical sites in the town. Enniskillen is also a great place to shop in - most major name stores now have abranch in the town of in the town's ever growing shopping centre - Erneside. You will find shops such as Burton's, Etam, Next, topshop, Boots, Exibit, safeways, supervalue, woolworths all in this town. You won't need to go anywhere else once you pay enniskillen a visit. The town also has a wide range of different pubs - there is something to suit all tastes. Aswell as many different types of eating houses - everything from traditional fish and chips to chiness, Indian etc. My favoruite bars include The Vintage - it has a traditional atmosphere but has very lively disco's on Saturday nite, Mulliagan's is something similar. There is also a mutiplex cinema in the town - so you will never bore for something to do while in Enniskillen. And don't forget about it's wonderful location -it is so peaceful considering it is a town. The people are friendly so what more could you want.