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Learn to cook or improve your cooking skills with our cookery courses in the beautiful and tranquil setting of County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Food for friends is one of Belle Isles most popular courses, as students are always keen to get inspiration for new and exciting recipes to entertain their friends. Recipes are packed full of seasonal ingredients that students can easily find in their local greengrocers, butchers or fishmongers. The dishes are also very flexible so they can be easily adapted depending on the number of guests you are cooking for. Chef Joe Kelly and his team will ensure that you will have a memorable experience to take home with you.
At the heart of Belle Isle’s 470-acre estate, the 17th-century castle, once home to generations of nobles, welcomes groups of up to 16 guests. We have recently completed a gentle update with the conversion of the existing bathrooms to en-suite while retaining the original period details of the bedrooms. The castle now features 7 luxurious en-suite bedrooms. Dramatic colors offset fine English and Irish antique furnishings, rattan furniture from the spice island of Cebu, and works by Russian, Irish, and English painters. The ambiance is comfortable and welcoming, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of a charming sunken garden.
The Belle Isle Cookery School opened its doors in 2004 on the magnificent Belle Isle Estate on Lough Erne in County Fermanagh. This purpose-built state-of-the-art cookery school, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, and now in it’s tenth year plays an important part in the life of this holiday destination. With cattle and sheep grazing the meadows, free-range hens living happily beside the school and the adjacent walled kitchen garden, Belle Isle has the perfect ingredients for embarking on a culinary adventure in one of the most beautiful settings in Ireland.
A lovingly restored courtyard, originally built to house working animals in 1860, is now home to eight modern cottages. This listed building, brimming with character, forms the perfect base for your relaxing short break. Our intention was to conserve these historic buildings so we resolved to let the quirks of the form dictate the features of the resulting Cottages. Each one contains a different configuration of guest bedrooms and living space, decorated to a high standard with unique period furnishings and a wood-burning stove. Having your own space on holiday allows you to do what you want without worry. Each Cottage has its own grassy outside area with BBQ available and a picnic table. Indoors you will find modern amenities and plenty of space to relax in.
This retreat will take place in northern Ireland.
Belle Isle offers some of the best boat and bank angling in Europe. Catches of 200 pounds of bream are common, roach can be caught every cast, and one party of four reeled in more than 70 pike in less than two days, with the biggest nearly 30 pounds. Authorities such as John Bailey rate it very highly indeed.
There are 11 golf courses near Belle Isle, most within one hour. We can arrange preferred tee times, discounted greens fees and other benefits at some courses. Lough Erne Resort is home to two Championship golf courses, including Nick Faldo’s first course design in Ireland. Golf champion Rory McIlroy is the resort’s touring professional.
There are opportunities to go horseback riding with The Forest stables in Fivemiletown, an approved riding school and trekking centre. This is the perfect way to explore some of the best routes in Ireland through the forests and foothills of Fermanagh and Tyrone. The horses and ponies are extremely quiet, and perfect to suit complete beginners. They also offer a range of schooled horses for advanced riders.
The Marble Arch Caves are situated just outside Enniskillen. A tour of one of Europe's finest show caves will take you down into the natural underground rivers, waterfalls and chambers. You will get the chance to see a variety of cave formations as well as stalactites and stalagmites. The cave tours last approximately 75 minutes.
Belle Isle guests may reserve one of our well-equipped boats for 20 GBP per day. Our boats are 17-foot Daragh fibreglass boats with double skins fitted with 5- to 15-horsepower, 4-stroke Honda engines. We also offer 'Trasna', our magnificent 50-foot craft which can accommodate up to 10 people for a cruise around Lough Erne.
The emphasis at Belle Isle is on the sport of wild birds and the enjoyment of the day. On a normal snipe day at least 300 snipe would be seen and on a woodcock day about 60 seen. Minimum number of guns is 8 and the maximum is 10. Bags are entirely dependent on the weather and the quality of shooting.
There are a range of shops near Belle Isle and in Enniskillen town center, but to get the products fresh off the factory floor why not try: Hand-woven Donegal tweed at Magee’s in Donegal; Belleek Pottery which is situated on the banks of River Erne and the Buttermarket Arts and Crafts Market in Enniskillen.
There are three outstanding National Trust properties in County Fermanagh: Castle Coole, the 18th Century mansion in Enniskillen. Florence Court, the former home of the Earls of Enniskillen and Crom Estate, 2000 acre grounds featuring the Old Castle ruins and vast woodland.
The stunning Belle Isle grounds offer a walking trail that will take you the whole way around the island. From dense wooded areas to luscious green open spaces, your walk will be an experience from start to finish and the magnificent view over the lake will let you relax and get back to nature.
The nearest airport to the location is Belfast International Airport (BFS).