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2 Days Cooking School Vacations in Northern Ireland, UK

  • Belle Isle, Lisbellaw, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT94 5HG, UK

Cooking Breaks in Northern Ireland

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.


  • Food for Friends, popular cooking lesson
  • Fresh ideas and recipes for hosting your dinner party
  • Learn personalized dishes tailored to any number of guests
  • State of the art cookery school the first in Northern Ireland
  • Learn and experiment with seasonal ingredients
  • Beautiful location and setting in Fermanagh
  • 1 night luxury accommodation
  • 1 day with instruction
  • English
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Belle Isle Castle

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.

Belle Isle Cookery School

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.

Belle Isle Estate

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.

Day 1

  • Arrive and check-in
  • Afternoon at leisure

Day 2

  • Breakfast
  • 09:45 Cooking class
  • 15:00 End of course

This retreat will take place in northern Ireland.

  • Cooking classes
  • Fishing
  • Golf course nearby
  • Horse riding/rental nearby
  • Sailing
  • Shopping
  • Air-conditioned public areas
  • BBQ facilities
  • Concierge desk
  • Garden
  • Multilingual staff
  • Picnic area
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

Fishing at Belle Isle Estate

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.

Horse riding

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.

Marble Arch Caves

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.

Shooting at Belle Isle Estate

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.

Visit National Trust Property

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.

Walking trails on the Island

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.

Arrival by airplane

The nearest airport to the location is Belfast International Airport (BFS).


  • Review by Peter K
    10 out of 10

    "Excellent, we love staying at Belle Isle and will be back in the near future. This time we stayed in the Sycamore cottage and it was really cosy, very much home from home. Thanks to Andrea as always for the warm welcome. "

    Belle Isle website, edited

  • Review by Michael C.

    "My wife and I got married at Belle Isle Castle, and without a doubt, this is the most amazing place in the world. The castle it self is stunning, set to the lake with colorful ivy. The rooms are amazing, some brand new with unparalleled views, others are traditional and allow one to reminisce of yesteryear. The food is top notch (and we live in New York City), the grounds are impeccable, the sheep add local flavor, Andrea is a phenomenal wedding planner and made everything special. Cynthia, the head chef, prepares delectable dishes, and the rest of the Belle Isle family will make you feel at home. Belle Isle will make your dreams come true, with its beauty, its sounds, its sights and its magnificence."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Scott D. from United States
    10 out of 10

    "We stayed at this property on our trek across Northern Ireland, and it was just incredible. We arrived late in the day, so we didn't get to meet the owners, but the accommodations were just fantastic. We stayed in the Chesnutt apartment and it was huge, perfect for 6 people (3 generations). The area, oh my! Nearby Enniskillen was just incredible, and the marble arch caves were great fun! I definitely want to head back here! The grounds were beautiful, too!"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Ireland
    10 out of 10

    "We had a relaxing, interesting learning experience with chef Joe Kelly in Belle Isle Cookery school. It's our second time this year-1st was "Cooking for Friends" and yesterday we a day themed "Family Favorites".We were greeted with tea and freshly made scones- recipe included with our folder of recipes for the day. Joe demonstrated in short sections & then we repeated. He added oodles valuable tips & constantly circulating to guide and advise.We cooked our own lunch and dinner (including dessert) and made some lovely apple and cinnamon soda bread. And got to bring home what we didn't eat! It's definitely recommended - I'll be back."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Ireland
    10 out of 10

    "I spent a week in the courtyard cottages and attended the cookery school every day. I loved it and learned so much. The tutor was friendly, informative and talented. The classes suited all abilities and we ate all the great food we cooked. I can't wait to go back."

    Trip Advisor website, edited