© Walkers' Home Swap, 2013
We live close to 3 villages – Pettigo 3 miles, Kesh 8 miles and Belleek 8 miles.
The village of Kesh (8 miles away) is set on the north eastern edge of Lower Lough Erne, County Fermanagh in the heart of Ireland’s Lakeland. It is a popular tourist destination with two caravan parks, water sports centre, small beach, hotel, pub, restaurant, ATM, B&B accommodation, golf, walking and fishing. The county town of Enniskillen 22 miles away.
The village most likely derives its name from the Irish term for a wicker crossing or light bridge. Kesh was the only post town served by a mail coach between Enniskillen and Ballyshannon until 1812. In 1618 there were 6 houses, in 1841 the population had risen to 248 with 54 houses. Today the population is closer to 1700.
Recently a new marina and boat park has been added to the village amenities, allowing boats cruising on Lough Erne to come up to the village.
One of the local churches also has a famine graveyard (www.ardess.org).
Each year the Kesh Development Association organises a festival of fun and games which attracts many visitors (www.keshcarnival.com). Activities include: 10K run, vintage cars and tractors, I.F.I. soccer school and many more events.
Belleek Village (8 miles)
Belleek (mouth of the flagstones) is a thriving market town and lies on the border with County Donegal. It is the western-most village in the United Kingdom and has a variety of pubs, shops, restaurants and a hotel.
It is famous for the fine parian china produced at the world famous Belleek Pottery, the oldest pottery in Ireland. The china is valued by collectors from all over the world.
A stained glass window featuring a potter’s hands is located above the altar in St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic church. This was built in 1903 at a cost of £2000.
Castle Caldwell Forest lies four miles outside Belleek and the castle was originally built in 1612.
The area is home to various protected wildlife, including the Inland Sandwich, Tern, Curlew, Lapwing, Redshank and Snipe colonies.
The small village of Pettigo (3 miles) is the ‘gateway’ to St Patrick’s Purgatory, a Christian pilgrimage site, situated on Lough Derg. The village has shops, a mill, castle, pubs and a craft and tea shop (The Cowshed).
The walking trail entails the history and heritage of the Pettigo area. 30 plaques tell the creator of Riverdance, Moya Doherty, “French” Tom Barton, “Banjo” Patterson, the Crimean War Tree and the Pettigo Connection to “The Quiet Man” among many other tales of the areas surrounded by lakes.
Lying between Lough Erne and Lough Derg, Pettigo is able to offer the visiting angler a full range of fishing opportunities. With over fifty lakes; salmon and native brown trout will keep the game angler happy
Slightly further away is the town of Irvinestown where you can enjoy the ‘Lady of the Lake’ festival. This usually runs from around 14-20 July.