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We may not have the Mournes on our doorstep for those ‘Insta’ worthy sunrise shots but there are several walks in Fermanagh that provide the perfect canvas for a sunrise to rival any!
Yes it’s obvious. But there’s a reason why its Fermanagh’s number 1 most visited attraction. For those of you not familiar with it, Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail is a 7.5 mile return trip at 665m height.
There is a small, privately operated car park at the start, just off the Marlbank Road (about 20 minutes from Enniskillen). You then start the ascent up a gravel track for around 2.5mile before coming onto the infamous boardwalk for the last mile. Giving the terrain and incline, I’d recommend allowing 1.5 – 2 hours to get to the top. The views out over Fermanagh and Cavan provide the perfect backdrop for watching the sun rise over the horizon.
SHOP: The Trek NI Mountain Mug – a brilliant little addition to your backpack!
Topped Mountain to me is the perfect place for some sun rise spotting! It’s a short, sharp hike so you’ll not need to allow any more than 20-30 minutes to walk to the top and when you get there, there are panoramic views out over Fermanagh and Tyrone.
It’s a magical wee spot and I highly recommend it, and as it’s one of the lesser known spots in Fermanagh, it’s likely you can enjoy the sunrise on your own! There’s a small car park located at the junction of Topped Mountain Road and Lough Skale Road (approximately 15 minutes from Enniskillen) and the path is gravel all the way to the top.
3. Lough Navar
Lough Navar is one of those spots in NI that has unrivalled views. It really is phenomenal when the weather is clear. You can cheat and drive to the viewing point at the top but then you won’t earn your picnic! I advise parking at the small car park located on the Lough Shore Road, about 25 minutes outside of Enniskillen and climbing the steps to the viewing point. I’m not going to lie, these steps are not for the faint hearted – you climb around 370 steps over the height of 700ft! But trust me, give yourself about 45 minutes of less for the ascent, bring your picnic and enjoy one of the best views in NI when the sun makes an appearance!
4. Carnmore Viewpoint
So here’s the thing…Carnmore Viewpoint is just that. It’s more a viewpoint rather than a walk (well you can do a 5 mile loop here but I imagine for the purpose of sunrise chasers, this loop might not offer much value!).
A lot of the walk information on Fermanagh is based on West Fermanagh and a lot of sites in East Fermanagh don’t get the press. And to be fair, East Fermanagh is a totally different landscape and probably not as breath taking, however, Carnmore is the exception to this rule.
There is a small car park located off the Cooneen Road, about 15 minutes outside of Roslea. It is a bit off the beaten track but trust me, the views are stunning! There is a short, sharp walk a few 100m in length up to the trig point and from there you will see Cavan, Fermanagh and Tyrone. A great spot for a cuppa early in the morning!
READ: A not-so-traditional seven peak Mournes adventure
Knockninny is a small hill on the outskirts of Derrylin Village, close to the southern shores of Upper lough Erne. Again, a relatively unknown site but fantastic views out over Fermanagh and the loughs. It’s accessed by taking the first right after Derrylin village, then the first left. Stop at the end of the farm track and proceed up to the gate. Cross the field and head for the top right hand corner where there is a gap in the fence. Follow the fence up through trees to you meet rock. The fence is easily crossed here, follow the tracks through the trees to the trig pillar on top. It’s only 191m in height, but a great one for somewhere different for that elusive sunrise shot!
Imelda is a Countryside Management Officer based in Fermanagh and Cavan. She started writing a few years ago when, after a short stint in the Great British BakeOff she started a blog writing about her two loves – baking and galavanting! Imelda regularly writes about recipes as well as her favourite spots to go trekking and eating around Ireland. See @imelda__rose on insta and Twitter or www.theramblingbaker.com for more.