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County Fermanagh/United Kingdom

Introducing County Fermanagh

The ancient landscape of Fermanagh is shaped by ice and water, with rugged hills rising above quilted plains of half-drowned drumlins and shimmering, reed-fringed lakes. A glance at the map shows the county is around one-third water - as the locals will tell you, the lakes are in Fermanagh for six months of the year; for the other six, Fermanagh is in the lakes.

This watery maze is a natural playground for anglers - the loughs and rivers are stuffed with trout and pike - and for boaters. You can hire a motor cruiser and spend a week or two navigating the scenic waterways of Lough Erne and the River Shannon, which together form a 750km network of rivers, lakes and canals. If you prefer your boats without engines, the 50km Lough Erne Canoe Trail is a paddler's paradise.

The limestone ridges to the south of Lough Erne are riddled with caves - at Marble Arch you can explore an underground river; the higher hills are swathed with blanket bog, a rare and endangered habitat. This is all grand walking country, but there are also rainy-day attractions, such as the contrasting stately homes of Florence Court and Castle Coole, and the world-famous pottery at Belleek.

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