Why go all the way to Fermanagh for a walk? That is like a 3.5 hour drive?? There are many reasons why… aside from getting to go to Asda and buying Rhubarb and Custard tea and cheap ibuprofen, Cuilcagh Legnabroky is the hottest place to hike in Ireland right now, Ireland’s very own stairway to heaven.
We (My Friend Linda and I) set off from Castletroy in Limerick at half 7 in the morning with Otis Spunkmeyer cappuccinos and mini banana bread muffins (I made them, there is a blog with a recipe…I gotta plug myself!). We stayed on the road till we made it to Athlone. We had a long conversation trying to figure out whether Athlone is a county and if not what county was in in?? I think we figured out that it was in Westmeath. We went for brunch in Bastion Kitchen. This quaint little cafe on Bastion street is perfect for coffee and food. We got a delicious breakfast with falafel, hummus, pitta bread, salad and runny poached eggs… it was so delicious and filling (see photos below)The coffee is so good too 🙂 Very friendly staff and good value for money. They sell a range of healthy food stuffs like peanut butter, coconut chocolate bars and hemp protein too.
When we got to Enniskillen we checked into our hotel and then we headed out for a quick snack and a coffee. We went to Frou Frou Tea Shop. It looked great from the outside, with a cream vintage theme, there was a great selection of cakes and buns. We got a slice of Victoria Sponge cake, carrot cake and 2 cappuccinos. It was ok, it was way to quite in there…almost uncomfortable. I am all for peace and calm but it felt like you couldn’t really talk, it needs a little background music. The cake was good though, we went to pay and it was a little steep it was nearly £15 for cake and coffee for two people. There was nutmeg on top of the coffee, an acquired taste, I wouldn’t do that without asking. Wouldn’t be going back there!!!!
Victoria Sponge and carrot Cake
In order to make ourselves feel a little less guilty about indulging in cake we set out to find Topped Mountain. I had read about it on Trip Advisor. Topped mountain is just outside Enniskillen and is about 277 meters high, you will be up and down it in 20 minutes 🙂 The views from the top are really worth the journey. Not the easiest to locate on google maps, the trick is to get to Tempo road and then it is really well sign posted with large brown signs.
Linda coming down Topped Mountain
The start of the trail
That is me on the Trig post
After our walk we decide it was time to indulge again and we went down to a pub called ‘Blake of the Hollows’ notorious for the oldest public house in Enniskillen. They have an extensive gin menu so we had to have one. We went for Drumshanbo Irish Gunpowder Gin, delicious! We actually ended up writing a list of the places we want to walk in the coming year and there was a mention of Kilimanjaro… that is for another day though!!!
Blake of the Hollows
Outside the Snug
We were in bed early…(like 9pm, I just wanted it to be go time!!!) We were up super early (6am) for proats, banana bread muffins and strong coffee.
Recipes for the perfect hikers breakfast available here: Proats: https//fairymojo.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/protein-oats-proats/), Banana Bread Muffins https://fairymojo.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/banana-and-chocolate-chip-muffins/.)
Cuilcagh Legnabroky is really well signposted from Enniskillen, you generally follow sign for the Marble Arch Geo Park. Parking is free when you get there (The trail car park is about 1 km from the main car park for the Marble Arch Caves), we were the first ones to arrive so we chose to park really close to the exit. By the time we were leaving the car park was full and had spilled out onto the road so getting there early is very advisable.
Cuilcagh Legnabroky, The Real Stairway to Heaven
On starting the walk you exit the car park, you are not alone for the first part of the walk, you are surrounded by sheep and lambs, so cute! The trail is very easy to follow it begins on a long windy stoney path which eventually transforms to wooden walkway. The route brings you around one of the largest blanket bogs in Europe and hence the building if the wooden walkway, to protect it from people. The landscape is quite bleak, but beautiful none the less. It was a bright morning but the wind was against us and made walking that bit more difficult. You can see the staircase built into the mountain when you are about a quarter of the way there. They have set aside lovely benches to take a break and even a little shed with benches were you can get shelter, we stopped and took photos, had FigRolls. It was really lovely. As I said, we got there early so we were able to take our time and enjoy the unscathed view. Later on, on decent it was starting to get crowded and loud.
My pants are too shirt!!!
The Notice Board
Linda and I
Linda at the Trig point
On our way home we stopped in Grogan’s for soup and coffee in Glasson, probably the best soup I have had in years, great service and atmosphere. Very good value for money too, highly recommended. For the final final stop, we got ’99’s in Killbeggan 🙂 🙂 I had a ’99 everyday… I am not sorry!
I am not sure if I go places so much for the hiking or the eating but either way I am very happy doing both. It is worth the trip to Fermanagh, I just don’t think I would stay over in Enniskillen again, it didn’t get me very excited.
Check it out.