Belleek has undergone many changes in its history. It has earned worldwide recognition for the craftsmanship produced by Belleek pottery, and has many craft workshops where the fruits of local artisans may be viewed and purchased. The area is steeped in history, with sites dating from early pagan times to castles and forts from early Christian through to the present day. There are also many areas of breathtaking scenery to visit around Belleek, such as Knather wood and Breezy Mountain (see the activites page for Belleek).
The countryside surrounding Belleek had been home to generations of family farmers, breeding cattle and sheep, and cutting turf. There is a multitude of native flora, changing colours with the seasons to create some breathtaking scenic views. There are also many protected bird species in the area, such as kingfishers, kestrel, sparrow-hawk and peregrine.
Belleek and the surrounding areas provide facilities for a wide range of pastimes and interests. The village of Garrison provides lake fishing, as well as sailing, windsurfing and canoeing, While 18 hole golf courses are available at nearby at Bundoran and Murvagh.
Long before Edward Blennerhasset founded the village of Belleek in 1610, it was recognised as a strategic position - it is said that the mythical Fionn MacCumhaill's men sharpened their swords on a limestone rock on Belleek falls. The area also had a Norman castle in 1212, stronghold of Hugh Maguire, Chieftain of Fermanagh.
The river Erne has changed a great deal since those times. In 1866, 1.2 million tons of rock was blasted from Belleek falls, and the river has under gone great changes as it was adapted for river transport and power generation. The introduction of sluice gates at the pottery allowed river craft to travel from Belleek to Cavan, and goods from surrounding areas were brought to Belleek for river and lake transport.
Full information on angling in the area can be obtained from the Tourist Information Centre, Wellington Road, Enniskillen. Phone: (028) 6632 3110.
Lough Keenaghan, is a 38 acre lake with brown trout and rainbow trout.
Lough Scolban is 171 acres and fishes for perch and is stocked with rainbow trout by the department of agriculure. Pike is the main reason anglers come to this lake, and specimens have been caught up to 20lb.
Belleek is renowned as a centre for both freshwater and sea fishing, boasting lakes for trout, pike, and record coarse fishing waters, while the river itself holds trout, perch, roach, bream, eels and some salmon. As well as river and lake fishing, you can enjoy pier and beach fishing, inshore boat charter and offshore shark.
Places of Interest
ExploreErne interpretive centre tells the complete story of the lakes and their hinterland using the latest technology.
Tully Castle was built in the early 17th century by Sir John Hume, but was destroyed by fire on Christmas day in 1641. The seventeenth century garden has undergone considerable refurbishment.
Lough Navar Forest provides a viewing point with a magnificent veiw of the lake. The viewing point can be reached by road or by path from Magho jetty on the lake.
Castle Caldwell was built in 1612 and was home to the Caldwell family, landlords of Belleek. Although the castle is mostly in ruin, the park is a haven to for wild birds and deer. Note the inscription on the stone fiddle at the entrance.
Boa Island Figures: A ferry is available from Lustybeg to Boa Island, home of the famous stone carved Janus figures at Caldragh, believed to be pre-Christian.
Rath Mor: A hill fort above Belleek village which dates from the 5th century, St Patricks time.