100% worth seeking out!
We'll be honest, it never occurred to us to travel to Fermanagh for a staycation. We can't recall ever having heard anyone say they'd stayed there (outside of the Insta-famous Finn Lough Resort), and whenever people do mention going on weekends away around the country, the usual locales - Donegal, Belfast, Cork, Kerry, Galway, Wexford, Kilkenny, etc. - get mentioned.
But we suppose that is what literally defines a hidden gem, somewhere that possesses a brilliance not necessarily known or appreciated by the masses. However, after spending a weekend there, we can whole-heartedly recommend Fermanagh as your next staycation destination, especially if you're a foodie at heart.
If you like a guided tour for all of the best bits of food and drink, then there is an Enniskillen Taste Experience, which is literally a walking tour with stops for amazing local products.
It kicks off with an incredible bacon sandwich by the renowned Joe The Baker...
... before continuing on to plenty of other outlets throughout the town, giving you the opportunity to try out Pat O'Doherty's famous black bacon, the uniquely creamy Tickety Moo ice-cream, some tasty starters in The Firehouse, and baked goodies from The Jolly Sandwich. For those who enjoying their fancy booze, you'll also get to taste test the Boatyard Gin and the Innishmacsaint beer, all of which are made in Fermanagh.
For the more adventurous sorts (and, to be fair, those with a car, because Fermanagh is a BIG county), there are plenty of locals to check out without the guide to... well... guide you.
Also situated in Enniskillen, 28 At The Hollow is a gorgeous fine dining experience, with some absolutely incredible without needing to break the bank to enjoy it. While the starters and mains were top notch, it is without a doubt the home to some of the nicest desserts we've ever tried. Make sure you get the Lemon & Lime Posset, you will NOT be disappointed.
Yes, we got two desserts, no judgement here, please!
Beyond the town, you should check out the Tully Mill (located about five minutes away from the Marble Arch Caves) for great Sunday dinners, the Forest Barn restaurant (located on the grounds of Finn Lough), and plenty more besides.
Ask pretty much anyone in Fermanagh for a recommendation, and they'll be more than happy to direct you towards their personal favourite food and drink emporium, and chances are that each and every one of them will be fantastic.
So there you have it. Fermanagh, a hidden gem... for now!
Main image via TheFireHouse/Instagram