So I promised I'd do a new column Escape to the Country, you can see May's Escape to the Country here. For June I chose a National Trust Property in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland just a few mile from the Cavan Border.
Florence Court is located in County Fermanagh located close to the Cavan border. It is located in the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark which is designated by UNESCO. The Geopark covers large areas of Counties Fermanagh and Cavan due to the rich geological heritage in the area. Within the Geopark there are numerous sites, walks, trails and viewing points- this part of Ireland is truly a hidden gem! It is full of wonderful heritage- built and natural. The lakes and drumlins are everywhere and driving or cycling around the area is amazing as you don't know what is awaiting you around the next corner. The main attractions near Florencecourt are the Marble Arch Caves in County Fermanagh and just a few miles up the road near the pretty village of Blacklion in County Cavan you will find the Burren Forest Park with it's new interpretative centre nestled in the Cuilcagh Mountains (I hope to visit there very soon and will take some photos for you). There are numerous other sites to see and for a spot of lunch or dinner, visit McNean House in Blacklion, (owned & run by the famous chef Neven Maguire's who was winner of Chef of the Year Award 2014 in Ireland). Neven has also opened a lovely cookery school too in the village. Who doesn't know Neven at this stage! Another piece of knowledge which some of you may not be aware of is that Irleand's longest river- The Shannon also starts its journey at the Shannon Pot in the Cuilcagh Mountains, County Cavan .
So that is just a brief list of some of the wonderful places to visit in the area but today I will focus on Florence Court House and Gardens which is just a few miles down the road from the Marble Arch Caves.
Florence Court House and Gardens is an 18th Century house and estate now owned by the National Trust. It was built by John Cole and he named it after his wife Florence- how romantic! It was originally the seat of the Earls of Enniskillen up until the National Trust acquired the property. Unfortunately the properly had a fire in the 1950s before the National Trust took over but they have since done a tremendous job on restoring the property. As well as the house, in the estate you will find a sawmill, walled garden, ice house, spring well and beautiful gardener's cottage. Florence Court is said to be home of the Irish Yew Tree. There is also a National Trust Shop, Nelly's Book Shop along with tea rooms in the courtyard.
For a holiday with a different where you can unwind, escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, take in the beautiful natural environment, the rich heritage of Ireland, warm hospitality and good food, County Fermanagh and Cavan are the place to go!