Returning to Enniskillen from a visit to Bundoran we decided to take a less travelled route back along the R281 to Belcoo and from there to Enniskillen.

While the whole journey was a lovely drive, the most scenic part was driving along the south western shore of Lough Melvin. While we just made a few photo stops and similar to admire the view we could also have, had time permitted, stopped for a picnic, etc at any of the public jetties and other access points scattered around the Lough, part of which is incidentally in Northern Ireland and part of which is in Southern Ireland.

The country in which the Lough is located is only really relevant should you wish to throw out a fishing line. Permits are required to fish anywhere in the Lough and the jurisdiction of the waters you chose to fish determines were you need to buy your permit.

Speaking of fishing – and personally I do not have the patience for it – this is one of the best fishing places in Ireland, a favoured fishing spot of the late Charlie Chaplin, renowned for its early “run” of Atlantic salmon, three species of trout (sonaghan, gillaroo, ferox) and the Melvin char which is endemic to Lough Melvin. The salmon fishing season is from 1st February to 30th September inclusive while the trout season runs from 15th February to 30th September.

Of course, as you might expect, all these fish did not end up here by chance and therein lies a story, if you will indulge me.

Folklore tells of an old monk who once lived by the Lough fasting, in abstinence and reflecting. Having ‘found himself’ he needed to eat. After a day’s fossicking and fishing he ended up with some mushrooms, a duck egg and an eel. Unhappy with his efforts, the now starving monk laid his minuscule haul out on a cross he had made in the sand, closed his eyes and prayed. On opening his eyes he found that the eel and egg had been transformed into two beautiful trout – fish so splendid that he could not eat them. Instead he set them free to multiply in the Lough.

Having subsequently examined the map I have reached the conclusion that cycling around Lough Melvin would make a great day-trip from Bundoran. There is plenty to see, in addition to the Lough itself. I imagine the distance would be around 30miles or 50kms with cycling along reasonably quiet and not too hilly minor roads. Something to consider for my next visit to the area though I have no idea where the visitor might lay hands on a bicycle.

My photos attached were all taken on the south western side of the Lough.

Location – Accessible from various points including via the R280 and then the R281 from Bundoran.

This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries on Bundoran, Ireland. I suggest you continue with my next entry – Prince Connnell’s Grave – or to start the loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – On The Wild Atlantic Way.


5 thoughts on “Lough Melvin

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