A trail through the forest park at Florence Court which rewards walkers with views across Fermanagh and beyond at its peak.
* Please note that National Trust entrance pricing applies for this walk. Please see the link below for details
Point of interest:Formal walled gardens, Lady's well, Florence Court House, Mother Yew, views across Fermanagh, historic Deer Park
OS map:Sheet 26
Terrain:Off road quiet surfaced paths
Route:Starting from the Visitor Centre, take the bridge and turn left, taking care when crossing at the Admission hut. Follow the trail and bear right, passing the Lady's Well on your right.
The trail rejoins the main path here, note this part of the trail is used by horse-riders and cyclists. Continue to follow the blue trail signs, passing alongside the Broad Meadow with views of the house.
When Florence Court house was built, this next section of the path along the Broad Meadow was kept clean of trees and obstructions – even the grazing animals you see today would have been kept out of the field to ensure the perfect view of the house in it’s gentle hill was preserved.
Here the Red and Blue trails separate. Take a minute to visit the Florence Court yew tree ahead of you before returning and taking the red trail to the left, crossing a wide bridge. Follow the Claddagh River upstream along the Riverside Walk, crossing part-way at a small footbridge.
The Florence Court yew tree, taxus baccata ‘fastigiata’, is reported to be the “mother” of all Irish yew trees. It was discovered as part of a pair on Cuilcagh Mountain in 1740 by local farmer George Willis. He presented one to William Cole, 1st Earl of Enniskillen which was planted on the estate. This specific typr of yew can only be propagated by cutting and has had hundreds over the years which gives it a very distinguished appearance.
Take a rest here at the top of the Riverside Walk before following the path to the right and heading down the hill. After about 200m take a left turn, facing the steepest climb on the red trail. Take your time on the way up.
At the top of the winding climb you'll reach the viewpoint. Continue on the path as it descends, taking care of your step. You can choose to extend your walk onto the Ulster or Cuilcagh way from this point, or turn right and continue to follow the red trail past the Kennel Field.
From the top of the viewpoint on a clear day you should be able to see across much of Fermanagh, including Upper Lough McNean, Belomore mountain, Enniskillen town, Brougher Mountian, parts of Upper Lough Erne and Knockninny, amongst others.
Finishing your descent and crossing the Eel house bridge, you are now back onto the main estate. To finish your walk early, continue straight on past the Sawmill to pass the rear of the house. To continue on, take a left after the bridge to walk a partial loop around the Killymanamly path which will bring you to the top of the path to the Walled Garden. Take this path to your left to finish the trail and return to the Visitor Centre.
Your descent from the Red Trail will pass the historic Deer Park on the right-hand side. You might be able to catch a glimpse of the wall that still stands. The Deer Park was used to hold the Earl’s deer in the 1800s but has since fallen into disrepair. The ha-ha at the front of the house was built using stone taken from the deer park wall.
Facilities:Car park (fee charged), Picnic areas, Toilets (Disabled Access), Stables restaurant, Coach House shop offering a range of gifts, Baby changing facilities, children's play area, Guided tours of the house available
Accessible toilet facilities:Yes
Accessible terrain:Unsurfaced paths
Getting to the start by public transport:Signposted from the A4 - Enniskillen to Sligo Road.