« PreviousContinue »
BELLEEK TO BALLYSHANNON.
AFTER a sail from Enniskillen down Loch Erne, that beautiful Irish Windermere, the tourist lands at Belleek, a small village prettily situated at the western end of the lake. From this point the river Erne, formerly called the Saimer, pursues a broad and rapid course westward to the sea. A ford here was in past times one of the chief entrances into Tyrconnell, and one of the oftenest contested points, perhaps, in the history of the Irish wars. The tourist will notice on the hill above the village, a fort, now disused, and on the river below, a china manufactory. “ From Belleek, the angler will be enabled to fish Loch Erne, which contains some of the finest trout in the world, running from 2 to 20 lbs. weight. These trout, up to 6 and 7 lbs. weight, take the fly well. The lough abounds also in pike, perch, and bream, of which cartloads may be taken in some spots. Flies may be had in Ballyshannon.”* The declination of the bed of the river is so considerablet that the stream is broken in its course into a series of rapids, which the pedestrian would do well to explore.
* Angler's Register, +149 feet of incline in the four miles between Belleek and the sea,
The car road to Ballyshannon (41 miles) runs nearly parallel with the river, which, however, is not always visible from it. At a short distance from Belleek, close to the river, is Cliffe, the residence of T. Connolly, Esq., M.P., the proprietor of extensive estates in this neighbourhood, and in other parts of Donegal, and on the bank directly opposite, the antiquary will find the remains of an old church and graveyard. About two miles farther on are the remains of a castle in a field on the right, and on the left is an old “dun,” called Raheen Fort. Passing the grounds of Camlan Castle, (T. Tredenick, Esq.,) and one or two other minor residences to the right, the road gains an elevated point, whence there is a fine view of Ballyshannon. The river rushes on in almost majestic stream, spanned by a bridge of sixteen arches, every one of which you have the satisfaction of seeing, and the town, rising abruptly from the water's edge, ascends a steep hill, surmounted by two churches, whose “silent fingers point to heaven.” You now drop suddenly into the Purt, as the part of the town on the south side of the river is called, and crossing the bridge you are in the heart of
There are three hotels—the Commercial, the Erne,