Thursday, 10 April 2014

Fun for all the family at Forthill 'Picnic in the Park'


 Pack your picnic basket and make your way to Forthill Park in Enniskillen this Easter Monday for family fun and entertainment.

Picnic in the Park, a free event organised by Fermanagh County Museum, takes place on Easter Monday, 21 April from 12pm to 2pm. 

The historic Park provides the perfect setting for a picnic and will play host to an afternoon of children's games, face painting, balloon-shaping, live music, play-park and much more on April 21. There will also be an Easter egg trail and real Easter chicks.

The spectacular bandstand will come alive with music from Cathy Mc Govern, who will provide a musical treat throughout the afternoon.  

The RSPB, Butterfly Conservation and Conservation Volunteers will be on hand with puzzles and games and The Enniskillen Hotel will provide lemonade for children. 

Encouraging people to make their way to Forthill Park on Easter Monday, Catherine Scott, Fermanagh County Museum, said:

"We hope the sun shines on April 21 and that people make their way to this historic garden in the heart of Enniskillen.

Forthill is a beautiful park and a perfect place for our Easter event.  The day is a great opportunity for families to get outdoors and enjoy this beautiful open space.

Admission is free, as are all of the activities."

The Forthill Promenade and Pleasure Park has always been a space for public use.

After the Plantation, Forthill Park was called "Commons Hill" or "Cow Hill," where Enniskilleners could graze their cattle and animals. It was also known as Camomile Hill, where in 1689, the Governor of Enniskillen, Gustavus Hamilton, ordered a fort of sods to be raised in Enniskillen; hence the name 'Forthill'.

In 1836 the area was enclosed, planted with trees, and transformed into a promenade and pleasure ground. 

After the Crimean War a captured Russian Gun was brought to the south bastion of the Forthill.  It fired a salute to the first train arriving in the town in 1857 and broke the windows in Belmore Street.

By the 1880s the park had become overgrown and little used. Thomas Plunkett, Chairman of the town commissioners, supervised the landscaping of the park and on 7 August 1891 the Forthill Pleasure ground officially opened with special areas including the "Dell", the Ferney, the Fountain, and the Waterfall; all designed by Plunkett. 

Forthill Bandstand was erected to Plunkett during his own lifetime in 1895 as a mark of appreciation.

As well as the programme of family entertainment on April 21, people will have the opportunity to climb the 108 steps to the viewing platform of the historic Cole's Monument, built in the centre of the park on a star-shaped fort in memory of the late General the Hon. Sir G. Lowry Cole from 1845-57.

Admission to Picnic in the Park and its associated activities are free of charge.


For further information please contact Catherine Scott, Fermanagh County Museum, on 028 6632 5000.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Going for Gold . . .

The Belmore Court and Motel has achieved Gold status from Green Tourism, a body recognised by the UK and regional governments as being a crucial part of its drive towards sustainability.

Those who achieve Gold Status are classed as being 'Inspirational/Outstanding'. Establishments achieving Gold are cited by Green Tourism as achieving the highest standards of sustainability with a "strong and broad ethos and excellent examples throughout." Businesses who achieve this will employ the latest technologies, from LED lighting to efficient boilers and renewable technologies. The business will have an efficient control over their resource use and will demonstrate effective monitoring with targets set for savings. They believe "Green procurement will include sustainable meat/fish sources, a range of ethical products and working with local suppliers to provide fresh, local and even organic items." Green Tourism feel that changes implemented should lead to significant benefits to the business, community and supply chain.

Belmore Court and Motel have undertaken several actions to fulfil their commitment to sustainability. These include:
·        Complying with requirements of environmental legislation and approved codes of practice.
·        Continuously seeking to improve environmental and social performance.
·        To reduce pollution, emissions and waste.
·        To reduce the use of energy, water and other resources.
·        To raise awareness, encourage participation and train employees in sustainable business practice.
·        We expect similar environmental standards from all suppliers and contractors.
·        Assisting customers to use products and services in an environmentally sensitive way.
·        Liaising with the local community.
·        Minimising our risks associated with social and environmental issues.
·        Joining the Green Tourism Business scheme as an indicator of our sustainable practices.
·        Responsible visitor charters have been placed in every room, with seven steps indicating how guests can help reduce their impact on the environment whilst staying at the Belmore Court and Motel.
·        Practical steps taken include recycling, minimising paper use, choosing phosphate free cleaning products, using local suppliers where possible, water conservation, sensible lighting and fuel use, no PCs or TVs left on standby.
·        Creating an updated charge point for electric vehicles in the Belmore Court and Motel's car park.
·        Working with suppliers to minimise packaging.
·        Introducing more fair trade products.
·        Promoting cycle hire from Lakeland Bikes for £25 per day.

The Belmore Court and Motel is one of eighteen establishments offering a Green Tourism experience in Northern Ireland and one of only three to achieve Gold status!


Friday, 14 March 2014

Belmore Court & Motel - Cleans Up

Housekeepers from throughout Northern Ireland gathered at the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel last night (12th March 2014) to discover who had cleaned up in this year’s Hotel & Guesthouse Housekeeping Awards. The event, which was hosted by UTV’s Pamela Ballantine, saw the Belmore Court & Motel, Enniskillen win the Under 90 Rooms category and the Hilton Belfast awarded first place in the 90 Rooms and Over category.

The awards, organised by the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, are held on an annual basis and have been designed to showcase the important role of housekeeping and reward the excellence achieved by housekeeping staff. This is the fifth year they have taken place.

Mandy Patrick MBE, President of the NIHF commented, “This competition is really about giving recognition to and rewarding the often unsung heroes & heroines of the accommodation industry - the housekeeping teams. I know that I rely heavily upon my own team and without them our guests would not have the excellent stay they currently experience. 

“This event has been greatly supported by our industry partners and we see this as a key element in its own going success. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Bunzl Rafferty Hospitality Products, Gilchrist and Soames along with Ecolab have sponsored this event since its inception five years ago. Their support is testament to their commitment to the industry and ensuring recognition for the housekeeping staff within the sector.”

The 2014 competition included a team assessment day with 56 housekeepers undertaking a range of tasks evaluating the skills they use everyday. This was followed by a surprise on-site inspection for the nine shortlisted finalists. The judges were looking for cleanliness, attention to detail and a good overall guest impression. The objective of the competition is to raise standards in the industry whilst recognising the superb job that housekeepers perform on a daily basis.

The results of the competition.

Under 90 Rooms

WINNER
Belmore Court & Motel, Enniskillen

RUNNER-UP
Galgorm Resort & Spa, Ballymena

90 Rooms and Over

WINNER
Hilton Belfast

RUNNER-UP
Holiday Inn Express, Belfast

The Hotel & Guesthouse Housekeeping Awards are organised by the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation. The event is in its fifth year. The Northern Ireland Hotels Federation is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. It was founded in 1999 to represent the interests of the hotel and guesthouse industry. It lobbies Government, provides a range of services to Members and strives to ensure that everyone in Northern Ireland gains from the tremendous economic and social benefits of a growing tourism sector.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Belmore Court Manager Features in NITB Campaign

Belmore Court and Motel’s owner Terry McCartney has discovered a new role in life. Not only is he a motelier but a TV Ad campaign star! Those who have seen the new Discover Northern Ireland Spring 2014 promotional ads will be familiar with Terry’s starring role. For those who haven’t you can take a peak;



Entitled ‘Discover the People, Discover the Place’ it is voiced over by Hollywood star and Ballymena boy Liam Neeson. Terry describes his involvement as evolving from a simple phone call from the Ad agency behind the campaign. They wanted to speak to people in Fermanagh about Fermanagh. Terry spoke about the county, his business at Belmore Court and Motel and about his hobbies which include photography and the locations in the county where he goes to take pictures.


Later that evening he received a call asking him to participate in the Ad campaign regarding Fermanagh, which he agreed to. Seven days later he met up with the production team at Crom Estate at 8am and the Ad was explained further to Terry. We’re assured that he was fully prepared for this strenuous day of filming by enjoying bacon butties with the crew prior to filming the documentary style Ad. They had invited another photographer along for the day, Eunan from Leitrim, with the aim being to show what Fermanagh was like, matching photographer with photographer and showing the beautiful sites of Fermanagh.


At Crom Estate they met John from the National Trust who has five generations of family living on the estate. They were given a tour and moved on to have lunch on the Lady of the Lake cruiser. Their skipper Frank took them out on Lough Erne and gave them a tour of Fermanagh’s Lakelands. Terry says that Eunan “couldn’t believe the breath taking beauty” of Fermanagh. On their boat trip they made their way towards Devenish Island. They saw the interpretive centre and returned to shore a little damper than when they had begun their journey. To end their day went to Blakes of the Hollow where they discussed the day’s activities. Terry believes Eunan was more than impressed with Fermanagh and was happy to return home and tell people about it. It was Terry’s “pleasure to show him Fermanagh, everything from its beauty, its scenery to the craic and the good food and pubs on offer.”


The Ad has already started being showing on TV and there are three versions of the Ad available. There is also a more detailed three minute look at the Fermanagh Ad with Terry and Eunan available online.

 
Feel free to visit us at the Belmore Court and Motel to take in the beauty of Fermanagh for yourself and keep an eye out for Terry coming to a TV screen or billboard near you! Please refrain from drawing moustaches amongst other things on his campaign, some friends of the Belmore Court and Motel are threatening not to be so kind!





Read more on the NITB blog - http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/discover-northern-ireland/discover-the-beauty.aspxhttp://www.discovernorthernireland.com/discover-northern-ireland/discover-the-beauty.aspx

Friday, 28 February 2014

Spring Walking Festival 2014


Spring Walking Festival 2014

Fermanagh District Council have organised a ONE DAY walk encapsulating the Cuilcagh Mountain area on Saturday 15 March 2014. The walk provides an opportunity for individuals to come out and enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of one of Fermanagh’s finest landscapes. The Spring Walking Festival costs £10 per person with two different walk start times available. Preregistration is essential with places allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Cuilcagh Mountain
This walk is suitable for experienced walkers of steep terrain and long distances. This walk is not suitable for under 12 year olds. A packed lunch and drinks are essential.

Walk 1
Registration: 8.30am – 9.00am    Depart: 9.00am

Walk 2
Registration: 9.00am – 9.30am    Depart: 9.30am

Distance: 12/13km
Duration: 5 – 6 hours

Walk Information

The Cuilcagh Mountain walk will depart from the Marble Arch Caves car park at the outlined times.

Walkers will be transported to Ballyvelly Gap in County Cavan to the base of Cuilcagh Mountain to begin their ascent to the summit plateau. On the summit plateau (665metres) there is the large stone cairn where 360° panoramic views of the surrounding countryside can be seen. On clearly visible day views can encompass counties Tyrone, Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon. If the weather is particularly favourable Nephin Beg Mountain Range in County Mayo may be seen. Following the ascent to the summit plateau walkers will then plateau towards Tiltlnbane descending Cuilcagh along the Fermanagh border traversing across rare habitat types including limestone pavement and upland blanket bog. On the return route walkers will traverse blanket bog which can be wet underfoot before making their way towards Killykeegan and emerging on the roadway towards the Marble Arch Caves thus completing the walk.

*Please note the exact Cuilcagh route may be subject to change pending weather conditions and an alternative walk may be utilised in extreme circumstances. This walk should only be undertaken by experienced walkers.

Additional Information

The following are essential for participation;

Ø  Warm waterproof clothing (including a change of clothing)
Ø  Denim clothing is not suitable
Ø  Walking boots; please ensure boots are worn in
Ø  Suncream, hats and gloves
Ø  A packed lunch and drinks

Safety Notes

Ø  It is essential that you understand that walking in the countryside can be dangerous if you do not use the correct equipment etc.
Ø  All persons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Noone under 12 is allowed to participate in the walk.
Ø  All walkers must sign in at the beginning of the walk and sign out upon their return.
Ø  No one is authorised to join a walk at any other location other than at the registration centre.
Ø  Dogs are not permitted on any of the walks.
Ø  A health questionnaire must be completed before persons can participate in the festival.

Leave No trace


Please take all your litter home, respect wildlife and be considerate of other people and their property.

Registration and Booking


Preregistration is essential with places allocated on a first come, first served basis; please note numbers are limited. The Cuilcagh Mountain walk is £10 per person with two walk start times available. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Fermanagh District Council’.

In order to book your place, please complete the walk registration form which is available from www.fermanagh.gov.uk/springwalk or contact;

Chris Elliott
Events OfficerLeisure & Sports Development
Fermanagh District Council

Townhall

Enniskillen
Co.Fermanagh
BT74 7BA

Tel: 028 6632 5050     E-mail: chris.elliott@fermanagh.gov.uk

The deadline for booking is 12nooon on 12th March 2014. All registration forms must be returned with the £10 entry fee. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Fermanagh District Council’.

Directions

The Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark Visitor Centre is located 11 miles south west of Enniskillen and can be accessed via the A4 Sligo road and A32 Swanlinbar Road. From Blacklion the site can be accessed off the N16 on the Blacklion - Florencecourt Road. Parking facilities will be available at the visitor centre.







Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Spring Breaks


It's time to brush off those winter cobwebs with Spring just around the corner. Here at Belmore Court and Motel we have put together some exciting packages which are sure to put a spring in your step!

Our Spring Short Breaks are available from 1st February - 31st May. This offer is 2 nights, for £60pps B&B in one of our Standard Double Rooms.


                                                                                      
In addition to our Spring Short Breaks we also have breaks to mark annual events and occasions during the Spring months. The first of which is St Patrick's Day. Our St Patrick's Day package begins from 1 night at £32.50pps B&B. Visitors to the county have the option of staying 2 nights £65.75pps B&B also. Guests will be staying in our Standard Double Rooms. Guests can also enjoy a free late checkout after experiencing Enniskillen's festivities to mark the day.

Mother's Day is on 30th March this year. Don't forget!! Our offer includes chocolates for the special lady on arrival and a stay in one of our Superior Double Rooms. Guests can stay Sunday night from £27.50pps B&B or 2 nights from £65.75pps B&B.

We are also offering egg-citing (pardon the pun, we couldn't resist) Easter Breaks for all the family.
  • Standard Family Room from £20.25pps. This is a room only offer.
  • Dinner B&B offers in a Superior Room, choose from:
    • 2 B&B + 1 Dinner in a local restaurant from £90pps
    • 3 B&B + 2 Dinner in a local restaurant from £142.50pps
    • 4 B&B + 3 Dinner in a local restaurant from £195pps

Why not make Belmore Court and Motel your destination of choice this Spring and take advantage of our fantastic offers.

Remember to keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Blog for information on upcoming events in Enniskillen and the surrounding area this Spring or visit www.fermanaghlakelands.com

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Discover Fermanagh Open Weekend

The tourist season is upon us and to celebrate many of Fermanagh's best loved and best known visitor attractions are opening their doors for FREE! The open weekend is taking place from 7-9th March and is really not to be missed.



Opening its doors all weekend is the world famous Belleek Pottery. Guided tours are available Friday 7th March 10.15am-12.15pm and 145pm-3.00pm. The centre will also be open on Saturday 8th March from 10.00am-5.30pm and Sunday 9th from 2.00pm-5.00pm. There are no guided tours available on Saturday or Sunday.




Enniskillen Castle Museums are also opening their doors for the entire weekend from 10am-5pm each day. Amongst Fermanagh’s other famed attractions is Devenish Island. Over the Discover Fermanagh Open Weekend wisiting the Garden of Celtic Saints is an opportunity not to be missed by tourists and locals alike.



Headhunters Railway Museum is also open all weekend. Located on Darling Street Headhunters provides a nod to railway life of the past in Fermanagh and the boarder counties. They open Friday 9.00am-5.30pm, Saturday 9.00am-5.30pm and Sunday 10am-5pm.

Other local attractions are opening their doors at various times throughout the weekend.  The Marble Arch Geo Park, considered to be one of the best in Europe will offer guided tours on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th from 12.30pm - 4pm at 30 minute intervals. Booking is essential as tours are limited to 21 persons per tour and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. 20 minute information sessions about the wider geo park will also be available throughout the weekend.

AughakillymaudeMummers Centre is open on Saturday 8th March from 10am-3pm. Lady of the lake tours are also only available on Saturday 8th March. Departing from Innishclare Jetty this is a fabulous opportunity to view the lakelands which Fermanagh is so famous for. Sailing is available from 11.30am-1.30pm. Advanced booking will be required. A common sight throughout Enniskillen over the summer months is the MV Kestrel. Short tours of Enniskillen's Island town on board the Kestrel will depart from the Lakeland Forum Jetty, every hour on the hour from 12pm-4pm on Saturday 8th March.


Visitors are invited to explore Drumskinny Stone Circle alongside a guide from Erne Heritage Tours. Guides will be onsite Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th 1pm-4pm. Visitors to the Janus Figure, Boa Island will also benefit from the knowledge of an experienced guide who will be onsite on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th from 1pm-4pm to explain the significance of this historical figure.

Visitors can experience three Fermanagh National Trust Properties on Saturday 8th- Sunday 9th March.
  • Castle Coole: Parkland is open 10am-7pm. House tours will run from 11am-4pm. The shop and tearoom will be open 11am-5pm. (Castle Coole is a five minute walk from The Belmore Court and Motel.)
  • Florence Court: Gardens and Park will be open from 10am-7pm. House tours will run 11am-4pm. The shop and tearoom will be open 11am-5pm.
  • Crom Estate: Grounds open 10am-5pm, the visitor centre will be open 11am-5pm. (Exhibition, shop and tea room.)
There will also be offers on National Trust Membership throughout the weekend.

The Share Innishcruiser will take to the waters of Upper Lough Erne over the Discover Fermanagh Open Weekend. Celebrating all Fermanagh's lakelands have to offer, this 2 hour sailing experience is available on Saturday 8th at 10.30am and Sunday 9th at 10.30am. The trip will take participants from the Share Discovery Village departure point, to Crom Castle and back, all the while showing off the beauty of Upper Lough Erne. Booking is essential as places are limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Tully Castle is open on Saturday 8th March 10am-4pm and Sunday 9th March 12pm-4pm. There will be guided tours available at intervals on both days.


A Walk and talk tour of Enniskillen is taking place on Sunday 9th March at 12 noon and 2pm. Tours are starting from the Visitor Information Centre, Wellington Road. Booking is not required.


Here at the Belmore Court and Motel we also thought we'd get into the spirit of the Discover Fermanagh Open Weekend and have a great package on offer to celebrate. Guests can stay for the entire weekend from only £60pps including breakfast. www.motel.co.uk/spring We hope to see you soon!