We dipped our toes into our first Ireland self catering slowly, at the invitation of Killyhevlin Chalets in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Located just behind the 4* Killyhevlin Hotel, steps away from the waters of Lough Erne, 13 lovely chalets provide the perfect retreat for an Ireland family vacation.
Staying at Killyhevlin Chalets on Lough Erne
Check in for the chalets is handled in the Killyhevlin Hotel. With a couple large keys in your hand, directions around the hotel to the water's edge, and the chalet number playing through your head, you make your way lakeside to your cottage.
Simple buildings greet you, their muted brown tones blending into the surroundings, small wooden patios reminding you that this is a place to relax.
Each chalet has a large, comfortable living room, a fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms with twin beds (we did a bit of remodeling in ours, pushing the beds together), closet, sink and vanity with drawers, and a full bathroom. Coat hooks by both the front and back doors provide ample space for hanging bags and jackets. With plenty of room for my family to spread out, we set about unpacking – in our own rooms!- for our two night stay.
Shop for Groceries
Unpacking complete, it was time to fill our small refrigerator with food. Just 1km down the road, at the edge of Enniskillen, is a Tesco supermarket. While grocery shopping at home tends to be a chore, I adore grocery shopping in Ireland. It's likely the difference in selection that has me excited. The meat counter has fabulous items like pasties, sausage rolls and Scotch eggs. Cream cheese is available in flavors like Cadbury chocolate and sweet chili. And bake-your-own pastries offer options like pain au chocolat. It's difficult to not buy too much! (Just a note: if you buy Mi Wadi for the kids remember that it is concentrated! You'll find sparkling water in your chalet that is perfect for mixing with it!)
Using the Kitchen
A quick tip for cooking in Ireland: if something doesn't turn on when you think it should, check the wall for a power switch. Most outlets in Ireland have an on/off switch. This includes ovens, refrigerators and dishwashers. If something doesn't work, it's likely you haven't turned it on completely.
And, while most items will show a Celsius temperature for cooking, it's helpful to have an idea of the temperature in Fahrenheit, especially when you are just heating something. 350°C is 662°F – not a good idea for heating your pasties. (resources: website Google Play apps iTunes apps)
Relaxing on the Shore of Lough Erne
I tend to be a hyper-connected person. With no wifi in the chalet I had three choices: burn through my expensive international data plan, wander up to the hotel and use the wifi in the comfortable common area, or relax and enjoy the sound of the water lapping at the shore, the view of the cows across the lough coming to drink and wave at the boats that cruised past.
I chose the latter. With a cup of tea and a biscuit. And it was fabulous.
Things to See and Do When You Stay at Killyhevlin Chalets
When you stay in the Killyhavelin Chalets, you have access to the hotel's leisure club, pool and spa.
Outside the resort grounds, you have the Fermanagh lakelands spread before you.
- Explore Enniskillen. The tourist information office in town is easy to find and the staff is incredibly helpful.
- Enniskillen Castle. Filled with military history and interactive displays. The kids scavenger hunt is fun- and has a prize at the end!
- Castle Coole. Just down the road, explore the grounds and tour the stunning 18th century home of the Earls of Belmore.
- Marble Arch Caves Geopark. Take a cave tour then explore the beauty above ground.
- Florence Court House. Walk the idyllic grounds and take a tour of this amazing house.
- Belleek Pottery. Once you see how this gorgeous pottery is made, you'll understand why a tiny basket costs so much.
- Castle Caldwell Forest. Castle gates welcome you to this forest land that has almost completely overtaken the castle for which the area is named.
Ideally located near Enniskillen, the Killyhevlin Chalets are a tranquil oasis for your Ireland family vacation.
Ireland with Kids would like to thank the 4* Killyhevlin Hotel for inviting us to experience their self catering chalets.