Congratulations to Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, UNESCO status
Posted 8 December 2015
The Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, which is home to some of the world’s most spectacular and geologically significant landscapes, has been awarded UNESCO Global Geopark status.
The decision, announced by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) General Conference in Paris yesterday, sees the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark become Northern Ireland’s second only UNESCO supported location alongside the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site and puts it on a par with other UNESCO sites in Ireland such as the prehistoric monuments at Newgrange.
UNESCO Global Geopark status is awarded to areas with internationally important geological heritage that also have a sustainable tourism strategy so that they benefit the local and regional economy.
The Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, which straddles counties Fermanagh and Cavan, became the world’s first cross border Geopark in 2008. It is jointly managed by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and Cavan County Council.
Cuilcagh Mountain Trail NOW OPEN!
Posted 17 July 2015
The Cuilcagh Mountain trail is now open to the summit of the mountain from the car park at Legnabrocky about 1 km from the road entrance to Marble Arch Caves. A new boardwalk protects the rare blanket bog from erosion caused by walkers in the Cuilcagh Mountain Special Area of Conservation.
The boardwalk was built recently with funding provided by the European Union through the INTERREG IVA Border Uplands Project managed by the Special European Union Programmes Body and the Irish Central Border Area Network.
- See more at: www.marblearchcavesgeopark.com/2015/07/cuilcagh-mountain-trail-open
New Visitor Centre at Florence Court!
Posted 15 July 2015
The new Visitor Centre is open at Florence Court. It is the new entrance point for the whole estate, and the perfect starting point for the forest trails and visiting the Walled Garden. Come by soon to grab a coffee or check out the outdoor range.
Northern Ireland Tourism Awards 2015
Posted 6 July 2015
We are proud to inform you of the outcome of the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards 2015.
Best Place to Stay: Non-Serviced Accommodation:
Winner - Fermanagh Self Catering Rosslea, Co. Fermanagh
Four-star Fermanagh Self Catering comprises four properties offering luxurious, family-friendly accommodation in the heart of the countryside. The properties are equipped like family homes, while outside there is ample parking space, beautiful walks and gardens and a 60-acre lake and nature reserve. A games room and hot tubs are also available. Staff, all WorldHost trained, personally welcome guests showing them around the facilities and suggesting things to do and see in the area. Home baking and groceries are provided on arrival and staff ensure that guests have everything they need to make their stay comfortable and enjoyable. Acknowledging the growing trend for experiential tourism, the owner has undertaken courses to become an archery and kayaking instructor so that groups can enjoy these activities on site. Fermanagh Self Catering regularly benchmarks its accommodation and service against other four-star establishments to ensure that it is offering an equal or better product. The owner and staff are passionate about providing the highest quality service and creating a memorable experience for guests. Nothing is too much trouble and examples include cooking for guests on New Year’s Day, picking up guests who have got lost and providing birthday banners and cakes. The judges highlighted the excellent customer care which is based on attention to det
Highly Commended - Finn Lough Resort Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh
Finn Lough Resort in Fermanagh’s beautiful lakeland area offers modern waterside lodges providing a relaxed, luxury experience in a friendly, community environment. Customer care and a personalised service begin at the point of enquiry and continue throughout the guest’s stay. Recent refurbishment of the lodges and the development of a 30-seater restaurant and coffee shop with balcony and residents bar area have seen the resort achieve four and five star grading. The outdoor activity product has also been enhanced to include tennis court, an Air Soft facility and kayaks, adding to the walking, fishing, cycling and watersports also available. The resort embraces what is unique about Northern Ireland and Fermanagh using local materials in the buildings, local designers and local produce on its menus. Occupancy has increased by 25% year on year since 2012. The judges praised the ongoing commitment to improving service, facilities and overall visitor experience.
Sustainable Tourism Award
Winner - Orchard Acre Farm Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh
Orchard Acre Farm in Fermanagh is an eco tourism farm located near Enniskillen. The focal point on the farm is the award-winning eco-barn which can be hired for functions and special occasions. The farm also offers an authentic food experience to visitors, taking them from ‘plot to plate’. Using food grown in the kitchen gardens, orchards and farm, together with ingredients sourced locally, the owners cook and serve up the best rustic foods. Throughout the year the farm runs events such as cookery classes and Irish craft courses for individuals, families and groups. The farm is managed in a sustainable way to standards set out in its comprehensive environmental policy. This covers energy conservation, waste management, transport,office and horticultural supplies and food ingredients. Specific measures include sourcing ingredients such as meat, dairy, fish and bread from within a 20- mile radius, harvesting rainwater, 96% recycling of waste including food waste, 80% of heating is from renewable fuels, no use of chemical or artificial compounds on the farm and actively encouraging walking and cycling as means of transport. Orchard Acre Farm holds several eco awards and was recently selected as one of the three best food business initiatives in Ireland by the Irish Responsible Tourism Awards. The judges were impressed by the sustainable way in which the farm is managed and the ecological design of the reception buildings.
Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of these prestigious awards.