The stunning estate at Crom in County Fermanagh offers wonderful walks, ancient yew trees and a slice of drama.
The year is 1764, and Abraham Crichton, owner of the Old Castle at Crom in Fermanagh, is returning in his boat from a party in nearby Florence Court. He surveys the sky while crossing the lough, and is worried to see a troubling glow to the south. On his return, the castle is ablaze.
Today, standing within the grassy grounds of this historic spot and gazing out to where it overlooks serene waters, it's hard to imagine the nightmarish vision Crichton would have seen. Sitting at the tip of a fork in the Shannon-Erne Blueway, Crom is a majestic paradise that lulls visitors with its idyllic rural beauty and dramatic castle ruins. Overlooking the estate, a grand castle was erected in 1820, and today is still privately owned by the Crichtons, but the Old Castle ruins stand testament to the trials and troubles of a bygone age.
Close the Old Castle, look out for Crom's famous yew trees – a conjoined pair of yews, the oldest reference to which dates back to 1739.
You can enjoy delightful walks down to the Old Castle, or take one of the other trails around the island and woodland on the estate. And if you like it so much, you don't want to leave, then you don't have to – the National Trust offer self-catering cottages just beside the lough here as well as two campsites. It's a truly delightful place to stay. (nationaltrust.org.uk/crom)