I spent the weekend before last on a little island. A real-life island, in a lake, in Co. Fermanagh.
It was bliss. Let me tell you about it.
On Saturday morning Google Maps told me I’d be driving for 3.5 hours to get to my destination- Fermanagh and Wexford are a long way apart. I broke the journey on uncharted (for me) roads in Asda in Enniskillen, and it was there that my google maps navigation left me too (damned roaming and mobile data). Luckily, the name “Kesh” had stuck in my head so I headed in that direction out past the airport (again a revelation, I did not know that Enniskillen had an airport) and kept driving past Kesh until I was quite sure that I was definitely lost. Then, as I approached a petrol station where I had pretty much decided that I would stop to ask for directions, I saw the brown finger sign for Lusty Beg Island.
To get to Lusty Beg Island you have to drive across Boa Island (connected by bridge to the mainland) and then get a tiny little two-car ferry across to Lusty Beg. The ferry runs on demand and the journey takes under 2 minutes (yes, I timed it). I videoed it too, but the video isn’t the most interesting thing in the world to watch really.
On arrival at the island the ferryman had directed me to our lodge, as one of my travelling companions had already checked in. Our accommodation was a 4* Inis Lodge- a detached wooden house, like you’d expect to find in the Canadian woods, with a deck and a lake view. The lodge was really lovely, a large sitting room with TV and fireplace and open fire (we didn’t need to use it as we travelled in July), a big deck, a kitchen with mod cons including washing machine, microwave and fridge freezer. We had a very modern wet room style bathroom downstairs and a bathroom with bath (but no shower) upstairs. The lodge has three bedrooms, a large twin downstairs and a smaller twin and master bedroom with king bed and balcony over the lake upstairs. There was a hot tub off the deck but it was covered in leaves and not in use. We weren’t expecting it so we weren’t disappointed that it didn’t seem to be in use.
Saturday afternoon we each had a treatment in the Island spa on site. The spa uses only Voya seaweed based products which are all natural and smell amazing. There’s also a pool, sauna and steam room but I only used the pool. The treatment (I had a mini-massage and mini-facial) was really, really relaxing. The relaxation room was a room on the roof which is accessed (in your flip flops and robe) by going outside, and my therapist confirmed that it’s used year round, I don’t know how that works in winter with bad weather but I didn’t have to face that challenge.
There’s wifi in the reception/bar building only, but we found when we manually selected networks we could connect to our Republic of Ireland carriers and get sporadic 4G. (Thanks Lucy for this revelation).
Food wise, since the lodges are self catering you are free to cook. Breakfast is served in the bar building every morning til 10.30, it’s buffet style, with plenty of good quality rashers and sausages on offer. The scrambled eggs really were excellent, I’d usually avoid them on a buffet but these were very good, really creamy. There was a bit of a traffic jam for toast as you’d to wait for the toasters to pop (rather than those conveyor belt machines you’d be used to seeing in breakfast buffets). There was a small selection of fresh fruit too (cantaloupe, my favourite!) and a couple of different cereals.
Our dinner on Saturday night was included, I chose the mussels, served in a tomato sauce, the hake with kale which was very good and the sticky toffee pudding for dessert. The standard of the food was very good And the staff were very friendly. We had a bottle of wine and listened to the live music in the bar for a bit before retiring to our lodge for after dinner drinks and chats around the stone fireplace.
The girlie weekend musts of prosecco and cocktails are both available in the bar on the island, and we brought our own prosecco to drink in our house “just in case”. There’s something so lovely about a glass of prosecco on the deck.
Other activities that can be booked on the island include kayaking, clay pigeon shooting and even 4X4 driving, but we declined these in favour of a walk around the island on Sunday and a chat over tea and scones. I even had a nap, how luxurious is that!
On our island walk as we passed the tennis court and football pitch and later happened on the small playground I could see myself there with the kids in a few years, leaving them to roam the island. It would be a perfect place for a number of families to holiday together, safe and peaceful.
Some elements of Lusty Beg are showing their age, with bits overgrown or in need of a lick of paint and while I feel I should mention this as part of my honest review I genuinely have to say that rather than take from the setting, if possible it adds to it and the feeling of getting away from it all.
Lusty Beg Island is somewhere to run away to, to escape. As islands are it’s surrounded by water, and the accommodation all has water views, so there’s a sense of quiet and calm, broken only by the occasional diesel engine in the background. Even the birds on Lusty Beg keep their voices down, gentle birdsong is all that can be heard. So Relaxing. And as you leave the island, crossing the lake to return to the mainland it all feels like a dream, a relaxing island dream that you don’t really want to wake up from.
Our stay and spa treatments were as guests of Lusty Beg Island, but I wasn’t paid to do this review and all opinions are my own. Thanks to my travelling companions Lucy from Learnermama and Sadhbh from Where Wishes Come From for providing giggles and nibbles.
I am one of ten finalists in the Boots Maternity and Infant Awards in the “Best Parenting Blog”. Thanks so much to everyone who voted for me in the first round. Voting in the next round is open until 28th August and you can vote from anywhere in the world. You can vote by clicking here or on the massive pink button above and choosing Bumbles of Rice. (It’s easiest to do if you click the Facebook option). Any votes and shares are very, very much appreciated. Thanks!