I have been a regular visitor to Enniscoe House and Country Estate near Crossmolina for many years and it’s one of my favourite places to visit in Mayo. Located just off the R315 between Crossmolina and Lahardane, the estate’s woodland walks are the perfect antidote to the pressures of modern life.
With its 18th century Georgian mansion and woodland, the Enniscoe estate is full of lovely surprises no matter what time of the year you visit.
Among the Enniscoe attractions are its lovely woodland walks, ornamental gardens, organic kitchen garden, Cloonnamoyne Fishery, and the Mayo North Family Heritage Centre where you can trace your ancestry.
Lough Conn with its ancient Crannog and wooded islands, and the sight of the swans and ducks gliding on the waters – watched over by a towering Nephin mountain – are just some of the sights you will see as you walk along the tree-lined trails.
The Enniscoe woodland walks are among our favourite forest walks in Co Mayo. Skirting the northern shores of Lough Conn, the looped walks through a native woodland of Alder, Ash, Oak, Horse Chestnut, and Beech are perfect for those seeking a leisurely stroll in a beautiful tranquil setting that is one of the best examples of Mayo’s Celtic Rainforests.
Walking the Enniscoe House Loop
The Enniscoe House Loop comprises a choice of three forest walks of about 2.5km – just perfect for families with young children who will enjoy crossing the little footbridges and discovering the names of the various trails such as the delightfully named, Dark Avenue and French Avenue.
And in Autumn, the forest paths that wind their way to the shores of Lough Conn are lined with bushes of wild fruits such as elderberries and blackberries, and the forest floor is a bed of chestnuts.
Why not take some chestnuts home and plant them in pots? I gathered some horse chestnuts in the early 1980s when my own children were young and these little nuts are now towering trees in family and friends’ gardens near Ballina.
At the heart of the estate is Enniscoe House, a Heritage House of Ireland. The owners of the impressive Georgian style house, which is the focal point of the expansive recreational amenity of parkland, woodland, and lakeshore, can trace its origins as far back as the 1660’s.
Enniscoe brings past and present together through the Mayo North Family Heritage Centre which is located in the old converted farmyard buildings.
If you want to trace your North Mayo ancestry then this the best place to start your roots search – and you can find out more about tracing your Mayo genealogy here.
At the heart of the old farmyard is a coffee shop which opens out into the ornamental pleasure gardens, a reminder of the estate’s rich heritage.
Gardeners will find plenty to interest them in the garden, which was restored under the Great Gardens of Ireland Restoration Programme, including rare plants and architectural features from the Victorian era. (Note: there is an entrance fee to the ornamental gardens).
Victorian walled kitchen garden
One of the joys of visiting Enniscoe in summer is the opportunity to buy organic fruit and vegetables in the estate’s restored Victorian kitchen garden.
The walled garden has been restored to its former glory – and sustainable food production is the byword for the helpful gardeners who take great pride in producing some of the sweetest and tastiest fruit and vegetables in Ireland such as the delicious Enniscoe tomatoes which are a real treat when in season.