Hello everyone. We’re having a bit of a history trip today – as it’s 75 years since the end of WW2 in Europe. Castle Archdale is in County Fermanagh, just across the border from Donegal. It has two impressive historical buildings on site- the first is an old castle built by John Archdale in 1612. Archdale was an Englishman, granted lands confiscated from the Maguire clan during the plantation of Ulster. These lands sit along the shores of the beautiful Lough Erne. In the late 18th Century, the Archdale family build a second mansion, part of which is now a museum set in beautiful grounds. During the Second World War, Lough Erne was a very important strategic base for the Allies. It was used during the by flying boats of the RAF Squadron RAF, and Consolidated Catalinas and Short Sunderlands based here would patrol the North Atlantic for German U-boats.
The Republic of Ireland was not officially part of the Allied Forces during WW2, ( the event is known as ‘The Emergency’ here) – but a secret arrangement was made between the British and Irish governments to allow the RAF to fly the shortest route from Lough Erne out to the Atlantic, which was directly over Donegal. This is known as ‘The Donegal Corridor’. So our walk today stops off first at the old castle, then along the lake shore and forest to what remains of the newer building, used as a main operational base for the RAF. There’s a nice seat overlooking the lake for you to take a break half-way 🙂 Enjoy!