The new, streamlined website will offer visitors three-hour slots to ascend the mountain and aims to help conserve Northern Ireland’s largest blanket bog 

Cuilcagh Boardwalk has launched a brand new, easy-to-use online car park booking system for members of the public. The car park booking system will operate on a first-come-first-serve basis and marks the beginning of new, sustainable development plans for the popular Irish attraction. 

The Cuilcagh walking trail, which is four miles in length and ends with a final ascent via a steep section of wooden steps locally nicknamed “The Stairway To Heaven”, has seen a steady rise in the number of visitors each year since it opened, thanks to its Instagram-worthy views. 

As summer approaches, and with lots of outdoor adventure-lovers expected to descend on the Co. Fermanagh walking trail as COVID-19 restrictions ease, the car park booking system has been created to better manage crowds within social distancing regulations, limiting numbers during the peak season and ensuring the safety of all staff and visitors.  

Lower daily numbers will also ensure the protection of the grounds and surrounding habitat, the original cause that led to the construction of the boardwalk by UNESCO-endorsed Marble Arch Caves Geopark, with the paths meandering through one of the largest blanket bogs in Northern Ireland.  

Speaking on the new booking system, and redevelopment plans for Cuilcagh Boardwalk, landowner, John Sheridan said, “Now is the perfect time to launch our brand new online car park booking system for the Boardwalk. The safety of our staff and of our visitors is of the upmost importance, and the introduction of timeslots will facilitate social distancing regulations, while also protecting this area of Special Conservation. Our plans are helping to futureproof Cuilcagh Boardwalk so that we can continue to welcome tourists from across the globe for years to come.” 

To book a slot, hikers must visit www.theboardwalk.ie and select the desired timeslot. Bookings will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis and will be available for three hour slots. Customers will then receive a booking confirmation to gain entry to the premium car park close to the trail, offering an enhanced visitor experience. 

With the enforcement of the new booking system, premium car parking will be limited to pre-booking only, unless there are timeslots remaining on the day. 

The new online car park booking system comes as part of early development plans for Cuilcagh Boardwalk as it gears up for the full return of the tourism industry in the coming months and years, and is determined to remain a sustainable, environmentally mindful area for all to enjoy. 

The project has been supported by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. 

5 thoughts on “Cuilcagh Boardwalk launches new online car park booking system

  1. Peter Stanger says:

    A LOT more practical info is required by the public than is currently given. E.g.
    You state the park is open from 7am, yet the earliest booking time is 9am. Why is there this difference? What happens if we arrive at 7am, or 7.30am, or 8am, etc? Is there a charge then? If so, why is it not bookable? Or do we have to do the walk at jet speed & be back by 9am?
    My walking guidebook [Walking Northern Ireland, The Unmissable Walks 2020] states the boardwalk is 8.5 miles, including the (currently closed) final walk to the summit. That may take 5 hours return, depending on walk speed. That compares with the 4 miles you give for the boardwalk, and the 2-3 hours you estimate – which is half the guidebook’s estimate. Do you mean one way, or return? Why such a difference? What if the summit re-opens – do we still have to race back for your 3-hour allocation? It would help if you can give information on the summit closure.
    What if we take longer on the walk – e.g. stop for a while to soak in the atmosphere – and arrive back after the 3 hours you allocate? Do we get charged extra? Is the car clamped or towed away?
    That’s 11 questions.

  2. Maeve Finnegan says:

    Hi Peter. Thanks for your query. As you can appreciate this is a new system and website, so we have been making a few changes post launch and you will now see you can of course book from 7am and we have added some clarity also across the website re: the length. It is 5.5km in length from the car park to the viewing platform at the top of the boardwalk. The boardwalk itself is 1.5km. On average, it takes most visitors 2hrs 40mins to do the return journey and in an effort to limit numbers and control the flow of people we are encouraging people to try to complete the walk within 3 hours. If it takes longer, you will not be charged extra, you will not be towed. We are just trying our best to encourage people to come in and out within a 3hr period, again to try to control the flow of visitors. If you would like any further clarity, please email us at info@theboardwalk.ie and we will happily answer any questions you might have.

  3. Peter Stanger says:

    Thank you for the clarifications – appreciated. I look forward to seeing Northern Ireland for the first time. There’s a lot to visit that promises to be worthwhile!

  4. kate campbell says:

    we are hoping to do the walk on sat 18/8/21 and we are in 2 motorhomes not staying overnight is this ok

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