A47 (Northern Ireland)
|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Enniskillen Airport (H234487)|
|Distance:||28.3 miles (45.5 km)|
|Meets:||A32, A35, R920|
|Former Number(s):||B72, B82|
|Route outline (key)|
The A47 is an L-shaped road in northern County Fermanagh. It follows the northern shore of Lower Lough Erne and is therefore an alternative to the A46 along the southern shore.
The road starts at a roundabout on the A32 to the north of Enniskillen. It heads north past the town's airport, which sees no scheduled passenger flights, crossing a former runway at grade. We then get closer to Lower Lough Erne, which remains largely invisible - we run almost alongside for a short distance but there is a thick hedge in the way.
Presently the road bears to the right to bypass an inlet of the lough, skirt Castle Archdale Forest and pass through Lisnarick. We then continue north to reach the A35, which comes in from the right and TOTSOs. That is then the dominant number in a multiplex lasting a couple of miles through the town of Kesh.
The A47 regains its number by turning left off the A35 just north of Kesh at Letterkeen. The two roads then run roughly parallel to one another for almost a mile, before a narrow road connects them as they start to diverge. The A47 now starts to head towards the shore of Lower Lough Erne, before crossing the eastern causeway onto Boa Island.
The island is relatively flat, lightly populated, and rather unremarkable, and soon the road is crossing the two bridges (using an intermediate island) back to the 'mainland'. It now occasionally hugs the shore, but more often runs someway inland as it continues its westerly course, passing the hammerhead peninsula of Castle Caldwell and meeting an unclassified road heading south over the River Erne to the A46; this is the only road on this side of the lough that does not require traffic to enter the Republic and so it's not surprising it used to be a spur of the A46. Three miles later, we are in Belleek, weaving through the town before passing up the wide High Street. A sharp left then takes us past the world-famous Belleek Pottery, and across the River Erne into the Republic, where the road becomes the R920. The road ahead soon reenters Northern Ireland but by then it's become the B52 - or we can stay in the Republic to join the N3.
The A47 came into being in the 1920s, taking over part of the B72 with the Boa Island causeways as new-build, to connect two areas of County Fermanagh without the need to cross into the Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) at Pettigo. At this time the road's eastern end was on the A35 north of Kesh; the road was extended south to Enniskillen on 11th February 2013 .