Don’t even think of trying to find this lake without a map, compass or sat-nav, preferably all three. The lake is located in the grounds of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, a retreat where artists can come and stay and work on their artistic creations. Obviously the artistic community are a resourceful lot because there isn’t much in the way of signposts, certainly none when you come on the R183 between Ballybay and Newbliss.
However, when you do find it Annamakerrig is a lovely tranquil place. You can combine your swim with walks along the lake shore, through attractive forests.
The best place to swim appears to be at the old boat house down from the main house. There is a grassy area here and you can get in along the side of the boat house. The water is fresh and cool and there are attractive views as you look across to the forests on the far side.
Like all lakes you need to be careful. Swim slowly and beware of submerged rocks.
This is a popular fishing lake as well, so on occasion you might be competing with the angling fraternity.
Take the R183 from Ballybay toward Newbliss. After you go through the Swans Cross roundabout/junction the turn off for the lake is about 3-4 kilometres further on. However, as there doesn’t appear to be a signpost you will need a map or maybe just ask for directions.