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11 Oct 2015

Popular travel bloggers challenged to their limits!

Travel bloggers showcase Fermanagh Lakelands to 500,000+ followers

Two popular travel bloggers, from Great Britain and the Netherlands – with a combined following of more than 500,000 people – took part in a unique adventure challenge around Lough Finn in Co Fermanagh recently. The bloggers, Paul Steele and Naline Roodbeen, then shared their experiences on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, as well as through their blogs, The Bald Hiker and Stop and Stare. Naline is also the founder of – a popular online Dutch travel magazine, which is all about adventure, the great outdoors and “slow travel to beautiful places”. 

Followers of the two intrepid blogging explorers were invited to set challenges for the pair on a specially-designed microsite on the website of Finn Lough cottages near Enniskillen. Placing the power into the hands of their followers, the bloggers were asked to engage in a series of activities which included swimming, climbing, trail running, surfing, mountain biking and kayaking – giving them a real chance to experience, and then showcase, the ‘wild’ side of Fermanagh and the North West of Ireland. The challenges varied from taking to the water to catch their own evening meal and cooking it under the stars, to kayaking across the lake and climbing up to a viewing point at Lough Navar. 

Followers who shared and voted on the challenges, were in with a chance of winning a weekend break at the Finn Lough cottages and the opportunity to take part in some of the various activities described by the bloggers. 

To date, the website has registered some 50,000 visits, with almost 300 challenges logged.  The promotion, called “Dare to take a walk on the wild side”, was supported by Tourism Ireland. Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland’s Central Marketing Director, said: “Paul and Naline’s blogs are hugely popular, so their adventure challenge was a wonderful opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland to their online followers and readers and to share the many things to do and see around Finn Lough, Fermanagh and the North West. They have been documenting their visit online, with lots of great photos and videos – inspiring others to come and follow in their footsteps and experience Fermanagh and Northern Ireland for themselves.”

As well as blogging about their challenges, Paul and Naline tweeted about their time here, on @baldhiker (19,000 followers) and @StopAndStareNL (1,200 followers).  

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is responsible for in excess of 5.2% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 43,000 jobs.
  • In 2014, we welcomed almost 1.8 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £446 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which will attract more than 16 million visitors in 2015.

Previous Press Release

09 Oct 2015

Business ‘buzz’ in Brussels