County Cavan Holiday Guide

County Cavan is part of the province of Ulster in the Republic of Ireland, sharing 43 miles of border with County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Its name comes from the old Irish, An Cabhan, meaning The Hollow, suggesting a refuge, a retreat. This beautiful place could certainly fulfil that role for a relaxing visit, away from the hubbub of everyday life.

It is a land of rivers and of lakes, apparently 365, one for every day of the year. The largest is the beautiful Lough Sheelin and others are designated Specially Protected Areas to conserve the wildfowl. The landscape is also dotted with drumlins: small half-egg-shaped hills formed from glacial deposits.

Once part of the ancient kingdom of Breifne, County Cavan still shows evidence of distant times with stone circles and megalithic tombs across its countryside.

Cavan, the town, is the county capital in a largely rural region, but there are a number of other quite sizeable settlements such as Cootehill in the northeast.

Agriculture is the main source of income in County Cavan with a quarter of the population engaged in it, particularly dairy farming and pig-raising. After agriculture, there is tourism, stemming mainly from the opportunities created by the landscape.

Things to Do in County Cavan

The lakes of County Cavan provide a year-round paradise for anglers, with coarse and pike fishing along the rivers and Lough Sheelin being a world-renowned destination for trout fishing.

Sailing and boating are popular pursuits too. The rivers Shannon and Erne are linked by a canal with fully automated locks, allowing days of leisurely cruising along peaceful waterways. There is a canoeing centre on Lough Oughter.

There are countless golf courses in Cavan if that is your sport, otherwise, hikers are well catered for with trails such as the forest walks in Derrycassin woods. You can also take in the scenery on horseback and Cavan Equestrian Centre hosts national and international show-jumping events.

There are also more adrenalin-fuelled activities like off-road buggy driving, karting and paintballing.

Cavan Burren Park offers an intriguing glimpse into life in prehistoric times or, more up to date, there is a First World War trench experience at Cavan County Museum in Ballyjamesduff.

Staying in County Cavan

There are some top hotels in County Cavan, for instance, a golf and country club with three restaurants and a spa with 13 treatment rooms. At the other end of the spectrum, Cavan County has a fine array of 3 star hotels, guesthouses and B&B accommodation.

Self-catering lets are particularly suitable for fishing parties, with lodges and lakeside log cabins offering a comfortable haven at the end of a long day or night at the water's edge.

The county offers a similar range of eating out opportunities from fine dining in world-renowned restaurants to tasty Irish stew at a cosy inn.

Getting to County Cavan

Dublin Airport is the closest at 70 miles. The nearest ferry ports are Dublin and Dun Laoghaire. Cavan town is just over two hours from Belfast by road.

Guide to Exploring Cavan

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