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The 10 best things to do in Cavan
AdventureCraftsArchaeologyKayaking and CanoeingForest ParkMuseumWaterwayRuinsAncientCastle
Whether you’re into exploring archaeological wonders, enjoying delicious food from top Irish chefs or just want to have a short break with the kids – come see for yourself what makes County Cavan so very special. Astonishing scenery, local history and peaceful lakelands await.

Discover the best things to do in the Breffni County.

1Cavan Burren Park
Explore the prehistoric landscape of Cavan Burren Park.

On the slopes of the Cuilcagh Mountain outside the village of Blacklion in Cavan Burren Park, a limestone plateau rich with archaeological features. Spend the entire day here exploring this prehistoric landscape dotted with megalithic tombs, glacial erratics (boulders) and dolmens. Trek to see stunning views over Lough MacNean, explore the Visitor Centre and follow one of the five walking trails as you unravel layers of archaeology in tranquil surroundings.

2MacNean House and Restaurant

In nearby Blacklion village, try an unforgettable meal at the famous MacNean House led by top chef Neven Maguire. Indulge in mouthwatering food at the award-winning restaurant or for a more hands-on experience, visitors can book into a cookery class and learn about everything from mastering meat to cooking for friends. Book a visit here well in advance as this is an incredibly popular place with food lovers and budding chefs alike.

3Bear Essentials

You’ll find more than the ‘bear’ necessities at Bear Essentials. It’s your one-stop-shop to teddy bear land, just beside Brackley Lake, near Bawnboy village. Here, they design and handcraft their own unique bears. Take part in a workshop and learn about the history of the much-loved cuddly toy or make your very own teddy bear – something to treasure from your trip to Cavan.

4Cavan Adventure Centre

A little further north in Butlersbridge, you’ll find Cavan Adventure Centre in the county’s scenic lakelands. Based on the River Erne, they provide kayaks, canoes, boats and bikes for hire. Suitable for all levels of fitness and abilities, grab the opportunity to see Cavan’s outdoors by water or by land.

5Lough Oughter and Clough Oughter Castle
The striking Clough Oughter Castle in the middle of Lough Oughter.

The ruined fortress of Clough Oughter Castle is on a small island in Lough Oughter just east of the quaint village of Killeshandra. Built around the time of the last Kings of Ireland, the castle sits on a Crannóg and is nicknamed locally ‘The Silent Stone Watchman’. Anglers flock to the tranquil lake, which is renowned for coarse fishing. Hire a canoe or kayak from Cavan Adventure Centre or go on a guided boat tour around the lake and explore the historic castle.

6Killykeen Forest Park

A stroll around picturesque Killykeen Forest Park is perfect for those who love the outdoors. Surround yourself in a lush woodland of ash, oak, beech and spruce trees as you explore the 240 hectares of scenic landscape. The forest park is wrapped around Lough Oughter and with its network of forest walks it’s popular with families and bird watchers. Meander along the 3km family cycling trail, take a refreshing dip at the swimming area and share a picnic in the sunshine.

7Cavan Cathedral

In Cavan Town, the Roman Catholic Cavan Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Patrick and Saint Felim, is one of the most impressive in Ireland. It has a 68m spire and flanking domes which were completed in 1942 and its interior is shaped like a basilica with extensive use of both marble and ecclesiastical art.

8Cavan County Museum and World War I Trench Experience

Visit several exciting attractions at the Cavan County Museum in Ballyjamesduff - home of the largest outdoor replica trench in Ireland. Educating visitors on life in the trenches during World War I, it was built to exact specifications. You’ll learn about life in a 1916 Dublin streetscape, wander along the 350m long trench to hear and see what soldiers experienced as their history comes to life.

The museum itself is in a Georgian building and showcases two of the most famous pieces of Celtic and Pagan art – the Killycluggan Stone and Ralaghan figure. If you have time, explore the children’s playground and peace garden or take a break in the tea rooms and crafts shop.

Cavan County Museum
9Bailieborough Castle Lake Loop

As you explore the east of County Cavan, the beautiful Castle Lake Loop traverses the Bailieborough demesne of the former castle which was demolished in the 1940s. Visitors will enjoy views of the Castle Lake for the duration of their looped walk, passing by historical sites like a memorial to those who died on Rebel Hill in 1798. There are a variety of trails from 3.5km to 6.5km long so you will find something there to suit all levels.

10Dún Na Rí Forest Park
Discover the beautiful 565-acre Dún Na Rí Forest Park.

The beautiful 565-acre Dún Na Rí Forest Park is on the banks of the River Cabra near the town of Kingscourt and features a dramatic gorge that’s part of the Cabra Estate. Steeped in history and legend, it’s said that here at Dún Na Rí Forest Park the mighty Cú Chulainn single-handedly defended Ulster against the armies of Queen Maeve. 

It’s an ideal spot for walkers with four trails including one multi-access trail and you’ll find visual delights like the Ice House, Toba na Splinne Holy Well and the ruins of Fleming’s Castle.

With so much to choose from year-round in County Cavan, you’re spoiled for choice, so head over to our Cavan destination page and plan your visit to the Lake County.