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Plan a short break in County Cavan
Experience the beauty of County Cavan.
With beautiful forests, parks and lakelands, you can experience nature’s bounty in Cavan. Whether you’re into exploring local history, getting out on the water or tucking into some of the best food in the country, Cavan is the perfect destination.

Here’s how you can make the most out of your next trip to this great county.

South Cavan

Start your adventure with the Bailieborough Castle Forest Walk

This scenic lake and forest walk cuts through the Bailieborough Demesne of the former castle, which was demolished in the 1940s. 

If you're looking to work up a slight sweat, take the Bailieborough Castle Loop and spend two hours rambling the 6.5km route. If an hour-long walk is more your speed, you can opt for the 3.5km stretch of the Lake Loop. Either way, you can enjoy the views of the grounds and peaceful lake. Pass by historical sites like a memorial to those who died on Rebel Hill in 1798, the graves of the Marist brothers who occupied Bailieborough Castle and the ruins of the castle itself.

Journey back in time at Cavan County Museum

Make your way west to visit the Cavan County Museum in Ballyjamesduff. Ramble around the largest outdoor replica trench in Ireland and the UK, which replicates a World War I trench and was built to the exact specifications of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

The museum itself is in a beautiful Georgian building and covers everything from the Stone Age right up to the 20th century, with material spanning over 6,000 years of Cavan history. Navigate the galleries and exhibitions as well as two of the most famous pieces of Celtic and Pagan art – the Killycluggan Stone and Ralaghan figure.

People in the trench at Cavan County Museum, Cavan
Explore the replica trench at the Cavan County Museum.

Explore the mysteries of The Shannon Pot 

A final slice of legendary folklore before you finish your journey, this pool of curiosity called The Shannon Pot is found along the Cavan Way in the townland of Derrylahan. The pool itself is about 16 metres (52 ft) wide and divers have explored to depths of 14.6 metres (48 ft). 

The Shannon Pot’s fame can be traced back to the mythological times of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Fianna. Legend has it that Síonnan, the daughter of Lodan (son of Lír, the Celtic God of the Sea) came to The Shannon Pot in search of the Salmon of Wisdom. The great salmon was angered by the sight of Síonnan and the pool overflowed to drown the maiden. Thus, the Shannon was created and still bears her name today.

Central Cavan and beyond

Take in the architecture of Cavan Cathedral

Head north towards Cavan town and see the eye-catching Cavan Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Patrick and Saint Felim. This Roman Catholic building is one of the most impressive in Ireland, with a 68m spire and flanking domes. It was completed in 1942 and its interior is shaped like a basilica with extensive use of both marble and ecclesiastical art. It's finished off with six splendid stained-glass windows from the studios of Harry Clarke, which were added in 1994.

A couple in Cavan Cathedral in County Cavan
Admire the architecture of Cavan Cathedral.

Top off the day with a hearty meal

Take a quick 10-minute spin up the road to Butlersbridge and finish off your day with a meal at Murph’s Gastro Pub at the Derragarra Inn. Full of character, this award-winning family-run pub serves up go-to classic lunch options such as smoked fish chowder, chicken wings and their very own chicken, brie and bacon bap - enough to satiate any appetite. 

Get up bright and early and explore Cavan’s lakelands

If you’re feeling adventurous, hire a kayak and paddle out to Clough Oughter Castle with Cavan Adventure Centre. Clough Oughter Castle, now a ruin, is on a small crannóg in Lough Oughter just east of the quaint village of Killeshandra. Nicknamed by locals as “The Silent Stone Watchman”, this 12th Century Norman structure is completed surrounded by water but is well-worth the trip. 

Cavan is said to have a lake for every day of the year with anglers from all over Europe flocking to these lakelands renowned for coarse fishing. Here you’ll find an abundance of pike, bream and perch.

Two people kayaking on Lough Oughter in Cavan in front of a castle
What better way to see Clough Oughter castle than from a kayak.

Take a breather at the Jampa Ling Tibetan Meditation Centre

After discovering local historic sites, check out Jampa Ling Tibetan Meditation Centre just 10-minutes from the charming town of Ballyconnell. Set on a tranquil 19th century estate, the centre is open to people of all faiths and none, so, take a break in your adventure for a few moments of peace and zen in the grounds' lush outdoor spaces. 

Wine and dine in MacNean House and Restaurant

To top off your whirlwind trip of Cavan, head for an unforgettable meal at the award-winning MacNean House, led by top Irish chef Neven Maguire. Combining delicious flavours with artistic presentation, the dishes feed both the stomach and the eyes. Indulge on stand-out dishes from the Prestige Menu like seared scallops served with crab ravioli and Thai velouté. If you consider yourself a true foodie, book a spot in MacNean's very own cookery school and learn new recipes that you can whip up in your own kitchen. 

If you have time to spare...

Take a journey to the south of Cavan to the pretty village of Lough Gowna and its surrounding lakes, where you can soak up views of rolling hills carved during the ice age, bustling hedgerows full of wildlife and poised swans gliding calmly along the water. If you are interested in fishing, there are bream, perch, pike, some trout and eels in these waters. Take advantage of the excellent facilities, good bank fishing spots and boats for hire from the friendly local businesses.

Go on an adventure in Cavan

There’s so much to experience that it’s no wonder that people fall in love with the Lake County. Get excited for your next break to Cavan and browse all the activities on offer across the county.

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