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Cavan is reputed to have 365 lakes and is the source of the River Shannon, Ireland’s longest river at 386km. Nestled in the heart of Ireland, County Cavan is a treasure trove of historical landmarks, tranquil lakes, and captivating landscapes. Steeped in ancient history and cultural heritage, this picturesque county invites travellers to discover its hidden gems and embrace its serene beauty. If you’re travelling the Wild Atlantic Way and want to go from Sligo to Dublin then Cavan would be a great stop in between. Below I’ll give some eating, drinking and sleeping recommendations as well as some history and top sites to see.

A Glimpse into County Cavan’s History This County is a tapestry woven with tales of ancient settlements, medieval clans, and significant events. The town of Cavan, bears the imprints of diverse historical periods. Its roots trace back to the times of Gaelic chieftains, and evidence of its medieval past can be seen in the remnants of Cavan Castle, which once stood proudly overlooking the town. The county also has a rich heritage of prehistoric sites, including numerous neolithic tombs and ancient ringforts scattered across its landscape. These archaeological marvels provide a glimpse into the lives and rituals of early settlers, showcasing the county’s deep-rooted historical significance.

Top Sites to Explore in County Cavan:

Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark: Subterranean Wonders

Embark on an underground adventure at the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. This geological wonderland offers a mesmerizing journey through ancient limestone caves and waterways. Guided tours lead visitors through a labyrinth of captivating formations carved over millennia by underground rivers and natural processes.

Marvel at the exquisite stalactites and stalagmites that adorn the cave walls, their otherworldly formations illuminated in ethereal hues. Traverse along winding passages, sail through underground rivers, and witness the mesmerizing beauty of these caverns that unveil nature’s architectural marvels hidden beneath the surface.


Cavan Burren Park: Prehistoric Marvels

Step back at the Cavan Burren Park, an archaeological treasure trove showcasing a landscape with ancient relics and remnants. Wander through the park’s network of trails, encountering megalithic tombs, dolmens, and stone circles dating back thousands of years.

The park’s unique geological features, including limestone pavements and curious rock formations, offer a fascinating glimpse into Ireland’s prehistoric past. Interpretative panels along the trails provide insights into the significance of these ancient sites, allowing visitors to connect with the mysteries of history while surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.


Lough Oughter: Tranquil Waterways

Embrace the tranquillity of Lough Oughter, a stunning collection of interconnected lakes that weave through the picturesque landscape. Serene and secluded, these shimmering waters are adorned with lush islands, providing a haven for birdwatchers, anglers, and nature enthusiasts seeking solace amidst unspoiled beauty.

Hop aboard a boat tour or kayak along the peaceful waterways, absorbing the sights and sounds of nature. Discover hidden coves, navigate through reed-lined channels, and witness the reflection of ancient ruins and wildlife mirrored in the tranquil waters, creating an idyllic setting that soothes the soul.


Killykeen Forest Park: Woodland Escapade

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Killykeen Forest Park, a sprawling woodland sanctuary teeming with biodiversity. The park’s extensive trails wind through dense forests, inviting exploration on foot or by bicycle. Choose from various paths that lead to secluded lakeshores, scenic viewpoints, and enchanting woodlands.

Pause for a leisurely picnic amidst the serene surroundings or engage in birdwatching as the melodies of nature fill the air. Killykeen Forest Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and an intimate connection with the untamed beauty of Cavan’s woodlands.


Cavan County Museum: Chronicles of the Past

Journey through the vibrant history at the Cavan County Museum, housed within a historic former convent. The museum has exhibits that provide a comprehensive overview of the county’s heritage, presenting a captivating narrative through various historical periods and themes. Book your tickets here.

Explore galleries filled with artefacts, documents, and interactive displays that highlight pivotal moments in Cavan’s past, from the Great Famine to local craftsmanship and military history. Gain insights into the lives, traditions, and struggles of the people who shaped the county’s identity, offering a deeper appreciation the County’s rich cultural tapestry.


Where To Stay:

  • Our 4* Pick – Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort
  • Our 3* Pick – Breffni Arms Hotel
  • Our Budget Pick – Drumlanaught Cottage Farnham

Food & Drink: 

  • To Eat: Chapter Food & Living
  • To Drink: The Black Horse Inn 

Final Thoughts:

With an array of geological marvels, ancient sites, serene lakeshores, woodlands, and historical treasures cater to various interests. Cavan’s attractions promise a captivating and immersive journey through the county’s rich tapestry of history and natural beauty, whether seeking adventure, historical enlightenment, or serene communion with nature.

Whether you’re drawn to delve into ancient mysteries or seeking solace amid breathtaking landscapes, this county promises an enriching journey through time and nature, inviting visitors to uncover its treasures and create lasting memories. Explore the depths of its history, revel in the tranquillity of its landscapes, and embrace the essence of Ireland’s timeless beauty found within the welcoming embrace of County Cavan.