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Welcome to Cavan

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Towns in Cavan
Bawnboy Cavan Town

County Cavan is one of the counties of Ulster you enter on leaving the ancient kingdom of Leinster. One of three Ulster counties incorporated into the Irish Free State in 1921. Home to more than 300 lakes, Cavan is fast becoming anglers paradise with the longest natural waterway in Ireland and Britain, the River Shannon rising in the Cullagh mountains in Co. Cavan. Its shallow lakes also provide excellent fishing opportunities, with, eels, pike, bream and roach on the offering. Distinguished by its Drumlins (small steep hills, which consist of boulder clay, left behind by the glacial retreat some 10,000 years ago), the countryside of Cavan is one of contrast. To the east along the Westmeath border its rich pasture land provides a healthy agricultural base.

Cavan town itself is the main urban centre of the county. A small town which serves the local farming community. The elaborate R.C cathedral built in 1942 is an unexpectedly large cathedral, imposing with striking architectural features. Beside the cathedral is a 19th Century Courthouse, heavily classical and built by John Bowden. Also an 18th Century round tower shows evidence of past glory. Cavan's answer to Waterford Crystal is found in the centre of the town, Cavan Crystal, the up and coming rival to Waterford in the cut crystal market. Guided factory tours are on the offering where you can watch skilled craftspeople at work. The Cavan Folk Museum is also worth a look, tracing rural life style from the 1700's to present day and holds "The Pig House Collection" which includes costumes, kitchen and household goods, farmyard machinery and tools etc.

Beyond Cavan town you are said to be entering the Northern Lake land and 13 km (8 miles) north of Cavan is Killykeen Forest Park, a 600 acre park set within the surrounds of Lough Oughter, a beautiful maze like network of lakes. This picturesque park offers many nature trails and is a great attraction for many anglers who return regularly to their favourite spot.

"Come back, Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff ", if you are a fan of the songwriter Percy French you will recall these opening lines where the traveller in search of Ballyjamesduff, the little paradise, is instructed to "turn to the left at the bridge of Finea and stop when halfway to Cootehill". There are many pretty little towns and villages in Co. Cavan and Ballyjamesduff and Cootehill are no exception. In the heart of Co. Cavan is Cootehill, set on a wooded hillside, a beautiful angling town with intriguing old shops and wide streets. Nearby is Bellamont Forest, one of the most exquisite hilltop palladian villas in Ireland. Dating back to 1728 this villa contains rooms of beautiful proportion with superb compartmented plaster work ceilings. Occasionally opened to the public, this perfectly proportioned palladian villa is now a private home.

Southeast of Cootehill on the way to Shercock you pass the ancient burial cairn of Cohaw Giants Grave for those of you interested in local folklore and legend. Shercock itself is a famous fishing centre as is Bailieborough to the south, Ballyboy to the northeast and Carrickmacross 10 miles east of Shercock. Hugging the border on the republic side Belturbet is another pretty village nestled on the river Erne. East from Cavan towards Sligo is Killeshandra, a lovely rural water based village surrounded by forest, lake and rivers of the upper River Erne. Killeshandra houses the All-Ireland Powerboat Championships held at the end of the first week of June. A great weekend for water-sports buffs such as surfers and skiers.

So if its fishing you're after, or a stroll in the park, or even fancy your chances at some water-sports, Co. Cavan is ready to make your acquaintance.

Neighbouring Counties
Fermanagh | Leitrim | Longford | Meath | Monaghan | Westmeath
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