Cavan Holiday Homes, Attractions & Activities
There are plenty of activities and attractions in Cavan and we have plenty of self catering hoiliday homes for you to choose from. Browse through our list of attractions and activities below.
Located in the town of Belturbet next to the Ballinamore/Ballyconnell canal which joins the Erne and Shannon waterways this pub is a haven of relaxation.
The Mad Ass has a unique character and reflects a quality of life which is difficult to find in the modern world. A source of local information and history, a visit here will add greatly to the enjoyment of your holiday.
Musical evenings at the weekends.
Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark
Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark inhabits the rugged mountainous uplands and the gentle rolling lowlands of Counties Cavan and Fermanagh. A Geopark is an area recognised by UNESCO to have exceptional geological heritage. The Geopark in Cavan and Fermanagh showcases some of the finest natural landscapes in Ireland and offers a fascinating window into the past.
Waterfalls, old abbeys, megalithic tombs, forests, fabulous landscapes and amazing show caves are among some of the attractions. An ongoing programme of events takes place in the Geopark, a living, breathing place where you can explore and enjoy the wonder of the natural environment.
Creepy crawly days, heritage trails, fossil fun days, guided walks and scavenger hunts are just some of the events planned for 2009. Visit the Geopark website at www.marblearchcavesgeopark.com for more information on sites and events.
Museums and Cultural Centres
Cavan County Museum
Housed in a beautiful 19th century building, the museum traces the history of Cavan from pre-history through to rural life in the 1950s. The museum features 18th, 19th and 20th century costume displays, galleries on folk life and the GAA and Camogie Associations. Regular art and photography exhibitions also take place.
Coffee shop, coach parking, gift shop, children’s playground and disabled access. Groups welcome.
Virginia Road, Ballyjamesduff
t: +353 (0)49 854 4070
web: www.cavanmuseum.ie ”
Bear Essentials & Silver Bear Centre
t: +353 (0)49 952 3461 / m: +353 (0)87 7610537
Opening Hours: Open 7 days Mon – Sat 9.30am – 6pm & Sun 11am – 6pm
Explore the gift shop at Bear Essentials, viewing the unique collection of limited edition Teddy Bears or participate in one of the many teddy bear workshops and events taking place. Take home your own handmade teddy bear. All year round family workshops, school tours and tour group presentations. All workshops and catering have to be booked in advance.
The collection includes artist bears, Steiff, Gund and Russ bears, bear accessories, teddy bear making kits, wildlife animals, soft toys, dolls, doll’s houses, candles, jewellery, hand-woven scarves, woodwork, baby gifts, cards, local photography and local paintings. Classes for children take place at Easter, Summer and Halloween.
Ample parking, gift shop, play area, picnic areas, garden, green houses and disabled access.
The Museum of the Master Saddler
t: +353 (0)86 394 6467
This is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to the ancient craft of the Saddler and Harness Maker. The museum documents the work of the saddler in farming, sports, military and transport. The museum exhibits include a 1920’s side saddle, shire harness, 60 leather samples, harness decoration and buckles, driving collars, coaching coats, whips, saddle trees, muzzles, lamps and poultice boots. The museum also houses several driving carriages and horse drawn farm implements.
Ballyhugh Arts and Cultural Centre
Ballyhugh, Ballyconnell, t: +353 (0)49 952 6044
Ballyhugh Arts and Cultural Centre is dedicated to the rich cultural heritage of West Cavan. Ballyhugh runs courses and workshops in the arts, traditional crafts, Irish music and dance, creative writing and yoga. Exhibitions, live shows, ceilís, concerts and lectures are held all year round. The centre also houses a unique collection of artefacts and local photographs. Festivities take place on Midsummer’s Night 21st June and for the ‘ Lughnasa Festival’ in July every year. Ballyhugh is located 8 km from Belturbet on the N87 Ballyconnell road.
Cavan Crystal Showroom
Dublin Road, Cavan
t: +353 (0)49 433 1800
Established in 1969, Cavan Crystal is known all over the world. The factory is no longer open for tours, but visitors can explore the extensive showroom Choose from tableware, furniture, textiles, pottery, ceramics, jewellery, wood, linen, iron-craft, candles, sculpture and paintings. The showroom is located just inside the door of the Cavan Crystal Hotel .
Maudabawn Cultural Centre
t: +353 (0)49 555 9504
Based in a delightful stone walled, thatched house, Maudabawn organises guided tours of Cavan and Monaghan, offers cultural weekends, history and heritage classes and is also open for day visits.
St. Kilian’s Heritage Centre
t: +353 (0)46 964 2433
Opening times: Easter to Oct Tues-Fri 10am – 6pm & Sat, Sun and Bank Holidays 2pm – 6pm
Adm: Adults €3 Students, OAP’s & Groups €2.50
St. Kilian’s Heritage Centre celebrates the life, work, martyrdom and cult of St. Kilian who was born in Mullagh in 640 AD. Maps, photographs, statuettes, manuscripts and art reproductions bring to life the work of Irish missionaries in Europe in the 6 th and 7 th centuries. The exhibition also traces the development of Gaelic script for the Ogham writing of the 4 th – 7th centuries and the Wurzburg Glosses ( the earliest example of written Irish c.750 ) to the illuminated script of the Book of Kells.
The audio-visual 15-minute film illustrates the life and martyrdom of Kilian in Wurzburg , his substantial cult following and the Germany/Mullagh connection.
Ogham stones found in Cavan can be seen at the centre. A craft shop and tea room are also available.
The Wesleyan Chapel Arts
Cultural & Tourism Centre, Adelaide Row, Bailieborough
t: +353 (0)42 966 6666
The beautifully restored 1800’s Wesleyan Chapel is a dedicated centre of learning and education for performance, visual and literacy arts. The Chapel was built in 1833 and served as the meeting place of the Wesleyan Methodists in Bailieborough for over 160 years. Activities include lectures, workshops, dance classes, performances, film shows and teacher training courses. The chapel operates a year round programme of events.
Carraig Craft Visitor Centre
Carraig Craft Visitor Centre, Mountnugent
t: +353 (0)49 854 0179 ( please call in advance )
Opening times: Mon – Fri 10am – 6pm Sun 2pm – 6pm
Season:1 st Apr to 31 st Oct. Opened on request between Nov and Mar.
Adm: €3.50 adults €3 children and seniors. Children under 6 years free.
A basketry museum with exhibitions of traditional baskets in rod, rush and straw. Audio-visual presentation. Craft workshops available. Lectures and demonstrations available on request. Craft shop, coffee shop, tourist information and car and coach parking.
Cavan Geneaology Centre
Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark
Museums & Cultural Centres
Heritage Town Trails
Arts & Theatre
Christian Heritage Sites
The O’Reilly Clan were once the rulers of Breffni, the kingdom in which Cavan is located today. The O Rourke’s were a rival clan. Both families fought over the Kingdom of Breffni . Today, there are many O’ Reilly and O‘Rourke families in County Cavan.
Cavan Genealogy Centre
Johnston Library & Farnham Centre, Farnham Street, Cavan
t: +353 (0)49 436 1094
The County Cavan Genealogical Research Centre, based in the Johnston Library & Farnham Centre, Farnham Street , Cavan, offers a full genealogical research service for people with Cavan ancestry.
Heritage Town Trails
Cootehill Heritage Town Trail
Cootehill is a fine example of an 18th century Ulster linen market town. Cootehill takes its name from the Coote family who acquired a large estate here after the Cromwellian wars. The lands had previously belonged to the O’Reilly clan. Cootehill developed from a small village dating from the late 17th century.
The heritage trail begins at the courthouse on Market Street. The trail takes you along the town with maps, information panels and plaques giving you further information on key sites.
Estimated Time: 1.5 hours.
Church of Ireland.
St. Michael’s Church.
Birthplace of Mary Ann Sadlier.
View / download an example of orientation panel & map on the Cootehill Historic Town Trail.
Belturbet Heritage Town Trail
Belturbet takes its name from Tairbert Island and means ‘The Mouth of Tairbert’. Belturbet is a lively town and an excellent base for exploring the river and the Shannon-Erne Canal.
Strategically placed at the head of the River Erne, the O Reilly clan were dominant here and historically, the territory was known as East Breffni. Steeped in history, there are many interesting things to see along the heritage trail in Belturbet.
The trail begins in the centre of the town, known locally as the Diamond, across from the historic Town Hall. The trail takes you along the town with maps, information panels and plaques giving you further information on key sites.
Estimated Time: 1.5 hours.
Turbet Island Motte & Bailey.
The Town Hall.
Old Railway Station.
Home of Percy French.
View / download an example of orientation panel & map on Belturbet town trail.
Arts and Theatre
The arts scene is vibrant in County Cavan with a variety of local music and cultural festivals taking place throughout the year. The Caomhnú Literary Festival and Dancing in the Drumlins Set Dancing Festival take place in January while both the County Drama Festival and the NYAH Traditional Arts Festival take place annually in March. Traditional music sessions frequently take place throughout the county with the Wednesday night session in the Farnham Arms Hotel on the Main Street in Cavan town a favourite.
For a full list of festivals and events in Cavan please visit the News & Events section on this website.
The Ramor Theatre
Main St, Virginia
t: +353 (0)49 854 7074
The Ramor Theatre in Virginia is a fully equipped performance venue which operates a full programme of music, drama and dance events. The programme includes jazz, traditional, opera, contemporary, drama and classical.
For a full program visit www.ramortheatre.ie.
The Gonzo Theatre
The Imperial, Main Street, Cavan
t: +353 (0)87 1689430 / +353 (0)86 1275310
The Gonzo Theatre aims to give new ideas a voice in an intimate setting. It will be a dedicated space for new and experimental ideas in theatre, comedy and music. We hope to enable artists to create work of high quality and ambition, while cultivating an atmosphere of adventure and creative enquiry for audiences and artists alike. Apart from our in-house productions it will be a receiving venue for cutting edge and innovative performers in all art forms. It will also be the only licensed theatre venue in County Cavan. For a full program visit www.thegonzotheatre.com.
Cavan County Museum
Virginia Road, Ballyjamesduff
t: +353 (0)49 854 4070
Cavan County Museum has an extensive collection of galleries which charter the historic, economic and social development of County Cavan since it was founded. The museum is frequently used as gallery to display art, photography and other exhibitions. The arts spaces at the Johnston Library, Farnham Street, Cavan and the libraries in Cootehill and Bailieborough present an annual programme of community and arts activities.
For more information visit Cavan County Council Arts.
Bluewall Art Gallery
m: +353 (0)86 290 2493
t: +353 (0)49 436 1627
Bluewall Gallery is a privately owned new space for contemporary visual art in County Cavan. It is located 10 km from Cavan town – close to the Radisson Hotel at Farnham and Killykeen Forest Park. The gallery is run by Joe Keenan and is situated in a converted artist’s studio which, up until recently was used by his wife Jane McCormick. It is set in landscaped gardens overlooking Lough Oughter and is comprised of three exhibition spaces and an outdoor sculpture garden. Exhibitions are curated and produced in-house and through an open submission process. The gallery’s programme presents a broad range of high quality contemporary art practice from emerging and established artists working in all media. We aim to maintain a platform for new work of excellence on both sides of the border and to create an audience for contemporary art in the North-East by producing a programme which is stimulating, challenging and accessible.
County Cavan has been inhabited for over 5,000 years and the county has a rich and celebrated history. Missionaries converted County Cavan to Christianity in the 6th Century. St Feidhlim founded a church at Kilmore, while St Mogue set up an abbey at Drumlane.
In the Later Middle Ages (1200-1600), Cavan was a border area under the control of Irish chieftains. The Anglo-Normans had settled to the West and South as they tried to conquer Cavan but were driven back. They built a castle at Lough Oughter and a motte-and-bailey at Belturbet.
In 1579 County Cavan took on her present boundaries. In the early 17th century, Cavan was settled by planters from England and Scotland who laid the foundations for many towns and villages such as Belturbet, Killeshandra and Virginia. Cavan’s history as a holiday destination dates from this time, when visitors from all over Ireland flocked to the mineral spas at Swanlinbar in West Cavan .
Turbet Island Motte & Bailey, Belturbet
Turbet Island motte-and-bailey is scenically situated on the River Erne in Belturbet. The site has a motte, a steep sided mound of earth with a flat top, a bailey, and an attached enclosed area that once contained houses and other buildings. There are walking trails around the island and information panels for visitors.
Burren Forest, Blacklion
The prehistoric complex at Burren, outside Blacklion, has a fascinating concentration of archaeological remains, mainly Neolithic, Bronze Age and early medieval. Visitors will discover megalithic tombs cairns, hut sites and pre-bog walls. Among the archaeological remains are the Burren Portal Tomb and the Calf House Portal Tomb. Opposite this is a path leading to the exceptionally well preserved Giant’s Leap Wedge Tomb. Guided tours of the Burren are available by calling t: +353 (0)71 985 3299 . The Burren is a Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark site.
Moneygashel Cashel, Swalinbar
The fort at Moneygashel consists of a circular stone wall, in places up to three metres thick, with two small staircases built into it. On the south side is an underground chamber or souterrain used for storage and shelter. It is impossible to date Moneygashel Fort precisely, but all the evidence points to somewhere between 500 and 1000 AD. Moneygashel is a Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark site.
Cohaw Tomb, Cootehill
Cohaw Megalithic Tomb lies 3 miles southeast of Cootehill on the R181 Shercock road and is a well-preserved example of a double chamber tomb which is at least 4000 years old. Cohaw may have been a mausoleum for local rulers. It probably dates from 2000 BC.
Maguire’s Chair, Glangevlin
A large stone known as ‘Maguire’s chair’ is deposited on the right hand side of the road, roughly 4 miles from Glangevlin and is so-called because it was supposedly the inauguration site of the Maguire clan in medieval times. The view from here is magnificent.
Clough Oughter Castle, Lough Oughter
Near Killeshandra is the impressive Clough Oughter Castle, sited on an island in the middle of Lough Oughter. It was built by the Anglo-Normans in the early 13 th century but was soon captured by the O’ Reilly clan, the Irish rulers of east Bréifne. Owen Roe O’Neill, leader of the anti-English revolt of the 1640s, died here in November 1649. Clough Oughter is a Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark site.
Tullydermot Falls, Glangevlin
Tullydermot Falls occur in the upper reaches of the Cladagh River, a tributary of the River Erne which flows eastwards from its source in the Cuilcagh Mountains towards Swanlinbar. The waterfalls are situated on the R200, approximately 6km south-west of Swanlinbar in the direction of the Bellavally Gap and Glangevlin. The Tullydermot viewpoint overlooks Slieve Rushen and the lowlands of north Cavan. There is also a good view of the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain. Tullydermot Falls are a Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark site.
Shannon Pot, Glangevlin
As the source of Ireland ‘s longest river, the Shannon Pot’s fame can be traced back to the very early times of the legendary Finn McCool and the Fianna, the great warriors of Irish mythology. It is believed that the significance of the name in Irish – Log na Sionna, its association with the longest river in Ireland and the fact that the ‘ pot ‘ is circular suggests that this site was one of great cultural and religious significance during Celtic times. The Shannon Pot is located off the R206 between Glangevlin and Blacklion. The Shannon Pot is a Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark site.
Altacullion Viewpoint, Swanlinbar
Enjoy the stunning views of West Cavan from this viewpoint. Altacullion is located on the R200 between Derrynacreeve Junction and Glangevlin. Altacullion is a Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark site.
Milltown, Co. Cavan
Drumlane monastic site is located just outside the small village of Milltown, about 4 miles from Belturbet. The monastery occupies a very scenic site on the edge of Derrybrick Lake. It was reputedly founded by St. Mogue, the Bishop of Ferns, in the 6th century, though some have argued that St. Columcille was the original founder and that St. Mogue simply re-established it.
St. Mary’s priory for the Augustinian canons was founded here in the 12th Century. The remains are of a round tower, church, graveyard, fragments of a cross-inscribed stone and the site of a priory. The round tower is one of the most striking features, standing to over 11m in height. Look out for the carvings of birds on the on the external wall, 2.2 metres above ground.
The gate at the entrance to the graveyard also features a stone carving, this time in the form of a small cross. The church features a number of interesting stone heads, one above the door in the west wall and another three on the external face of the east window.
About 150 metres from the church there are a series of earthworks which probably represent the remains of the 12th Century Augustinian Priory. The Priory may have been demolished after the suppression of the monasteries in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Drumlane Abbey is located 1km outside the village of Milltown not far from Belturbet.