Surrounded by mountains and with scenic loughs and rivers running through it, Cavan is a must visit for travelers looking to enjoy some quiet time with nature, or immersing themselves in instant history lessons in the many castles and heritage sites. There’s so much to see and things to do in Cavan, and here’s a list of some of the best things that will make your stay worthwhile.
Things you'll find in this article
- 12 Fun Things To Do in Cavan
- 1.Dun a Ri Forest Park
- 2.Cuilcagh Boardwalk, Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail
- 3.The Aughrim Tomb
- 4.Cavan County Museum
- 5.Killykeen Forest Park
- 6.Deerpark Forest Walk
- 7.Magh Sleacht
- 8.Black Pig’s Dyke
- 9.Cloughoughter Castle
- 10.Cavan Burren Park
- 11.Drumlane Monastic Site
- 12.Farnham Estate Health Spa
12 Fun Things To Do in Cavan
1.Dun a Ri Forest Park
A part of what was formerly the Cabra Restate owned by the Pratt family, the 565-acre Dún na Rí Forest Park is situated just outside the town of Kingscourt, and an exciting place to visit in Cavan. Dún na Rí also boasts of a Romantic Glen that spans the full length of the park. A place steeped in history and legend, Dun a Ri Forest Park is home to incredible wildlife such as otters, foxes, badger, stoat, squirrels, hedgehogs, rabbits and various species of birds. The forest is mostly oak and ash trees, as well as hazel, holly, and rhododendron.
There are four walks of approximately 1.5-2km in length in Dun a Ri, namely: the nature trails, village walk, river walk and access for all trail.
Address: R179, Mullantra, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan, Ireland
2.Cuilcagh Boardwalk, Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail
An impressive structure that snakes through the mountain until it reaches the plateau, a stroll through Cuilcagh Boardwalk, Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail definitely makes for one of the best things to do in Cavan. Aptly nicknamed the ‘stairway to heaven’ because of its spectacular walking trails, through the Cuilcagh Mountains, this boardwalk is
located on the border between Cavan and Fermanagh. It is the 170th highest peak on the island of Ireland, and Ireland’s only cross-border county top. The views from the trail up to the summit is absolutely breathtaking, especially that of Lough Atona, which is nestled at the foot of the mountain, and carved out by the glacier during the last Ice Age about 13,000 years ago.
3.The Aughrim Tomb
A monument that dates back to 2000 BC, the Aughrim Tomb is now found on the grounds of the Slieve Russell Hotel. This ancient stone used to be buried undisturbed in a mountain for thousands of years until it was discovered during a quarrying operation. Instead of destroying it, the miners had the monument moved and reconstructed on the grounds of the hotel. Today, it is one of the main points of interest in Cavan and certainly worth a visit.
4.Cavan County Museum
The Cavan County Museum is housed in an impressive 19th-century building, on a vast area that includes lakes and drumlins. The museum is literally a hidden gem as it is not in any main road and stands behind a modern church but is still one of the unique things to see in Cavan. It’s not the biggest museum you could ever find yourself in, but the Cavan County Museum keeps an impressive collection. Their exhibitions include artifacts dating from the Stone Age up to the 20th century such as the Killycluggin stone and the three-faced Corleck Head, two of the most recognizable examples of Celtic spirituality in the country.
Tuesday to Saturday-10am and 5pm
Address: Virginia RoadBallyjamesduff Co. Cavan Ireland A82 YP70
Phone: 353 49 8544070
5.Killykeen Forest Park
Killykeen Forest Park is one of the best places to go to enjoy Cavan’s most scenic lake, Lough Oughter. It is situated 12 kilometers from Cavan town, in the north of the county.
The stunning Lough Oughter spreads into Upper Lough Erne through a maze of small inlets and branches of open water edged by reeds, alders and silver birch. Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the lakeshore or better yet, rent a boat to cruise through the waters and see more of the lough.
6.Deerpark Forest Walk
Located outside the town of Virginia in County Cavan, the Deerpark Forest Park follows scenic tree-lined paths winding past Virginia Golf club, and skirting along the banks of Lough Ramor. One of the best activities to do in Cavan, a hike through Deerpark will take you along River Ramor and the shores of Lough Ramor, a cluster of local heritage sites or through the biodiverse broadleaf forest of holly, herbs, grasses and naturally regenerating trees.
Since the park river flows through Virginia Golf club, the property serves as a scenic backdrop when hiking through any of the trails, in addition to passing by attractions such as the Toberpatrick Well, Lady’s Cottage and the Castle Boat House.
A place filled with legends and the subject of conspiracy theories even up to this day, Magh Sleacht is a historic plain that comprises an area of about three square miles situated in the south-eastern part of the Parish of Templeport, Barony of Tullyhaw, in the west of County Cavan.
Originally named Magh Senaig (the plain of the hill-slope) during the Pre-Christian times, the name was changed to Magh Slécht (The plain of prostrations) as it then became the nationwide center of the cult of the god Crom Cruach.
St. Patrick is said to have thrown down Crom Cruaich when he stretched out the Bachal Isu from a neighboring hill causing it to fall over with its head pointing toward the Hill of Tara. The twelve surrounding idols were then swallowed up by the earth. This and other stories continue to be the stuff of legends, making Magh Sleacht one of the main points of interest in Cavan.
8.Black Pig’s Dyke
A must see in Cavan if you’re into archaeology, the Black Pig’s Dyke is a collective name for the dozen individual linear earthworks that occur across the width of the north midlands and south Ulster. It stretches along the upper reaches of River Shannon, and apart from being among the more interesting and unique sites you’ll ever encounter, Black Pig’s Dyke also has some pretty fantastical myths attached to it. One folktale says that the place got its name when the earthworks were torn into the landscape by the angry marauding of a giant mystical school-teacher-turned-pig.
Still, even with the quirky myths, it is a magnificent sight to behold and even inspired a few literary works such as Finnegan’s Wake’ by James Joyce, ‘The Valley of the Black Pig’ by W. B. Yeats and ‘At the Black Pig’s Dyke’.
Situated on a small Island in Lough Oughter, near the town of Killeshandra in County Cavan, is the stunning Cloughoughter Castle. It stands alone on an island like a silent watchman surrounded by an avast waterway. It has witnessed fire and bloodshed and has quietly braved the test of time. A unique place to see when in Cavan, this Norman castle is surrounded by a lake where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll on the shore, go canoeing or even fish for your dinner.
10.Cavan Burren Park
Cavan Burren is part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, one of numerous UNESCO Global Geoparks found across the world, and one of Cavan’s attractions that you shouldn’t miss. Located three kilometers south of Blacklion and northwest of Cuilcagh Mountains, this unique and prehistoric landmark is crammed with ancient megalithic tombs, stone walls, ancient rock art, and breathtaking views of Cuilcagh Mountain as well as the surrounding landscapes of Lough MacNean.
Nearly everything in this park is from prehistoric times, and the fossils embedded in its limestone are the corals of a tropical sea from 350 million years ago. There are five different trails to choose from at this Geopark, all surrounded with pieces of history that are sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
Winter Opening Hours (Nov-Feb) 8 am–6 pm
Spring Opening Hours (Feb-Apr) 7 am–9 pm
Summer Opening Hours (May-Aug) 7 am–11 pm
Autumn Opening Hours (Sept–Nov) 7 am–8 pm
Address: Burren, Blacklion, Co. Cavan, Ireland
Phone:+353 49 9526121
11.Drumlane Monastic Site
Drumlane is one of the most beautiful historic sites in Cavan and is worth a visit. It is located about 1km outside Milltown and sits between Drumlane and Derrybrick Loughs. The place is made up of a church and an 11th-century tower on the site of a monastery founded by St Mogue in the 6th century.
Remains of the old monastery can still be found in the area, along with the round tower that stands at over 11 meters. The church meanwhile is adorned with 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. Close to the church are a series of earthworks, said to be the remains of the 12th century Augustinian Priory.
Address: Milltown Cavan Republic of Ireland
Phone:+353 49 4378543
12.Farnham Estate Health Spa
A true haven for relaxation when in Cavan, Farnham EstateHealth Spa is located on 1,300 acres of rolling countryside, which houses one of Ireland’s premier luxury spa hotels.
The estate dates back to the 1600s and is also home to one of Ireland’s oldest trees. Certainly one of the best things to do in Cavan on weekends, to refresh and recharge you before starting your vacation or heading back to work. A tranquil paradise surrounded by three lakes and four miles of wood-lawn, Farnham Estate Health Spa is surely worth a visit.
Address: Coras Point, Cavan, Ireland
Phone:+ 353 (0) 49 437 7700