“An Cabhan” is an old Irish word meaning “The Hollow” – and in a simple way that says a lot about this place. Cavan is a refuge, a place to rejuvenate, a shelter from stress.
Cavan exudes a kind of supernatural calm with its misty lakes, dusky forest parks and drumlin-strewn land. It’s not really surprising that Jampa Ling, one of Ireland’s most important Buddhist Centres, is located here.
But calm doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do! With 365 lakes and counting, Cavan is a paradise for anglers. Lough Oughter and Lough Sheelin are stand-out spots. The lakes also provide lots of opportunity for water sports.
Don’t miss Lough Oughter Castle, a 13th Century circular tower sitting on a dot of a crannóg island. Forest Parks lining the lakes, like Killeen and Dún an Rí, are havens for bird watchers and naturalists.
If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, the 26km Cavan Way which runs from Blacklion to Dowra through the Cuilcagh Mountains is a must. You’ll pass a myriad of prehistoric remnants including parts of the Black Pig’s Dyke which once separated Ulster from the rest of Ireland. It’s thought that it was built to protect from invasion or cattle raiding. You’ll also see the Shannon pot, the source of Ireland’s longest river which might just inspire you to take a cruise.
The Kingfisher Cycle Trail is another great option. Cavan is perfect destination for quiet getaways, romantic breaks and family holidays. Accommodation ranges from contemporary hotels and island lodges to friendly B&Bs or lakeside chalets.
Explore miles of forest trails in one of Cavan’s forest parks – some of the most charming in the country. Famous lakeside Killykeen Forest Park between Cavan town and Killeshandra, celebrated Dun a Rí near Kingscourt, beautiful Castle Lake, Bailieborough and historic Deerpark just outside Virginia are all different but strikingly beautiful in their own right.
Killykeen Forest Park
Killykeen Forest Park is located in a very scenic area of Co Cavan. It lies on the shores of Lough Oughter which is part of the River Erne system. The forest park consists of approx 240 hectares. The predominant species are Norway and Sitka Spruce with a considerable amount of mixed woodland including Ash, Oak and Beech. Lough Oughter is renowned for course fishing with the main species of fish being pike, bream and perch.
There are many signposted walks along the lake shore and through the woods and the lake is very popular with anglers, who fish primarily for pike, bream and perch. It is also home to a huge variety of water fowl and birds, especially mallard, tufted duck and, in the winter, wigeon and pochard.
The romantic looking Oughter Castle stands on a island on the lake looking forlorn but interesting, and it has had a very interesting history. It dates back to the early 1200’s, when it was built by the O’Reilly clan, then as now one of the foremost families in the area. They lived there for over 300 years and the building served them as home and fortress.
When the English crown sought to quell dissent in the area by sending in loyal planters in the early 17th century, the castle and its surrounding lands were granted to a Captain Hugh Culme. He didn’t live in the castle, but instead built a house on the lake shore.
However he ended up in the castle anyway. During a rebellion in 1641 the castle was retaken by Irish rebels and the good Captain became a prisoner in his own castle.
Among the Irish rebels who used it as a prison was Owen Roe O’Neill, who died while staying there, allegedly poisoned by agents of the English court.
The castle has been a ruin since it was raided by Cromwell in 1653, and is accessible only by boats, which can be hired locally.
Drumelis, Co. Cavan
Drumellis is in the electoral division of Castlesaunderson, in Urney Civil Parish, in Barony, in Co. Cavan, Ireland. The Irish name for Drumelis is Droim Oilí.
Local Landmarks nearby:
- Farnham Estate, Cavan
- Cavan Golf Club
- Slieve Russell.
- Killykeen Forest Park,
- Shannon Pot in the Cuilcagh Mountains