Our next insider track article comes from Breege. She's a primary school teacher, born and bred in County Cavan.
Cavan County Museum
Above: Close up of Cavan County Museum on Scratchable Map Ireland
Cavan, where they say all the money is, is a county not to be overlooked. Having lived here for the last 28 years I can guarantee, with a little guidance on the right places to go, it makes for a relaxing weekend away.
Over the last few years, Cavan County Museum in Ballyjamesduff have put a lot of effort into updating their displays. There is a brilliant new section dedicated to World War 1 and another to 1916 Ireland. When I visited recently, I was advised to go outdoors first to the WW1 trenches. The sound effects as we moved through the trenches really added to the experience. Next we visited the replica of the GPO and the story of the Easter Rising. We stopped along the way to dress up and take photos in clothes from the period.
Inside the museum, the rooms display quite an eclectic mix of interests; a Percy French room with music playing, emigration stories, Bronze Age artifacts, bicycles through the ages, GAA history, and more. Cavan County Museum offers something for everyone and is well worth a visit.
Dining Out In Cavan
Chapter 1 is my favourite place for lunch. You’ll find it in Cavan Retail Park on the Dublin Road. Alternatively, if you’re parked in town and looking for lunch, Latte Da is a lovely little café with both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
For dinner in Cavan town, I would highly recommend the Oak Room. If you’re looking for drinks with food, the best spot is the Imperial Bar.
The Imperial Bar may impress so much that you find yourself waking up a bit groggy after a late night - then The Hard Boiled Egg will be your refuge! The Sunday morning (/afternoon) rush here only proves that the comfort of their full Irish will guarantee you come back.
If you’re not under pressure time-wise, Murph's Bistro at the Derrygarra Inn in Butlersbridge has been a winner of Irish Restaurant Awards five times between 2010 and 2016 and is only a 10 minute drive from town.
For fine dining, The Olde Post Inn in Cloverhill is exceptional. It’s unique character and top-class food makes it my favourite place to book for a special occasion. It is a little more expensive, yet affordable, and is well worth the 15 minute drive from town.
If you're staying for a few nights my favourite hotel would have to be the Farnham Estate Spa and Golf Resort. It’s 5 minutes outside of Cavan town and its acres of private land are perfect for a morning stroll, followed by a treatment in the spa or a swim in the amazing outdoor infinity pool. The staff are extremely friendly and the food and atmosphere in the The Wine Goose Cellar Bar make it really special.
One of the best spots for a walk (or a run) is Killykeen Forest Park and it’s only down the road from Farnham Estate. The walks here range from 5km to 10km and the views from the forest overlooking the lake are fab. If the weather is good you can take advantage of the seating areas for a picnic.
Cavan, also known as ‘The Lakeside County’, is renowned for having 365 lakes, one for every day of the year, so it would be a pity when visiting not to spend at least a day at one. My friends and I love kayaking and canoeing on Lough Oughter with Cavan Canoe Centre. We usually head out to Lough Oughter Island and picnic beside the ruins of a castle. It’s such a fun and enjoyable day and Seán, the owner, couldn’t be more helpful.
My second lake recommendation would be to take a leaf out of the famous Daniel O Donnell’s book and try your hand at hover crafting on Brakley Lake in Bawn Boy.