Hi everyone and welcome to the latest stop on our Virtual Tour of Ireland. This week we arrive into the lush rolling landscape of County Cavan. Also known as the “Lakeland County”, it us said there is lake in Cavan for everyday of the year-so let’s start lakeside!
County Cavan Highlights
1. Lough Sheelin
We begin at County Cavan’s largest lake. It measures 7km x 3km and is something of an angler’s paradise. While over half of the lake is in County Cavan, it also shares its shores with counties Meath and Westmeath. Lough Sheelin takes it’s name from the Irish Loch Síodh Linn, meaning ‘lake of the fairy pool’.
2. Cuilcagh Mountain
So our next stop is County Cavan’s highest peak, Cuilcagh Mountain meaning “chalky mountain”. It straddles the border of County Fermanagh making it that county’s highest peak too. It is Ireland’s only cross border mountain peak and stands at 665 metres. The mountain has one of the largest areas of blanket bog in the north of the country. At the south of the mountain, water flows underground and comes out at the Shannon Pot, the source of the River Shannon, Ireland’s longest river.
3. Drumlane Abbey
We’re driving south now to Milltown and Drumlane Abbey. It dates back to 555 AD and was founded by St. Columba but has a wider association with St. Mogue. The lakeside setting at Garfinny Lough commands beautiful views. Remains of the-abbey and monastery can be seen as well a stunning example of a round tower which has held up impressively well despite the passing centuries.
4. Clough Oughter Castle
Yes, we’ve arrived at yet another lake! This time it’s Lake Oughter and the site of Clough Oughter Castle. Set on a man made island in the middle of the lake, it dates back to the 13th century. Ever wonder where the phrase “the life of Reilly” comes from? Well it refers to the powerful O’Reilly clan who ruled the Breifne kingdom from 1232 right up until the 17th century. The phrase is reference to their great wealth. To this day, O’Reilly is the most common surname in County Cavan.
5. Cavan Burren Park
We’ll end our journey in Cavan Burren Park which is some 340 million years old. This unique and fascinating place sits elevated some 700-900 feet above sea level. Discover 5000 years of history in this Ice Age valley with its collection of megalithic tombs, dolmens and stone walls. The views across this prehistoric terrain are simply stunning.
Time to sign off now. See you next time for a trip to County Longford.
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!