County Cavan is located in the Midlands just below Monaghan, bordering Louth. Cavan may not be a coastal county, but there are 365 lakes in the entire county, a fact not too many people believe at first given the size of the county itself.
It’s true that you don’t hear too much about Cavan, and it may not be the first place you would think of visiting as a tourist in Ireland, or even as an Irish person travelling around this beautiful country.
However, there are many reasons to visit Cavan. The valleys and lakes make for beautiful scenery, and there are so many hidden treasures and things to do and see.
So, if you decide to visit Cavan for a few days with the kids, don’t worry, there are so many different things to do and below we have gathered the top 5 things to do to keep the kids entertained while you are visiting this genuinely great county.
5. Belturbet Day Boat Hire
You can find Belturbet Day Boat Hire at The Marina, Belturbet, Cavan. The boat’s capacity is maximum 8 persons so if you have a larger crowd you may need more than one boat.
You can sail down the Erne, Finn and Woodford rivers and then visit Crom Estate or Castle Saunderson while on your travels. The boats are available to hire from the middle of March to the end of October every year, and they cost 100 for the full day or 70 for a half day.
If the weather is nice you should definitely take the opportunity to hire a day boat from Belturbet as you will get to see much more of the scenic side of Cavan than if you were on land.
4. Killykeen Forest Park
Killykeen Forest Park is located 5 miles from Cavan town and partially surrounds Lough Oughter. Killykeen has 4 different walkways: a 3km nature trail, the Gartanoul shore walk which is 2km, the Gartanoul Loop walk which is 4.6km and an access for all trail which is 500m.
There is also a 3km cycle trail and the calm Lough Oughter provides the perfect spot for fishing, boating, and canoeing, however, it is not encouraged to swim in the lake due to the possibility of strong currents.
There are picnic areas, toilets, and car parks on site to ensure you can spend the whole day enjoying the beautiful forest park.
3. Cavan Canoeing
Cavan Canoe Centre is located at Carratraw Bridge, in Inishmore, Butlers Bridge. At the Cavan Canoe Centre, you can rent a kayak, a canoe or an open boat for a tour.
While you travel down the River Erne, you will discover many hidden treasures, and you will learn about some of the geology, archaeology, and history surrounding Cavan’s River Erne. On your travels, you can see Clogh Oughter Castle, a round tower and the last outpost which fell in 1653 due to Cromwell’s armies.
Cavan Canoeing provides guided tours so you can learn about the history of Cavan or you can take on the River Erne solo. As well as canoeing and kayaking, Cavan Canoes also provide bike tours, paddle boarding, and many other water sports so you will definitely find something to do at Cavan Canoe Centre.
2. Killinkere Visitor and Petfarm
Killinkere Petfarm is located in Killinkere, Virginia, Cavan. Killinkere Farm is a real working farm, as well as an open farm and a petting farm. As well as the typical farm animals such as cows, pigs and sheep there are also around 20 other types of animals that are not typically found on an Irish farm such as deer, llamas, miniature horses, guinea pigs and a variety of birds and fowl.
Killinkere pet farm also hosts birthday parties, school tours and educational trips for large groups or families so you can learn as much as possible about all the animals while getting the chance to interact with them in a safe environment.
There is a café on site with a range of scones, tea and coffee available so you can spend as long as possible enjoying the petting farm with the kids.
1. Erica’s Fairy Forest
Erica’s Fairy Forest is located on the Monaghan Road, in Halton’s Amenity Park, Cootehill. The Fairy Forest is dedicated to an extraordinary young girl, Erica Ni Draighneain (2010-2016) who’s belief in fairies and magical kingdoms inspired the opening of the fairy forest in the hopes that those who visit will feel the same magic and belief that Erica did.
The forest truly represents a magical, enchanted forest and the details are incredible. If you would like to gain some knowledge on the story behind the forest or the fairies who live there you can visit the website for some inspiration.
Erica’s Fairy Forest is free to visit and open at all hours of the day, and it is one of the most magical places designed to ignite the imagination of young children and touch the hearts of all who visit. It is an absolute must-see in Cavan.