LUXURY RETREAT IN SCENIC CAVAN
Be transported to a world of relaxation in Ireland’s tranquil lakeland region. Set in lush countryside dotted with beautiful forests and lakes, the exclusive Radisson Blu Farnham Estate Hotel, Cavan combines 16th century splendour with up-to-the-minute style. Be pampered in the stunning spa, try out the 18-hole golf course or sample gastronomic pleasures in the restaurant. One thing’s for sure – a trip here always ends too soon.
County Cavan is part of the romantic Lakelands of Ireland and is well known for its natural beauty. Home to Lough Sheelin, the River Shannon and the River Erne as well as rolling green hills and acres of ancient woodland, Cavan attracts outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers as well as those who just want to slow down and relax with a game of golf or a walk.
The county capital, Cavan, is a pretty market town with a Cathedral, an Abbey, a museum, a theatre and a busy High Street. The town is also home to the second oldest crystal factory in Ireland – founded in 1969 by six local business men; Cavan Crystal is still producing both traditional and contemporary pieces. Of course no market town would be complete without a Farmers Market – Friday morning at the Egg Market in Connolly Street and Saturday at McCarron’s shop, draw in the crowds with its fresh local produce. Cavan is small enough to stroll around but there’s also a free bike hire scheme, and for a small deposit you can hop on a bike – or even a tandem - and pedal around seeing the town and surrounding area from a different perspective – helmets and locks are included.
The waterways in and around Cavan make it an ideal place for anglers looking to hook trout, bream, eels and pike but the rivers are a great place for kayaking, boat cruises and spotting other wildlife. The Radisson Blu Farnham Estate Hotel, Cavan is one of the town’s main attractions with beautiful guided walks across the 500 acre estate. There’s a 73 par 18-hole golf course which rolls out over the green hills and a stylish spa if you want to kick back and relax. If you want to explore further afield one of the most popular tourist attractions in County Cavan is the UNESCO Marble Arch Geo Park. This area, only a few miles from the Radisson Blu Farnham Estate Hotel, Cavan showcases some of nature’s most magical natural history, with rock formations dating back 650 million years and the Shannon Pot – thought to be the source of Ireland’s longest river. There’s a network of underground caves and waterways to explore, by foot or on an exciting boat ride on an underground river.
What is there to do in Ireland’s pretty town of Cavan? We’ve found some great ways enjoy the heart of the beautiful Lakelands.
1. If you want to learn how this part of the country ticks then take a visit to the Cavan County Museum in the east Cavan lakes. Inside you’ll find objects and artefacts over 4,000 years old – and costumes and machinery depicting Cavan’s agricultural past.
2. Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark is an amazing and humbling example of how nature leads the way in innovation and survival. Explore an exciting subterranean world of tunnels, find the source of the River Shannon and take a walk or cycle ride in the stunning surrounding parkland.
3. For more outdoor activities take a trip to Cavan’s Burren Park – you’ll see evidence of glaciers, rare birds and visit the information centre which has a history of the park and how it is evolving today. There are five beautiful walking routes and it is an idyllic place to set down a picnic rug.
4. If you’re still feeling a bit peckish after your day out then you can head into Cavan for a taste of the world and dine at one of the many restaurants serving international cuisine or head back to the hotel for a nourishing feast and fresh local produce at the contemporary Botanica Restaurant. This is a place to relax with a glass of wine overlooking the hotel’s rolling green estate.
5. Cavan has some lovely local shops including arts and crafts and its very own crystal factory. Pick up a souvenir or a special gift from Cavan Crystals, which still produces both traditional and contemporary pieces since it was set up in 1969. You won’t be disappointed with a visit to Cavan’s Farmers’ Market on Saturdays either; here you’ll find organic meat and wonderful freshly baked cakes and pies and locals chatting over a coffee.
Cavan is in the heart of the beautiful Irish Lake District. You can explore the town by foot in a few hours but for the surrounding scenery it’s best to put on your walking boots and head out for a ramble.
You could start your walking adventures at the Radisson Blu Farnham Estate Hotel, Cavan as we have some scenic guided walks across the 500 acre estate, but there are also some great and varied routes around the lake, mountains and through the emerald woodlands. On some of the shorter walks you can finish in a pub for a cosy lunch but for the longer treks it’s a good idea to take snacks and be prepared for all sorts of weather – after all it wouldn’t be a Lake District without a little rain.
Walks around Cavan range from an easy 3km to much longer hikes but on every walk you are likely to see castles, lakes, pump houses and magical fairy forts – not to mention a few pubs. Make sure you take your camera and look out for the viewpoints over the lakes.
If you want a challenge you could try the 26km hike along the Cavan Way. This footpath leads you through some stunning countryside, quiet valleys and peaceful woodlands, ancient tombs, monuments and wildlife to the UNESCO Marble Arch Geo Park, which is like a natural museum of the landscape. The park is home to the source of the Shannon (known as the Shannon Pot) and rock formations dating back 650 million years. You can potter about in caves and tunnels or walk around enjoying the natural colours and shapes of the land before continuing on your way.