North West Ireland Tourism
Visitor Guide to Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Roscommon, Leitrim, Cavan & Monaghan
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Cavan in the heart of Ireland drive

Bailieborough - Virginia - Ballyjamesduff - Mount Nugent - Dring - Gowna - Arvagh - Killeshandra - Belturbet - Ballyconnell - Swanlibar - Derrylin - Lisnaskea - Maguiresbridge - Lisbellaw - Tempo - Fintona - Knockmany Forest

If there is nothing to make the jaw drop on this drive, there is plenty to take it wag in conversation and song. Paddy Riley 'looked down the street on that very first morn, and gave a great crow of delight'.

The northerners are quieter in appreciating their region's charms, but the Clogher Valley folk are great ones for choirs. With Cavan, Clones, Lisnaskea and many dremay villages on this mainly rural route, the tourist should take it when he is in the mood for good fellowship. Just read the description of Swanlibar. With the present price of whiskey its sitting on a gold mine.

CAVAN

The county town, blessed with abundance of beauty all around: the labyrinthine Oughter Lakes system with wonderful angling, Cloughoughter Castle (13th century), the Folk Museum, Kilmore romanesque ruin, a crystal factory and a golf course.

BAILIEBOROUGH
The road to it passes through a landscape of tumbling hills, lakes and forest. Moybollogues's ancient graveyard is interesting.

VIRGINIA
Well names not only because American Civil War hero Gen Phil Sheridan was born nearby but also because of its gentle landscape of which the gem is Lough Ramor, studded with islands and with bathing places. At Cuilcagh House Jonathan Swift began "Gullivers Travles". The house no longer stands.

BALLYJAMESDUFF
Immortalised in song by Percy French. Ruins include Kilnacrott Abbey and Ross Castle.

MOUNT NUGENT
Near Lough Sheelin popular trout water, also Crover Castle (14th Century) and Ross Castle Keep (14th Century.

DRING
At the southern end of meandering Lough Gowna .

GOWNA
At the centre of the lake system which is the source of the Erne. Ruins on St Colmcille's Island and ancient tombs at Loughduff. Angling everywhere.

ARVAGH
Lakes, lakes and more lakes. Also archaelological monumnets and panorama from Bruse Hill.

KILLESHANDRA
On the west side of Lough Oughter, near Killykeen Forest Park projecting into the lake. Ancient remains include Corabrassan and Granshagh Forts and a 17th century abbey. Nature lovers will be charmed by Killykeen. Pig House collection at Cornafean. and extensive collection of folk memorabilia is displayed in farm outhouses including the original 'pig house' from which the collection gets its name.

BELTURBET
At the south end of Upper Lough Erne, its cruisers voyage across the border for over 50 miles into Ulster. Historic remains include Drunlane Church and round towr and the site of St Colmcille's Abbey (6th century). Also golf and fishing.

BALLYCONNELL
At the head of a long-disused canal, the village is back in the news as developers discuss the dream of joining the Erne to the Shannon to form one of the world's greathest pleasure waterways.

SWANLIBAR
Reached by the road round the foot of Slieve Rushen, this is the village whose bygone spa waters had the desirable property of 'curing low spirits.'

DERRYLIN
A village once noted for stonemasons they have left strange carved heads atop some walls. Turn east here to cross Upper Lough Erne by bridges affording splendid views.

LISNASKEA
Fermanagh's second largest town. Nearby archaeological sites included eerie Aghaulurcher churchyard with strange headstones and touching insceiptions. The church was abandoned after a Maguire slew a kinsman on the alter in 1484.

MAGUIRESBRIDGE
Still in a land of eerie stories, the village is 'headquarters' for ladies said to work 'cures' by magic. the Colebrooke River has an international reputation among anglers for both coars and game fish.

LISBELLAW
A trim village with the parish church built on a huge rock in the middle.

TEMPO
Secluded among the hills; bear right through Clabby to join a very scenic road over the ragne via Lendrum's Bridge to Fintona.

FINTONA
So many poets has our regions produced that Fintona has 13 pubs to provide inspiration. Don't miss the statue of St Laurence in chains over the church door. Two miles further on, Seskinore forest is where the northern Forestry Department rears pheasants, grouse and old-style domestic flow of curious appearance.

KNOCKMANY FOREST
High in the hills, it has a chambered grave with geometrical designs similare to those on tombs in the Boyne Valley.


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