Cast a line in Co Cavan
This property is located close to some of the country's finest pike fishing
It's said that there are 365 lakes in Cavan, that's one for every day of the year, so it's no wonder that fishing is such a big deal in the area. The county is considered by many to be one of the finest fishing destinations in the country.
Whether it's coarse, pike or game fishing, you're sure to find a quiet spot to cast your rod.
The best spots for pike fishing are Baileboro and Virginia which have access to the most prolific lakes. Some of the best fishing can be found at Lough Ramor in Virginia and Castle Lake in Bailieboro. At 800 hectares, Lough Ramor is one of the biggest lakes in the area and is well known for its large pike, with 20lb fish frequently recorded. Castle Lake covers an area of approximately 20 hectares and stocks pike, bream, roach, perch and eels. It's well set up for anglers with a number of fishing stands on the water, including disabled access.
Slap bang in the middle of these two fishing hot spots is Killinkere, a small and close-knit Cavan parish, where farming is the main occupation. The four-bed house that has come on the market close to Killinkere could be of interest to angling enthusiasts, who want a base near some of the best fishing on offer, with plenty of room for all of the family.
This solid cut-stone house was built eight years ago and designed by local architect Paul Taite. The accommodation is set out over 2,950 sq ft and has been well dressed for the sale.
As you enter, you are greeted by the oak staircase with glazed balustrade in the hall. The bedrooms to the left and the living space to the right. The sitting room is to the front of the house and has a solid-fuel stove. The kitchen is fitted with cream units and granite worktops, and includes the integrated dishwasher, fridge/freezer, double oven, microwave and five-ring hob.
There are steps down into the living area, which has a double height ceiling and window looking out over the countryside. The mezzanine above the living room would be an ideal space for a home office or study.
There is a utility off the kitchen with a range of units and a sink, and it is plumbed for a washing machine and dryer. Beside this, at the rear door, is a boot room and a small WC.
The downstairs bedrooms are doubles with telephone and TV points. The family bathroom completes the accommodation on this level.
Upstairs, you have access to the mezzanine landing, as well as two bedrooms. Both are en-suite and have walk-in wardrobes.
The house has a BER of B2 thanks to the double-glazed sash windows, the use of PV (photovoltaic) power source and condenser boiler. There is a central vacuum system, oil-fired central heating, solid oak internal doors and broadband coverage.
Outside, the 0.85 of an acre is mostly set in lawn, making it easy to maintain. There is a detached garage measuring 26ft 8 by 16ft with loft storage space and roller door.
The property is located 200m off the R178, some 7km from Virginia and 6km from Bailieboro. The M3 can be accessed at Virginia, which means a car journey to Dublin would take just over an hour. Virginia is an attractive small village with a few cafes and pubs. Bailieboro has a large Tesco supermarket as well as a SuperValu in the town. A drive to Newry would take about an hour and a quarter, and Belfast would be about two hours away.
Things to Do
If fishing is your thing, especially pike fishing, you'll never be bored. Not only do you have Lough Ramor and Castle Lake, but you also have the Ramparts River that flows through Virginia which holds a good stock of bream, roach, perch and pike. If you want a change of scene, the beautiful Lough Gowna is only 45 minutes away, where they say catching fish is easy whether you use a feeder rod or long pole.
For fishing widows (or widowers), there are plenty of loop walks around these lakes that can be as short or as long as you like. Castle Lake is a walk that locals do regularly, for the beauty as well as the exercise. The trail takes you under beech trees, passed foxgloves and onto the ruins of Castle House. And don't forget the feed for the resident swans and their cygnets.
Just 15 minutes away is the Cavan County Museum with unique artefacts dating back to the stone age and the World War I Trench Experience, built to the specifications and manuals for the Irish Guards and used by the Royal Irish Fusilliers at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
There is plenty around for kids like the Killinkere Pet Farm, which is just down the road from the house. It's a working farm where visitors can get a full understanding of everyday life on the farm from interacting with the animals, to pony and tractor rides, and information on crop growing.
Derryham Stables are close by too with countryside trekking, flat-work and jumping for all ages and all levels.
You don't need to travel to Dublin for some culture because Ramor Theatre in Virginia prides itself on booking great plays, comedy acts and arthouse movies.
Out on the Old Virginia Road is the well-known Sheridan's Cheesemongers in the restored railway store. You can call in and sample some of the products, enjoy coffee and cake, or visit the market on Saturday mornings where local producers gather to sell their wares.
Eating and Drinking
Just beside Sheridan's Cheesemongers is a gem of a restaurant. The Forge is set in an 18th century building, where horses were shod and cartwheels rimmed. Husband and wife Pauric and Irene White opened the restaurant in 2000 and haven't looked back since. As well as the restaurant, the couple also run a bakery and cookery school. All ingredients are sourced locally where possible and the result is dishes like Loin of Killua Castle Venison, mushroom and Knockanore cheese pie with shallot red wine jus. The cheese board is a must for dessert with a great selection of Sheridan's finest.
For lunches or coffee breaks, Lorela's Kitchen in Bailieboro is a new and much-welcomed cafe. It's a handy place to stop off and warm up after a walk around Castle Lake. The Mason's Apron in Virginia is another good lunch option, with delicious homemade cakes.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is committed to developing a branding strategy for Cavan. The lakelands and waterways already draw anglers from the North, UK and France but not that many would invest in property in the area. Agent Chris Smith says that most buyers are locals or young people coming from Dublin with connections to the area. There is also interest from northern buyers who want a base between the North and Dublin.
What's Not To Like
Cavan may have the lakes but it doesn't have the obvious attractions of coastal counties like beaches, buzzing summer seasons and never-ending great food options.
Virginia, Co Cavan
Asking price: €350,000
Agent: Quillsen, Navan (046) 9022100