24 Hours in Cavan: A perfect day in Ireland's Hidden Heartlands
Short breaks in Ireland
Looking for an off-radar short break in Ireland? Pól Ó Conghaile plugs out in the waters and the wilds of Cavan.
10am: A Breather in the Burren
Did you know Cavan has a Burren? History is layered like an onion in this desolately beautiful discovery zone (above) — with karstic limestone, Neolithic tombs, glacial erratics and 19th century farmstead remains all gathered together near Blacklion, on the Cavan/Fermanagh border. Walking trails range from a 1.3km, buggy-friendly route to stretches of the 26km Cavan Way, and you can join several during the Cavan Walking Festival (May 4-11; facebook.com/cavanwalkingfestival).
1pm: The Bear Essentials
If you go down to the woods near Bawnboy today, you’re in for a big surprise. Here, Anke Morgenroth runs an unlikely little oasis — a cottage industry offering bear building workshops, a teddy bear hospital and the largest collection of teddies for sale in Ireland... including Anke’s own cuddly creations.
“People who don’t work with their hands are surprised to see what they can do,” she says. “They can create something of real value.” Not least, memories.
How: bearessentials.ie; workshops from €180 (five people).
4pm: Time out at Jampa Ling
It’s the last thing I expect to see in Cavan — a Tibetan Buddhist Lama strolling by a Victorian country house. The Ven. Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche (above) has been here 28 years, however, working as Spiritual Teacher at Jampa Ling Buddhist Centre.
Visitors of all faiths and none are welcome to drop by for a walk or to join daily meditation sessions (7am, 4pm, 7pm). Yoga and meditation courses are also available, with retreats from €32pp per night in a dorm with vegetarian meals included.
8pm: Check into the Olde Post
Cloverhill’s Olde Post Inn is like a tone poem. Glowing fires, redbrick walls and effortless hospitality will set you at your ease in jig time, but the simplicity is deceptive. Chef Gearóid Lynch strikes a deft balance between creative Irish cuisine and high-end country cooking, be it a simple scallop with black pudding, an oyster with bacon and cabbage (above) or baked alaska based on a family member’s rhubarb.
The Inn has six rooms (B&B from €65pp), so you can stay over, too - it featured on our 50 best places to stay in Ireland for 2018.
How: Menus from €35; 047 55555; theoldepostinn.com
For more info on holidays in Cavan, see thisiscavan.ie or #thisiscavan on social media.