Cavan is part of the province of Ulster and the most southerly of the Ulster counties. It is diversified in surface, variety that springs from the undulating land, with round hills that cover most of the county, and the Culicagh Mountains which have a peak at 2188 feet. The Shannon, Ireland's longest river, springs from the southern slopes of Culicagh. Hundreds of little lakes dot the county, and the River Erne, that flows northwards through the centre, spreads itself in a maze of small sheets of water. Cavan has such a watery geography due to the glaciations of the last Ice Age. Its lakes are very beautiful and attract tourists both through their natural beauty and first class angling opportunities.
Thus, Cavan is the ideal place to go for those who are planning an "escape" from the crowded urban life. Its population is welcoming, but the strongest argument in its favour is that the county and its people seem to have resisted attempts at modernisation. Thus, the entire area has a very old-fashioned feel to it, and the tourist is not likely to be disturbed by massive groups of visitors. There is nothing particularly bright or gay about the county, but for the seeker of solitude, the small picturesque villages are a true paradise.
Although most of the county is involved in the agricultural industry, Cavan town is home to "Cavan Crystal", the second oldest glassworks in the country, producer of a very popular brand of hand-cut glass.
Lifeforce Mill, a 150-year old mill that is still functioning, is also situated in Cavan town. While here, one would most probably like to see Cavan's beautiful cathedral, or go for a walk in Killykeen Forest Park - a 240 hectare woodland in which the tourist can also find excellent cycling, fishing and boating opportunities (Lough Oughter).
For the nature enthusiast, there are other natural parks and walkways, including the: Dun an Ri Forest Park, covering some 565 acres, and is populated with thousands of red squirrels and Irish hares; The Cavan Way (25 km); and brilliant Culicagh Mountain Walks. Let's not forget about the gardens Lake View Garden in Mullagh would be one of the first choices for a visitor to the region.
There are excellent coarse fishing opportunities on a number of lakes in fact, this is the main attraction in the county: Lough Oughter, Lough Ramor, Lough Sillan. A fishing championship is held, late in September, on Lough Dramore and the river Dramore, known as The Cotehill fishing championship. Bailieborough, Ballyjamesduff, Finea, Gowna, to name just a few, are important angling centres.
People whose favourite pastimes are golf or horse-riding will not have to give that up while in Cavan: there are golf clubs in Ballyconnell, Blacklion, Kingscourt etc., and equestrian centres in Killykeen Forest Park, Redhills and Cotehill. Even windsurfers can practice their favourite sport on Lough Raomor.
Like most of the Irish counties, Cavan is a county of legends; the river Shannon is the bearer of one, too. The source of the river is a place called Lugna Sionna, named after the granddaughter of the sea god Lir, who tried to catch the Salmon of Knowledge there, in the small pond. The salmon was said to have all the wisdom of the world, and to have gained it by eating the nuts of the hazel trees surrounding the pond. As Sionna was trying to cach the Salmon, it grew furious and made the pond overflow, thus drowning her.