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County Town: Cavan
Population: 63,961
Area: 1,931 sq km
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County Cavan is famous for its beautiful lakeland scenery. Boasting 365 shimmering lakes - one for every day of the year - as well as wide rivers and winding streams, this is prime fishing country, with many competitions and festivals held throughout the year. Coarse angling is enduringly popular, and game fishing for wild brown trout is also prevalent. The two great rivers Erne and Shannon, and the canal that links them, are also ideal for cruising and canoeing, while pedestrians, cyclists and riders on horseback equally enjoy the tranquil waterside surroundings. There are many scenic trails, cycle tracks and driving routes through the diverse countryside of Cavan, which takes in forests, glens, rolling, grassy drumlins and the mysterious Cuilcagh Mountains in the north west. Steeped in ancient legend and folklore, the mountains reach their highest point at the border with Northern Ireland's County Fermanagh and are the source of both the Erne and Shannon rivers. Nature-lovers will appreciate the forest parks of Dun an Rí, with its delightful woodland pathways, riverside strolls, varied wildlife, wishing well and ice house, and Killykeen, memorable for its lake dwellings and rich array of trees. Golfers, meanwhile, are treated to some spectacular courses, including the internationally acclaimed Slieve Russell Golf & Country Club, while the more adventurous outdoor enthusiast may tackle everything from archery and abseiling to extreme sports. The small towns and villages across the county that inspired Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" offer a winning mix of fine dining, friendly pubs and old-fashioned charm. Cavan, the county town, retains a medieval air while catering for all kinds of contemporary interests, also launching a six-day summer festival in 2008. Arts, crafts, theatre, music and comedy are enjoyed throughout the county, whose castles and churches, historic houses, heritage centres and museums bear testament to an eventful past.

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Consciousness is an end in itself. We torture ourselves getting somewhere, and when we get there it is nowhere, for there is nowhere to get to. - D H Lawrence
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On this day:
Vesuvius Erupts - 0079, Battle of Sandwich - 1217, Heworth Moor Skirmish - 1453, Last Traitor Hanged, Drawn and Quartered - 1772, British Cleric Patents Corkscrew - 1795, British Burn Washington - 1814, Factory Act - 1833, Hull Airship Disaster - 1921, Huxley Finishes Brave New World - 1931, First Edinburgh International Festival - 1947
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