Ballyconnell is a quiet town located in County Cavan at the foot of Slieve Rushen Mountain and on the Shannon-Erne Waterway. The famous four-star Slieve Russell Hotel and Golf Club is located just a short distance from the town and is a must visit, if only for coffee. The town is just 2 Km from Northern Ireland and is full of pubs, restaurants and shops which make it an ideal stopping point for those travelling along the canal.
A double court wedge tomb dating from 3000 BC is located near the town and experts think that this area has been inhabited since then. Another tomb (wedge tomb) dating from 2000 BC was found at the side of Slieve Rushen Mountain; however this was carefully removed to prevent any damage during the mining of the mountain and placed in the gardens of the Slieve Russell Hotel where it is now a local tourist attraction.
In the Middle Ages, Ballyconnell’s location, which is on the border of the ancient kingdoms of Breifne and Ulster, made it the site of many battles. Most of these battles involved the local clan’s of the O’Rourkes, O’Reillys and McGoverns who would feud over territory and stature. These names still populate the surrounding areas today.
The town is easily explored on foot and contains a few nice restaurants and bars. The Slieve Russell hotel and golf club is a fantastic course made to challenge the most dedicated golfer. There are also plenty of activities for all the family to enjoy including horse riding, cycling, walking and kayaking.
Just a few miles outside the town and accessible via a taxi is the wonderful and enchanting Bear Essentials teddy bear gift shop and visitor centre. This is a fantastic experience for children and adults alike and its visitor centre contains a vintage early 20th century teddy bear collection, along with some very interesting artefacts such as ancient fossils and even a meteorite. An impressive Famine workhouse is also located in Bawnboy and has recently opened for public viewing.