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Bailieborough

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Bailieborough is a town in the east of County Cavan in northwest Ireland, with a population of 2683 in 2016. It's within an hour's drive of Dublin and is mostly a commuter town. Originally it was Killycolley or Coill an Chollaigh, "the wood of the boar", but in the early 17th century William Bailie of Ayrshire was awarded the lands by James I of England. He settled the area with loyal Scots and built a fine mansion, but reckoned the village huddled at its foot was unsightly. So he swept away Killycolley and re-sited the town 2 km further south, no doubt long mulling over a suitable name before coming up with "Bailieborough". The land changed hands several times and in the 19th century Sir William Young built the Victorian town you see today.

Get in

Bus Éireann 108 runs three times M-Sa and once on Sunday from Kells, taking 30 min via Mullagh. Kells has buses from Dublin city and airport.

Bus 107 connects Kingscourt with Navan, with four M-Sa and one on Sunday. Navan likewise has buses from the city.

By road from Dublin follow M3 / N3 via Kells and Virginia, 55 km, just under an hour.

Get around

You need your own wheels to get anywhere; a bike would do.

See

  • 1 Castle Lough is a pleasant place for woodland walks and fishing. It was the estate of Bailieborough Castle, a country mansion that burnt down in 1918 and was entirely demolished in the late 1930s.
  • 2 Kingscourt is the anglicised version of Dún an Rí; its main feature is the Church of the Immaculate Conception. 3 km northeast is Cabra Castle, now a hotel, see Sleep.
  • 3 Dún na Rí Forest Park is mixed forest with walking trails and sculpture, dog-friendly. Car €5, coins only.

Do

  • Bailieborough Arts & Cultural Centre, Wesleyan Chapel, Adelaide Row A82 A5V6 (next to Tesco), ☏ +353 42 966 6666. This organises various shows, events, classes and exhibitions. (updated Mar 2021)
  • There are boats for hire on Bailieborough Lough.
  • Golf: the nearest course is in Virginia.

Buy

  • Tesco in Bailieborough is open M-Sa 08:00-22:00, Su 10:00-20:00.

Eat

  • Fox's is your best bet in Bailieborough. It's on Main St, open M-Sa 10:00-01:30, Su 12:00-01:30.
  • Also in Bailieborough are a couple of pizzerias and a kebab place; the Chinese has folded.
  • Kingscourt along Main St has Taste of India, Peking, Royal Star and a burger takeaway. See Sleep for Cabra Castle.

Drink

  • The Square Bar (Nixty's), Market Square, Bailieborough, ☏ +353 42 966 6054. Pub and restaurant, sometimes has live music. (updated Mar 2021)
  • Lemon Tree on Barrack St is round the corner from Nixty's, and Crossan Bar is top of Main St.
  • Kingscourt pubs are Wishing Well, M & F's, The Block Malone's, Blake's and Gartlans.
  • Terra in Bailieborough manufacture Irish liqueurs, their main brand being Molly's Irish Cream. No tours.

Sleep

  • Bailie Hotel, Main St, Bailieborough A82 A6C6, ☏ +353 42 966 5334. Decent mid-range hotel with 15 rooms en suite, free parking. (updated Mar 2021)
  • 1 Rock Equestrian Farm, Carnalynch A82 N5D8 (R178 three km southwest of town), ☏ +353 42 966 5970. Friendly comfy B&B on farm. B&B double €80. (updated Mar 2021)
  • 2 Cabra Castle, Carrickmacross Rd, Kingscourt A82 EC64 (off R179), ☏ +353 42 966 7030. You want to be in the new one, built early 19th century in pseudo-Norman / Gothic style. That's what the Pratt family reckoned, when the Fosters bankrupted themselves building it; so they bought it and vacated their Cabra House. This was an outbuilding of Old Cabra Castle, smashed up by Cromwell, and Cabra House in turn fell derelict. The new place has been on-and-off a hotel since the 1960s. Its present incarnation since the 1990s gets great reviews for comfort and service. B&B double €180. (updated Mar 2021)
  • Other B&Bs in Kingscourt are Dun a Ri House and Teach T-Mac, with Plantation Lodge east on R165.
  • 3 Hollow Stream B&B, Dublin Rd, Kingscourt A82 WR88 (R162 one km south of Kingscourt), ☏ +353 42 966 8346. Comfy welcoming B&B, all rooms en suite with TV and free Wi-Fi. B&B double €80. (updated Mar 2021)

Connect

As of March 2021, Bailieborough has 5G from Eir and Three, but practically no signal from Vodafone.

Go next

  • The coast from Dundalk to Drogheda is lined with sandy beaches. The whole county decamps there on fine weekends.
  • Kells has the medieval abbey which formerly housed the Book of Kells - it's now in TCD Library in Dublin.
  • Cavan Town is in the midst of the "drumlin belt", and Lough Oughter is studded with islets.



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