Land of 5,000 Dawns: eat, sleep, do

Innovative cuisine, castle sleeps and Viking cruises in the Land of 5,000 Dawns in Ireland’s Ancient East

MacNean House, County Cavan
Great For
  • Food and Drink
  • Golf
  • Luxury
  • Relaxing
  • Romance
  • Known For
    Award-winning restaurants | Castle hotels | World-class golf courses

The Land of 5,000 Dawns is positively packed with delicious seafood spots – prepare yourself for Castle Leslie’s Snaffles Restaurant (Monaghan) and its sea bass with squid ink risotto, or indulge in chilled crêpes with Kilkeel crab.

To the east is Louth and Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill, while Cavan’s Murph’s Bistro at the Derragarra Inn has cleaned up at the Irish Restaurant Awards since 2011.

Head south to Meath’s Conyngham Arms for a lovely dinner, using the finest local ingredients. Further west, VM at Viewmount House in Longford is known for its elegant dishes with an Irish twist.

Meanwhile, the Fatted Calf is the pride of Westmeath; snag a reservation at their seasonal Beef Club night and see why.


Accommodation in Cavan is all about relaxed glamour in memorable surroundings: nestled within the 100 acres of parkland at Cabra Castle, you can stay in the Lord’s Bedchamber.

To the east is Louth and the classic luxury of Ghan House, where you will awake with the Mourne Mountains at your window; or indulge in one of the three gorgeous bedrooms at the intimate Collon House. For anyone seeking an authentic castle experience, Ross Castle on the shores of Lough Sheelin in Meath is the ideal hideaway.

At Mornington House (Westmeath), enjoy homegrown, homemade food and 50 acres of beautiful parkland.


TASTE: Get to know the Irish countryside through your tastebuds at the East Coast Cookery School in Louth, or in Cavan, at the celebrated Neven Maguire Cookery School which runs short themed courses, perfect for a midweek visit.

CRUISE: Step back in time to see Westmeath on a Viking Ship Cruise. Or try a morning’s kayaking on the River Inny and truly experience Longford from the water.

TOUR: In Meath, get lost on a stroll around the 2.5 hectares of Loughcrew Historic Gardens, taking in Yew Walk, the elegant lime avenue. Then make your way to Monaghan and the skyscraping redwood trees and walled garden of Rossmore Forest Park.