County Monaghan is a county in the Borders region of Ireland. It is in the Ulster province and borders Cavan and Louth in the Republic, and Fermanagh, Armagh, and Tyrone in Northern Ireland. It is one of the few counties that joined the Republic of Ireland rather than Northern Ireland after the Irish War of Independence in 1921. The county seat is the town of Monaghan; Carrickmacross and Castleblayney are the next largest towns. Monaghan is one of the smallest counties, in both land area and population.
Getting to County Monaghan is made easier if you have your own transportation. There are direct buses from Dublin, Letterkenny, Belfast, Galway, and Derry. Dublin and Belfast international airports are both 90 minutes from Monaghan.
The county is one of Ireland’s Ancient East counties, but it has few of the prehistoric dolmens, cairns, and burial chambers that the south has. In Clones, a round tower, monastery, and Celtic crosses are the only remnants of the founding of Irish Christianity. Instead, the history here is cultural. Carrickmacross is known for its intricate lace. The “fairy tale” fabric is featured on many a royal wedding dress. Other industries are linen and fishing. With nine large lakes and several rivers, including the River Fane and the River Glyde, angling and canoeing are among the outdoor pursuits in County Monaghan. Hiking and forest trails are found in the Dartrey Forest Rossmore Forest Park, Billy Fox Memorial Park, and Lough Muckno Leisure Park.
For more serious hikers, the Sliabh Beagh Way is a 25-mile walk that begins at in County Tyrone, passes through County Monaghan, and ends at Donagh in County Fermanagh. The Sliabh Beagh is a mountain area that straddles the three counties; it includes the highest peak in County Monaghan and a Ramsar site (a wetland of international importance.)
Budget accommodation in County Monaghan is found in most of the main towns, namely Castleblayney and Monaghan, but travellers should be aware that there are no European-style hostels in the county. Instead of searching for hostels, look for guesthouses or b&bs. Traditional hostels can be found in Belfast or Dublin city and you can drive into Monaghan for a day trip. Once you have your accommodation sorted, head out to explore the various activities in County Monaghan!
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the Hostelz.com local expert for County Monaghan hostels. Welcome.