Carrickmacross & Around
Carrickmacross was first settled by early English and Scottish Planters, and its broad main street is flanked by elegant Georgian houses with gorgeous poster-paint coloured facades. It's most famous as the home of delicate Carrickmacross lace, an industry revived in 1871 by the St Louis nuns.
Clones & Around
Once the site of an important 6th-century monastery that later became an Augustinian abbey, Clones' main sights worth a brief look are ecclesiastical. On the Diamond, a well-preserved 10th-century high cross is decorated with drama-charged biblical stories such as Daniel in the lion's den.
Rossmore Forest Park
Crumbling remains of the Rossmore family's 19th-century castle, including its entrance stairway, buttresses and the family's pet cemetery, can be seen at Rossmore Forest Park, where rhododendrons and azaleas blaze with colour in early summer. Along with forest walks and pleasant picnic areas, the park contains several giant redwoods, a fine yew avenue and Iron Age tombs.
Acclaimed poet Patrick Kavanagh (1904–67) was born in the picturesque little village of Inniskeen, 10km northeast of Carrickmacross. Kavanagh's long work The Great Hunger (1942) blasted away the earlier clichés of Anglo-Irish verse and revealed Ireland's poor farming communities as half-starved, 'broken-backed' and sexually repressed.