A fine aerial view of the Bernard’s Log Cabin site which is complimented by an expansive mooring area which is the size of a football pitch.

Cabin fever - in a good way

A west Cavan accommodation provider is gearing up for a busy summer and is already taking bookings for staycations.

Bernard McCartin has log cabins located at River Valley, Ballyconnell, where there is also an expansive mooring facility.

Its location along the Ballyconnell/Ballinamore canal close to the Leitrim border makes the Finnish log cabins an attractive base from which to explore west Cavan, Leitrim and Fermanagh including the many wonders of the geopark and the lakelands.

Thankfully Bernard said they have never been dependent on foreign tourists. “By and large, we would be providing a service for families living in Ireland who are looking for a short break. ‘Staycation’ is a buzz word now but actually it started in the recession in 2010-11. We find that we have built a clientele going back to 2011,” he told theCelt.

“So far, we have not relied on the international traveller at all,” added Bernard, who said before the latest lockdown was imposed, business was going well.

He believes there is an upside for domestic tourism as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic as it forced people to appreciate the beauty of their own country and the tourism products available to them, in some cases on their own doorstep.

“We don’t have activities on site but we have done up a flier of all the activities in the local area including the Cavan Adventure Centre and Belturbet boat hire. There is also the scenery on view when doing the Stairway to Heaven [Cuilcagh boardwalk] in Fermanagh, part of the Cuilcagh Geo Park and the Burren and the Shannon Pot,” outlined Bernard.

He further added that woodlands are being opened up and walkways developed, citing for example the 10km walkway from Ballyconnell to Ballyheady Bridge and the greenway at Ballinamore.

Bernard’s log cabins were the backdrop for Country star Nathan Carter’s Christmas single video in 2017.

He hopes his cabins will be a home from home for many families this summer and anticipates being open for the Bank Holiday weekend in May and has taken bookings from then onwards.

“Last year July, August and September were all fully functional months for self catering and for hotel stays,” he said.

Visitors opt to say in his cabins for either a weekend or a full week. “People by and large enjoy themselves when they come to stay in this part of the country. Cavan is a long county and is very diverse in its landscape,” said Bernard.

“Pointing people to what is on offer in a region is helpful. If we stick to just county boundaries, it can limit the appeal. There is an onus when we bring them to a region to tell them about what it has to offer,” he continued.

Bernard’s Log Cabins are on Facebook.

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