From the Boyne Valley with its flowing river to history dating back to the Ice Age, County Meath has a wealth of interest and intrigue that keeps attracting visitors. Here are a few favourite attractions from our regional spa experts…
Top of the list is Newgrange, a prehistoric monument eight kilometers west of Drogheda on the north side of the River Boyne. A 5,200 year old passage tomb, it was built by Stone Age farmers, it is surrounded by 97 large stones called kerbstones some of which are engraved with megalithic art. You can go on a guided tour and it is definitely worth a visit, especially around the winter solstice!
Part of Ireland’s mythical heritage, the Hill of Tara, known as Temair in gaeilge, was once the ancient seat of power in Ireland. It is said that 142 kings reigned from their in prehistoric times, said to be the sacred place of dwelling for the gods, the entrance to the otherworld and the place where St Patrick confronted the ancient religion of the pagans at its most powerful site. It is a chance to explore Neolithic sculptures and gain an understanding for the deep rooted heritage of this beautiful part of the world.
“To go beyond the Pale was to enter the hostile world of the Gaelic Irish…”
A Norman castle on the south bank of the River Boyne, Trim is the largest Norman castle in Ireland. The makers of Braveheart chose it as the shooting location for their epic thriller for its stony outline against a dramatic Irish sky, but the real history of it is just as intriguing. A powerful symbol of Norman strength at the edge of the Pale (the part of Ireland that was directly under the control of the English government in the late Middle Ages), to go beyond the Pale was to enter the hostile world of the Gaelic Irish – a phrase that still has meaning in modern vernacular. Constructed over a 30 year period by Hugh de Lacy, the 20 sided tower is a tour de force and an inspiring place to explore.
In the town of Slane, the castle is in a 1,500 acre estate in the heart of the Boyne Valley and tours give you an insight into its illustrious history from the famous Battle of the Boyne, its reconstruction which dates back to 1785 and its place amongst the Irish nobility.
“Explore the fabled Hill of Tara…”
A final favourite, the Village of Slane is an impossibly beautiful part of the world and it is peppered with historic sites including The Hill of Slane, associated with Ireland’s patron Saint, St.Patrick. Visit and wander about and use it as your starting point to explore the fabled Hill of Tara and Loughcrew Passage Tomb Cemetery, the site of the Battle of the Boyne.
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