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Co Meath

Discover the Boyne Valley; a sacred and mythical landscape and birthplace to Ireland’s ancient east. County Meath is the Royal County, seat of the High Kings who ruled from the Hill of Tara for well over 2000 years.

Crowds cheering at horses racing along the beach to the finishing post at Laytown Races, Co Meath/

Laytown Races (Tourism Ireland)

Three gentlemen dressed in authentic costumes at the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre/

Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre (Tourism Ireland)

Newgrange grass topped burial mound with sides covered in stones in County Meath Ireland/

Newgrange, Co Meath (Tourism Ireland)

Three people sitting on rocks looking across water to grass covered hills in Ireland/

(Tourism Ireland)

Dark clouds collecting over grass covered mound and stone built chamber at Newgrange prehistoric monument in Co Meath/

Newgrange (Tourism Ireland)

People canoeing under an arched stone bridge in Trim, Co Meath/

Trim (Tourism Ireland)

People watching a display at the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre in County Meath/

Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre (Tourism Ireland)

Sun rising over crosses on the Hill of Slane/

Hill of Slane (Tourism Ireland)

Couple walking up the driveway towards the three storey Oldbridge House at the Battle of Boyne Visitor Centre/

Oldbridge House, Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre (Tourism Ireland)

Row of brightly painted cottages in Kells, Ireland/

Kells (Tourism Ireland)

River flowing past Trim Castle in Ireland/

Trim Castle (Tourism Ireland)

The River Boyne flows gently through Co. Meath and borders Co. Louth before flowing into the Irish Sea at Drogheda. Its valley’s fertile soil has ensured that the area has been inhabited since the Ice Age.

Meath is home to one of three World Designated Heritage Sites in Ireland; the Bru na Boinne megalthic passage tombs. Newgrange is the best-known monument, predating the ancient pyramids by 400 years and Stonehenge by 1000. The passage tomb is surrounded by 97 kerb stones; the most impressive is the large entrance stone which is covered in swirls and designs. At dawn on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, a shaft of sunlight enters the chamber of Newgrange through a specially designed opening over the doorway which illuminates the Chamber. Loughcrew, possibly the oldest cemetery in the world, tells of Ireland’s Neolithic cultures, shrouded in myth and mystery. The largest of the three Cairn T has a vernal and Autumnal Equinox which is when the chamber becomes illuminated with sunlight.

On the upper stretches of the Boyne you will find Trim Castle, the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland and used as a location in the film Braveheart. Near the River Blackwater at Kells you can see the ruins of the 9th century monastery founded by the monks from Iona in Scotland. About that time, the illuminated master manuscript, the Book of Kells was completed.

The Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre located in the restored 18th century Oldbridge House is worth a visit. The battle between King William III and his father-in-law, King James II involved the largest number of troops ever deployed on an Irish battlefield. At stake were the British throne, French dominance in Europe and power in Ireland. Walk through the battle site, parklands and gardens before enjoying refreshments at the Tearoom Pavilion.

As a sporting location, the county has a great deal to offer. National Hunt and Flat racing is regularly held at Fairyhouse (Home of the Irish Grand National), Proudstown Park and Bellewstown. It is also home to Laytown races, a unique event where the horses race on the beach.

From the historical Tara Hill and Newgrange, to the fun packed coast to the tranquil gardens and Boyne walks Meath offers something to satisfy all interests.

Top Accommodation within the Co Meath Region

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