Newgrange and Bru na Boinne – World Heritage Site
Newgrange is the best known Irish tomb passage dating from 3200BC Built on the rich and fertile land of the Boyne Valley during the Neolithic period, the area known as Bru na Boinne (which includes up to 35 monuments and tombs) is older than both the Riza Pyramids and Stonehenge.
Access to Newgrange and the other two larger monuments Knowth and Dowth is through the Visitor Centre and by guided tour only. Advanced reservations cannot be made and it is strongly advised to arrive as early in the day especially in peak season.
Admission starts at €5 per adult and €3 per child.
Opening times (June to Mid-September) 9.00 to 19.00
Lunch and coffee, snacks available at Newgrange Lodge (directly) across the road from Entrance.
Malahide Village ,Castle and Gardens
Malahide Castle and Gardens is located by the seaside village of Malahide. The castle is steeped in history and played an important role in Irish Medieval history.
There are a number of tours available including the castle tour and the Secret Walled gardens. The park is open to the public and includes walks, children's playground, tennis, pitch and putt, golf and football. The visitor experience includes the recently renovated castle, a botanical interpretive centre, a museum, the secret garden and new retail centre with local crafts and souvenirs and dining centres.
** Highly recommended for the kids!
Toots Malahide Road Train is a hop-on-hop-off service taking your from Malahide Dart station through the village allowing scenic views of the Marina and beach,. The tour lasts 25 minutes and will take you right up the castle. Great fun for the kids with live commentary all the way.
Entrance to the Castle grounds and gardens are free. Prices for tours of the castle start at €12 for an adult and €6 for a child. (Family ticket €30)
Toots Train €5 per adult €3 per child (Family ticket €12)
The makers of the movie “Braveheart” chose Trim Castle in County Meath as the shooting location for their epic thriller. It is the largest, best preserved and most impressive Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Absolutely well worth a visit!
Admission to the grounds €3 adults €1 children (family €10)
Trim Castle Hotel across the road has a good coffee shop, restaurant and gift shop.
Ardgillan Castle and Dimense
Ardgillan Castle and parklands, situated on an elevated coastline near Balbriggan, Co.Dublin offers wonderful views of the Irish Sea, Mountains of Mourne and Lambay Island to the south. Attractions in the park include Castle Tours, Garden tours, Fantastic Playground and Tearooms.
Entrance to the castle grounds, gardens and playground are free. Perfect for a sunny day!
Hill of Tara – The Ancient Capital of Ireland
Unlike our modern conception of a capital city, Tara appears to have been a symbolic or ritual capital, rather than a large centre of commerce, administration and public life. Evidence of extensive dwelling space or large-scale defensive earthworks has not been found, suggesting its use was primarily ritualistic: it was where one went to be crowned, set down laws or settle disputes.
Although little over 500 ft in height, Tara still commands the surrounding countryside. One origin of Tara’s name is ‘Teamhair’ – place of great prospect.
On a clear day it is claimed that from Tara it is possible to see half the counties of Ireland.
Wishing Trees (aka May Bushes, Fairy Trees, or Rag Trees) are hawthorn trees where people tie ribbons to ask blessings from the local saints/deities/wee folk.
The hawthorn flowers in May, time of the Bealtaine festival of rebirth (now generally known as May Day). Local people still tie ribbons or strips of colorful cloth to the wishing tree as a symbol of their prayers or wishes. If you visit in May or June, you’ll find wishing trees covered in colorful fabric and rippling in the breeze. If you visit after the summer — you might not even notice the tree, as the decorations will be sun bleached, rain soaked, or blown away.
Admission to the Hill of Tara is free and there are no guided tours.
It is ideal for a brisk walk and a picnic on a fine day.
There is a small coffee shop at the car park. Opening hours: 10.00 to 18.00
Old Bridge House – Battle of the Boyne Site
The Battle of the Boyne was fought at the site of Old Bridge House in 1690 between King William of Orange and King James II. It was the last time two crowned Kings of England, Scotland and Ireland faced each other on a battlefield.
William of Orange won a crushing victory, which secured Protestant ascendency in Ireland for generations. It retains to this day a huge symbolic importance in Northern
Ireland, where it is celebrated by the Orange Order every 12th July.
The site includes a visitor centre at the house, a series of walkways and a beautiful walled garden with tearooms.
Admission to the gardens, walkways and tearoom is free. The tea and fresh scones come very highly recommended!
There is an admission fee to the visitor centre and house starting at €4 for an
adult and €2 per child (Family ticket €10)
Opening times (May to September) 10.00 to 17.00