Our day in Slane Castle
With over 300 years of history and some fascinating stories to share, a visit to Slane Castle is a must and our top pick for County Meath.
Located just outside the Village of Slane on the Navan side and in the heart of the Boyne valley, Slane Castle has a unique and intriguing history.
Hosting royalty in 1821 with King George IV and as a rock venue the castle grounds have welcomed international acts from the Rolling Stones to Queen, David Bowie and Irelands own, U2, to name a few.
Ireland has an abundance of castles. What we enjoyed most about Slane was the variety of things to do during our visit. A perfect ‘picture spot’ but delve deeper and this venue will not leave you wanting. We are surprised that Slane is not more popular and earns the much used title of “hidden gem”.
The management team of the estate have got the balance just right. We would describe it as “Relaxed Grandeur” but all in all “Slane Rocks”
As part of our Meath series, we want to highlight Slane Castle as our number one listed attraction. Here is a taste of what to expect.
Slane Whiskey Distillery Tour
Built within the surroundings of the 250-year-old stables and grain stores.
In 2015 Slane Whiskey was bought by US company Brown Forman, makers of Jack Daniels among others. The Conyngham family are still very much involved in the running and day to day operation of the brand.
Triple cask blend Slane Irish Whiskey is distilled here and we certainly sampled more than needed. The tour through the heritage room, barley room and maturation warehouse is well worth the visit.
The best fish chowder! This would be an understatement, but it certainly tops Pauric’s homemade chowder everyone adores!
The walls of this basement bar are adorned with rock memorabilia from down through the years. Named after Mary Browne, who for many years ran the household for Conyngham family. The blaring music (in a good way!) from outside welcomes you in to this sleek new area of the castle.
The Gandon Room Restaurant
Perfect for any special occasion.
The Gandon Room is another fabulous decked out restaurant and extremely popular in the locality. We visited for Mother’s Day and it did not disappoint… kept mammy happy and a superb menu to boot!
Tour of the Castle
A little long for our liking at over an hour the tour brings you on a journey of the history of the castle. You learn about the fire that gutted the castle in 1991. A third of the building was destroyed and the rest of the castle was severely damaged. The tour includes a short but moving video presentation by the current owner Henry Mountcharles, the 8th Marquess Conyngham.
Since 1981 with a capacity of 80 000 people, Slane Castle has hosted multiple concerts – Pauric has attended Bryan Adams and Kings of Leon. The atmosphere in this natural amphitheatre on the banks of the Boyne is like nowhere else in the world and should be on any rock music lover’s bucket list.
Metallica play there this summer – going back to the venues rock roots!
In 1984 the band, U2, lived in the castle while they were recording ‘The Unforgettable Fire’. The Drawing Room was converted into a recording studio and one of the videos for ‘Pride’ was filmed in the unique Gothic Revival Ballroom which was created for George IV’s State visit in 1821. It was all part of the special musical journey of the castle.
County Meath is another attraction richer and certainly not a County to be underestimated or missed. If your only stop in Meath, is Slane Castle and the distillery, you picked well!