From beautiful and mystical castles to quirky and classic manor houses, Meath has an abundance of places to relax and unwind. Things to do include kayaking, castle tours, day trips, hiking and of course, decadent Irish foodie options.
After returning from America, we have called Meath our home since 2014. By exploring every edge and corner, we would like to share with you all our favourite places. Keep an eye on this post as we add more places as we discover more about Meath.
THE HERITAGE TOWN OF TRIM (Baile Átha Troim)
Baile Átha Troim is 28mi/45km from Dublin and easy to get to by car and public transport via bus from Bus Éireann, Route 111.
Trim is quaint with the largest Norman castle in Europe known as King John’s Castle or Trim Castle, situated in the center of the town. Fans of the blockbuster film, Braveheart will be surprised to discover that the ‘City of York’ was indeed Trim Castle and ‘London Square’ was just on the other side of the castle. Other filming locations in the area include Bective Abbey (where William Wallace was imprisoned).
For the best view in Trim, walk up the hill behind the castle to it’s complimenting steeple, the abbey’s bell tower – known as the Yellow Steeple. This is the perfect spot for a picnic with a view or to take spectacular photos of the Castle and St Patrick’s Church.
Trim was also chosen as a destination town as part of Ireland’s tourism development for 2019. We expect huge development and it is a town ‘not to be missed’ if you are seeking a ‘local Irish’ experience not too far from the capital.
Activities for the whole family:
Kayak on the Boyne River. Tour of Trim Castle. Posh Picnic with a view. Play golf or get pampered at Knightsbrook Spa & Resort.
NEWGRANGE AND HILL OF TARA
The Hill of Tara and Newgrange are some of Celtic Ireland’s best sites to visit and makes the perfect day trip from Dublin. It is claimed that on a clear day, you can see half of all the counties in Ireland from the top of the ‘hill’ which was the throne to over a hundred kings of Tara.
All your senses awaken to what nature offers in that moment on top – the questionable view of ‘half’ the counties, the sound of sheep nearby, the smell of fresh Irish grasslands and the feeling of complete serenity and freedom.
Both sights are truly magical and full of mythology – while you walk on the Hill, imagine that it was also an entrance place to the ‘otherworld of everlasting joy’. You can watch a video clip, explaining the History of the Hill of Tara at the foot of the hill in the old Church which is now a visitor’s center. Bring a ribbon to tie around the magical wishing tree – it is said that your deepest wishes and desires will come true.
While you are here, have tea or a light lunch at Maguires Coffee Shop and visit the old Irish bookstore right next door.
P.S It is a good idea to bring something warm to wrap up as it is always windy on the Hill of Tara and it can get chilly.
NEWGRANGE HERITAGE SITE
Newgrange is a world heritage site with a 5 000+ year old passage tomb (older than the Pyramids). What makes this tomb so special is the passage and the chamber that is in-line with the rising sunlight that lights-up the passage at the Winter Solstice. This is a ‘once in a year’ experience. You can watch a video of Newgrange, here:
This is a new addition in recent years in County Meath’s tourism attractions. The Castle has always been popular and world renowned for great open air concerts. In the past few years they have become a producer of Slane Castle whiskey and have opened their doors to the public.
The Castle is home to the Conyngham family and host tours about the history of the castle and the distillery.
It is absolutely fabulous inside. The interior is romantic and luxurious. You definitely feel like you have arrived in a very special place filled with 300 years of tales and stories. The Gandon restaurant serves a superb menu – one you do not forget. We loved Browne’s bar. When you walk in, you get a sense of 80s and 90s Rock ‘n Roll nostalgia with memorabilia of headline acts adorning the walls. We loved it so much, we wrote an entire separate blogpost about the castle.
‘I know it’s only Rock ‘n Roll, but I like it!!’