County Meath Ireland | Things to See and Do
County Meath is just north of Dublin, in eastern Ireland. It’s known for its archaeological sites, especially Brú na Bóinne, in the Boyne Valley. Neolithic monuments at this site include the huge, accessible passage tombs of Newgrange and Knowth. Knowth also contains dozens of stones engraved with prehistoric art. Nearby, the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre has trails around the site of this 1690 clash. ― Google
Meath is known as the Royal County because many centuries ago aspiring High Kings of Ireland came to the Hill of Tara in the centre of County Meath to be crowned in elaborate kingship rituals. It is home to the only official strand races in Europe, which take place on Laytown Beach each year.
Top Things to do in County Meath, Ireland
- Boyne Valley
- Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre
- Bective Abbey
- Kells Round Tower
- Slane Castle and Distillery
- Trim Castle
- Irish Military War Museum
- Hill of Tara
- Red Mountain Open Farm
- Loughcrew Estate & Gardens
- Tayto Park
Did you know Boyne Valley (the counties of Meath and Louth) is home to many of Ireland's most historical sites?
I spent a few days exploring ruined abbeys, ancient castles, megalithic tombs and burial sites as well as checking out the region's best foodie hot spots, castle hotels and a little taste of adventure too!
If you're looking for things to do in Meath and Louth this summer, or want to learn a little more about what makes The Boyne Valley one of Ireland's most beautiful places to travel and explore...watch this video!
Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre
The newly refurbished Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre in Donore, Co. Meath, was officially opened in a ceremony today, Thursday 12th December 2019. The refit cost €4.5 million. The exhibition space is much more modern and interactive. Several hundred guests gathered for the official opening.
Bective Abbey, located in the rolling countryside of Meath and overlooking a crossing over the legendary River Boyne, was a daughter house of Mellifont Abbey in nearby Co. Louth, the first Cistercian foundation in Ireland established in 1142 by St Malachy.
Bective was founded five years later by the king of Meath, Murchad Ua Máel Sechnaill, and became the second Cistercian monastery in Ireland.
The Cistercians were a closed order who wished to remove themselves from the outside world and in order to achieve this they had to be fully self-sufficient. This is reflected in the architecture of their buildings, whereby the church buildings and residential quarters were all self-contained within a single complex of buildings.
To feed the community of monks that resided here, they needed extensive agricultural lands, which were farmed by the monks and lay brothers, and at its foundation, Bective received a sizeable endowment of land surrounding the abbey, as well as fishing rights on the Boyne.
Bective also held several large estates known as granges elsewhere in Meath, which the monks leased to tenants and used this income to support the abbey and maintain its buildings.
Despite this, the monks appear to have struggled to maintain the abbey, and by the 15th century it was reduced in size and a fortified tower was built to accommodate the abbot at the south western corner of the cloister.
In the cloister is an image believed to represent the only known carving of St Bernard of Clairvaux in France, the founder of the Cistercians and mentor of St Malachy who first brought the order to Ireland.
Bective was dissolved in 1536, one of the first monasteries to be dissolved as part of the Tudor reforms that swept across Ireland and Britain. A year later the buildings were leased to Thomas Agard, who was part of the new English administration in Ireland during the reign of Henry VIII. Within a few years Agard had converted the abbey into a mansion house, built around the old cloister of the monks. Throughout the old abbey Agard inserted new, large windows and fireplaces to create a comfortable home for himself and his family.
Bective Abbey is a National Monument in state care since 1894 and managed by the Office of Public Works. These picturesque ruins are closed at this time to help protect you.
Kells Round Tower
A look at the monastic round tower and celtic high crosses in the town of Kells in Ireland, followed by a visit to the Spire of Lloyd just outside the town.
Slane Castle and Distillery
Slane village is about 45 minutes north of Dublin. They have Castle tours, Distillery tours, a restaurant, and a couple pubs. They also have concerts for major musical acts. We considered this a hidden gem in Ireland as the food is great, we like the whiskey and it is a very enjoyable day.
The Ultimate Ireland Travel Guide
Trim Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhaile Átha Troim) is a castle on the south bank of the River Boyne in Trim, County Meath, Ireland. With an area of 30,000 m², it is a castle in Ireland. Over a period of 30 years, it was built by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter as the caput of the Lordship of Meath. The Irish Government currently own and are in charge of the care of the castle, through the state agency The Office of Public Works (OPW).
The castle is on the List of National Monuments in County Meath.
Irish Military War Museum
Welcome to the Irish Military War Museum
Hill of Tara
Anthony Murphy of Mythical Ireland takes us on a tour of the monuments on the Hill of Tara at sunrise, with no one else around. On a beautiful bright (but cold) morning, we visit the Banqueting Hall, the Rath of the Synods, the Mound of the Hostages and more.
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Red Mountain Open Farm
Loughcrew Estate & Gardens
Visit Loughcrew Gardens in Oldcastle, County Meath on your journey through Ireland's Ancient East.
Tayto Park is home to Cú Chulainn a Gravity Group wooden coaster, and Mr. Tayto the amazing park mascot. Tayto Park is an amusement park in Ireland, based on the Irish potato crisp brand Tayto.