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THINGS TO DO IN COUNTY MEATH

HILL OF TARA

The past is visibly engraved in the undulating landscape at Tara, where the hillside is marked by ancient earthworks, mound formations and the ruins of royal enclosures. Location: 15 mins from Navan off the N3.  Open: Access all year. Guided tours; May to Mid Sept. Tel: 046 909 2300

BECTIVE ABBEY

The substantial remains of Ireland’s second Cistercian monastery founded in 1147. Location: 15 mins from Trim off the R161 (Navan Road). Open: All year. Admission free.  Tel: 046 909 2300.

TRIM CASTLE

Built by Hugh de Lacy in 1173, this is the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Europe. Location: Trim Town. Open: Easter to end of October.  Admission charge. Access to castle by guided tour only.  T: 046 943 8619

RATHCAIRN

The village of Rathcairn is home to a lively Gaelic speaking community, where visitors interested in Irish language, music and song will find much enjoyment.  Tel: 041 943 2381

KELLS, HERITAGE TOWN

The High Crosses, with biblical scenes and Celtic patterns, represent decorative artifacts of Celtic Christianity. Five premier examples can be found in Kells including the famous Market Cross located at the Heritage Centre. Tel: 046 924 7840

LOUGHCREW

Loughcrew, possibly the oldest cemetery in the world, tells of Ireland’s neolithic cultures, shrouded in myth and mystery. One legend has it that the so-called burial mounds were created by a sorceress flying overhead and dropping pebbles on the landscape.  Sounds hard to believe but who’s to say otherwise? Location: East of Oldcastle off the R163.  Open:  Access all year. Tel: 041 924 7840

DUNMOE CASTLE

Two facades of this stone giant survive to stand guard over the passing Boyne. Location: 10mins from Navan, off the N51. (Slane Road)  Open: All year. Admission free. Tel: 046 909 2300.

HILL OF SLANE

Home to 15th century Slane Abbey. St. Patrick lit his Pascal Fire on the Hill of Slane, in direct opposition to the pagan beliefs of the High King.  Location: 1km north of Slane off the N2.  Open: All year. Admission free.

SLANE CASTLE – Open: From May to Aug. Sun-Thurs 12pm-5pm.  Access by guided tour only. Tel: 041 988 4400.

BRÚ NA BÓINNE

This spectacular passage grave at Newgrange is the jewel in the crown of Brú na Bóinne. Although the site houses over 90 monuments and earthworks, only Newgrange and Knowth are open to the public. Dowth can be viewed from the outside. Location: 2km west of Donore village on the L21.  Open: Newgrange – all year;  Knowth – open from Easter to October.  Admission charge. Tel: 041 988 0300.

BATTLE OF THE BOYNE SITE

The Boyne Valley Garden Trail comprises of historic and beautiful gardens and select garden centres in Counties Meath and Louth.  Eco-friendly, formal, urban and rural gardens are waiting to be explored.  Select garden centres offer an array of plants and advice.  Year round events in the gardens and historic house and centres.  For more information and opening arrangement visit www.boynevalleygardentrail.com