Newgrange, Dowth and Knowth:
The megalithic tombs of Brú na Búinne, near the village of Donore, Co. Meath, predate Stonehenge by some 1000 years and are roughly 400 years older than the ancient pyramids of Egypt. Thought to be built around 3200 bc, these enormous burial chambers are surrounded by large kerb stones covered with awe-inspiring ancient artwork. Possibly the most important, certainly the most complex, Megalithic site in Europe, Knowth is designed to align with solar Equinox while Newgrange and Dowth are aligned with the Winter solstice. Visitors have been known to wander the sites, gazing in awe at these massive wonders for hours.
Hill of Tara:
The Hill of Tara is a low ridge of land running between Navan and Dunshaughlin in Co. Meath. However, it is also an ancient and mystical site which is an essential part of Ireland's history. Along the Hill is its oldest visible monument, a passage tomb called Dumha na nGiall, that dates from about 3000 BC. Tara itself is named from Teamhair na Ri, Sanctuary of the Kings, and was the traditional inauguration site of the High Kings of Ireland from about 600 BC to 400 AD, as well as the Stone of Destiny, still standing after thousands of years.
Boyne Valley Day Trip:
Take yourself on a day trip around the beautiful Boyne Valley. Enjoy the stunning countryside and soak up thousands of years of history and heritage. Marvel at the megalithic burial sites that cover the hillsides, built many thousands of years ago by unknown hands. Visit some of the dozens of historical places and buildings that still stand proud, such as Trim Castle, St Patrick's Cathedral, Slane and St Mary's Abbey. Following the trail around Co. Meath and Co. Louth through the tranquil setting can be done in a day but, to fully appreciate the whole, think about slowing down.
The Francis Ledwidge Museum:
The Francis Ledwidge Museum was established in 1982 in the very cottage where Francis Ledwidge was born, in August of 1887. The modest house sits just outside the village of Slane, Co. Meath, a few miles west of Drogheda. Francis Ledwidge was known as the 'poet of the blackbirds'. The cottage has been restored to an authentic example of a nineteenth century farm labourer's home and exhibits some of the poet's possessions from World War I, along with his complete works and various memorabilia from the time. There is also a millennium exhibition that shows many important details from Ledwidge's life in words and pictures.
About fourteen miles south of Navan is the village of Dunsany, home to the oldest constantly inhabited stately home in Ireland. Built around 1180 by Hugh de Lacy, the Castle has been occupied by the same family – the Cusacks, followed by their descendants by marriage, the Plunketts – since its founding. These days the castle is filled with one of the most comprehensive art collections in Europe, as well as many objects and artefacts belonging to important Irish figures from history.