Visiting the Boyne Valley
The Boyne Valley is an area of huge importance with regards to Irish history. Located in the north east of Ireland and crosses over the borders of County Meath and County Louth. The history found here dates back over 3000 years with some structures predating both Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids.
The area lies in a valley created by the beautiful River Boyne which features many hills that were used as defensive positions evidenced by the ruins of forts and settlements. The natural scenery and majestic views are some of the best in the province.
Where to stay
The Boyne Valley route passes through a number of towns along the way including Drogheda, Slane, Navan, Kells, Trim and Oldcastle. Each of these towns has a variety of accommodation options ranging from B&B’s to fantastic hotels.
What to see
Megalithic Tombs: The Boyne Valley is home to some of the world’s oldest burial tombs. There are three located close by to each other, the largest and most impressive being Newgrange. The tomb at Newgrange predates the Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge while being an incredibly feat of engineering for its time. The most impressive feature of Newgrange is its sunbox which is designed to illuminate the entire inner section once a year on the Winter Solstice.
Religious sites: The Boyne Valley is regarded as where Christianity began in Ireland as this is where St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron Saint, started to spread the message of the Christian faith. Throughout the region you’ll find several monastic sites, magnificent abbeys in several towns and round towers which were used as refuge against raiding forces such as the Vikings.
Castles: There are two castles located along the Boyne Valley route which have seen a vast amount of history throughout their lifetime. Trim Castle, built in the 12th century, towers above the town of Trim and is one of the best preserved Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland and in fact the world. Slane Castle is closer to our time as it was built in the 18th century whose main feature is its magnificent architecture, on the grounds you’ll also find a ruined chapel as well as an interesting ancient well.
Battle of the Boyne: To the west of the town of Drogheda is the site of one of the most famous battles in Irish history. In the shadow of the magnificent 18th century Oldbridge House you can stand on the site where King James II of England met King William III on July 1st 1690 in a battle that involved more than 61,000 men. There is a dedicated visitor’s centre on site that details the vast history surrounding the event leading up to and what took place on the day.
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