Things to do in Meath: Exploring the Rich History of the County 

things to do in meath

Updated On: April 30, 2024 by   Sara LynchSara Lynch

County Meath, also known as “The Royal County,” is a treasure trove of history and natural beauty in Ireland. Located in the northeastern part of the country, it is home to many of Ireland’s most significant historical sites and attractions. 

In this article, we’ll explore some things to do in Meath, ensuring that you get to see all of the fantastic sites and experiences on offer. It’s an ideal location for a family day out or a romantic trip in the backdrop of Ireland’s stunning natural beauty. 

What are some things to do in Meath?

County Meath boasts a range of things to see and do, from ancient monuments of Ireland’s past to beautiful scenic views of the River Boyne. Any time spent here will be treasured, check out some of our favourite spots and things to do in Meath below.

Newgrange

Newgrange is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the world’s oldest known prehistoric sites, it was constructed around 3200 BC making it even older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids

Newgrange itself is best known as a passage tomb, but it’s also considered an ancient temple, as it aligns with the movements of the sun and the winter solstice illumination where the rising sun lights up the chamber.  Newgrange is also part of the Brú na Bóinne complex, along with the nearby sites of Knowth and Dowth.

Today, Newgrange is a popular tourist attraction for things to do in Meath. Access to the monument is via the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre, where visitors are transported to the site by shuttle bus. Tours of the interior are available, but space is limited due to the confined nature of the passage and chamber.

Every year, a lottery is held to select a handful of individuals who are given the opportunity to experience the winter solstice event from inside the chamber. It’s a unique experience and one that connects us with the people who lived and died over 5,000 years ago.

Trim Castle

Trim Castle is a medieval Norman castle that stands as a testament to the country’s rich historical past. It’s the largest Norman castle in Ireland and has been wonderfully preserved. The design of the castle is in a shape of a crucifix and features a three-storied keep.

The castle’s distinct appearance has not only drawn tourists from around the world but also caught the attention of filmmakers, most notably being used as a film location in the 1995 movie “Braveheart,”.

Things to do in Meath

Today, visitors to Trim Castle can explore the castle grounds and embark on a guided tour of the keep to delve into the castle’s history and architecture. The view from the top of the keep is remarkable, offering panoramic vistas of Trim and the surrounding countryside. 

Hill of Tara

This ancient ceremonial site was once the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. You can explore several monuments and earthworks, including the “Stone of Destiny”.

The Hill of Tara, located near the River Boyne in County Meath, Ireland, is an ancient site that was once the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. It is one of the most revered historical sites in the country, holding both archaeological and mythological significance.

Things to do in Meath - Hill of Tara
Things to do in Meath

One of the most notable structures at the Hill of Tara is the “Stone of Destiny” (Liath Fáil), a standing stone believed to roar when the rightful king touched it. This stone is one of four pieces of the Lia Fáil that was used in the coronation of the High Kings.

From the top of the hill, you can take in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, which, according to legend, allowed the ancient kings to see a quarter of Ireland’s landscape from this spot. Visiting the Hill of Tara is like taking a step back in time and should definitely be a the top of your list of things to do in Meath. 

Slane Castle

Slane Castle is a historic landmark located in the town of Slane. It is the ancestral home of the Conyngham family since it was built in the late 18th century and is still inhabited by a descendant of the Conynghams. 

Today it is famous for hosting music concerts and festivals, most notably names like Harry Styles, U2 and The Rolling Stones. You can tour the castle and its grounds or visit the Slane Distillery, which concludes with a tasting of the renowned Slane Irish whiskey.

Kells

Kells is a town in Meath that has a rich history dating back to ancient times, itis best known for its association with the “Book of Kells”, a stunningly beautiful manuscript containing the Four Gospels of the New Testament. 

Things to do in Meath
Things to do in Meath

Visit the town of Kells to see various historical sites, including the round tower, The Spire of Lloyd, and the famous Kells Monastic Site. the Kells High Crosses are also worth visiting and are considered to be some of the most important examples of Celtic and early Christian art. 

Navan is the county town of County Meath and is situated in the heart of the Boyne Valley. This bustling market town has a rich historical background, and was originally an Irish fortress, with a walled town that grew around the site of an old Celtic fort or “rath.” 

Visit the town centre, which is a hub of activity with numerous shops, restaurants, and pubs. The Nevan Racecourse is also worth visiting and the Solstice Arts Centre, where you can appreciate the range of visual art, theatre, music, and film events.

The Boyne River Walk 

The Boyne River Walk is a scenic trail that takes visitors along the River Boyne in Navan. It is a peaceful and serene path, popular with both locals and visitors. 

The trail begins in the heart of Navan and meanders alongside the river for about 1.5 kilometres. Along the way, you’ll find various stopping points where you can rest and enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the river setting. The path is well-maintained, making it suitable for all fitness levels, and it’s also accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

The walk also offers views of the Ramparts, a section of the original town wall of Navan that remains standing. In addition, you will see the remains of old mills that used the river’s power, adding an element of industrial history to your walk, it is certainly one of the most idyllic things to do in Meath.

Want to see more of Ireland? 

See more things to do in Ireland and check out these articles for some inspiration for your next trip.

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