Things to do
There is a wealth of activities for all of the family in south Meath. Here are a few favourites. Have a look at our blog to see what cultural, musical and sporting events are taking place in the region, as well as a list of local equestrian, night-life, golf and seaside attractions.
Newgrange was constructed over 5,000 years ago and is older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange was built during the Neolithic or New Stone Age by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. Knowth and Dowth are similar mounds that together with Newgrange have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Tayto Park is an adventure park for all of the family, based on the iconic Mr. Tayto of Tayto Crisps fame. It is best known for its wildlife park which includes a herd of bison. It also has an American Indian village, complete with a storyteller as well as activities for all of the family.
The Hill of Tara was the coronation place of Ireland’s pre-Christian kings. Although no buildings survive there are a number of large earthworks still remaining on the hill. The site is world-famous as a Celtic monument and there is an interpretive centre on the site for visitors. The top of the hill has an extensive view of the surrounding countryside, which lies at the centre of the traditional Gaelic kingdom of Meath.
Swans is a traditional Irish pub in the tiny village of Curragha. It’s the place to go for atmosphere, local gossip, a warm fire in winter and traditional music in the evenings.
The Battle of the Boyne , which took place in 1690, was a key battle between King James II and William of Orange for the British throne. It was the largest battle that took place in Ireland – including troops from Ireland, England, France and the Netherlands – and had enduring political consequences throughout Ireland and Europe. The battle site includes a visitor’s centre; audio-visual show; original and replica 17th Century weaponry displays; a laser battlefield model; tea pavillion; and a walled garden. It also features self-guided walks through parkland and the battle site.
The National Aquatic Centre includes the AquaZone, an indoor water park for all of the family. It includes paddling pools, terrifying water slides, pirate ship adventures, water fountains and lagoons.
The Book of Kells was written by Irish monks in St Colum Cille’s monastary in Iona Scotland in around 800AD. After a Viking raid on the monastary in 806AD the community moved to Kells and it is with this north Meath town that the book is mostly closely associated. The book is celebrated for its ornate decoration and contains the four Gospels in Latin. It is written on vellum (calfskin). It has been on display in Trinity College Dublin since the mid 19th Century, and attracts over 500,000 visitors a year.
Rathbeggan Lakes includes a pet farm, coffee shop, playground, lake fishing, water-pistol battles for kids and paintball wars for adults. Basic admission is only €2 and it’s a great place for a picnic.
Originally an army barracks, Collins Barracks has a number of exhibits. The 1916 Rising exhibition examines the decade of labour strikes, wars and revolution between 1913 and 1923. The Soldiers & Chiefs exhibition looks at Irish soldiers at home and abroad from 1550 until today. The Irish Silver Collection and The Way we Wore, traces the development of Irish silversmiths and clothing designers since the 18th Century.
Trim Castle, the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, was constructed over a thirty-year period in the 12th century by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter, the Anglo-Norman rulers of Meath. The fortress includes a three-storey keep and extensive external walls which extend into the centre of the historic town of Trim. The castle was famously used in the making of the film Braveheart.
The Botanic Gardens houses a huge collection of trees, shrubs and flowers, divided between open-air exhibits and an extensive glasshouse collection. The visitor’s centre combines a lecture hall, restaurant and displays. The purpose of the gardens is to explore, understand and conserve plants. It contains over 300 endangered species from around the world, and 6 species already extinct in the wild. Visit their web site for a list of activities in the garden throughout the year.