Destination Report: County Meath

Meath is a small county situated an hour from Dublin.  It’s a wonderful mix of ancient history, quaint towns and famous tourist hotspots. 

It has the nickname ‘’The Royal County’’. The story comes from the 11th century when the High Kings first came to Ireland. They traveled to the Hill of Tara where those worthy of were crowned in kingship rituals. Hence the name.

The prehistoric passage graves at Newgrange in the Boyne Valley are more than 5,000 years old.  An array of castles and monasteries are dotted across the county making it an ideal destination for history buffs. 

The Royal County also boasts several tourist attractions like Tayto Park and Slane Castle. Tayto Park is Ireland’s only theme park, while Slane has hosted some of the country’s biggest concerts for over 40 years. 

Meath is also home to one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ireland. The passage tombs of Brú na Bóinne date from 5,000 years ago, older than the Pyramids of Egypt. 

Newgrange

Things to do 

Tayto Park  

It’s not a trip to Meath without heading to Ireland’s only theme park, Tayto Park. 

With over 100 attractions, Tayto Park is one of the biggest adventures for anyone going to Meath for a weekend. Take a trip on the Cú Chulainn, Europe’s largest wooden roller coaster, and The Viking Voyage, which is the only water flume ride in Ireland. 

If rollercoasters are not your thing, there are playgrounds, a petting farm, and bird of prey displays, so there are plenty of attractions to suit the whole family. 

Tickets range in price including all-access tickets, junior zone tickets, senior citizen tickets, and additional needs. 

Visit here for more information. Tayto Park – Theme Park & Zoo 

Cú Chulainn Rollercoaster at Tayto Park

 Slane Castle and Distillery  

Whether you consider yourself as a history, music, or whiskey aficionado, Slane Castle and Distillery is bound to be an experience to remember.  

Slane Castle Slane Castle, Home to the Conyngham Family, is set on the grounds of a 1,500-acre estate through which flows the River Boyne, a few kilometers upstream from the site of the Battle of the Boyne.

Slane Castle has become internationally famous for its summer concerts, with its natural amphitheater attracting thousands of music fans. On 16th August, it marked 40 years since the first concert at the Castle. It was homegrown rock band Thin Lizzy with Phil Lynott at the helm. Other massive rock bands like U2, Oasis, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Robbie Williams, played at Slane.  

Located on the castle grounds, you can also visit Slane Distillery on a private tour. The tour takes visitors through the heritage room, barley room, cooperage, and maturation warehouse.  It concludes in the best way possible with a taste of the signature triple blend, Slane Irish Whiskey. 

Visit their website for details of Castle Tours or Distillery Tours. Private tours of Slane Castle are available, where you can meet the Conyngham family and check out the rock ‘n’ roll legends that have played at Slane.  

 

Slane Castle

Causey Farm, Fordstown 

Causey Farm offers a hands-on farm hospitality experience. Try your hand at brown bread making, céilí dancing, milking a cow, turf cutting, and help the working sheepdog. 

The nineteenth-century stone barns are used for traditional music workshops, where you can take part or just soak up the atmosphere. Owner Lilly Murtagh is renowned for her cooking and visitors can taste traditional soda bread straight from the oven, a real treat after you’ve spent time in the fresh air. 

Tickets can be pre-booked online via the website, Causey Farm.

20km Coastline

Despite having a small coastline, only 20km, Meath has some wonderful beaches. Breathe in the sea air and take a stroll on the idyllic beaches of Gormanston, Laytown, and Bettystown. In September, horse racing takes place on Laytown beach, the only beach racing in Ireland. There has been racing here since 1868.

Where to Stay 

Dunboyne Castle Hotel, Dunboyne 

The stately Dunboyne Castle is a beautifully restored historic mansion set on 21 acres of manicured lawns and gardens. It’s just 20km outside Dublin for a tranquil country break. 

With the perfect combination of old-world luxury and contemporary design, you can rest assured a stay at Dunboyne Castle is a memorable one. With innovative modern Irish cuisine, dining in the IVY restaurant is the perfect indulgence. 

 

Dunboyne Castle Hotel and Spa

 City North Hotel, Gormanston   

Situated only five minutes from Gormanston Beach in County Meath, City North Hotel is the ideal place for a relaxing stay.  

It’s located just off Junction 7 on the M1, Dublin to Belfast route and 30 minutes from Dublin City.  The hotel is the ideal ” M1 Meeting Hub” for business guests with a large relaxing lobby situated on the ground floor. 

They currently have a “Stay, Drink and Dine” package for €127.20 for two, on offer. This package means you can spoil yourself and a friend in a double/twin room, a two-course dinner menu, a full Irish breakfast, a glass of bubbly on arrival, and a pre-dinner cocktail. Visit http://www.citynorthhotel.com/  for more information. 

 

Bar and restaurant at City North Hotel

Scholars Townhouse Hotel in Drogheda  

Scholars Townhouse is a family-run hotel offering luxury accommodation in the heart of the Boyne Valley. Originally built as a Christian Brothers monastery back in 1867, it has been transformed into a boutique hotel, featuring an award-winning restaurant and gastro lounge.  

You can stay in a Standard Double or Standard Twin with dinner, bed & breakfast at €189.00 (midweek) or €219.00 (weekends). Rates are based on 2 people sharing.    

Where to Eat 

Cinnamon Garden, Ashbourne 

The Cinnamon Garden prides itself on serving modern Indian food in a beautifully decorated dining room. The restaurant’s menu showcases the rich variety of flavors found in vibrant Indian cuisine, from sauces and spices to meat and fish. 

Food available at the Cinnamon Garden.

Newbarn Shed and Donkey Farm, Ashbourne 

Newbarn Farm is home to a Farm Shop selling homegrown and locally sources fruit and vegetables alongside a selection of artisan farm produce. 

The Donkey Shed Restaurant serves delicious meals showcasing the best of local produce. There’s also an open farm where visitors can meet farm animals. 

 

The Donkey Shed Restaurant

Room 8, Navan 

Whether you are in the mood for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a trip to Room 8 in Navan will fill you right up. Run by owner and chef Aidan Cosgrove, Room 8 first opened in December 2015 and has continued to grow ever since. Guests can treat themselves to Superfood Salads, Honey Glazed Goat’s Cheese Salad, Bang Bang Chicken, and more. 

Food truck – Once Upon a Thai, Trim 

If takeaway food is more your thing, make sure to visit Once Upon a Thai in Trim. It’s one of the most popular Thai establishments around. 

Once Upon A Thai serves authentic food using the freshest Irish and Thai ingredients where possible. Try out their noodles and rice dishes, you won’t regret it.

For more information on all things Meath, visit Discover Meath

 

 

 

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