Private Boyne Valley, Hill of Tara and Trim Castle Day Tour. On this full-day small-group tour of Ireland’s ancient county Meath, you’ll visit neolithic ceremonial sites and burial chambers that predate Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids.
Explore Bru na Boinne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the lush Boyne Valley, and historic ruins such as Slane Castle and the partially restored Trim Castle, which was immortalized in the film Braveheart.
- Visit Newgrange, a 5,200-year-old tomb, and Tara Hill, the seat of Celtic Kings.
- The 8-10 hour tour is flexible to accommodate private groups and provides an escape from city noise.
- Before returning to Dublin, treat yourself to a lavish afternoon tea at Dunboyne Castle.
- The tour involves a guide and pick-up and drop-off from hotels in air-conditioned minivans.
For a day, escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin city and visit the UNESCO world heritage sites of the Boyne Valley, which include the Neolithic tombs of Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, and Loughcrew. Newgrange is older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids, having been constructed about 5,200 years ago.
The passage and chamber at Newgrange are synchronized to the rising sun on the mornings during the Winter solstice, illuminating the innermost chamber and unveiling ancient artwork. It is thought to have taken thousands of Neolithic people decades to construct and was used as a burial chamber, as well as for ritual and group gatherings.
Walk around the one-acre site, which includes a tomb with a height of 12 meters (40 feet) and a diameter of 85 meters (278 feet). The building is surrounded by a henge or ring of large stones, and the roof is still intact and waterproof 5,000 years later. This monument or tomb is the largest of all the Bru na Boinne sites, containing over 250,000 tonnes of stone and earth.
The Bru na Boinne UNESCO heritage site is completed by the passage tombs of Knowth and Dowth, with the passage and chamber at Dowth aligning with the setting sun during the Winter solstice. Continue further into the Boyne valley after lunch in Slane to the Hill of Tara, the seat of Celtic Kings of Ireland, including Brian Boru.
This site is connected to the Tara brooch, which can be seen at the National Museum. Travel inland along the Boyne river route to Trim Castle, Ireland’s largest Norman castle, made famous by its appearance in the film “Braveheart.” The castle has been partially restored to its former glory, and you can tour the interior by ascending the spiral staircases to the De Lacy stronghold’s dining halls and sleeping chambers. Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath, founded it in 1172 over the course of 30 years.
Because of its commanding position at a fording point on the Boyne River, the location was selected. On the way back to Dublin, stop for afternoon tea at the opulent Dunboyne Castle. This is a recommended Boyne Valley tour itinerary that takes about 8 hours to complete. It is, however, your private tour, and you are free to personalize it in any way you see fit.
The Monastic settlement of Kells, long associated with the Book of Kells held at Trinity College Dublin, and Loughcrew Cairns on the Loughcrew Estate, a lesser known but equally impressive array of Neolithic monuments known as Cairns, are two other major sites of interest in the immediate area. In addition, Loughcrew House has a fantastic café and dining room.
Because of its abundance of world-class sites in close proximity, Meath is an excellent county to visit on a day trip from Dublin. Your guide will provide you with additional details about the sites and assist you in planning an itinerary that is most appealing to your party.
HILL OF TARA
The Hill of Tara is famous for having been the inauguration site for the High Kings of Ireland until the 6th Century, and is known to have been Ireland’s political and spiritual capital up until the invasion of Strongbow in the 12th century.
Trim Castle is the largest surviving Norman Castle in Europe. Built by Hugh de Lacy in 1176, the castle took over 30 years to complete. Strategically built on raised ground overlooking the Boyne Valley, Trim Castle was the center of the administration for the Kingdom of Meath during the middle ages.
Loughcrew cairns are ancient burial tombs that housed the remains of great chieftains. Loughcrew is a passage tomb built about 3200 BC with some of the most well preserved stone carvings in Ireland. Entering this tomb is an exciting step back in time.
St Fechin founded a Christian monastery in the 7th Century. It’s believed that before his death, 300 monks lived in the community. Among the remains, visitors can see St Fechin’s
church, built about 900 AD.
HILL OF UISNEACH
The Hill Of Uisneach is the spiritual center of Ireland and arguably one of the most important ancient sites in Ireland today. The point where the five provinces of Ireland meet and where the Kings and High King would celebrate Bealtaine, the festival of the fires which marks the coming of Summer.
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