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Thursday 28 September 2023 Dublin: 14°C
Shutterstock/MNStudio Hill of Tara
# heritage hotspots
Your summer in Ireland: 5 must-see sites in Meath
Take our challenge and tick off as many glorious sites this summer as recommended by heritage officers around Ireland.

EVERY CORNER OF Ireland has something unique to showcase – but how much of it have you seen? has been chatting to heritage officers in every part of the country to compile their top five picks that they think you might enjoy visiting this summer.

Heritage includes monuments, archaeological or architectural objects, seascapes, wrecks, geology, inland waterways, gardens and parks.

We are publishing recommendations for every local authority area over the course of a fortnight, along with the details you need to know to plan your visit.

Get motoring!


1. Loughcrew cairns

This neolithic burial site was built over 5000 years ago and involves a cluster of megalithic cairns dotted around the Slieve na Caillaigh hills at Loughcrew.

Within the site, visitors can see ancient markings on the backstone which show how cairns had a clear astronomical purpose. The cairns were discovered in 1863.

Amenities: There is no wheelchair access due to steep terrain. There is a small car park near the site. 

Opening hours and costs: The Cairn T site is open daily from 10am-6pm FREE of charge and tours can be arranged in advance. To visit the site a key must be taken from Loughcrew gardens nearby.

shutterstock_527437366 Shutterstock / Michelle Holihan Loughcrew Megalithic Cairns Shutterstock / Michelle Holihan / Michelle Holihan

2. Kells heritage centre

Kells is an early Christian monastic site which was dedicated to St Colmcille and became the birthplace of the book of Kells.

Here visitors can see a round tower, while the heritage centre offers interactive exhibitions.

Amenities: There are toilets on site and wheelchair access. 

Opening hours and costs: Admission is FREE and the centre opens daily from 9.30am-5.30pm.

Kells Heritage Centre and High Cross H iRes Heritage centre Kells

3. Trim Castle

This medieval town contains the large castle built by Hugh de Lacy and his son over a 30 year period beginning in 1176.

Visitors can explore the grounds and the keep during the guided tour and there is a heritage centre on site.

Amenities: There are toilet and car parking facilities on site. There is wheelchair access to the grounds only.

Opening hours and costs: The castle is open daily from 10am-5pm. Guided tours are €5 per adult, senior/group €4, child/student €3 and family €13.

shutterstock_751907233 Shutterstock / Adriano de Melo Trim Castle Shutterstock / Adriano de Melo / Adriano de Melo

4. The hill of Tara

The site was used for crowning kings during the Iron Age and medieval period and was seen as the symbolic capital of Ireland.

The site is an important archeological site and was used as a burial site during the Bronze Age.

It is linked to figures of Irish mythology such as Fionn mac Cumhaill and Cormac Mac Airt.

Amenities: There is no wheelchair access due to steep terrain and there is a visitors’ centre on site.

Opening hours and costs: The hill is FREE to visit and accessible daily while the visitor centre is open 10am-6pm.

shutterstock_1123224137 Shutterstock / MNStudio Hill of Tara Shutterstock / MNStudio / MNStudio

5. Brú na Bóinne, Newgrange

Built 5000 years ago, the ancient burial site contains carved stone artwork and archaeological investigations have revealed much about life and death in prehistoric Ireland.

The visitor centre has exhibitions that describe the society that created the neolithic tombs, from their homes to their dress, food, tools and weapons.

Amenities: The visitor centre is full accessible while the monuments are unsuitable are wheelchair users.

Opening hours and costs: The site is accessible daily from 9am-7pm and admission is €7 per adult and €16 for family to access the visitor centre exhibition and Newgrange. Booking in advance is advised.

shutterstock_621506264 Shutterstock / Nicola Pulham Newgrange Shutterstock / Nicola Pulham / Nicola Pulham

Thanks to Meath County Council heritage office for recommendations.

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