There is a big push on to promote the Wild Atlantic Way and rightfully so, its barren landscape, high cliffs and mountain ranges create beautiful vistas and provide landscapes that lend themselves perfectly to Adventure pursuits. Louth and Meath have come together to initiate a push on the other side of the country and promote the Boyne Valley as an alternative destination. The Boyne Valley is the most historic area in Ireland, with prominent position since the megalithic era through the bronze and Iron age, the time of Christianity and monasteries and more recent history including the Battle Of The Boyne and the sacking of Drogheda by Cromwell.
Megalithic Ireland : The Boyne Valley boasts the most extensive collection of Cairns, Passage tombs and has more carved stones dating to this period than all the rest of Ireland and Europe put together. The passage tombs of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth (3800 bc ) are the most spectacular megalithic tombs in this Area. Newgrange is the best known mainly because the passage aligns with the winter solstice and it is the earliest known astrological construction in the world. The tomb of Knowth however has the largest amount of carved stones of any single location in the world and is not as developed or as busy, in my personal opinion a more fulfilling experience. The cairns at Loughcrew are another spectacular place to visit. These passage tombs are almost as ancient and just as spectacular but you view it by torch light and during the winter collect the key from the local land owner.
The Hill of Tara represents the next period in history around the bronze age and the Iron age when it was the crowning place of the high Kings of Ireland. It was the most important location in the whole of Ireland and there is evidence that it was a place visited from foreign lands as well. The discovery of Neolitic tombs at this site suggest the importance of this site back 5000 years.
The Boyne valley is rich in the best examples of the monastic period of Irish History with a multitude of monasteries at Monasterboice, Kells and many other locations and has the best preserved examples of both the high crosses and round towers. Trim castle is the best example of a Norman castle in Ireland and is open for exploration by the public. You have an opportunity to take part in an archaeological dig under instruction, Be part of historical discovery.
In more recent history the Boyne Valley is also prominent sometimes tragically. The sacking of Drogheda by Cromwell where the residence were slaughtered and the streets were said to have ran with blood was one such event. Also the famous Battle of the Boyne between two claimants to the crown of England William of Orange and James fought it out on Irish soil. The battle of the Boyne represented the largest amount of soldiers mustered for battle in England or Ireland for that period and was the turning point in the war resulting in James fleeing to France. There is an excellent exhibition and demonstration of the weapons horses and tactics used during the battle at the site of the Battle of the Boyne.
The Boyne valley is and always will be the most historic place in Ireland but has plans to be much more. Tayto park is already an adventure destination for children and teenagers and with their proposed development of the second biggest wooden rollercoaster in Europe it is bound to attract bigger numbers of thrill seekers. Following the success of the green way in the west of Ireland development of a Greenway stretching from Drogheda to Kells is proposed and well on it’s way to development. There is an alternative way to visit the sites and experience the Irish waterways with Boyne Valley Activities. For a one day excursion around this fascinating area join Irish Day tours on our Celtic Boyne Valley tour