At the Battle of the Boyne Centre in Oldbridge, you can learn of the historic battle between two Kings which occurred on 1 July 1690 (11th of July according to our modern calendar), an event that shaped the course of Irish history. William had 36,000 men and James had 25,000, the largest number of troops ever deployed on an Irish battlefield. At stake were the British throne, French dominance in Europe and religious power in Ireland.
The gateway of the Boyne Valley, Drogheda is the largest medieval town in Ireland. Drogheda was first an Anglo-Norman port and became their primary strongholds in the 13th century when the town walls were complete. Today, the town still has a village feel and a wealth of unique attractions within walking distance of each other.
Dublin Castle is the heart of historic Dublin. In fact the city gets its name from the Black Pool - 'Dubh Linn' which was on the site of the present Castle garden. The Castle stands on the ridge on a strategic site at the junction of the River Liffey and its tributary the Poddle, where the original fortification may have been an early Gaelic Ring Fort.
Just a 15-minute drive from Kilkenny is the National Monument of Dunmore Cave, steeped in history, geology and archeology. It comprises chambers formed over millions of years and contains some of the finest calcite formations found in Ireland.
You wouldn't want to miss Glendalough! This is an enchanting place set next to scenic lakes and valleys in County Wicklow. The area is deeply wooded, with the hills and mountains rising from the valley. Glendalough is one of the most famous places in Ireland, where St, Patrick and St Kevin passed through and has many attractions to entice, entertain and enthral you, from its world famous Monastic Site with Round Tower.
Located in the heart of the St James's Gate Brewery which has been home to the black stuff since 1759, Guinness Storehouse® is Ireland's Number One Visitor Attraction and you simply cannot leave Dublin without having paid a visit. The highlight for many visitors is the Gravity Bar®. Here visitors receive a complimentary pint of Guinness® and can relax and enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree views across Dublin City.
Jeanie Johnston is docked at Custom House Quay in Dublin's city centre and is an accurate replica of the original ship which sailed between Tralee in Co. Kerry and North America between 1847 and1855. Make a step towards understanding the daunting experience of the millions of people who crossed the Atlantic seeking survival and hope in the "New World" of North America.
Jerpoint Abbey is an impressive Cistercian abbey founded in the 12th century which kept its Romanesque details from this period. The ruins are just splendid, and well preserved, the Visitor Centre houses an interesting exhibition and a guided tour is not to be missed!
Kells is the town where the famous Book of Kells, a highly ornate version of the four gospels in Latin, was written (it is exhibited in Dublin in the Old Library of Trinity College). The town, established by St Colmcille in the 6th century, was once one of the most important ecclesiastical centres in Ireland and the many High Crosses dating from as early as the 9th century still bear witness to the fact. Although Kells became an important Anglo-Norman walled settlement, it is its monastic heritage that best survived.
Near the small and picturesque village of Kells is Kells Augustinian Priory, one of the largest and most magnificent medieval historic monuments in Ireland. The Priory looks very much like a fortress because of its medieval tower houses along and within the walls covering more than 3 acres which gave Kells Augustinian Priory the local name of Seven Castles.
Kilmainham Gaol is known for being the biggest unoccupied gaol in these islands. It gives the visitor a dramatic and realistic insight into what is was like to have been confined in one of these forbidding bastions of punishment and correction between 1796 when it opened and 1924 when it closed and offers a panoramic insight into some of the most profound, disturbing and inspirational themes of modern Irish history.
Liffey River Cruises vessel will take you on a relaxing, informative cruise through Dublins past, present and give you a glimpse of the future of this beautiful Capital City! Their guides are full of useful facts and interesting information about the buildings, bridges and history of Dublin.
Loughcrew is a site of megalithic burial grounds dating back to approximately 3500 and 3300 BC during the Neolithic Age. The site contains about 30 passage, which makes it one of the most important and considerable prehistoric cemeteries in Ireland.
Half an hour drive North to Dublin is Malahide Village. The sea has influenced much of the development of this picturesque town and it is now a popular place for sailors visiting the area. Whilst in Malahide, you should visit Malahide Castle, the oldest inhabited castle in Ireland. It is set on 250 acres of park and was both a fortress and a private home for nearly 800 years and is an interesting mix of architectural styles.
Drogheda Museum Millmount is one of County Louth's most significant heritage sites. Known as the 'cup and saucer', it offers spectacular views over the town and its majestic steeples. It is home to a military exhibition of Ireland's struggles displaying guns, swords and John Boyle O'Reilly's death mask.
Monasterboice boasts one of the tallest round towers and two of the tallest and well-preserved high crosses in Ireland. The crosses contain carved murals depicting biblical scenes which are fine examples of Celtic art. The monastery was founded in the late 5th century by St Buith, a follower of St Patrick. The site includes the ruins of two churches and a cemetery.
New Grange is a World Heritage Site and is one of the largest and most important prehistoric megalithic sites in Europe. Three large passage tombs dominate this archaeological complex: Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth, believed to be built in the late Stone Age about 5,000 years ago.
Rothe House is a brilliant example of a middle-class house from the Tudor period, built for his new bride by merchant Prince John Rothe in the early 17th century. The House is open to the public as a museum, displaying some of the 2,500 historic artefacts related to Kilkenny heritage throughout the ages and some date from pre-historic times. The Rothe Garden has been open since 2008, and is a reconstruction of an early 17th century urban garden, and has become a very popular garden to visit in Ireland.
Saint Patrick's Cathedral has contributed much to Irish life throughout its long history. Built in honour of Ireland's patron saint, Saint Patrick's Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptized converts on his visit to Dublin.
St Canice's Cathedral was completed in 1285 and it is a great example of the magnificence of the medieval masons' art. The Round Tower (only open in summer season) is one of the only two round towers in the country that people may climb. On a clear day, it offers a breathtaking 360 degree view of Kilkenny and the surrounding countryside from its summit and the surrounding area.
St. Laurence Gate was built in the 13th Century. Originally one of ten gates which allowed entry and exit to the medieval town, it stands almost 20 metres in height, and is one of the most impressive examples of its type in Europe.
A visit of Kilkenny is not complete without seeing the Black Abbey, a Dominican Church founded in 1225. This church has been restored to its original splendour with a spectacular stained glass window. In addition to the church, there were many other buildings where the priests and lay brothers lived and worked.
The Hill of Tara is a low-lying ridge located near the river Boyne. You can see a quarter of the landscape of Ireland if you stand on the top of the hill on a clear day! This archaeological complex contains some highly interesting monuments such as the Lia FÃil (meaning Stone of Destiny), a standing stone located within an area known as the Forrad (The Royal Seat) which served as the inauguration stone for the High Kings of Ireland.
Trim Castle is the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. The castle is incredibly well-preserved and is possibly the first stone castle in Ireland. Trim, the town around the castle, was enclosed by stone walls in the 13th century and contains more medieval buildings than any town in Ireland! Trim is now a prosperous and busy market town.
Trinity College Dublin is the oldest University in Ireland, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. Situated in the heart of a busy European capital. Trinity is famous for graduates such as Swift, Goldsmith, Wilde and Beckett. You can visit the Old Library built between 1712-1732 which houses the Book of Kells and other early Christian manuscripts.
If you are based in Dublin and want to taste a little bit of the Irish countryside, then Wicklow Town is the right place to go to for a great day trip! You can go on a walk along Ireland's most spectacular scenery and spend some time in this seaside town overlooking a wide bay fringed by a crescent curve of coast.