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Travel

05th Jun 2024

Add these fascinating attractions to your next short break in Ireland’s Ancient East

Sarah McKenna Barry

Brought to you by Discover Ireland.

You don’t need to be a history buff to be wowed by these incredible attractions.

Our island boasts a truly incredible history, and there’s no better way to explore it than with a getaway to Ireland’s Ancient East.

Explore Ireland’s eastern counties and you’ll find an array of fun-filled ways of awakening our rich past. Watch a reconstruction of the Battle of the Boyne in Meath, walk in the footsteps of Patrick Kavanagh in Monaghan or delve into the history of Gaelic Games in Tipperary.

Ready to start exploring some of our country’s best heritage spots? Add these activities to your next break in Ireland’s Ancient East and you’ll return from your getaway with a rich understanding of our fascinating history.

The Steam Museum and Lodge Park Walled Garden, Co. Kildare

Whether you’re a train fanatic or you just have a passing interest in all things locomotion, the Steam Museum and Lodge Park Walled Garden in Straffan, Co. Kildare is a must-visit. Step inside the Michael Owens Power Hall and get lost in the collection of 19th century stationary engines, visit the Model Hall and feast your eyes on the Early Inventor’s models, scientific engineering models and historic works of mechanical art. Afterwards, get a healthy dose of fresh air as you explore the 18th century walled garden and enjoy some breakfast, lunch or snacks courtesy of Barista Bike. The café here is open everyday, but the museum and gardens are only open on weekends. You can enquire about opening times through their website.

Carlingford Castle, Co. Louth

Delve into Ireland’s Norman history with a visit to Carlingford Castle, which dates all the way back to 1190. Book a tour of this impressive citadel and discover its past which saw rebellion, power struggles and a Jacobite attack. During your visit, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the nearby Slieve Foy Mountains, which overlook Carlingford Castle. Afterwards, enjoy the very best this Louth town has to offer. Rent a bike from Carlingford Greenway Bike Hire, get the adrenaline pumping with Carlingford Adventure Centre and enjoy a bite to eat at PJ O’Hare’s.

Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, Oldbridge Estate, Co. Meath

The Battle of the Boyne saw King William III clash with King James II on the River Boyne in a battle that would change the course of history forever. Today, visitors can explore the site of the largest battle to take place in Ireland through self-guided tours, interactive military displays and living history tours at the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre in Oldbridge Estate. During your getaway to Meath, paddle down the River Boyne and the Boyne Canal with Boyne Boats and for a bite to eat, book a table at Tribe Restaurant.

Patrick Kavanagh Centre, Co. Monaghan

The famous Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh was baptised and buried at St. Mary’s Church in his home county of Co. Monaghan, and today it houses the Patrick Kavanagh Centre, a visitor experience that celebrates the poet and his work. On a self-guided or guided tour, you’ll explore his life through artefacts, multimedia, texts and filming. You’ll also get a chance to visit his resting place in the peaceful adjoining graveyard. Make the most of your experience by booking a spot on the Deluxe Guided Tour Experience, which includes a bus tour along the Kavanagh Trail in Inniskeen, where you’ll get to see the Kavanagh Homestead, Billy Brennan’s Barn and the Poetry Jukebox. Bookings for the Patrick Kavanagh Centre are required and it is closed on Sundays.

Lár Na Pairce Museum – The Story of Gaelic Games, Co. Tipperary

Stock image – Unsplash

Whether you’re a diehard GAA fan or you’re just looking to brush up on your knowledge of our homegrown sports, at this interactive exhibit, you’ll walk away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of this important facet of Irish culture. Here you’ll trace GAA’s history, from its mythological connection to Cú Chulainn to the sporting phenomenon it is today through memorabilia, interactive displays, posters and artefacts. You’ll even get a chance to get a glimpse of the Silvermines Cup, the oldest hurling trophy. Add an element of adventure to your Tipperary trip with a walk along the Kilcommon Pilgrim Loop and for a bite to eat, pop into Mikey Ryan’s Bar and Kitchen. Lár Na Pairce is open Monday to Saturday.

Titanic Tour Cobh, Co. Cork

As well as being one of Ireland’s most picturesque towns, Cobh in Co. Cork was the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic, which departed from the Irish town in 1912. On the Titanic Tour Cobh, which is one of the many tours operated by The Titanic Trail, you’ll hear stories about the Titanic as you explore the sites of Commodore Hotel Cobh, Cork Harbour, the Lusitania Peace Memorial, the Former White Starline Office, the Titanic Office, the Titanic Memorial, the Former Cunard Office and St. Colman’s Cathedral. While in Cobh, embrace its foodie culture by including a trip to the Cobh Farmers Market in your itinerary.

So what are you waiting for? Delve into our history by booking your next trip in Ireland’s Ancient East.

Brought to you by Discover Ireland.
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