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The Beautiful Boyne Valley, a must-see for all visitors to Ireland

The west coast of Ireland gets a lot of attention. It has Bunratty Castle, the Burren and, of course, the Cliffs of Moher. All beautiful places that are worth seeing, but did you know the East Coast has equally beautiful attractions?

But not many visitors realise that, within an hours drive of Dublin , there is an area of outstanding natural beauty that is absolutely filled with ancient history and Irish culture.

Combined with its lush green landscape and magnificent waterways, fantastic food and drink, outdoor adventures and cultural gems, this wealth of heritage makes it a really special destination. This hidden gem is called the Boyne Valley.

Here's just some of the amazing place you can experience in The Boyne Valley:

Newgrange & Brú na Boinne, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Newgrange is the jewel in the crown of the Boyne Valley. Situated along the banks of the River Boyne, this stone passage tomb was constructed about 5,200 years ago (3,200 B.C.) which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza.

It is believed that Newgrange was constructed to have strong connections with the sun. Every year on the Winter Solstice, the great chamber at Newgrange is filled with sunlight for 17 minutes, a spectacular feat of engineering by the builders!

Old Mellifont Abbey

Mellifont Abbey was built by the Cistercian order of monks in 1142. It was the first abbey of the order to be constructed in Ireland and has strong links with the Cistercian monks in Clairvoux, France.

Today the magnificent remains of the abbey and it's grounds can still be visited and explored.

It is among our favourite stops on the Heart of Ireland Tour.

Drogheda Historical Gated Town

Drogheda is one of the oldest towns in Ireland and is at the heart of the Boyne Valley. Dating back to 1194, the town was once completely surrounded by a large wall for safeguarding against enemies.

The last remaining gate of this town wall, St. Laurence's Gate, is now a popular tourist attraction.

Drogheda also is home to the impressive Martello Tower at Millmount, a fortified defence fortress that looks over the Boyne River and the town.

The 19th Century St. Peter's Church on West Street is a stunning example of French Gothic architecture and is now famously home to the head of St. OIiver Plunkett.

The town has a great night life with tons of great pubs and bars to enjoy. Favourites include Clarke's Bar, The Railway Inn and Ollie's. I will do another blog entry on the pubs of Drogheda soon, it deserves more detail!

The Boyne Valley truly is a fascinating and enjoyable region to explore. There are so many other features that I haven't covered here!

So if you are planning your trip to Ireland, be sure to include The Boyne Valley on your itinerary!


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