Your Boyne Valley Tour from Dublin begins when you meet your guide at the Tourist Office (outside the Old Stone Church) on Suffolk Street in the city center. Please try to arrive 15 minutes before tour departure. After boarding your comfortable coach, you will leave Dublin at 0800h (08:00am).
You first travel north for Oldcastle in County Meath in the heart of The Boyne Valley and arrive at the sacred site of Loughcrew. This has around 30 passage tombs and is one of the most important prehistoric cemeteries in Ireland. You’ll walk to the top of the hill, where one of the best preserved and most accessible tombs can be seen. Peer inside to find Celtic designs carved into the rock walls and ceiling over 5,000 years ago that are still perfectly visible.
This central tomb is said to be the burial place of the legendary High King of Ireland, Ollamh Fodhla. Stand on this sacred high ground and see for miles and imagine the kind of ceremony that took place as this great man was laid to rest. Afterwards, enjoy a short coffee stop in a nearby café (payable direct).
After a drive through breathtaking Irish countryside, your next stop is great Trim Castle, the most important and best preserved Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Here you’ll walk through a fabulous stronghold that is still standing after 800 years. It was at this castle where some of the best fight scenes in the film “Braveheart” were shot.
Close to Trim Castle is your next stop – the Hill Of Tara, which means the Seat of the High Kings – the most sacred site in ancient Ireland. It is said that a quarter of Ireland’s landscape can be seen from this point. Tara gets its name from Teamhair na Ri, which means Sanctuary of the Kings and is the traditional inauguration site of the ancient High Kings of Ireland.
There is a standing stone called Lia Fail located at the center of a circular mound known as The Royal Seat. According to tradition, when a true Irish King placed his foot on the Lia Fail, it cried out to announce his rightful reign. Have a go while you’re there! Afterwards, there will be a lunch break.
Travel through Slane village and make a photo stop at Slane Castle, home of the Earl of Mount Charles, Henry Conyngham, one of a very small handful of Anglo-Irish aristocrats who still live in the Republic. This remarkable castle was built in 1785 by James Gandon, Ireland’s most distinguished architect.
Upkeep of stately homes is always a problem. In Slane Castle’s case, the unorthodox decision was made to turn to live music as a means of income generation. Today, Slane Castle hosts Ireland’s premier annual music concert. It can hold 80,000 fans and over the years has hosted concerts by Queen, The Rolling Stones and U2, to name a few. As you leave Slane village, ask your guide to tell you the story of the four sisters!
Your coach will meander through some back roads and stop at what is known locally as The Jumping Church Folklore says that a once prominent and prosperous member of the community was buried inside the church at the gable wall (a great honor in those days). He was later found out to have a secret sinister past and was excommunicated. The morning after a storm in 1715, it was found that the gable wall of the church had jumped 3 feet inward fully intact, leaving the grave of the disgraced person outside the church walls.
Your next stop is at the religious site of Monasterboice, dating from the 6th century. The High Cross of Monasterboice is the finest in Ireland and regarded as one of the best surviving examples of Irish religious art. The monastery also holds the 2nd highest round tower in Ireland. This was burned in 1097, but still remains intact apart from its head cap. You’ll also find the Celtic High Cross of Muiredach from the early 9th century – probably the finest of its type in the world.
Next, you’ll have about 2 hours in the historical town of Drogheda, an important Anglo-Norman settlement and one of the largest walled towns in medieval Ireland. You will first enjoy a guided walking tour and then have time to explore the town at leisure.
You’ll make your way back to Dublin and arrive in the city center at approximately 1800h (6:00pm). The tour concludes as you are dropped off at Suffolk Street and from here, you are free to make your way to your accommodation.