Guest Author - Tracey
The Boyne valley lies just outside of Dublin,with acres of rolling hills,lush green grass, horses, and ancient sites.
Meath is the setting for much of the Boyne Valley, here the air is full of mystery and excitement. The past over comes you and your drift off to the time of High King's, castles,invading Vikings, monks, wise fish and singing stones.
The Hill of Tara home to Ireland's high kings, is one of the most romantic and beautiful areas in all of Ireland. Set upon the grounds of what was a village for royalty, the views will take your breath away, from the top of the hill you can gaze as many before you have, at the landscape of the ajoining counties.
Trim Castle is a wonderful example of a Norman Castle, built in 1173 and sitting on over two acres of land, the castle gained world-wide attention a few years ago, when it was used as the setting for the movie Braveheart.
Opening Times: Mid June to Mid September Daily 10.00am -18.00pm
Kells, is a small market town, built adjacent to the River Blackwater in the North of County Meath and is one of the most historical towns in Ireland.
Kells is one of the finest examples of an monastic settlement to be found. Founded in AD559 by St. Colmcille, the settlement was later strengthened by the arrival of Monks form the Scottish Isle of Iona, who were expelled by Viking raids.
Known worldwide for its famous book, Kells still hosts some of the most important artifacts in Ireland's Golden Age from the 8th to the 12th century.
Book of Kells - It is without doubt the most valuable christian manuscript in Ireland and the original is now stored in the Library of Trinity College in Dublin. It is a copy of the Gospels in Latin.
The Book was stolen in 1006 and the beautiful golden cover was never found. Also missing were the 60 pages of John's gospel.
It was placed in the library of Trinity College in 1661.
The banks of the Boyne is where the infamous Battle of the Boyne took place, where William of Orange and James II met.
The Hill of Slane is just to the North of the village and is associated with St. Patrick. It was here that he kindled his Paschal Fire in 433 A.D.
Legend has it that on the hill, Patrick lit the Paschal fire on Easter Eve. In pagan Ireland fire was recognised in the Brehon Laws as an indication of a challenge in cases of territorial dispute.
Brú na Bóinne (Palace of the Boyne), comprises of the Neolithic age burial chambers of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth.
The most famous, being the great megalithic tomb at Newgrange which is over 5,500 years old.
Knowth's two burial chambers boast the richest and largest collection of megalithic art in Europe. Further excavations are taking place on Dowth, and Knowth. Opening Times For Newgrange:
March-April Daily 10.00am-17.00pm May Daily 09.00am-18.30pm June-Mid September Daily 09.00am-19.00pm Mid-End September Daily 09.00am-18.30pm October Daily 09.30am-17.30pm November-February Daily 09.30am-17.00pm
Bend in the Boyne, a look at the Boyne Valley
Irish Legends, a telling of Irish fairy tales