Escape to the Boyne Valley- Memorable Experiences in Trim

Published: 07 Jul 2020

The beautiful, heritage town of Trim with its picturesque setting on the River Boyne is centred around the impressive site of the medieval Trim Castle, the largest Anglo- Norman castle in Ireland. With beautiful walks and so much green space to enjoy, you won’t be disappointed.

Accommodation: The Boyne Valley offers a great range of first-rate accommodation for visitors to choose from, ranging from luxury hotels to cosy B&Bs and guesthouses, as well as self-catering and camping/glamping options. Accommodation providers have the health and wellbeing of their guests to the forefront at all times and are working to new guidelines issued by Fáilte Ireland. For a full listing of accommodation in the Boyne Valley click here.

Have a read of this 1 to 2-day itinerary for some holiday inspiration!

Day 1

An ideal place to begin your trip is at the Trim Visitor Centre. Located beside the Castle grounds you will receive a warm welcome, free maps and brochures and helpful information on accommodation, activities or restaurants in the area. The Visitor Centre is also home to the Medieval Armoury Tour: here you can view an extensive display of chainmail, swords and other Norman weaponry.

Right next door is Trim Castle, the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, constructed around 1175 by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter. This massive twenty-sided tower, is unique in Ireland. Take time to explore the extensive castle-grounds and to appreciate this spectacular location.

 Did you know? Trim Castle served as a ‘castle double’ for York Castle in the Oscar-winning movie ‘Braveheart’.

Following your visit to the castle, it is a good idea to take a walk around the town. There are two self-guided walks available, the Trim Castle River Walk and the Trim Historic Trail. Perhaps take some time to grab a coffee at the Harvest Home Bakery or The Olive Tree in the centre of town before setting off to explore landmarks such as the St Mary’s Abbey (Boyne Valley Garden Trail member), the Yellow Steeple, the Echo Gate and the Tomb of the Jealous Man and Woman. Download your Historic Trail map here.

Having worked up an appetite for some lunch, visit Trim n Healthy Restaurant, which offers homecooked, freshly made meals and great coffee and cakes. Following this have a quick browse around the shops, making sure not to miss the Kilkenny shop located in Trim Castle Hotel.

After lunch a short drive will bring you to the town of Athboy which was founded sometime during the sixth century. According to folklore the nearby Hill of Ward, also known as Tlachtga, is the site where the original feast of Samhain (now celebrated as Halloween) took place. The Athboy Heritage Trail, is a 30 minute self-guided walking tour of the town which is an ideal way to begin your visit. Why not stop into the Darnley Lodge Hotel or Coburns Gastrobar for a snack before travelling a little further to visit Tlachtga, the birthplace of Halloween.

It was believed that Tlachtga (like other ancient mounds such as Newgrange or Knowth) was closely linked to the spirit world and when the old year's fires were extinguished all across Ireland, the ceremonial New Year Samhain fire was lit on the hill. Torches were lit from this sacred fire and carried to seven other hills around the county including Tara and Loughcrew, and then on to light up the whole country. Modern day Halloween celebrations include the amazing Púca festival which celebrates the origins of Samhain and for which Tlachtga is a key location.  Enjoy the stunning scenery and fresh air while you absorb the atmosphere at this unique and sacred site. 

 Did you know? Legend has it that during the time of Tuatha Dé Danann, the hill took its name from a goddess called Tlachtga who was buried at the site.

For dinner you will be spoiled for choice. Franzinis, The Stockhouse Restaurant, Khan Spices Indian Restaurant and Brogan’s of Trim all offer a first rate dining experience in close proximity to the town centre.

 

Day 2:

After a great night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, take a trip to historic Bective Abbey. Founded in 1147, it was one of the country's most important monastic settlements. Additionally, Hugh De Lacy (minus his head!) was buried there before being moved to Dublin. The spectacular monument has been shot in the movie “Braveheart” where it was presented as a castle and is also due to feature in the upcoming Ridley Scott movie, “The Last Duel” starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

For those who enjoy kayaking or canoeing, it is also possible to reach Bective on the River Boyne. The Boyne Blueway, which commences at Longwood and runs via Trim, to Bective is an 8-hour paddle (for experienced kayakers) and is a fantastic way to appreciate the Boyne Valley from the great river itself.

 

Your next stop, Bee Wise Gardens, is located at Crerogue, just outside the village of Kilmessan. This 5-acre nature trail encourages people to appreciate the natural world and the importance of our pollinators, especially the honey bee. Delicious honey and beeswax products are available for sale. Booking is essential.

From here continue your trip to the Hill of Tara. This special and sacred site was the inauguration venue for the High Kings of Ireland. On a clear day the views are spectacular, and you will definitely feel that the cobwebs have been blown away after your walk around this amazing area.

Did you know?  On top of the mound known as the Forrad (The Royal Seat) is a standing stone known as the Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny). This was the inauguration stone of the Kings of Tara and according to tradition, when a true Irish or Scottish King placed a foot on the Lia Fáil, it cried out to announce his rightful reign.

Stop into Maguires Café, for some fabulous freshly prepared lunch, or even get it to go and enjoy some al fresco dining in your unique surroundings. 

For golfers, there are a wealth of options to choose from. Nearby Royal Tara Golf Club with 27 championship holes and driving range facilities is a firm favourite, while the stunning, Jack Nicklaus-designed Killeen Castle golf course is not far away. A short drive from Trim brings you to County Meath Golf Club, which was established in 1898 and will impress golfers of all abilities. The Knightsbrook Golf Resort, just outside Trim, offers a championship golf course designed by the late Christy O’Connor Jnr. Or for those who would prefer to indulge in some pampering, perhaps a visit to the award-winning River Spa at Knightsbrook Hotel might be more up your street.

Heritage, walks, gardens and golf, Trim truly has so much to offer so make a break for the Boyne Valley...there's so much to discover.