The Boyne Valley is a region well known as the birthplace of Ireland’s Ancient East. The concentration of heritage sites makes this a very popular destination to visit and step back in time. At the end of April 2023, The OPW published the visitor numbers at its heritage sites for 2022. Unsurprisingly, heritage sites in the Boyne Valley featured in the top ten. Trim Castle and Brú na Boinne- Newgrange and Knowth.
Few places in Ireland contain more medieval buildings than the heritage town of Trim. Trim Castle is foremost among those buildings. The castle is the largest Anglo-Norman fortification in Ireland. Hugh de Lacy and his successors took 30 years to build it from 1172.
A guided tour of Trim Castle is a must when visiting Ireland and the Boyne Valley. The central fortification is a monumental three-storey keep. This massive 20-sided tower, which is cruciform in shape, was all but impregnable in its day. It was protected by a ditch, curtain wall and water-filled moat. Modern walkways now allow you to look down over the interior of the keep – a chance to appreciate the sheer size and thickness of the mighty castle walls.
If your time is limited, then you can also take a walk around the Castle Grounds where you will still get to appreciate this magnificent fortress overlooking the River Boyne. Don’t forget to visit the Visitor Centre too!
During the winter months, Trim Castle is open at the weekend only from 9am to 4pm. From Early February to October, the Castle is open 7 days a week. Please check the OPW website for opening times prior to travelling. A guided tour of the keep cost €5.00 per adult, group/senior: €4.00, child or student: €3.00 and a family ticket is €13.00. Tickets are purchased at the Castle.
Access for visitors with disabilities is very restricted. Please note that some of the stairs in the keep are very steep and narrow. The keep is not accessible for visitors with disabilities and there is restricted access to the grounds only. There are interpretation panels in the grounds of the castle which allow for self-guiding. There is on street parking in Trim. Max 2 hours. A paid ticket is required.
For more information visit the OPW website here.
Possibly one of Ireland’s most famous Heritage Sites, Brú na Bóinne is the jewel in the crown of the Boyne Valley. Older than the pyramids of Egypt, Brú na Bóinne is famous for the spectacular prehistoric passage tombs of Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth which were built circa 3200BC.
Newgrange was built by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. Knowth and Dowth are similar mounds that together with Newgrange have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Visitors from all over the World have visited Brú na Bóinne and the Boyne Valley to learn more about the traditions and burial rituals of our ancestors. Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre is the starting point for all visits to Newgrange and Knowth. The Visitor Centre exhibition is a fully interactive visitor experience exploring the Neolithic culture, landscape and monuments of Brú na Bóinne.
It is important to note that all tours at Brú na Bóinne start from the Visitor Centre. There is no access to Newgrange or Knowth if you go straight to the monuments. Tickets can be booked on the OPW website for all tours not more than 30 days in advance. All tickets must be pre booked.
There are two tour options available to pre book for Brú na Bóinne. The Brú na Bóinne Tour plus Newgrange Chamber. This includes the exhibitions at Knowth and Brú na Bóinne visitor centre and a guided tour of the chamber at Newgrange. (There is no access to the chambers at Knowth). The other option is The Newgrange Tour plus the exhibition. This includes the exhibitions at Brú na Bóinne visitor centre and access to the chamber at Newgrange. All tickets must be purchased in advance from the OPW website here.
You can also take in the amazing exhibitions at the Visitor Centre only on your trip. These tickets are not available to book online, and you should contact the Visitor Centre in advance before you travel.
Visitors wishing to see Dowth can access the exterior of the monument directly via the N51. There is no access via the Visitor Centre. For any queries on booking tours for Brú na Bóinne, please contact them directly on (041) 988 0300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Plan your trip in advance so that you can visit even more of our heritage sites in the region. The Battle of the Boyne Centre, Loughcrew Cairns, the Hill of Tara and Old Melifont Abbey also provide tours during the summer months! Find out more on our website here. We can’t wait to welcome you.