There are so many things to do with the family this summer in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East. From adventure centres to beaches to rollercoasters- the list is endless. But what about a holiday destination in Ireland for their imagination? Did you know that the Boyne Valley is full of amazing heritage sites and historical places of interest? Make memories with the kids this summer and conquer all the castles of the Boyne Valley. Pack a picnic and make a day of it, book a tour and plan a day out for all the family, or just explore the many castles in our region and tell them tales of days gone by!
We have prepared a list of the best castles in the Boyne Valley to visit this summer.
A castle that passed through the hands of many owners. It was first occupied by the Dowdall family and then the Maguire family who burnt it to the ground rather than surrender it to Cromwell’s forces in the 1600’s. After being rebuilt it was set alight for a second time around the time of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 and has remained a ruin ever since. Wander through the ground floor areas of this castle and imagine what it would have been like hundreds of years ago for the families that occupied it. Access to Athlumney Castle is via the nearby Athlumney Manor B&B. A key may be borrowed from Pat Boylan, upon leaving a small deposit.
Located on the east side of Castle Street, this building ranks as the largest fortified town house to survive in Ireland. The mass of its masonry makes it the most noticeable of the remains of the medieval town of Ardee. Dating from the fifteenth century, this structure is known as ‘Ardee Castle’, ‘St Leger’s Castle’ and ‘Pipard’s Castle’. Bring the family for a trip to Ardee and read up about the town falling to Cromwell and the significance it had during the Battle of the Boyne.
Slane Castle, situated in a dramatic setting by the river Boyne, is one of the most exciting buildings architecturally in Ireland. Home to the Conyngham family since 1703 and now home to Slane Distillery housed in 150-year-old stables designed by Capability Brown. There is so much to explore here, and tours can be booked to give you the full history of this wonderful building and family. After your tour why not take a visit to their outdoor dining area in the castle, their food truck beside the distillery or even the distillery itself!
Trim Castle is the largest, best-preserved & most impressive Anglo-Norman Castle in Ireland. Trim Castle was built in 1172, shortly after the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in Ireland. It was also the site of the movie “Braveheart” that starred Mel Gibson. Visit the beautiful grounds of this site, take a picnic for the day, imagine what it would have been like for the families that lived inside the walls of the castle, and the families that lived outside the walls!
Other castles to explore include Dunmoe Castle outside Navan and Dangan Castle near Summerhill and Donore Castle. Always plan ahead before you visit as there may be access restrictions to some sites.
Why not live and act like a king and queen for the day- visit our beautiful castles and heritage sites right here in the Boyne Valley.
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