There are so many beautiful towns and villages to visit in the Boyne Valley this summer. Slane is just one to get on the bucket list. Slane is the access point from the N2 to the 5000 year old Newgrange and Knowth, Ireland's most important archaeological site at Brú na Bóinne. It is rich in sites and legends from the more recent past, down to the monster pop concerts at Slane Castle, which have become a modern-day legend. Here are top ten reasons to explore this pretty little town this summer.
This historic landmark has played hosts to many events in the past including rock concerts and more intimate events inside the Castle. You can now take a tour of this magnificent building, learn about the Conyngham Family, the history of the castle and all about the concerts that have been held at the venue over the years. The tour duration is 45mins and they are available Friday to Sunday.
Slane's long and fascinating history is brilliantly outlined on the Slane Historic Trail. There is a wealth of historic sites to explore in the estate village of Slane. Its past is brought to life through a series of plaques and panels placed at points of interest along the route. The self-guided route is 2.2km long and will take approximately 45-60 minutes. The perfect way to spend an afternoon.
The Francis Ledwidge Museum is the cottage birthplace of World War I poet, Francis Ledwidge. It is a perfect example of a 19th century farm labourer's cottage and was purchased and restored by the Francis Ledwidge Museum Committee in 1981. It houses the poet's works and artefacts from World War I, alongside memorabilia of the period. The museum is open from Monday to Sunday from 10am to 4.30pm during the summer months.
Housed within the 250-year-old stables of the iconic Slane Castle Estate, a guided distillery tour of Slane Whiskey uncovers a history like no other. Learn about the process behind their triple casked blend, the craftsmanship that goes into each of the three casks and the flavours and aromas that each cask contributes to the whiskey’s smooth yet full bodied character. Tours are available Thursday through Sunday at the Distillery during the summer months.
Experience one of the best views of the Boyne Valley at the Hill of Slane. On the site, a well-preserved tower is to be found among the ruins of a Franciscan Monastery, dating from 1512. The ruins of a college, built to house four priest, four lay brothers and four choristers, also remain.
Every Thursday, local food and craft producers from the Boyne Valley converge on Rock Farm for the weekly market. The popular Rock Farm Tours also run-on Thursdays. The market runs every Thursday from 11am to 4pm.
The Irish Military war museum is situated just an 8-minute drive from Slane village and is worth a visit while in the region. This is Ireland’s largest private military collective housed in a 5,000 sq ft ‘hands on’ museum. WW1 and WW2 trenches and vehicles, original decommissioned weapons, and equipment. This is a fantastic educational and historical resource for people of all ages. The museum and kids park are open Monday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm all summer long.
No visit to Slane is complete without a visit to Brabazon restaurant at Tankardstown House Hotel. The restaurant boasts fine dining and seasonal dishes that are locally sourced and beautifully presented in a cosy atmosphere. Book well I advance to avoid disappointment.
This beautifully restored 18th Century coaching inn is set in the heart of historic Slane village and is your perfect base for your visit to Slane. As well as their country-chic bedrooms, the hotel also offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner in their restaurant as a private function room and terrace.
Slane Hub is the place to go to get all the details on points of interest in the town, opening times, local tours and more. Its open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 4.30pm.
One thing is for sure, once you pay a visit to this wonderful village, you will want to return time and time again- and you will be welcomed with open arms.
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