Located in the Boyne Valley and beside the 5,000 year old Loughcrew Cairns is Loughcrew Megalithic Centre. At Loughcrew Megalithic centre visitors will find Nelly’s Kitchen Café, Maggie Heaney’s Cottage and Benny’s Workshop. These traditional thatched cottages surround the courtyard where people love to sit and relax after an enjoyable hike up to the highest point in the Boyne Valley.
In Nelly’s Kitchen Café visitors can warm up with good quality food and beverages. We believe we serve the best beverages around using a long established brand name Bewleys as our source. Our cakes and treats are all homemade and our staff use the freshest ingredients for our hot and cold meals. It’s the perfect place to relax after taking a trip up the ancient Loughcrew Complex.
Maggie Heaney’s Cottage is a 1700’s heritage museum located in the courtyard of the centre. Here visitors can get a feel for what life was like in a traditional Irish cottage. Inside the visitor will get to see antique furniture from times gone by, an audio visual from a past inhabitant explaining life growing up in this cottage and also information about the Loughcrew Cairns and the legend of the Cailleach (Witch).
Benny’s Workshop also makes up part of this traditional courtyard and is available for events, meetings and special occasions. Some events it has been used for include; yoga, sound meditation, children’s fun day, art/photography exhibitions, archaeological talks and craft fairs to name a few. Make sure to keep a close eye on our website to ensure you don’t miss an event.
Leave your car in our car park and take a short hike to the peak of Sliabh na Cailli. This is where you will find some of the ancient passage tombs which make up the Loughcrew Complex. Cairn T is the most impressive tomb in the complex and draws a large crowd at the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes. On these days the rising sun illuminates the chamber and in particular the beautifully decorated stone in the back recess. On a clear day visitors will be able to see over half of Ireland from the top of Sliabh na Cailli (Hill of the Witch) and while you are there it is a must to make a wish on the Hag’s Chair.
Maggie Heaney's Cottage and Guided Tours
Before the discovery of the ancient cairns, there were many generations living in Maggie's cottage in the quiet hills of Loughcrew. Some of the first visitors would call in as they made their way to the 5,000 year old monuments. That tradition carries on today, as people call into the centre for a cup of coffee and a tour of the traditional Irish cottage. Maggie's home dates from the late 1700s and has been lovingly restored. The furniture and implements date from the early part of the last century and you can get a full tour from a passionate local.
The tour guides can also bring you on a guided tour of the ancient cairns which are just a short walk away. These cairns are older than Newgrange or the Hill of Tara.
(Due to ongoing conservation works access to the interior of Cairn T is not possible at present. The rest of the monuments on the hill are not affected by this necessary work)
Things To Do
- Tour of Maggie's Cottage
- Loughcrew Cairns Walk
- Guided Tour of Loughcrew Cairns
- Lunch at Nelly's Cafe
Accommodation also provided where you can visit the historic cairns at any time of the day.
Loughcrew, Oldcastle, Co. Meath