Start your Meath visit to the Royal Canal Greenway by checking into the Hamlet Court Hotel in Johnstown, County Meath. Nestled in the picturesque village of Johnstownbridge on the outskirts of Enfield, The Hamlet Court Hotel is easily accessible just off the M4. With a strong tradition of hospitality, the Hamlet Court Hotel and The O’Neill family is renowned for a warm welcome and personal service.
Kilgar Gardens, Kilcock
A nice way to start your day is to make an appointment to visit Kilgar House Gardens, a member of the Boyne Valley Garden Trail. Cycle west from Kilcock, on the Meath/Kildare border and turn off north to visit these beautiful gardens, located just outside the town. The onsite tearoom sells delicious scones and cakes and be sure to check out their Flower Farm which sells fresh cut flowers.
Now changing direction, head west along the Greenway, towards Enfield.
Famine Pot, Enfield
Cycle to Enfield and in the heart of the town, visit the Irish Famine Soup Pot that serves as a memorial to the Irish Famine and all who perished, suffered and fled from the town in the 1840’s.
From there, collect your provisions in one of the many cafés and shops in Enfield and cycle to see the Midland Great Western Railway buildings including the old railway signal box, warehouses and water-towers, still in use today. Across the road is the Enfield Amenity Park. Spend some time with the children doing the nature trail in the park.
At Enfield Harbour you can begin your adventure along the Royal Canal Greenway, the longest greenway in Ireland stretching 130km from Maynooth in Co. Kildare to Clondara in Co. Longford. This fantastic amenity provides a safe walking and cycling environment on easy-to-negotiate terrain and is a unique way of appreciating the peace and beauty of the surrounding countryside. The Meath stretch of the greenway makes up approximately 22kms of the greenway.
It is believed that the Enfield area was once situated on “an tSlí Mhór” or “The Great Way”, one of 5 roadways that originated at the most sacred site in Ireland, the Hill of Tara. Famed for being the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, Tara is steeped in history and mythology.
Furey’s Pub, Moyvalley
On your way, stop off for lunch in this beautiful quaint pub at Furey’s Moyvalley. Enjoy the warmth of an open fire in Winter and relax before you set off on the second part of your adventure.
Ribbontail Bridge and Longwood Village
A little further west of Furey’s, you will see Ribbontail Bridge spanning the canal. This footbridge was originally built to allow people to cross the canal to attend mass in Longwood. Just beside the bridge you can access a newly developed walkway bringing you straight into the village of Longwood where you can stock up on provisions in one of the local shops or takeaways. Continuing along the Greenway the next stop is the Ribbontail Paddlers.
Ribbontail Paddlers Club – Longwood Harbour- Boyne Aqueduct and the Boyne Viaduct
At Longwood Harbour, the Ribbontail Paddlers Club use a restored lock keeper’s cottage as a clubhouse. About 100 metres west of the harbour you can see the twin architectural marvels of the Boyne Aqueduct and the Boyne Viaduct designed by canal engineer Richard Evans. Both bridges have three splendid arches. The aqueduct carries the Royal Canal over the River Boyne while the viaduct conveys the rail line across the river. You can admire beautifully crafted limestone features on these bridges and reflect on the effort needed to build them before the age of heavy machinery.
Longwood village is just 2kms away by road and has some small shops, takeaways and bars. Only 10minutes by car, take the opportunity to see the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland located at the picturesque town of Trim.
Morans Pub and Shop – Hill of Down
Cycle further to the Hill of Down and have a rest here at the picnic benches while getting a coffee and some light refreshments at Moran's shop and bar by the canal. You may even spot a barge at the Hill of Down before you travel onwards to Killucan in County Westmeath.
See our Boyne Valley South itinerary for more ideas on exploring the area.