Boyne Valley Tour

Newgrange :

Is a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, located eight kilometres west of Drogheda on the north side of the River Boyne.  It was built during the Neolithic period, around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids. A visit will really get you in touch with the past.

Trim Castle :

Trim Castle is the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, it was built by Hugh de Lacy when he was granted the Liberty of Meath by King Henry II in 1172. Construction of the three storied Keep, the central stronghold of the castle, was begun in 1176 on the site of an earlier wooden fortress. This twenty-sided tower, which is cruciform in shape, was protected by a ditch, curtain wall and moat. The Castle was the location for King John's Castle in the film 'Braveheart' the historical drama directed by and starring Mel Gibson.

Drogheda :

Is one of the oldest towns in Ireland, known for its tourism and as a centre of industry, and medical care. It is located in County Louth on the Dublin-Belfast corridor on the east coast of Ireland, 56 km north of Dublin. Located at the mouth of the River Boyne, Drogheda's name derives from the Irish ‘Droichead Átha’, meaning bridge of the ford. Originally 80 acres was walled. The town is often referred to as the "Gateway to the Boyne Valley". Today, it is a bustling town of over 30,000 inhabitants, constantly growing and developing with the times. But Drogheda is a town, with many layers of history woven into its almost countless centuries. It is best known for a number of significant historic events, including the Battle of the Boyne, which took place a few miles outside the town in 1690, and the storming of the town by Oliver Cromwell in 1649. The totalled walled area made Drogheda one of the largest walled towns in medieval Ireland. It was comparable in size to Dublin, Kilkenny, Bristol and Oxford. 


                                            


The above are suggested sites.For more historic and beautiful locations please visit .......Boyne Valley Heritage sites .


Wicklow Tour

Powerscourt House and Gardens :

Powerscourt Estate located in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland, is a large country estate which is noted for its house and landscaped gardens, today occupying 19 hectares (47 acres). The house, originally a 13th-century castle, was extensively altered during the 18th century by German architect Richard Cassels, starting in 1731 and finishing in 1741. A fire in 1974 left the house lying as a shell until it was renovated in 1996. Originally the family seat of the Viscounts Powerscourt, the estate has been owned by the Slazenger family, founders and former owners of the Slazenger sporting goods business, since 1961. It is a popular tourist attraction, and includes Powerscourt Golf Club, an Avoca Handweavers restaurant, and an Autograph Collection Hotel. The gardens are magnificent.

    

                        

                               

Glendalough :

“Valley of the Two Lakes” is a fascinating monastic settlement in a spectacular natural setting just an hour south of Dublin. The monastery was founded by St. Kevin, a hermit monk who died about 618 AD. It combines extensive monastic ruins with a stunning natural setting in the Wicklow Mountains. The beauty and tranquillity of the lakes and glacial-carved valley no doubt appealed to St Kevin, a hermit monk, who founded the monastic site near the Lower Lake in the 6th Century. Most of the buildings that survive today date from the 10th through 12th centuries. Despite attacks by Vikings over the years, Glendalough thrived as one of Ireland’s great ecclesiastical foundations and schools of learning until the arrival of the Normans.

Wicklow Gaol :

An atmospheric jail museum experience in Wicklow Town, Wicklow’s Historic Gaol offers visitors a glimpse of life in Ireland’s past. Through an interactive tour led by experienced actor guides, Wicklow’s Historic Gaol tells the story of its prisoners including the participants in the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and those awaiting transportation to a new life in Australia. The harshness of prison life in the 18th century, the story of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the cruelty of the transportation ships and hope of a new life in Australia can all be experienced in this thought-provoking attraction in Wicklow Town. The original gaol dungeon is open again for the first time in over 100 years and enables visitors to experience first-hand the sights and sounds of harsh life in the dungeon. Wicklow Gaol’s story is interwoven with the history of Wicklow and Ireland itself and is a highlight on any historical itinerary of the town and its surrounds. The town itself has a wonderful harbour used by small merchant ships.

                      


For more on Wicklow sites visit.....Wicklow Attractions.

Dublin Tour

Guinness Storehouse : 

Is a tourist attraction at St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. Since opening in 2000, it has received over four million visitors. The Storehouse covers seven floors surrounding a glass atrium shaped in the form of a pint of Guinness. The ground floor introduces the beer's four ingredients (water, barley, hops and yeast), and the brewery's founder, Arthur Guinness. Other floors feature the history of Guinness advertising and include an interactive exhibit on responsible drinking. The seventh floor houses the Gravity Bar with views of Dublin and where visitors may drink a pint of Guinness included in the price of admission. In 2006, a new wing opened incorporating a live installation of the present-day brewing process. The building in which the Storehouse is located was constructed in 1902 as a fermentation plant for the St. James's Gate Brewery (where yeast is added to the brew). The building was designed in the style of the Chicago School of Architecture and was the first multi-storey steel-framed building to be constructed in Ireland. The building was used continuously as the fermentation plant of the Brewery until its closure in 1988, when a new fermentation plant was completed near the River Liffey. In 1997, it was decided to convert the building into the Guinness Storehouse, replacing the Guinness Hop Store as the Brewery's visitor centre. The redesign of the building was undertaken by the UK-based design firm Imagination in conjunction with the Dublin-based architects firm RKD, and the Storehouse opened to the public on 2 December 2000.

 


Dublinia:   (The Viking Experience)

Take a trip back to Viking times and discover what life was like on board a Viking warship. See their weaponry and the skills of being a Viking warrior. Try on Viking clothes, become a slave and stroll down a noisy street. Trip back in time to Viking Dublin with costumes, weaponry and a Viking street. Witness the sights, sounds and smells of a busy medieval city. Discover how archaeology and history piece together our ancestors’ lives. See Viking & Medieval artefacts. Catch our panoramic views of Dublin city from the top of a medieval tower.


Malahide Castle :

The estate began in 1185, when Richard Talbot, a knight who accompanied Henry II to Ireland in 1174, was granted the "lands and harbour of Malahide". The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 12th century and it was home to the Talbot family for 791 years, from 1185 until 1976. The estate survived such losses as the Battle of the Boyne, when fourteen members of the owner's family sat down to breakfast in the Great Hall, and all were dead by evening, and the Penal Laws, even though the family remained Roman Catholic until 1774. Malahide Castle and Demesne was eventually inherited by the 7th Baron Talbot and on his death in 1973, passed to his sister, Rose. In 1975, Rose sold the castle to the Irish State, partly to fund inheritance taxes. The ornamental gardens adjoining the castle cover an area of about 22 acres and were largely created by Lord Milo Talbot. He was an enthusiastic plant collector who brought specimens from around the world to create the gardens here; he also re-landscaped the grounds here to dramatic effect. In all there are in excess of 5000 difference species and varieties of plants present. The gardens are best described as a small Botanic garden. In addition to the abundance of flora our exhibition presents fascinating stories about the gardens, Milo and Rose and the wonderful world of southern hemisphere plants. The garden interactive exhibition is located in the Visitor Centre and is the ideal place to find out more about the gardens created by Lord Milo Talbot, the last Lord Talbot to reside at Malahide Castle.

                                                       


For more Dublin attractions visit.....Dublin Attractions.

 

Kilkenny/Tipperary/Waterford

Kilkenny Castle :

Is a castle in Kilkenny, Ireland built in 1195 to control a fording-point of the River Nore and the junction of several route-ways. It was a symbol of Norman occupation and in its original thirteenth-century condition it would have formed an important element of the defences of the town with four large circular corner towers and a massive ditch, part of which can still be seen today on the Parade. The property was transferred to the people of Kilkenny in 1967 for £50 and the castle and grounds are now managed by the Office of Public Works. The gardens and parkland adjoining the castle are open to the public. Here you will learn about the Norman/Irish confluence of cultures.


 


Rock of Cashel :

The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most visited sites, and is a spectacular and archaeological site. A collection of medieval ecclesiastical buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale. The 12th-century round tower is of the oldest surviving building on the Rock, also include a high cross, and the ruins Romanesque chapel - Cormac's Chapel is one of the earliest,and finest churches built in the Romanesque style. The 13th-century Gothic cathedral is a large cruciform Gothic church without aisles built between 1230 and 1270. Also a 15th-century castle and the Hall of the Vicars is the entry point to the ecclesiastical enclosure. The Hall houses the museum where the original Cross of St. Patrick can be found. The site includes an audio-visual show and exhibitions. The Rock of Cashel, also known as St Patrick’s Rock, is located just 500 metres from the centre of Cashel Town, County Tipperary. 

Waterford Crystal :

Waterford Crystal story started to blossom in 1783 when two brothers, George and William Penrose, founded their crystal manufacturing business in the busy port of Waterford.  Today it is the leading brand of premium crystal. Its products - superb handcrafted crystal stemware, giftware and lightingware - are designed and manufactured to the highest standards. A splendid tour of the property takes you through the history of the company along with demonstrations of glass blowing.

                                             


Medieval Waterford Museum :

It is Ireland’s only purpose-built medieval museum and the only building on the island to incorporate two medieval chambers, the 13th century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th century Mayor’s Wine Vault.  The museum galleries feature some of the great treasures of medieval Ireland and Europe, including the unique 4 metre long illuminated Great Charter Roll of Waterford (1373) as well as the sumptuous cloth-of-gold vestments (1460).