County Meath was considered to be the centre of ancient and Celtic Ireland, and was even its own kingdom at one stage. Within its borders are the ancient passage tomb of Newgrange, still completely intact after 5000 years, the Hill of Tara the political, economic, and spiritual centre of Ireland for the Celts, and more recently, the opulent Slane Castle and Gardens, still inhabited by descendants of the original owners, namely Henry Mount Charles and family.
Stay at The Trim Castle Hotel or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast
Just a short drive north of Dublin is the small but perfectly formed county Louth, known to most for Carlingford Lough, a lake and buzzing town that visitors flock to for adventure activities like zorbing, canoeing and watersports. Elsewhere in the county is the picturesque fishing village of Clogherhead, and the busy medieval town of Drogheda, founded in 1192 by Vikings and with some of its earliest structures still intact today.
County Derry is one of the most up and coming places in all of Ireland, not least because of it’s crowning glory, the city of Derry itself. Walk along the medieval walls of the city (one of the best examples of its kind in all of Europe), get a feel for the troubled past with a wander through the Bogside area, and investigate the impressive architecture of the Guildhall and the city’s two cathedrals.
Donegal is one of the most beautiful, unspoilt, isolated parts of the whole island. If you want to get away from it all and experience this country at its best, Donegal is where to go. Surfing fans will adore the beach town of Bundoran, while outdoor adventurers will find everything they need at the breathtaking Glenveagh National Park and indoorsy types will find plenty of cosy pubs in Letterkenny and Donegal Town.
Stay at The Sandhouse Hotel or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast
Unlike the rest of the west of Ireland, Sligo is one place that doesn’t get such big crowds of visitors, but has just as much beauty as its neighbouring counties. This land was an inspiration to the poet WB Yeats and it’s easy to see why. The dramatic table mountain of Ben Bulben, the picture perfect fishing village of Rosses Point, and the ancient passage tomb of Carrowmore all lend it an air of mystical magic.
Just a stone’s throw from Dublin, Kildare is a world away from the chaotic capital city. Follow in the footsteps of golfing greats at the prestigious K Club resort or treat yourself to some new silver at the Newbridge Visitor Centre, which specialises in fine silver jewellery. Follow it up by showing off your new purchases on a trip to the races – place your bets at the Curragh or Punchestown, two of Ireland’s best racecourses.