Boyne Valley: A hidden gem in Ireland

Boyne Valley
'A townscape view of Drogheda, County Louth.' - Ireland
'A townscape view of Drogheda, County Louth.' spectrumblue / Shutterstock

Of all the hidden gems in Europe, Boyne Valley may well be the most unique. Rich in historical importance and blessed with gorgeous natural landscaping, tourists can find an incredible host of attractions during their visit. Much of Boyne Valley is made up of beautiful woodland. The entire region has been named a World Heritage Site, too.

Boyne Valley’s history is as breathtaking as its natural beauty. Prehistoric Europeans roamed the region and left behind artifacts from the period of their occupation. One of the most amazing clues of their existence are the Neolithic tunnels that extend under the ground, pre-dating the pyramids of Egypt. In addition, Boyne Valley once housed the High Kings of Ireland. The Festival of Samhain was also held in the valley by the Druids, much to the disapproval of Christians who had migrated to the area. Saint Patrick lit a giant bonfire on one of the hills in Boyne Valley to protest the Druid's “pagan” celebrations during Easter weekend. As the centuries progressed, settlers from across Europe began to arrive and build castles, many of which still stand to this day.

Newgrange is one of the top attractions in Boyne Valley. It is one of the three prehistoric tunnels in the region, dating back to around 3000 B.C. It was discovered during the 17th century but was not properly restored until the 1960s. It is now open to the public. The tunnels acted as an underground passageway to the many tombs beneath the valley.

Mellifont Abbey was founded in Ireland in 1142 right near the beautiful river, Mattock, which flows through Boyne Valley. While the abbey is not completely intact today, pieces of it still stand as a monument to residents of the past. The Lavabo - similar to a modern day washroom - is still preserved, however. Visitors can also walk the lush landscaping surrounding it.

The Hill of Slane is a place of legend. Visitors can walk on the very same ground that Saint Patrick did. The Hill of Slane is the very place where he lit the fires to protest the Druid’s Samhain Festival during Easter weekend.

A famous Boyne Valley pastime is that of fishing. Tourists can visit lots of different rivers known for being rich with trout. Visitors can lodge in Trim, a nearby city, where they can also hire guides to help them navigate the diverse countryside.

Hotels and apartments at Boyne Valley