4 places to honour St Patrick in Ireland’s Ancient East

Myths and legends abound in Ireland, and residents are rightly proud of their traditions.  On St Patrick’s Day tomorrow, festivities and parades will be held to honour the emerald isle’s patron saint. But year round, it’s possible to discover Ireland’s colourful history.

From tombs and structures predating Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza, to lively tales told by local characters, treasures of the past are focused in an area which has been designated The Ancient East.

Stretching from Newgrange and the Boyne Valley in the north east, to Waterford and Cork, it’s packed with attractions.

The Boyne Valley, in particular, bathes in historic glories. These are some of the sites which you should visit in honour of St Patrick.

1. The Hill of Slane

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Returning to Ireland as a missionary, St Patrick introduced Christianity in 433 AD by lighting the Paschal Fire in defiance of pagan King Loegaire, the King of Tara. The ruins of an abbey and burial site can still be found here.

2. Slane Castle Distillery

I met the Lord of Slane castle yesterday and his pup Tater 😀🍀☘

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Part of the Slane Castle Estate, this new whiskey house is located in the property’s 250-year-old stables. Learn how Irish Whiskey is made on a Distillery Tour, finishing with a tasting of their triple casked blend.
Tickets €18 from here.

3. Loughcrew Megolithic Cairns

For 5,000 years, people have celebrated the alignment of the sun with one of the cairns at this ancient site. The Spring Equinox, when the phenomenon can be observed at sunrise, is on March 20.

4. Brú na Bóinne


One of the most important prehistoric megalithic sites in Europe, this world heritage site is dominated by three main passage tombs – Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth – dating back to the Neolithic and Late Stone Age periods. Timed tours of the monuments cost from €4 from here.

 

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