From the Neolithic passage tombs at Newgrange in County Meath to County Wicklow’s Glendalough, a medieval monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century, the mideast region of Ireland is rich in archaeological and cultural significance.
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It includes the counties of Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow.
However, if you want to explore farther into the county, you will need a rental car or hire a private driver.
Some of the county's most popular attractions include Castletown House in Co. Kildare, Ireland’s first and largest palladian-style house.
It is part of a 550-acre estate, which was built between 1722 and 1729 for the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, William Connolly.
It was designed by the famous Italian architect of the time, Alessandro Galilei.
Some say it inspired the design of the White House, which was overseen by the Irish-born architect James Hoban.
Self-guided tours can be booked on the Castletown House website.
If you are interested in a guided tour, email [email protected] to arrange a date and time.
Another popular attraction in County Kildare is the Irish National Stud & Gardens, where you can experience a new experiential initiative called The Irish Racehorse Experience.
The experience recounts how Ireland and the Irish diaspora have become a world-leading force in the breeding, training and racing of horses.
Considered part of the Boyne Valley, there's a lot to explore in County Louth, Ireland's smallest county.
Among them is the Old Mellifont Abbey, the first of Ireland's Cistercian monasteries, which was constructed in 1142 by St. Malachy of Armagh.
Its main attraction is the octagonal Lavabo, a device used to wash one’s hands.
After the dissolution of the monastery in 1539, it became a private manor house.
One of the most important events to take place at the house was the Treaty of Mellifont in 1603, which ended the Nine Years’ War. It also served as King William of Orange’s headquarters during the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
Carlingford is a popular town in County Louth, and there's a lot of history to learn about when you visit.
Its main attractions include the 15th-century Thosel, which acted as a toll gate for people coming into the town, is still in remarkably good condition.
Other things to see in Carlingford include King John’s Castle, The Mint, and Taafe’s Castle.
Newgrange is the highlight of any visit to County Meath.
The large passage tomb is said to have been built around 3,200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.
It is part of an archaeological complex that includes Knowth and Dowth.
The Hill of Tara is also popular and is said to have been the ancient seat of Ireland’s high kings, including the infamous Brian Boru.
Trim Castle, the largest Norman castle in Ireland, is another popular attraction.