Meath's rich soil, laid down during the last ice age, attracted settlers as early as 8000 BC. They worked their way up the banks of the River Boyne, transforming the landscape from forest to farmland. One of the five provinces of ancient Ireland, Meath was at the centre of Irish politics for centuries.
Today, Meath's fertile land and plentiful water supply make it an important centre of agriculture. Less happily, its proximity to Dublin brought about unchecked growth during the Celtic Tiger's peak and the larger towns are surrounded with soulless housing estates with heavy traffic at commuter time.
For visitors, though, there are numerous attractions here, including many tangible reminders of Meath's fascinating history. You'll find plenty of information at www.meath.ie/tourism.