Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Site in Brú na Bóinne

Newgrange

A startling 80m in diameter and 13m high, Newgrange's white round stone walls, topped by a grass dome, look eerily futuristic. Underneath lies the finest Stone Age passage tomb in Ireland – one of the most remarkabl…
Top Choice Gastronomy in Blacklion

MacNean House & Restaurant

Award-winning TV chef Neven Maguire grew up in this gorgeous village house and has turned it into one of Ireland's finest restaurants/cookery schools. Book months in advance (or nab a last-minute cancellation online…
Top Choice Historic Site in Around Drogheda

Monasterboice

Crowing ravens lend an eerie atmosphere to Monasterboice, an intriguing monastic site down a leafy lane in sweeping farmland, which contains a cemetery, two ancient church ruins, one of the finest and tallest round …
Top Choice Castle in Trim

Trim Castle

Proof of Trim's medieval importance, this remarkably preserved edifice was Ireland's largest Anglo-Norman fortification. Hugh de Lacy founded Trim Castle in 1173, but it was destroyed by Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair, Irela…
Top Choice Historic Site in Brú na Bóinne

Knowth

Northwest of Newgrange, the burial mound of Knowth was built around the same time. It has the greatest collection of passage-grave art ever uncovered in Western Europe, and has been intermittently excavated since 19…
Top Choice Ruins in Around Drogheda

Old Mellifont Abbey

In its Anglo-Norman prime, this abbey, 1.5km off the main Drogheda–Collon road (R168), was the Cistercians' first and most magnificent centre in Ireland. Highly evocative and well worth exploring, the ruins still be…
Top Choice Modern Irish in Slane

Tankardstown House

Recently restored by the owners of the Conyngham Arms, this spectacular manor house and orangery on 32 hectares 10km northwest of Slane dates from the 18th century. Its evening restaurant, Brabazon, is its centrepie…
Top Choice Pub in Cooley Peninsula

Fitzpatrick's

Overflowing inside and out with bric-a-brac – milk cans, lanterns, antlers, church pews, crockery, street signs, barrels, bellows, bank notes, even tables dangling upside-down from the ceiling – Fitzpatrick's is a l…
Top Choice Gastropub in Carrickmacross

Riverbank County Pub

On the banks of the River Glyde (the source of salmon served here), this gem is 7.5km southeast of Carrickmacross on the County Louth border. A roaring fire warms the dining area, with no TVs to distract from fantas…
Top Choice Historic Site in Blacklion

Cavan Burren Park

Just 3km south of Blacklion, within the Cuilcagh Mountain Park and traversed by the Cavan Way walking route, this otherworldly megalithic site was identified in the 1870s but farmed until the 1950s and only establis…