Irelands Ancient East
We begin Irelands Ancient East trip today by staying in County Louth to visit nearby Monasterboice High Cross and Round Tower. It is an Early Christian settlement founded in the 5th century. Monasterboice is most famous for its spectacular high crosses. And one of the crosses, Muiredach’s High Cross is thought to be the finest high cross in Ireland.
Today we will again be in County Meath. We were in Meath yesterday to visit Bru na Boinne. But today we are setting our GPS for Slane Castle. The castle has been the family home of the Conyngham family since 1701. King George IV of England stayed there in 1821. If you have ever driven in Ireland, you know that the roads are full of curves. The way from Dublin to Slane is one of the straightest roads in Ireland. It was created to speed up the journey of King George IV for his visit to the castle. You can tour this lived in castle and even sit on the furniture which is a rarity on castle tours.
Once or twice a year, the property hosts a huge concert with headliner names like Queen, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Bon Jovi to name a few.
One special piece of art that they had hanging at Slane Castle was a picture of Queen Victoria when she was being told she was now queen. However, the real special part of this picture is that Queen Victoria signed it.
Do you like Irish Whiskey? After the castle, tour Slane distillery located on the castle grounds. You can take a guided tour to see their heritage room, barley room, cooperage, and maturation warehouse. Then finish the tour by learning how to taste Whiskey. Finally and best of all, taste their signature triple casked blended Slane Irish Whiskey.
Brown’s Bar located in Slane Castle is our recommendation for lunch. We usually do not like to eat meals in hotels or attractions, but because of the bars uniqueness, decided on lunch at Brown’s Bar. The bar, decorated with memorabilia from concerts held over the years was once the home to the Castle housekeeper Mary Browne. They serve delicious sandwiches and excellent soups. Someone we dined with had the crab claws with garlic and chorizo and loved them.
The Castle from Braveheart
After lunch, we headed to Trim Castle. Trim Castle is the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Trim Castle, best known for being the setting for Mel Gibson’s Braveheart movie. In Medieval times, Trim Castle stood as an imposing stone sentinel. It was a symbol of Norman strength and power. And at over 1000 years old, today, Trim Castle is very photogenic. They have reinforced some of the walls and floors so you can safely navigate the castle. One thing you typically don’t see in castles are floors on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th levels. Because these were made of wood and have decayed over the centuries.
Nuremore Hotel, County Monaghan
Once finished at Trim, head to the Nuremore Hotel in Carrickmacross. Nuremore Hotel is a family owned 4-star hotel. If you are a golfer, you may want to spend an extra day and take advantage of their beautiful golf course and country club. The grounds of Nuremore are lovely. We had a beautiful room with a king bed and a seating area.
The Nuremore Restaurant in this Victorian hotel has a split-level ding room. The formally set dining room, with linen-laid tables, embodies elegance and fine service. As with many of the places we have recommended for meals, their menu showcases seasonal ingredients. And if you are wine lovers like us, they have an excellent all glass wine cellar. They will happily invite you in to select a lovely vintage to accompany your dinner. We had a set menu that included a starter, main course, and dessert. In between each stylish course, they served up little treats.
Today, again Ireland’s Ancient East showcased the old and the new. We experienced castles, drank whiskey and had the luxury of sleeping and eating at the Nuremore hotel. We have one more day left to Ancient East road trip. See you next post!
A video tour of our day 3
This is part of a 4 part Ireland series… be sure to read part 1 of our road trip in Ireland.
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