Explore Ireland's Ancient East in 2 Days
The Ashbourne Court Hotel, Ashbourne Holds The Key To 5,000 Year of European History in Ireland’s Ancient East
The Ashbourne Court Hotel, Ashbourne is the perfect location to discover 5,000 years of Irish history, from Ancient Ireland and Early Christian Ireland to Medieval and Anglo Ireland. Here at The Ashbourne Court Hotel we have created the perfect two day plan for those that want to discover all that Ireland’s Ancient East has to offer!
Ancient Ireland, Newgrange 9.30am – 11.30am
Built before Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, Newgrange is a truly remarkable insight into the intelligence of our prehistoric cousins. The building is constructed so that on the shortest day in late December the sun streams in and floods the inside chamber. This annual event attracts people and media from all around the world who marvel at the architectural and astrological expertise possessed by the Irish over 5,000 years ago.
Newgrange is located just a half hour drive from The Ashbourne Court Hotel so we suggest leaving at 9.00AM to ensure that you can stay there for a full two hours to truly take in this outstanding site and all that it has to offer. Take in a spot of lunch in the Brú na Bóinne visitor centre and be back on the road by 1.30pm to ensure that you reach your next destination with time to spare.
Medieval Ireland, Trim Castle 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Fast forward a few thousand years to the Norman invasion and explore Medieval Ireland. Trim Castle is one of Ireland’s most important historical sites. It is Ireland’s largest Norman Castle and was built in the 12th century. During the Middle Ages Trim Castle was the administrative centre of Meath as well as a strategic military location.
Trim Castle is located a half hour drive from Newgrange and a 35 minute drive from The Ashbourne Court Hotel. So you should have plenty of time to explore this wonderful medieval castle and be back at the hotel for 4.30pm. A tour of Trim Castle will set you back a very reasonable €2.00.
Early Christian Ireland, Glendalough 10.00am – 1.00pm
Glendalough is a world famous early medieval monastic settlement as well as one of the most beautiful locations in Ireland. The site includes several medieval churches, a beautiful round tower and several important artefacts of early monastic life in Europe and Ireland. Lonely Planet calls Glendalough "truly one of the most beautiful places in Ireland and a highlight of any trip to the island."
Glendalough is a 60 minute drive from The Ashbourne Court Hotel so if you leave the hotel at 9.00am you should be able to take 3 hours to explore Glendalough and sample some excellent Irish cuisine in the wonderful beautiful Wicklow Heather Restaurant before exploring Anglo Saxon Ireland.
Anglo Ireland, Wicklow Gaol 2.30 – 4.30
Anglo Ireland is a term commonly used to describe 19th century Ireland. The term Anglo Irish was used to refer to a privileged class in Ireland who mostly belonged to the Protestant Anglican Church of Ireland. Some of Ireland’s most famous people were of Anglo Irish descent including W.B Yeats, Arthur Guinness, Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift. Wicklow Goal explores the oppressive side of the Anglo Irish community in Ireland and is a truly wonderful experience with the tours given by passionate actors with outstanding local knowledge.
Wicklow goal is a 55 minute drive from The Residents Hotel so you will be back in The Ashbourne Court Hotel for 5.30pm. Wicklow Goal costs €7.90 for adults, €5.00 for children or €20.00 for a family pass.