Ireland's Ancient East covers the area outside of Dublin and east of the River Shannon, extending from Carlingford to Cavan and south to Cork City, including East County Cork and East County Limerick. Encompassing 17 counties and over 5,000 years of history, Ireland’s Ancient East features three unique areas;
First is the Land of 5,000 Dawns, this area comprises some exceptional passage tombs including Newgrange which dates back to 3200BC.
If you are interested in seeing this then a great itinerary worth exploring is the route though Brú na Bóinne, Hill of Slane, Loughcrew Cairns and Cavan Burren Geopark. This path will take approx 3 days to complete and takes you on a journey of myth, magic and ancient rituals in the lush fields of Meath, Cavan and Louth. From the mysterious Newgrange built for the winter solstice, past Neolithic tombs decorated with breath-taking art, through to the eerie landscape of the Cavan Burren. If it’s legend, history, jaw-dropping art and beautiful countryside you’re after, then you will find it on this route.
The second area is the historic heartlands, this area is a journey through our national heritage towns, the Rock of Cashel, Kilkenny Castle and Lough Boora Bog.
The third area is along the Celtic coast, where Vikings looted holy treasures from the monastic city of Glendalough and the light of Europe’s oldest lighthouse sweeps across Ireland’s story-strewn maritime history. A great itinerary to follow for the Celtic Coast ranges from water based tours of the Shannon River, bringing you on a journey of the lives of missionary monks, scholarly sculptors and many others.
For anyone that is already in Dublin it is a fantastic opportunity to step back in time and see some of the best castles, megalithic tomes and Viking settlements that Europe has to offer.