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The presence of a healthy population over such a long period of time has led to County Meath earning the title of Ireland’s heritage capital, with sites of historical importance being scattered across the whole of the county. One of the most important of these is perhaps the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Brú na Bóinne.
The county itself is located just 25 miles away from Dublin Airport. Since the airport takes flights from all over the world, this means that the natural, cultural and historical splendours of County Meath are just a few hours away for visitors travelling from all over the world.
The airport itself is open around the clock, every day of the year except Christmas Day, and it takes flights to and from 175 different cities across Europe and the rest of the world. Boasting all of the facilities you’d expect from a modern transport hub (money changing, car hire and so on), it means that you can start exploring everything that County Meath has to offer just 45 minutes after your flight lands.
The rich history on view throughout the county is underlined by the fact that there are a number of specific heritage trails to choose from, all of which allow visitors to explore stunning remnants of the past in an ordered and accessible manner.
The Meath heritage trail begins at the Tara Hill, an atmospheric site of ancient earthworks located 15 minutes away from Navan. Other highlights include the remains of Bective Abbey, which was founded in 1147 and is situated 15 minutes off the R161, and Trim Castle, one of the locations used for the film Braveheart.
Unlike some other trails, which require a vehicle and several days to complete, the Athboy Heritage Trail takes place entirely upon the streets of the town of Athboy, and is a historical trip that can easily be enjoyed on foot. Highlights include the Church of Ireland grounds, The Bridge, which was built around 1400, and the ruins of Athboy Castle. Athboy itself is located along the N51.
Visitors return to the Republic of Ireland time and time again thanks to the sheer warmth of the welcome provided by the locals. Nowhere is this more in evidence than in the legendary traditional Irish pubs, of which County Meath has more than its fair share.
Farrellys Bar is a truly traditional family-run Irish pub in Oldcastle, famed for its excellent Guinness and offering live music every Thursday and Sunday night. Shanks Mare Pub and Restaurant, located in a tranquil rural setting between Moynalvey and Summerhill, provides a wide range of delicious food, all of which is hand-cooked on the premises.
The Solstice Arts Centre is based in Navan, in the centre of the county. It has been dubbed the entertainment hub of Meath, and offers a selection of national and international artists displaying their skills in music, art, drama and comedy, all staged within a strikingly modernist building.