Irelands ancient East
Where I stayed and Where I explored
This week I had some holiday days to take from work and I didn’t want to waste them. My bank balance is still recovering from my New York trip so I decided to have a staycation and explore some of Ireland’s ancient East. I really do think Ireland is stunning and I certainly take it for granted and I don’t appreciate what is on my doorstep, so my goal is to explore more parts of Ireland. The older I get the more appreciate the beauty of where I live. I also adore this time of year as we have gorgeous gardens and I love seeing all of the little cottages in full bloom.
I live in West Dublin so, Meath is on my doorstep and I am close to its border. For ages, I really wanted to stay in the gorgeous railway signal house in The Station House Hotel. So I was delighted when I got the chance to stay there. It was the perfect starting point for exploring.
Where we stayed
We stayed in the adorable Station House Hotel. If you are from Dublin you would be familiar with this hotel as it is really popular with weddings and a lot of people I know have gotten married here. It only took us half an hour to drive to the hotel and it is located in Kilmessan and it is in the heart of the Boyne Valley Drive. The location is fantastic as it is located 15-minute drive to Trim and Navan.
We stayed in the Railway Signal house suite. This is a real treat especially for my ladies who love a touch of cottage shabby chic. The suite had two floors and a four poster bed. It was beautifully decorated in the same style of the main country house. We stayed for two nights here and I didn’t want to leave. I could quite happily live in the little cottage. We also had dinner in the award winning signal house restaurant on our last evening. The food was gorgeous. If you do go to the restaurant and you have room for the dessert then you need to try the dish that had the baked pear. I cant remember the name of the dish but it was amazing!
You might have noticed on my Instagram that I took some outfit pictures in the stunning gardens. There is a woodland right on the grounds, there is also an area in the centre of the woods for people to get married. I took full advantage of the gorgeous rose bushes and got some pictures.
If you are looking for a relaxing space then this is the perfect spot.
|Old railway signal house at The Station House Hotel, Kilmessan.|
Where we explored
The first evening we walked down to the gorgeous town of Kilmessan. This was just a few minutes walk from the hotel and the town had the cutest cottages. We had a few pints of Guinness in the local pubs before heading back to the hotel. There is also a gorgeous seating area by a stream if you walk up a little further. I fell in love with a little cottage and it turns out this lady has a Facebook page and teaches classes. You can find her Facebook page here.
Bective Abbey was only a few minutes from our hotel. It is a Cistercian Abbey dating back to the 15th century. It is the perfect spot to have a pit stop and a picnic. When researching places to visit Bective Abbey didn’t come up, however, I think it is a really nice spot to visit and I loved that it wasn’t overly busy so we could wander around in peace. It is a really quiet spot and perfect for taking photographs. I know this spot is really popular with weddings and couples getting photos.
We stopped here and had a wander whilst we were on our way to Trim. I would recommend stopping here for a picnic if the weather is fine.
Trim castle and town
I already have a soft spot for Trim. One of my favourite little paint shops is there and I have been to Trim a few times to stock up on paint. I never actually stopped and took the time to walk around the town. Trim is a heritage town and is full of character and history. I saw some gorgeous little shops and tea shops. I love that nothing looked the same in this town and it wasn’t full of modern day commercial shops that you see everywhere. It looks to be kept pure and supports local independent trade. There were gorgeous town houses and gardens in full bloom.
We decided to go inside Trim castle and do the tour. It was €10 to take the tour and it was around 40 minutes long. The views from the top are stunning and we had such gorgeous weather so I got some amazing views. Our tour guide was full of knowledge. The castle is full of history and some might say it could be haunted. We wandered up the tiny steps to the top and took in the stunning views. I would recommend touring the castle and then wandering into the town or a spot of lunch and dinner and spending the afternoon enjoying this gorgeous town.
When I get older ( and my mortgage gets smaller ) my goal is to have a cottage in a lovely quaint town like Trim.
|Trim Castle, view from the top.|
The Hill of Tara
This was a short drive from our hotel. The Hill of Tara didn’t seem to have guided tours, however, we did see people on walking tours so, you may be able to arrange these privately. This area has breathtaking views of the surrounding Boyne Valley area. Tara is full of Celtic monuments and history. Now, I won’t lie I am not 100% up on my history of Tara but I did find this website and the information on it helpful if you want to have a read.
These were some of the places we visited along the Boyne Valley Drive. There are tonnes more. The great thing is that it is it is all within a close proximity to each other. You can arrange to do a tour or simply pop in a car and do it at your own leisure. I would recommend driving. There are cycling and walking trails however driving is probably best if you want to see all of the historic places in one or two days.
|Hill of Tara|
Some other places to see and things to do
I found this blog post by Matt from landlopers.com really helpful. In it, he mentions Newgrange ( you might remember this from school tours when you were younger), Battle of the Boyne, Lough Crew, Kells and Slane Castle and distillery. You can find that post by clicking here.
Another place that is on my visit list is the Boann distillery in Drogheda. This Summer it will open up its distillery and take you on a guided tour. There is also a restaurant here too so if you get hungry on your trip around the Boyne Valley then you can pitstop here. When I visit here I will share my experiences with you. Il pop it up on my Youtube too. If you are coming to Ireland for the first time then I highly recommend visiting one of the distilleries. Whether it is St James gate or a smaller craft distillery it is always a good afternoon adventure. The drinks are delicious too.
I hope you found this post helpful. I also made a staycation Vlog if you want to see more of what I got up to and the stunning Signal house I stayed in. Also a huge thank you to The Station House Hotel for letting me stay in their gorgeous railway signal house suite.
I am also looking for my next place in Ireland to visit so if you have any recommendations then leave them below in the comments section.
Thanks for reading,
*My stay at the Station House Hotel was kindly sponsored. This is not a paid for post and as always all opinions and creative are my own.