Navan is a charming town in County Meath. It is the 5th largest town and 10th urban settlement in Ireland. It is also very popular due to its tourism. Most of the visitors come to this town to learn the history and visit the nearby castles and ruins. So here are the best things to do in Navan.
- 1. Hill of Tara
- 2. Slane Castle
- 3. Athlumney Castle
- 4. Bective Abbey
- 5. Dunmoe Castle
- 6. Donaghmore Round Tower
- 7. Ardmulchan Church
1. Hill of Tara
The Hill of Tara is an archaeological complex in Country Meath of Ireland. It is located near the River of Boyne and it runs between Dunshaughlin and Navan. It used to be the seat of the kings during Stone Age.
It contains a number of ancient passages tombs, Ireland’s Stonehenge and historical ruins.
Daily 10.00 – 18.00 for the Visitor Centre
Adult €5 | Child/student €3 | Senior €4 | Family €13
Location: 12km south of Navan. Off the N3
Email: +353 46 9025903
2. Slane Castle
Although Slane Castle is located in the town of Slane, it is only 11km from Navan. It only takes about 15 minutes to get to the castle from the centre of Navan.
Slane Castle is located within the Boyne Valley and is set in the middle of a 1,500-acre estate. The castle was built in 18th-century and has been a family seat for the Conyngham family. Today, the castle is a famous concert venue which held concerts for world music icons such as The Rolling Stones, U2, Madonna, Guns N’ Roses, Bob Dylan, Queens, Bruce Springsteen to name a few.
The guided tours to the castle are seasonal and only if there’s no event. To check for the latest tour schedule, click here.
Adults: €12.00, Children: €7.20, Students, O.A.P.’s & Groups: €10.80, Children under 5 years are free
Location: Navan Road, Slane Meath
Phone: +353 41 9820643
3. Athlumney Castle
Athlumney Castle is a tower house and a fortified house in Navan. It was built in 1172 and was burned down in 1649 by Maguire who held the castle to prevent Oliver Cromwell, an English military and a political leader for taking over it.
During 17th-century, it was burned down again by James II, the King of England and Ireland at that time. It was said that a Catholic Bishop tried to renovate it back to its original splendor but he died before he made it happen.
Now, the ruins of Athlumney Castle is a national monument in Navan.
No one oversees the castle except the caretaker who lends you the key to the gate. As a rule of thumb, try to call in advance or go during the day.
Free, although the caretaker requires a small deposit for the key. They will return the deposit to you when you return the key.
Location: Kentstown Road, Athlumney
Phone: +353 41 9880305
4. Bective Abbey
Bective Abbey is a historical place in Bective, 15 minutes from Navan. The Cistercian Abbey sits overlooking the river of Boyne. The Abbey was founded in 1147 during the time that Bective became an important monastic settlement. Under King Henry VIII, the monasteries were dissolved in 1543 and they were converted to fortified houses and towers. The Abbey is now registered as a national monument in Ireland.
Open all year and anytime
Location: R161, Ballina, Co. Meath, Ireland
5. Dunmoe Castle
Dunmoe Castle sits in a tranquil spot overlooking the river Boyne 4 km east of Navan. The castle was built for the D’Arcy family in the mid-15th century. It marked the western edge of The Pale, an Irish area under the control of the English government.
The present structure of the castle has all the characteristics of an Anglo-Norman during 15th -16th century. It was originally a rectangular-shaped edifice with a tower at each corner. Two of these towers have crumbled away, as the entire back part of the castle.
The castle is open to the public and no one really oversees it. Just enter the gate but as a rule of thumb, go during the day.
Location: Dunmoe, Co. Meath
Phone: +353 41 9880300
6. Donaghmore Round Tower
The Donaghmore Round Tower is a well-preserved 10th-century structure located just northeast of Navan. The tower is found on the site of a religious settlement thought to have been established in the 5th century by St Patrick.
At the site, visitors can see the remains of a church and the round tower, both which has interesting carvings and sculptures.
Open all day
7. Ardmulchan Church
The ruins of Ardmulchan Church in Ardmulchan has one of the most beautiful bends on the River Boyne between Navan and Slane. The church is only 10 minutes away from Navan.
During the 12th century, Hugh De Lacy, the Lord of Meath, created a defense structure to protect its people. Motte, churches and several chapels were built on pre-Norman foundations.
Open 24 hours
Location: Ardmulchan, Co. Meath, Ireland