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Top 10 things to see in Ireland’s Ancient East

Ireland’s Ancient East is an impressive route that gives you the opportunity to explore 5,000 years of history in the East of Ireland. There is so much to do and see that it would be a mean feat to visit everything in one trip! To make things a little easier, here are top 10 attractions to see in Ireland's Ancient East that you really don't want to miss!

Newgrange, Co Meath

Newgrange is a 5,200 year old passage tomb that was built by Stone Age farmers in the Boyne Valley. It is a World Heritage Site and is strikingly impressive. Newgrange is most known for the fact that the passage and the chamber are aligned with the rising sun at the Winter Solstice. 
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Rock of Cashel, Co Tipperary

The Rock of Cashel is a significant historical attraction, and is also known as Cashel of the Kings, as it is said that it was the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick. The Rock is home to three impressive ancient structures – the round tower built around 1100, Cormac’s Chapel that was founded in c. 1127 and the cathedral, which dates back between 1235 and 1270.
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Kilkenny Castle, Co Kilkenny

Kilkenny Castle is a restored 12th Century castle that is truly breath-taking and is an integral part of the historic Kilkenny City. Due to many additions and alterations along the years, the castle is now a complex structure of various architectural styles, that sits in impressively extensive parklands. Guided tours are available.
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Glendalough, Co Wicklow

Also known as the ‘valley of the two lakes', Glendalough is a place of remarkable tranquillity that is the perfect escape from the madness of everyday life. It boasts one of Ireland’s most important monastic sites that dates back to the 6th century. Visitors to Glendalough will be spoiled by its spectacular natural beauty, rich history, stunning archaeology and diverse wildlife.
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Belvedere House, Co Westmeath

Belvedere House is a stunning 160 acre lakeside estate that is comprised of a fully restored gorgeous Georgian Villa, an impressive Victorian walled garden and beautiful 18th century parkland that is scattered with fantastic follies, including the Jealous Wall which is the largest in Ireland. Visitors can also enjoy woodland walks, the serene lake shore, the café and the visitor shop. Guided tours are available.
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Kells, Co Meath

Kells is now a thriving town but was once one of Ireland’s earliest monastic settlements. Kells served as a place of sanctuary for monks from the Viking raids of 804AD. They brought with them a sacred manuscript, called the Book of Kells, which is now housed in Trinity College Dublin. The town is still a popular tourist attractive as it is steeped in history, from a 10th century oratory to several high crosses.
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Blarney Castle, Co Cork

Blarney Castle is almost 600 years old and is one of Ireland’s most well-known landmarks. It is home to the world-famous Blarney Stone, the Stone of Eloquence, and legend has it that a kiss to the stone means you’ll never be lost for words again. There is so much more to explore as well, including the impressive castle itself, the Court which is the ruins of a late 18th century gothic mansion, the Dungeon, which is a maze of underground passages and chambers, and the stunning grounds on which all this is found.
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Waterford City, Co Waterford

Waterford City was a Viking settlement that transformed into a beautiful and bustling port in modern times. Its narrow streets and medieval walls can still be appreciated, along with the Georgian Christ Church Cathedral. A guided tour of the city allows you to discover over 1000 years of history, aided by the three museums of Waterford Treasures.
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Castletown House, Co Kildare

Castletown House was built between the years 1722 and 1729 and is Ireland’s largest and earliest example of a Palladian style house. The restored and conserved house and grounds are truly impressive and are significant in terms of European architectural heritage. A guided tour of the stunning house allows visitors to soak up the splendour, including the drawing rooms, the entrance hall, the bedrooms and the long gallery.
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Clonmacnoise, Co Offaly

Founded in 548, Clonmacnoise is a simply stunning and historically fascinating monastic site which overlooks the River Shannon. It boasts extensive ruins, including that of a cathedral, castle, several churches, a round tour, two important high crosses and a large set of Early Christina grave slabs. Clonmacnoise was and is still is a major centre of religion, trade, craftsmanship and learning. 
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Posted: 14 Jul 2016 by Claire Regan | with 0 comments

Tags: Ireland's Ancient East

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