Explore Nearby

Explore the magical landscape within an hour of Tullynally

DESTINATIONS

FORE of the 7 WONDERS

This tiny village was once a fortified town and you can still see the two town gates. The 7 wonders ( or miracles) are attributed to St Fechin who settled here in the 7th century AD, and the oldest building is his small stone chapel on the right – one of his miracles was to raise single handed the giant stone above its door. Across the road is the 13th century Benedictine monastery, which once held up to 300 monks. From the 14th century, it was often under attack, and there are defensive arrow slits in the towers and a stone for sharpening swords in the central cloister. Follow the looped walk from the gatehouse to the hill opposite and then back to the village for a drink in the cosy Seven Wonders bar. Or climb to the top of the BEN (or hill) of Fore. On a clear day, you can see 13 lakes.

Fore Abbey, Co Westmeath_master

Lough Crew Hills

(in Irish, Slieve na Callaigh , the Hill of the Witch). They are crowned by a remarkable string of passage graves, dating from 3,500 BC. Unlike their larger Neolithic sister at Newgrange, these are angled to catch the sun at the autumn and spring solstice and there is usually a local festival at those times. Climb to Cairn I to see the famous Equinox stone.

Loughcrew Cairn, near Oldcastle, Co_master

Lough Crew 17th Century Gardens

on the Lough Crew estate are a delightful destination for a visit, and have a fairy trail for small children. The café here offers excellent refreshments.

Kells

The ancient monastic town founded in the 6th century by St Columcille. It was once home to the famous book of Kells now on display in Trinity College library in Dublin, and there is a replica in the local tourist office. Head for St Columba’s church at the top of the town to see an early monastic cell and the 8th century High crosses used to teach the novice monks scripture – sadly defaced by Cromwell’s soldiers in the 17th century. The adjoining Round Tower has windows high up to watch for enemies approaching from all sides. The town has several good restaurants and a 5 star hotel and there is easy access to Dublin by the M3.

Round Tower, Kells, Co_master

Trim

Once a stronghold of the Norman Pale, this medieval town has 5 ruined abbeys and a magnificent castle overlooking the Boyne. It was built by Hugh de Lacy, the Norman overlord of Meath, who stuffed it with ingenious devices for killing enemies. In the 1990s it was partly restored as a filmset for Braveheart, starring Mel Gibson and there are now excellent tours available in summer. You can lunch in a hotel overlooking the castle walls or picnic on the grassy banks beside the Boyne.

River Boyne & Trim Castle

Multyfarnham

This pretty village has a fine Franciscan abbey still in use as the parish church – Look for the Way of the Cross in the abbey garden with outsize figures, modelled on local parishioners, then call at Weirs in the high street for an excellent pub lunch or dinner.

Belvedere

on the eastern shore of Loch Ennell, an elegant early I8th century villa built by the “wicked Earl of Belvedere” – he locked up his young wife for 30 years for supposed adultery with his brother and built the vast battlemented folly known as the Jealous wall to blot out the sight of another brother’ house. There is a visitor centre and café hidden behind it, and there are walled gardens and beautiful walks along the shore.

The Jealous Wall, Belvedere House and Gardens, Mullingar, Co Westmeath,_master

Kilbeggan Distillery

said to be the oldest distillery in Ireland. Learn the secrets of making whiskey, “ the Water of Life”. and enjoy a delicious whiskey-laced cake in their restaurant.

Hill of Uisneach

once the sacred centre of Ireland, crowned with a giant Catstone. There are guided tours at weekends in summer and a spectacular Festival of Fires every May to celebrate the return of the sun god Lugh.

Festival of Fires, Co_master

Cavan County Museum

at Ballyjamesduff has exciting exhibits from the Bronze age onwards and a stunning recreation of trench warfare during World War I – much recommended for kids.

Corlea Trackway Centre

southwest of Longford town, displays a sample of the ancient iron age tracks made of oak planks that once crossed the vast peat bog, some over 2000 years old.

Edgeworthstown

once owned by the remarkable Edgeworth family. Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) was a hugely successful novelist, Ireland’s answer to Jane Austen. Her father was a gifted inventor who designed Ireland’s first telegraph system used during the Napoleonic wars. (The Edgeworths were frequent visitors to Tullynally and he also designed a central heating system for Tullynally’s Great Hall!) Follow the Edgeworth Literary Trail or visit the Maria Edgeworth Centre to hear more about this remarkable family.

Maria Edgeworth Visitors Centre, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford_master

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