10 Amazing reason to visit the Ancient East of Ireland

Manchester Irish Festival 2019

At first sight, Ireland’s Ancient East is carpeted by lush landscapes and idyllic towns, framed by the River Shannon and the Irish Sea. But this land is also full of secrets. Just ask the locals and the stories will spring to life.

Ireland’s Ancient East in numbers
15 counties
5000 years of history
100s of festivals
100,000 storytellers

And the secrets are everywhere. Every cairn has a story, every castle turret has a tale, every hill may hide heroic sagas. Ask the people you meet and you will hear them tell of the legends, triumph and sometimes tragedy that whirl around its round towers, opulent mansions and prehistoric monuments.

Ireland's Ancient East- Make your own stories. And when, of course, you’ve introduced yourself properly, you’ll have stories of your own – of the people you’ve met, of the craic you’ve had and of the memories you’ll cherish forever.

10 amazing reasons to visit Ireland’s Ancient East
Ireland’s Ancient East can take you on an unforgettable journey through 5,000 years of history.
If you haven’t discovered Ireland’s Ancient East yet, you might be wondering why you should. Right, here are 10 compelling reasons that show how amazing this unique touring region really is.

1. Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site
Find a sense of wonder at this history-saturated area beside the River Boyne in County Meath. It predates the Pyramids, contains one of the world’s most important prehistoric landscapes and boasts the largest collection of megalithic art in Europe.

2. Kilkenny
Explore a medieval city with its heritage evident everywhere. Marvel at ancient Kilkenny Castle, the Medieval Mile and the cobbled streets and passageways, yet feel the city’s modern vibe in its style, food and fantastic pubs.

3. Glendalough
Experience the Ireland of Saints and Scholars at this tranquil County Wicklow destination, a monastic city as awe-inspiring as the views in the valley enclosing it.

4. Hook Head Lighthouse
Take a step back in time at the world’s oldest operational lighthouse in County Wexford. Brave the balcony with views over miles of rolling sea and enjoy a tour hearing tales of life as a light keeper.

5. Dunbrody Famine Ship
Understand the Irish famine experience on this authentic reproduction of an 1840s-emigrant vessel in County Wexford. Costumed characters and interactive tours will capture your imagination.

6. Listoke Distillery
Uncover the secret of great gin at the County Louth distillery responsible for the much lauded small-batch Listoke 1777. Take a tour or join the gin school and distil your own special bottle.

7. Titanic Experience
Walk in the footsteps of passengers as they boarded Titanic at picturesque Cobh, County Cork, the liner’s last port of call. View the original ‘Heartbreak Pier’ and imagine what it was like to be on the fateful liner with the Titanic Experience.

8. Irish National Stud
See why the Irish are equestrian masters at one of the world’s leading thoroughbred breeding centres in County Kildare. Top off your visit with a wander through the adjoining Japanese Gardens – a horticultural delight.

9. Rock of Cashel
A spectacular historic treat, this County Tipperary icon is loved for its rich heritage. Its sturdy walls contain a complete round tower, ancient cathedral and the finest Romanesque chapel in the country.

10. Cavan Burren Park
A peaceful, scenic and fascinating geological and archaeological landscape in County Cavan, brought to life in a series of trails and interpretative centre. Part of the UNESCO Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, it is a paradise for walkers.

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