Irish ancient history and folklore run deep in County Meath. Casually known as the Royal County because of its association with the High Kings of Ireland, Meath is a fascinating place to visit. With over 5000 years of history, you can truly experience this magical country through ancient sites, local storytelling and folklore that’s been passed down the generations. 

Undiscovered tombs, rolling green meadows, ancient castles and sacred monuments are just some of the authentic experiences you can expect in County Meath.

The Hill of Tara

This ancient Neolithic Age site dates back to roughly 2500BC and is said to be the location of the seat of the high kings – 142 royals to be exact. Today, it’s an archaeological collection of ancient monuments, structures and tombs, but back then it was a place where kings held inaugural feasts, druids met to worship and important Celtic ceremonies were conducted.

According to Irish folklore, it was said to once be the dwelling of the Gods, as it housed an entrance to the Otherworld – a place of eternal joy.

There are several points of interest at the Hill of Tara, each with their own history, including the Mound of Hostages. This ancient burial site has over 200 cremated remains and grave goods and collectively, form the highest point of Tara.

Today, you can easily visit the relics, tombs and structures at the Hill of Tara in County Meath.

Salmon of Knowledge

Set against the banks of the River Boyne, the Salmon of Knowledge is the tale of the great leader of the Fianna, Fionn Mac Cumhaill, when he was just a boy.

Legend has it that he was serving under the renowned poet, Finegas Eces, who had spent seven years fishing for the Salmon of Knowledge. This fish was rumoured to have eaten hazelnuts that had fallen into the Well of Wisdom, and the first person to catch and eat it would gain the world’s knowledge.

After many attempts, Fionn finally caught the fish and under Finegas’s instruction, he was to cook it but not eat it. However, after burning his thumb, he relieved the pain by putting it in his mouth, ultimately receiving the all the knowledge in the world.

Fionn, with Fingegas’s blessing, went on to become one of Ireland’s greatest heroes in mythology, as the leader of the Fianna.

The River Boyne boasts many ancient tales such as this one and is open for exploration.

Stay in the Story

Ireland is rich in folklore and stories that can turn your holiday into a magical experience. The Ardboyne Hotel is centrally located to several ancient sites that are easy to explore and enjoy. Whether you’re travelling by yourself, with friends, or even with the kids, there’s a uniquely Irish experience just waiting for you.

Book your stay at Ardboyne today to truly experience ancient history and folklore from Ireland’s Ancient East.