48 Hours In Meath: A 2 Day Road Trip Around The Royal County (Full Itinerary)

Newgrange meath
Photo by Brian Morrison

In this guide we’ll be taking you on a 2-day road trip around County Meath.

Like all of our 48-hour guides, it’s going to be a busy 2 days.

What you’ll get from reading this guide

  • A detailed, hour-by-hour itinerary from start to finish
  • Advice on where to eat, sleep and drink
  • Loads more

Sound good? Let’s get cracking!

Related Read: Here’s a guide with 22 of the best things to do in Meath (because there’s more to this county than Newgrange).

Our Weekend in Meath on a map

OK, first things first – here’s a map of Meath with the attractions that we’ll be visiting over the two days plotted out.

Day 1 Stop 1 – Getting the adrenaline pumping at Ireland’s only theme park

// Arrive at Tatyo Park for 10:00 //

tattoo park best things to do in meath
Photo via Tayto Park

Our first stop of the day takes us to Ireland’s only Theme Park.

Tayto Park offers a huge variety of things to see, do and experience, with something to suit all ages.

You can spend some time checking out the Zoo and see animals like the Amur tiger, meerkats, and buffalo or, if you’re a thrill-seeker looking for an adrenalin rush, there are plenty of rollercoasters where you can test your nerve.

Like Cu Chulainn Coaster, Europe’s largest wooden rollercoaster.

Watch the drone footage below of the Cu Chulainn Coaster… it’s incredible!

The theme park is located in Ashbourne in Meath, a handy 30-minute drive from Dublin City.

Spend 3 hours here having the buzz.

Day 1 Stop 2 – A post rollercoaster feed at the Snailbox

// Leave Tayto Park at 13:00, arrive at the Snailbox in Ashbourne for 13:05//

I first heard mention of the Snailbox from a friend whose family is from Meath.

At the time I remember thinking ‘what kind of a mental name is that’, but by all accounts, the food is top notch.

the snailbox meath
Photo via the Snailbox on Facebook

Randomly, the Snailbox is also home to the largest display of baseball caps in the country. There’s currently over 5,000 hanging about the place.

The collection was started when a customer and previous owner known as “Smithy” left his cap there one night and never got it back.
Eat up and get ready for our final stop of the day.

Day 1 Stop 3 – Walking off the food with a ramble in Balrath Woods

// Leave the Snailbox at 14:05, arrive at Balrath Woods for 14:15 //

After lunch, we’re going to take the short 10-minute drive out to Balrath Woods for a little ramble.

You’ll often hear Balrath Woods referred to as ‘Knockcomra’, and they’re well worth a visit during your visit to Meath.

There are a couple of walks that you can do here, so take your pick and round off your afternoon with a lungful of fresh air.

Day 1 Stop 4 – The Slane Distillery Tour (we’ll also have a gawk at the castle)

// Leave Balrath Woods at 15:00, arrive Slane Castle for 15:15 //

plane distillery in meath

Next up, we’re heading to do the Slane Distillery tour.

I only heard about this tour recently after a friend, who hates whiskey, visited it and raved about it.

Those that join the guided distillery tour will be taken on an interactive, immersive tour with a tutored whiskey tasting that allows you to first appreciate the history, and then assess the whiskey with a sample of Slane’s finest.

plane distillery meath

Naturally enough you’ll want to ensure that you’ve a designated driver for this stretch of the trip if you fancy a tipple.

When you finish up at the distillery, take the short walk around to Slane Castle for a peek at it from the outside.

plane castle meath

If you fancy doing a tour of the castle, fire ahead. On this trip we’ll be recommending that you admire it from the outside.

Day 1 Stop 5 – A ramble around Trim Castle

// Leave Slane at 16:40, arrive at Trim Castle for 15:15 //

We’re going to round off day 1 with a stroll around Trim Castle.

If you’re looking at the picture below and thinking that the it looks like something from a movie, you’re spot on.

trim castle county meath
Photo by Tony Pleavin

Trim Castle was used during the filming of Braveheart staring Mel Gibson.

Here’s a scene from the movie where it featured.

Some good-to-know stuff about Trim Castle

  • Trim Castle was built In 1172, shortly after the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in Ireland
  • It’s the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland
  • It was built over a 30-year period by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter
  • Trim Castle was used to depict York Castle in the filming of the 1990’s Mel Gibson movie Braveheart

Day 1 Stop 6 – A bed for the night

// Leave Slane at 16:40, arrive at Trim Castle for 15:15 //

trim castle hotel meath

I’m going to recommend that you spend the night in the Trim Castle Hotel.

You’ll have a fine view of Trim castle and you can grab a bite to eat here before we head out for a few pints.

Read more: Check out our guide to the best castle hotels in Ireland to spend a night.

Day 1 Stop 7 – Live music and a few pints

// Trim Castle Hotel to James Griffin Pub – 5-minute walk //

James Griffin Pub meath
Photo via the James Griffin Pub

To finish off day 1, we’re heading to the James Griffin Pub.

It’s a traditional Irish pub that’s been on Trim High Street since the 1800’s.

If you visit on a Thursday, you’ll have a Trad Session to accompany your pint. Those visiting on a Friday or Sunday will be treated to Acoustic Sessions, while a DJ will be rocking away on Saturdays.

Day 2 Stop 1 – A walk at the highest hill in Meath

// Leave the hotel at 09:00 and arrive for 09:40 //

Our first stop of the day is going to take us up the highest hill in County Meath.

The walk up at Loughcrew immerses visitors in an area that boasts five thousand years worth of history.

Standing at just 276 meters high, you’ll reach the top after a steep 10 -15 minute walk from the car park.

loughcrew cairns walk
Photo via Discover Boyne Valley

Once there you’ll be treated to fantastic views of the lush green and hilly landscape that envelopes the area.

If you visit on a clear day make sure to keep an eye out for the Sperrins in the north and the Blackstairs in the south.

When you’ve had your fill of the view, take a look around the passage tombs and stone circles scattered around you.

Day 2 Stop 2 – The Hill of Tara

// Leave Loughcrew Cairns at 11, arrive at the Hill of Tara for 11:35 //

Our second stop of the day takes us just over half an hour down the road from to a place rich with history.

The Hill of Tara was once the ancient seat of power in Ireland, and it was here that 142 kings are said to have reigned.

the hill of tara
Photo via Tourism ireland

Quick facts about the Hill of Tara

  • The Hill of Tara was once the ancient seat of power in Ireland
  • 142 kings are said to have reigned there in prehistoric and historic times
  • It’s said that a quarter of the landscape of Ireland can be seen from the hill
  • In 1843 an estimated one million people gathered there to hear Daniel ‘The Liberator’ O’Connell speak against the Union of Great Britain and Ireland

In ancient Irish mythology, the Hill of Tara was said to be the sacred place of dwelling for the gods, and was known as the entrance to the otherworld.

Saint Patrick is said to have travelled to Tara to confront the religion of the pagans at its most powerful site.

Spend a bit of time rambling around and nip into the little shop nearby for an ice-cream if you fancy.

Stop 4 – Rocking around Newgrange and Knowth

// Leave the Hill of Tara at 12:30, arrive at Bru na Boinne Visitor Centre for 12:55 //

Yes, of course we’re visiting Newgrange!

Our next stop takes us to Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre, which is where we’ll be accessing Newgrange and Knowth.

Things to know about the tour

  • It takes 3 hours
  • All groups of 15 or more must be pre-booked
  • Knowth is open from 30th March to 7th November
  • Adult admission is €13.00

A bit about Newgrange 

Newgrange is one of those places that blows my mind over and over again.

Built over 5,200 years ago by Stone Age farmers, Newgrange is an old passage tomb that has a clear astronomical alignment.

Newgrange meath
Photo by Brian Morrison

Newgrange is known globally for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. An event that is so sought after that a yearly lottery takes place for tickets.

For those of you take the tour, you’ll be given an in-depth insight into its history.

A bit about Knowth

Knowth was also constructed over 5,000 years ago – likely after the construction of Newgrange and before the construction of nearby Dowth.

The Great Mound at Knowth is a similar size to Newgrange and is surrounded by 18 smaller satellite mounds.

knowth county meath
Photo by Tony Pleavin

The Great Mound has two passages, one of which ends with a cruciform chamber.

Take your time and enjoy the tour. We’ll be heading for a feed next.

Day 2 Stop 5 – A bed for the night

// Leave Bru na Boinne Visitor Centre at 16:30, arrive to the Conyngham Arms Hotel for 16:40 // 

hotel in plane meath

I’m going to recommend that you head to the Conyngham Arms Hotel in Slane for the night.

It’s great value at €44.50 per person for B&B (based on a Saturday night in May) and it’s a handy drive from our last stop.

Read more: Check out our guide to the most unique places to stay in Ireland.

Day 2 Stop 6 – A bite to eat and a few pints

The food at the Conyngham Arms Hotel is supposed to be excellent, so grab a bite here and then head our to the town.

boils pub in slane meath
Via Google Maps

Tip on over to Boyle’s pub and chill for the evening.

It’s been a busy couple of days, so you’ve earned a tipple or three.

And that’s a wrap on our 2-day Meath guide

You’ll have polished off the 2 days in style in Boyle’s pub and hopefully be heading home with a head full of memories and only a trace of a hangover.

Did we miss anything in this guide? Of course we did.

2 days isn’t a huge amount of time, but we’ve packed in as much good stuff to our Meath itinerary as physically possible.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!


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