A visit to the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre is one of the more popular things to do in Meath for good reason.
It’s here, at Oldbridge House, that you’ll discover the story behind the The Battle of the Boyne and, if the reviews online are anything to go by, you’re in for a treat.
However, even if you’ve no interest in history, there’s also a gorgeous walled garden along with several way marked walks for you to tackle.
Below, you’ll find everything from things to see and do at The Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre to how much the tickets cost.
Some quick need-to-knows about the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre
Although a visit to the Battle of the Boyne Visitors Centre is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
2. Opening hours
The Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre is open daily year-round. From May to September it is open from 10am to 4.30pm. From October to April it opens at the earlier time of 9am to 3.30pm. Entrance gates are locked at 4pm and the exit gate is locked promptly at 6pm, so be warned!
Normal adult admission is €5 with concession for Seniors (€4) and children 12-18 (€3). Children under the age of 12 are free.
4. Endless things to see and do
There are loads of places to visit and things to do on your visit. Watch the film, see thebattlefield models, weapons exhibits and take a self-guided walking tour. Explore the specific sites including the Ravine, Groggin’s Field, Oldbridge Village and the sites of King William’s and King James’s Camps. More below!
5. Part of the Boyne Valley Drive
A very brief history of the Battle of the Boyne
The Battle of the Boyne was a major battle in 1690 between the deposed King James II of England and Ireland, and King William III (William of Orange) and Queen Mary.
The Battle of the Boyne took place on this site at Oldbridge House and it took its name from the nearby River Boyne.
The victor was King William and the defeat put a halt to James II’s attempts to regain the British throne, and he subsequently fled to France. The victory of William was the start of Protestant ascendancy in Ireland.
The Battle of the Boyne only lasted one day (1st July 1690) but the Williamite War continued elsewhere until the Treaty of Limerick was signed in October 1691.
To put it into context
The battle was part of a broader religious, sectarian and geopolitical conflict. It was an elemental part of the Nine Years War (1688-1697) which is also known as the War of the Grand Alliance.
This referred to a powerful coalition between the Holy Roman Empire under Pope Alexander VIII, England and the Dutch Republic against the French King Louis XIV.
Things to do at the Battle of the Boyne Visitors Centre
One of the reasons that a visit to the Battle of the Boyne Visitors Centre is so popular is due to the volume of things there are to see and do.
Below, you’ll find everything from the exhibitions and the sites interesting features to walks and more.
1. The visitor centre and exhibition
The impressive Visitor Centre has excellent facilities within the restored 18th century Oldbridge House. The anticipation begins with the cannon mounted on the driveway as you approach the building.
Inside there’s an an audio-visual presentation which gives a good overview of the battle and its participants. You’ll also see models of the musketeers, kings and generals and weaponry displays (original and replica) dating back to the 17th century.
There are maps, explanatory exhibits and a Laser Battlefield Model. Outside there are self-guided walking tours through parkland and the battle site. There’s also a peaceful walled garden, modern tea rooms and toilets.
2. Interesting features
The attraction has five sections; There’s the multi-million-euro Visitor Centre, an Artillery Exhibition, a tea pavilion, walled garden and walks to various significant sites.
Highlights include the large map explaining the wider alliances and politics across Europe at that time. Another maps shows the routes the two opposing armies took through Ireland before clashing at the Battle of the Boyne.
The Night Before Battle is a room with dramatic life-size murals of the soldiers, their weapons and equipment. Two tents house figures of King James and his advisors in one, and William of Orange and his entourage in the other.
You’ll also get to see some of the artillery in the yard, which includes cannons and a powder wagon.
3. The walled garden
The beautiful walled garden of the former Oldbridge Estate is a haven of peace and a lovely place to stroll around if you’re in search of short walks in Meath.
It contains some very old trees which are protected. Dogs on leads are permitted in the park but not in these carefully planted gardens.
4. The walks
There are several different way marked walks around the historic site, village, river and fields. Download the Walks Map to see an overview of the different walks around the historic battle site.
The 2.6km Greenhills Walk and 1km Crab Apple Walk meet and continue through fields to Groggin’s Field along the 1.7km waymarked Groggin’s Filed Walk.
There’s a 500m circular loop walk from the car park, around Oldbridge Village. The return is along the river and Canal Towpath Walk (3.6km). The walk extends around Oldbridge House and eventually joins Greenhill Walk.
In summer, the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre puts on various special events that are well worth timing your visit to include.
Visit during historic re-enactments for the best entertainment. These informative events include actors dressed in costume, riders on horseback and musket fire!
Things to do near the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre
One of the beauties of the Battle of the Boyne Visitors Centre is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Meath.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Oldbridge House (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Townley Hall Woods (5-minute drive)
Once part of the Townley Hall Estate, the Glen Wood Nature Trail is a 1.7km loop walk through woodland. It includes a viewing point over the site of the Battle of the Boyne. Trails also take in established native woodland, along King William’s Glen to Tullyallen, along the Mullagh Rua River and around Townley Hall.
2. Brú na Bóinne (10-minute drive)
More history can be found at Brú na Bóinne just 5km away. This World Heritage Site has several passage tombs and a reconstructed timber circle. Take a guided tour around Newgrange and Knowth. These 5,000 year-old ceremonial tombs contained a treasure trove of megalithic art.
3. Drogheda (10-minute drive)
The town of Drogheda is a living museum with its ancient gate, city walls and museums. There are plenty of things to do in Drogheda and there’s some brilliant, old-school pubs in Drogheda, too, if you fancy a pint!
4. Slane Castle (15-minute drive)
Stunning Slane Castle is in a 1500-acre estate on the banks of the River Boyne. Home to the Conyngham family since 1703, visitors can now take a guided tour. You can visit Slane village after or the nearby Hill of Slane.
FAQs about the tour and Oldbridge House
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Can you go inside Oldbridge House?’ to ‘Is the tour worth doing?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre worth visiting?
Yes, the tour at Oldbridge House is absolutely brilliant, and it has something to amuse young and old alike, with a mix of walks and exhibitions on offer.
Are there many things to do at Oldbridge House?
There’s the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre tour, the house, the walled garden, the unique features, the walking trails and plenty more to explore.
Gillian Birch is a travel writer and published author. She has travelled the world and uses her personal journals and memories to write about her many travel experiences, particularly those that involved adventures in Ireland.