There’s a handful of very worthwhile things to do in Trim, once you know where to look.
Best known for the mighty Trim Castle, this medieval Irish town is the perfect base for an afternoon of exploring.
However, this isn’t just a one-horse town – there’s plenty of other places to visit in Trim and there’s endless attractions a stone’s throw away, many of which are part of the Boyne Valley Drive.
In the guide below, you’ll find everything from where to grab a bite to eat to walks, tours and hidden gems.
Our favourite things to do in Trim
The first section of this guide tackles our favourite things to do in Trim, from walks and Ireland’s oldest bridge to medieval ruins and cathedrals.
Below, you’ll find everything from the brilliant Trim Castle River Walk and the impressive St. Mary’s Abbey to Trim Castle and more.
1. Tackle the Trim Castle River Walk
If you’re fond of the countryside, the sound of the flowing rivers and ancient medieval ruins, then the Trim Castle River Walk will be right up your street!
Starting from Trim Castle, this trail will bring you to some of the most notable ruins in Trim while following the bank of the bustling River Boyne.
After passing by St Mary’s Abbey, Shees Gate and the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, you’ll reach the little town of Newtown.
The walk takes about 30 minutes in total and you’ll find interpretative panels describing life in Trim during the Middle Ages along the way. This is one of the more popular walks in Meath for good reason!
2. Take a tour of Trim Castle
A visit to Trim Castle is, without doubt, the most popular of the many things to do in Trim. Standing proudly in the heart of the town, Trim Castle is the largest Anglo-Norman fortification in Ireland.
Take the 45-minute guided tour and you’ll be immersed in the story of the castle, from its construction right the way up to the present day (yes, you’ll hear about the Braveheart link, too).
Visitors can explore the Castle’s cruciform-shaped keep and have a ramble alongside its impressive fortifications. An adults ticket is just €5 while a kids and student ticket are €3.
3. See the oldest bridge in Ireland
You’ll find another incredibly old structure a few meters away from Trim Castle, where it spans the waters of the Boyne – the oldest unaltered bridge in Ireland.
Incredibly, this ancient bridge dates back to 1330, and it’s said that it hasn’t been altered in any way since, which is amazing when you think of it!
Take a minute to relax while watching the River Boyne flowing below this little slice of ancient Ireland.
4. Saunter around the outside of St. Mary’s Abbey
You’ll be able to St. Mary’s Abbey as you come to Trim Castle, as it stands on top of a little hill, overlooking the town. It was once a focal point for pilgrims, as it housed ‘Our Lady of Trim’.
‘Our Lady of Trim’ was a wooden statue that became coveted in the 14th century as it was thought that it could perform miracles
Before becoming an abbey, this site was home to an old church. According to legend, St. Patrick founded a Christian church in the same location where St Mary’s Abbey is now situated.
However, the building was destroyed twice – once in 1108 and later in 1127. In the 12th century, a new structure was built on the church’s foundations, an Augustinian Abbeys dedicated to St Mary whose ruins can still be admired to this day.
5. Visit Trim Cathedral
Another of the more popular places to visit in Trim is the town’s Cathedral, also known as St. Patrick Cathedral. Even though the present structure dates back to the 18th century, the site on which the cathedral was built is one of the most, if not the most, ancient Christian sites in Ireland.
It’s said that, in the 5th century, St Patrick landed at the mouth of River Boyne in Drogheda. He then sent a close friend of his, Lommán of Trim, down the river to search for a good place to establish a church.
Many sources indicate that Loman decided to stop in Trim and started the construction of a church where today’s Trim cathedral is located.
6. Make your belly happy at StockHouse Restaurant
If you can, try and get yourself here for the Early Bird (there’s 2 courses for €24.50). There’s a delicious mix of starters on offer, from their tasty beef goulash soup to the fiery chilli beef nachos.
For mains, there’s everything from steaks and fajitas to veggie options and lots more.
Other popular things to do in Trim (and nearby)
Now that we have our favourite things to do in Trim out of the way, it’s time to see what else this corner of Meath has to offer.
Below, you’ll find everything from several of the best walks in Meath and historical sites to places to visit near Trim.
1. Step back in time at Bective Abbey
You’ll find Bective Abbey less than a 10-minute drive from Trim, and it’s well worth a visit. Situated in the middle of a field next to the River Boyne, the ruins of Bective Abbey are free to visit and there’s parking nearby.
This abbey was founded in 1147 for the Cistercian Order whose aim was to rediscover the simplicity of monastic life. The ruins that stand today mainly date back to the 13th and 15th centuries.
Those that visit will discover the chapter house, the church and the cloister. Bective Abbey was suppressed under the reign of King Henry VIII in 1543 after the dissolution of the monasteries.
2. Take a spin over to the Hill of Tara
The Hill of Tara is one of the most popular attractions in Ireland. This site had a ceremonial and burial function during the Neolithic period and it is also widely celebrated as being the inauguration place of the High Kings of Ireland.
Even though the ancient palaces and halls are no longer visible, the remains of twenty ancient structures can still be seen to this day. The oldest monument on this site is Dumha na nGiall, meaning the Mound of the Hostages.
This is a Neolithic passage tomb dating back to 3200 BC. There are guided tours available, which run between 10:00 and 18:00 pm. An adult ticket will cost you €5 while a child or student ticket is €3.
3. Take a tour of Newgrange
Newgrange consists of a large passage tomb dating back to 3200 BC. Although arguably less well-known, Newgrange is older than both the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge!
The site consists of a large mound inside which several chambers and stone passageways can be found. Many believe that Newgrange was built for religious purposes as its main entrance is aligned with the sunrise on the winter solstice.
4. Stroll around Slane Castle
Situated in the charming Boyne Valley, a few meters away from the River Boyne, Slane Castle has hosted everyone from Queen and the Rolling Stones to Guns n’ Roses, Metallica, Eminem and more over the years.
Slane Castle has been the home of the Conyngham family since 1703. The building was remodelled in 1785 and since then has maintained the same design. However, in 1991 a devastating fire almost destroyed the entire structure.
The restoration works continued for 10 years and in 2001 Slane Castle opened its doors to the public again. When you finish at the castle, take a spin into Slane village and then head up to the mighty Hill of Slane.
Things to do near Trim (if you fancy a walk)
As you’ve probably gathered by now, there’s an almost endless number of things to do in Trim, and there’s even more to see close by.
Below, you’ll find a handful of brilliant rambles that can be found a short spin from Trim, our favourite of which is Balrath Woods.
1. Balrath Woods
Balrath Woods is a wonderful place for a stroll, and it’s a short, 20-minute drive from Trim. Here you’ll find three different routes to choose from: the long walk path, the easy walk (suitable for wheelchairs) and the nature walk.
The best time to visit Balrath is during autumn, when the whole place is blanketed with gorgeous orange leaves. The walks here are nice and handy and it’s the perfect spot for a quite ramble.
Unless you visit at the weekend, that is, when it can get busy, and its relatively small car park can get packed out fast.
3. Loughcrew Cairns
Dating back to 3000 BC, Loughcrew Cairns, also known as the ‘Hills of the Witch’, is an incredibly impressive Neolithic site. Here you can see ancient passage tombs, such as Cairn T – the largest tomb in the complex.
Now, the walk from the parking area up to Loughcrew is very steep, and a good level of fitness is required. If it’s wet out, shoes with a good grip are also needed.
However, your effort will be well worth it – when you reach the top, you’ll be treated to a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside.
3. The Boyne Ramparts Heritage Walk
If you’re in the humour for a long walk, then the Boyne Ramparts Heritage Walk is worth considering. The walk starts at Stackallen and goes all the way to the Navan Ramparts, before returning to the starting point.
In total, the walk is 15 miles (24 km) and it will take you around five hours to complete. The walk takes you to everywhere from Slane and Newgrange to the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre and more.
Trim attractions: What have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant things to do in Trim from the guide above.
If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about the various Trim attractions
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What to do in Trim when it rains?’ to ‘Where is there to visit nearby?’.
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.
What are the best things to do in Trim?
The Trim Castle tour and the river walk are two of the most popular things to do. St. Mary’s Abbey and Trim Cathedral are both worth seeing, too.
What are the best places to visit near Trim?
Nearby you’ve everywhere from Bru na Boinne and Slane Castle to Loughcrew, Balrath Woods and more.
Cristina fell in love with Ireland’s breath-taking landscapes, quirky folklore and traditional music while studying in Limerick. Many years later, her love for all things Irish is just as strong.