Did you know that there are over 5,000 years of history hidden amidst these lush landscapes, winding rivers and glorious gardens?
Step into the stories
At first sight, Ireland's Ancient East is a tranquil and beautiful land of rolling green hills, charming towns and quiet waters, all framed by the River Shannon and the Irish Sea. But dig a little deeper and you'll discover a region that ripples with over 5,000 years of history. There are compelling characters and ancient mysteries, hidden stories and millennia-old myths. Explore Ireland's Ancient East, and you become part of the story.
There's nothing quite like the feeling you get as you step inside a 5,000-year-old monument. Or the jaw-dropping coastal view from the top of a 13th century lighthouse. But this is what Ireland's Ancient East is all about: experiencing history from the inside out. Ride the waves across to Spike Island in Cork, known as Ireland's Alcatraz, and once the largest prison in the world. Walk in the footsteps of the Vikings through the narrow streets and medieval treasures of Waterford. Or take a moment on top of the mystical Hill of Tara in Meath, dwelling place of the gods. A trip around Ireland's Ancient East brings history to life against a backdrop of unforgettable scenery. It's time to peel back the past...
“Carlingford is the jewel in the crown of an ancient landscape that has been the stomping ground for Ireland's legendary heroes.” – Laurence Mackin, Irish Times
“Suddenly this shaft of light came into the chamber and hit the back wall. I remember being quietly moved – it was like someone was speaking to you from thousands of years before.” – Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly
“Traditionally Irish whiskey is a mixture of malted and unmalted barley. It's peated, which is extremely unusual.” – Carol Quinn, Irish Distillers
“Even without its colourful past, the castle has a dramatic enough setting to make it a star in its own right.” – Georgina Campbell Guides
“Once the haunt of privateers, smugglers and ‘dyvers pyrates’, the Saltee Islands now have a peaceful existence as one of Europe’s most important bird sanctuaries.” – Lonely Planet
“Glendalough is one of the most beautiful corners of the whole country and the epitome of Ireland's rugged, romantic landscape.” – Lonely Planet
Discover Ireland’s Ancient East with the locals
Delve into a world of fascinating history and marvellous myths with Carina Mountcharles
Ireland's Ancient East highlights
Don't miss these things to see and do
Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre (Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth)
The Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre is the access point for guided tours of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth—Ireland’s world-famous Neolithic monuments in County Meath. All admissions are processed through the visitor centre, which also features exhibitions.
Kilbeggan Distillery Experience
Visit the world's oldest licensed distillery dating back to 1757 in Kilbeggan, County Westmeath. Discover real artisan Irish whiskey being made today and learn how Kilbeggan preserves its heritage. All tours enjoy a masterclass in tasting 3 different whiskeys.
The Irish National Stud & Gardens
Visit the Irish National Stud & Gardens in the heart of the thoroughbred county, County Kildare. Join a guided tour of the stud, discover the incredible gardens and magical woodland walks, and set your pulse racing at the interactive Irish Racehorse Experience.
Rock of Cashel - St. Patrick's Rock
The Rock of Cashel, found in County Tipperary is an iconic ecclesiastical site and one of Ireland’s top attractions. The group of medieval buildings are located near the centre of Cashel Town and offer stunning vistas of the surrounding farmlands.
Clonmacnoise - Monastic site
One of the most famous monastic sites in Ireland, Clonmacnoise is located along the River Shannon, near the village of Shannonbridge, County Offaly. A walk amongst the peaceful stone ruins of this famous place will conjure images of the saints and scholars of Ireland’s renowned golden age of learning.