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Ireland Vacations - Trips to Ireland - Irish Tour Company

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Newgrange & Tara - Full Day Coach Tour
 
Tour Overview
 
This tour begins with a visit to Irelands Valley of the Kings (Boyne Valley) with a guided tour of Newgrange Neolithic Passage Tomb. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Newgrange is the oldest astronomical observatory in the world, dated to over 5200 years old. Its decorated entrance stone and corbelled inner chamber contain the most impressive examples of Stone Age art in Western Europe. A special roof box allows the rising sun to dramatically illuminate the inner chamber on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Our next stop is the Royal Hill of Tara, Celtic ritual and ceremonial complex and ancient capital of Ireland where 142 Irish Kings were crowned. This mystical and spiritual site contains the famous stone of destiny, inspiration for much Celtic myth and legend. Finally we take a guided tour of 12th century Trim Castle, setting of the movie Brave Heart and the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland.  
 
Tour Itinerary
 
8:00am
Tour departs Dublin City by O Connell Street, through the Northern Suburbs or North Side and onto the M1 motorway towards Swords, Drogheda and County Meath. Interesting sites along the way include Parnell Square and Garden of Remembrance, the Royal Canal and Croke Park, home of Gaelic Games.
 
9:00am
We arrive at the Boyne Valley and Bru Na Boinne complex, UNESCO World Heritage Site which contains Europe’s largest and most important concentration of megalithic art. The jewel in the crown is the Neolithic passage tomb of Newgrange which is the oldest solar observatory in the world, dated to 3200 BC. Located directly above the decorated entrance stone is the roof-box which allows the first rays of the sun to illuminate the inner chamber on the morning of the winter solstice, 21th of December.
 
12:00pm
Next we stop to explore the ancient ceremonial and ritual complex upon the famous Hill of Tara. Recognised as the premier pagan sanctuary of pre-historic and early medieval Ireland, Tara was the focus of Irish Kingship where 142 High Kings were crowned while standing by the legendary stone of destiny. Steeped in mythology and history, Tara was also the spiritual heart of Ireland and its priestly caste of druids.
 
2:00pm
After lunch we visit the great medieval stronghold at Trim, setting of the movie Brave heart and the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Built by Hugh De Lacy in 1172, the massive central keep was protected by a ditch, curtain wall and moat filled by the water of the River Boyne. Surrounding lands viewed from the castle are dotted with the ruins of abbeys and churches, testament to its religious past.
 
4:00pm
We return to Dublin by the Tolka River with views of the wooded Phoenix Park before arriving at city centre.
 
Tour Highlights
 
Dublin North Side
The Boyne Valley
Interpretive Centre
Newgrange Passage Tomb
Slane Village/Castle
Battle of the Boyne site
Royal Hill of Tara
Stone of Destiny
Medieval Trim Castle
The Phoenix Park