Ireland’s Ancient East

Sean-Oirthear na hÉireann

Ireland’s Ancient East

Sean-Oirthear na hÉireann

Discover a story around every corner, for the past is always present in Ireland’s Ancient East.

Abarta Heritage Ireland's Ancient East

Around practically every corner of Ireland’s Ancient East you can discover millennia of history and archaeology. From the wild majesty of the Wicklow Mountains, to the bend of the Boyne. From the plains of Kildare to the bogs of the midlands and the lush green pastures of Tipperary, you can discover the fascinating story of the people who shaped these landscapes, and who in turn, were shaped by the land.

This region holds some of the world’s finest examples of prehistoric ingenuity and religious practice. Ireland is also internationally famous for the wealth of early Christian monasteries that are so prevalent across this region, with their intricate high crosses and soaring round towers. Ireland was forever changed by new waves of peoples arriving from across the seas. From the farmers that brought agriculture to these shores and forever changed the landscape over 5,000 years ago, to the Vikings who arrived as raiders before going on to establish what would develop into Ireland’s first cities, and the Anglo-Normans who constructed massive castles and sprawling abbeys.

The varied landscapes of the region are imbued with unique stories and tales. Around almost every corner you can encounter an authentic cultural experience, where they can be inspired by the landscape, history and people of this beautiful island. The best way to enjoy it is to take it slowly, and rather than trying to hop from famous site to site, base yourself in one area and get under its skin. For example, each year hundreds of thousands of people take a coach tour from Dublin down to the Rock of Cashel, they hop off, take a quick tour and then back on the coach to Cork or back to Dublin. Passing wonders right and left as they speed along the motorway. They don’t take the extra little bit of time to see the wealth of monuments around the Rock, like Hore Abbey at its base, and so they miss out on a deeper experience and connection.

For those people who want to dig that little bit deeper, we’re here to help. Neil is your expert guide to Ireland’s Ancient East, during the course of writing his acclaimed guidebook Neil visited hundreds of sites in the region, now we’re going to share all those insights and tips with you. Members of the Tuatha get access to all our posts on hidden gems, along with itineraries, courses and lots more to help make sure they don’t miss out. So join us as we dig deep to help you discover the best places to visit!

Ireland’s Ancient East – Visitor Information

Getting Around Ireland’s Ancient East

Air Travel: As Ireland is a pretty small country and Ireland’s Ancient East is a very large area, any of the airports are relatively convenient. Dublin Airport is close to Meath and the Boyne Valley, Louth, Monaghan, Kildare, Laois, and the Wicklow Mountains in particular. If you’re more interested in the south-east, Cork Airport is close to north-east County Cork, as well as Waterford, Wexford and South Tipperary. Shannon Airport will help you reach Lough Gur and East Limerick quickly too. 
Ireland’s Ancient East by Bus:
Bus Éireann is Ireland’s National Bus Service. They have a dedicated Ireland’s Ancient East timetable with some of the key sites and routes marked, see here.
Car Rental Companies:  There are a number of rental car companies operating in Ireland, such as: Hertz, Europcar Avis Car Rental, Enterprise or Budget. If you have wheelchair or accessibility requirements, Motability Ireland rent cars and adapted vehicles too.
What to wear: Don’t be fooled by the ‘Sunny South East’ tagline for Waterford, Wexford and South Tipperary, Ireland’s weather is notoriously unpredictable, and quite often you can experience all four seasons in one day.  So suncream, raincoats and good walking shoes / boots are essential!
Accessibility: Many of the sites we tend to feature are a good bit off the beaten track, and aren’t traditionally considered as tourist sites. They include ancient tombs on mountain summits, the crumbling ruins of long forgotten castles, and atmospheric but overgrown monastic sites. That wildness often means they can be difficult to access. However, there are a number of sites that are largely accessible to wheelchair users, with paths and ramps and accessible visitor centres. It’s really important to us that Ireland’s heritage should be as accessible as possible, so we are going to include information on what to expect on the information box of each site. However, if you have any updates about accessibility or if we need to make a correction to a post please do get in touch and let us know here.
Dog Friendly Sites: As you can see on our team page, Peig is our chief osteobarkaeologist and an absolute dote, and we would bring her everywhere with us if we could. However, not all sites are suitable for dog walking. A number are situated on private farmland, others might have a strict ‘no dogs allowed’ policy, and others might be challenging for our four legged friends. We’ll include information on each post to let you know whether it is ideal for a good walk.