As part of my new years resolution I ended up on a bit of an adventure last Sunday to Newgrange in County Meath (hopefully I’m this proactive for the next 11 months!)
I think this is somewhere that people often forgetting about visit, as I know it is definitely not somewhere I would have had at the top of my list. I was adamant about going to the beach for a walk last Sunday – so I’m very lucky to have a boyfriend who steered me elsewhere!
We drove from North Dublin which took no more than 35-40 minutes. Parking is right beside the visitor centre and we had timed it perfectly to get on the last tour of the evening. For €7 each a bus takes you a short ride away (no more than 5 minutes) to the Newgrange site where you meet your tour guide.
Our tour guide was lovely and told us some amazing facts about the site. Usually I am stubborn and like to visit places in my own time and I rarely opt into the tours (we even asked when we were there if we could skip it, but you can’t, thankfully). He told us some amazing facts about the site that we never would have known had we just arrived on our own. The site is actually 5,000 years old – making it 500 years older than the great pyramids! This was even before the invention of the wheel so it makes it even more impressive that they carried the white, decorative stone from over 80km away. The larger decorative stones laid around the outside are estimated to have taken at least 80 men one mile to carry every day to get it to Newgrange. Considering I don’t even like carrying a basket around the supermarket if I have to buy anything remotely heavy these facts absolutely blew me away!
The biggest attraction to Newgrange is the amazing events that take place around the Winter Solstice. A shaft of sunlight shines through the roof box over the entrance and penetrates the passage to light up the chamber. The dramatic event lasts for 17 minutes at dawn on the Winter Solstice and for a few mornings either side of the Winter Solstice. They re-enact what it would be like on that day when you visit but I imagine nothing compares to the real thing!
Once you are finished looking around (and not taking pictures, because it isn’t allowed, but I was bold and took some anyway) you have a small bit of time to wander around the grounds before hopping back on the bus to bring you back to the visitor centre – which is quite a pretty sight in itself. Unfortunately we got there so late we didn’t get time to go around the centre but I have heard nothing but great things about it so it is definitely something you should allow some time for.
Have you been to Newgrange? Is it somewhere you would like to visit?