A major ritual site since the Stone Age, it became the seat of Irish High Kings in the early centuries after Christ and its complex of circular mounds, barrows, ditches and banks breathe an unmistakable aura – an evocative rallying point down the ages. A film in the visitor centre showing stunning aerial views is ideal for getting your bearings.
On a day when skies glower, the long grassy hill becomes even more dramatic as, with or without guide, you explore just why the ancients believed this to be a dwelling place of gods and entrance to the Otherworld of eternal joy.
Views of the lowlands of the Boyne and Blackwater Valleys run away into the distance, as did Cormac’s daughter Gráinne when she eloped (recounted in the epic "The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne"). And in the gathering shadows you might imagine St. Patrick coming here to challenge the old religion with the new.