A quick 35-minute spin out the road is the beautiful village of Trim, which mixes history to enthrall kids and adventure to excite them, without skipping a beat.
Jump back into the 1100s at Trim Castle, the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Virtually intact, it stands tall and imposing among Irish fortresses. Book a tour to access the Castle’s three-storeyed keep — climb the steep stone spiral staircase right up to the battlements for views of the Hill of Slane and Hill of Tara, and wonder about what once went on at the home of the Lordship of Meath. The tour guides capture kids’ imaginations with tales of castle life (and welcome questions from curious little ones).
Kayaking in the Boyne Valley
While the Boyne Valley has much historical value, there’s plenty of fun to be had outside of that. Boyne Valley Activities has loads of options for adventurous families. Kayak through the medieval town of Trim or get wet while white-water rafting on the Boyne. Not into water? Head for the treetops and test your nerves with the High Ropes Challenge and exit the course by zipline. If you want to take it easy, hire fishing rods or pitch and putt clubs and just hang with the kids in Trim.
Close to Kells
Hop back in the car for a 40-minute countryside drive to explore the attractions around the quaint town of Kells. Stop for a spot of lunch or stretch your legs on the Kells Historic Walk before revving up for some more family fun.
For families with younger kids, The Causey Farm in nearby Navan is an ideal next stop. It’s a real working farm that gives educational tours and lets them get stuck in, with bread-making classes, turf-cutting, and Bodhran lessons or watch the cow milking demonstrations. The farm runs seasonal events like the live lambing at Easter, or scare attraction Farmophobia at Hallowe’en, so there’s plenty to do all year round.
While Newgrange gets all the passage tomb glory, if you’re looking for a quieter spot for the kids, without the queues, 5000-year-old Loughcrew Cairns should be top of your list. It does involve a steep climb so may not be suitable for smaller kids, but it’s worth it to discover the unique burial ground and for the views across three hilltops. It’s magical, which is fitting for a site rumoured to have been created by a witch.
Five minutes away you’ll find Loughcrew Estate, where little ones can explore the fairy trails in its gorgeous gardens. Older children will love the zip-line (it’s Ireland’s longest!), while kids old and young will enjoy the climbing wall, assault course and archery.