County Meath (Irish: Contae na Mí or an Mhí) lies in the gently rolling hills of Ireland's East Coast and Midlands. County Meath (from the Irish meaning, "the middle") is relatively flat country (by Irish standards) drained by the River Boyne, and is very agriculturally fertile.
Despite having no cities, Meath is one of the more densely populated areas of Ireland, with a total population of 195,044 (as of 2016).
- 1 (An Uaimh) – county town
- 2 Ashbourne is a commuter town. You might visit for Tayto Park funfair.
- 3 Trim is a small town full of historic sites and associations.
- 4 Kells has the remains of the abbey that for 800 years housed the Book of Kells.
- 5 Oldcastle is near the tombs of Loughcrew Cairns, as fine as those at Brú na Bóinne but even older, and without the tourist hordes.
- 6 Slane (Baile Shláine)
- 7 Drogheda is mostly in County Louth with just a few suburbs in Meath, but it's the best base for visiting the Boyne battlefield and Brú na Bóinne prehistoric site.
- 1 Brú Na Bóinne Archaeological Park is a remarkable complex of Neolithic chamber tombs, standing stones and henges. It's most easily reached from Drogheda.
- 2 Hill of Tara is the focus of another complex: the oldest parts are Neolithic but its heyday was in the Iron Age and early Christian era. It's best visited from Trim: Navan is closer but lacks visitor facilities.
Given the gentile and fertile terrain, Meath has been an important region in Ireland since prehistory. The archaeological complex of Brú na Bóinne is 5,000 years old and includes the burial sites of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, in the northeast of the county. It is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As a county Meath was formed by the Tudor (English) administration in 1543 from the eastern part of the former kingdom of Meath. Historically the kingdom included all of the current county as well as all of Westmeath and parts of Cavan, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Dublin and Kildare. The High King of Ireland sat at Tara in Meath.
Historically, Meath was extensively forested, but experienced a near total deforestation between the 16th and 18th centuries. Now the landscape is predominately agricultural.
Meath is also on the northern approaches to Dublin, making it a frequent site of conflict. The English leader Oliver Cromwell marched though here in 1649, and the influential Battle of the Boyne was fought here in 1690 between rival claimants to the British and Irish crowns.
There is an hourly bus service from Dublin - The 109 bus from Bus Aras.
Navan is beside the M3 motorway. To get onto the M3, take exit 6 on the M50 ring road of Dublin.
1 Dublin Airport is north of the city with direct buses into the county.
Car is the easiest way.
Bus Éireann operate a frequent town bus service in Navan, consisting of three routes :
- Route 110A operates a loop from the Shopping Centre via Blackcastle Estate and Clonmagadden Fort back to the Shopping Centre, 8 times per day Monday to Friday.  [dead link]
- Route 110B operates a loop from the Shopping Centre via the Hospital and Commons Road back to the Shopping Centre, 4 times per day Monday to Friday.  [dead link]
- Route 110C operates a loop from the Shopping Centre via Johnstown Wood and Bailis Downs back to the Shopping Centre, 9 times per day Monday to Friday.  [dead link]
None of the three routes operate on Saturdays or Sundays. The cash fare on the town bus service is €2 adult and €1.20 child. If paying with a TFI Leap Card, the fare is €1.40 adult and 84c child.
- Brú Na Bóinne or Newgrange Archaeological Park is a must-see, but the tomb interiors can fit very few visitors.
- Hill of Tara was where the high kings of Meath were inaugurated.
- Castles: the best by far is at Trim.
- Religious ruins at Trim, Bective and Slane.
- Ancient mounds 2500 years old at Telltown, and megalithic tombs at Loughcrew near Oldcastle.
- High Crosses in Kells, but the famous book is now in Dublin.
- The Battle of the Boyne, fought on 1 July 1690, spelled the end of James II's campaign to keep his throne. Henceforth Britain and Ireland were ruled by the Protestant Hanoverian dynasty of King William III. The visitor centre is on the road to Slane, though it's more easily reached from Drogheda.
- Go to Fairyhouse Races near Ashbourne.
- Tayto Park near Ashbourne is a theme park and zoo.
- Gaelic games: Meath GAA play football and hurling at Páirc Tailteann in Navan. There are some 60 club teams across the county.
The Forge Restaurant near Ballinlough is a top class rural restaurant with quality meals. Chef Pauric White has won regional awards. Excellent food and friendly staff in a convivial atmosphere. To get to the Forge take N3 from Kells to Whitegate and take first left after Dervor roundabout.
Popular bars in the town are Beggy's, The Central and Ryans. The Palace Nightclub, Navan, is the current hotspot of the county. Other nightclubs in the county include Solar, Xangos, Glow and Live. Popular nearby clubs include Vanity in Carrickmacross and Imperial in Cavan.