Escape to the Boyne Valley- Memorable Experiences in Drogheda

Published on: 16th July 2020 @ 8:40 PM


 Drogheda, Gateway to the Boyne Valley, is one of the oldest towns in Ireland and evidence of its heritage can be found at every turn, as well as a buzzing modern arts scene in its many venues and galleries.Stepping outside the town centre, there are gardens, beaches, and a range of attractions to suit all ages and interests. Situated only 45 minutes from Dublin city centre, it is an ideal starting point for your Boyne Valley adventure.

 Suggested time: 1 to 2-day itinerary

 Accommodation: Drogheda & the surrounding townlands offer lots of great accommodation options depending on what you are looking for. 

 Scholars Townhouse Hotel

Scholars Townhouse Hotel is located in the heart of Drogheda’s City Centre in the Boyne Valley region in Ireland’s Ancient East and it was originally built in 1867 as a monastery for the Christian Brothers by renowned Architects Ashlin and Pugin who are noted for designing many parliamentary buildings across Ireland and the UK. The late Victorian building was renovated by the McGowan family in 2005 who have transformed the magnificent building into a 16 bedroom boutique Hotel.

The hotel features a fine dining restaurant which is one of Co Louth's premier destination for diners and food lovers. Awarded 2 AA rosettes since 201

Westcourt Hotel

West29 Restolounge is located in the heart of The Westcourt Hotel. This award winning restaurant is stylish and vibrant, and you will experience a hip and casually elegant dining experience.

 

The Cottages 

Dating back over 300 years, The Cottages Ireland are 6 exclusive, luxurious thatched holiday cottages superbly set in a hamlet like setting on Ireland’s east coast.

 

These unique 5 star whitewashed seaside cottages are situated on the famous six mile sandy beach between the villages of Bettystown and Laytown, just 25 minutes from Dublin Airport, making them the perfect base from which to explore the hidden treasures of the Boyne Valley and Ireland’s Ancient East.

Set amongst picturesque organic gardens, part of the Boyne Valley Garden Trail, The Cottages are that wonderous thing, an undiscovered treasure, somewhere once experienced never to be forgotten. With uninterrupted sea or garden views take time to exhale in this oasis of calm and beauty, above all relax, revive, recharge. You will not be disappointed!

The Cottages are private and gated and can be enjoyed by families, couples, honeymooners - anyone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of modern day living and experience an idyllic haven of peace and relaxation.

Accommodation providers have the health and wellbeing of their guests to the forefront at all times, working to new guidelines issued Fáilte Ireland. For a full listing of accommodation in the Boyne Valley click here.

 

Day 1

 

Drogheda is an ideal town to explore on foot and the best starting point is the historic Tholsel market house which is also home to the Tourist Information Office and interactive Boyne Valley exhibition. Download the “Drogheda Walks- Free Map and Guide” at www.drogheda.ie to help you navigate around the town.

 

Highlights of your tour will include St Peter’s Church (home to the preserved head of St Oliver Plunkett), the massive St Laurence’s Barbican Gate and Millmount Martello Tower and Museum, which boasts magnificent views of the town.



Having enjoyed the landmarks, why not try to take in the cultural side of Drogheda?

 

Check out the programme of events at Droichead Arts Centre, The Barbican Centre and the TLT (Tommy Leddy Theatre) to see what’s happening on the Drogheda arts scene. Visit Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery. Situated in a former church, it provides a unique and beautiful visual art space for the visitor, with temporary exhibitions and displays drawn from the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection.

Enjoy lunch at the newly-opened restaurant where guests will enjoy the best that the Boyne Valley has to offer - local ingredients and artisan foods. Or head for Ariosa Coffee Cafe & try out some delicious locally roasted coffee. 

 

Did you know? Highlanes Municipal Gallery houses Drogheda’s most treasured heirlooms – a ceremonial sword and mace presented to Drogheda Corporation by King William III after the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.



If you happen to be in Drogheda on the first Saturday of the month make sure to stop by The Cottage Market in the beautiful setting of St Peters Church of Ireland. There is something for all the family with an eclectic mix of stalls that showcase local produce and products from the Boyne Valley

 

For gardening enthusiasts, the Boyne Valley Garden Trail brochure is available for download from discoverboynevalley.ie, and features fantastic gardens located within Drogheda and in the surrounding area. These include the Augustinian Garden of Remembrance, Barmeath Castle, Killineer House and Gardens, Rokeby Hall, Listoke Gardens, Sonairte, Beaulieu House, Collon House, The Cottages Ireland, Julianstown Village Gardens and Rosemount in Julianstown. Some gardens are by appointment only so planning your journey in advance is recommended.

 

The early Christian monastery of Monasterboice, north-west of Drogheda, is well worth a  visit. Marvel at its round tower and two of the most beautifully-carved Celtic High Crosses in Ireland.

 

From here you can visit nearby Listoke Gin Distillery & School for a truly fun and interactive experience. Here you can learn all about gin making as well as making your very own bottle of gin in Ireland’s very first Gin School! The Listoke Gin School Experience begins with students being welcomed with a delicious Listoke Gin and Tonic followed by a guided tour of the working distillery which involves learning all about the production of their various gins. 

With an understanding of the gin making process then it's time for students to try their hand at making their own gin! Guided through the process by gin making experts, students create their own recipe depending on personal preference choosing from citrus, floral and spicy additions to craft their own unique gin.

Once the gins have been created the pot-stills are set and it's time for more Listoke Gin & Tonics while students wait for their gin to start distilling. Participants also get to enjoy a yummy feast of local Boyne Valley charcuterie and cheese with their drinks.  Once the Gin has been collected in glass beakers, it is blended down to the preferred alcohol percentage, bottled, sealed, and an owl is placed on the back all ready for the maker to take it home! 

Finish up with your evening meal in the Monasterboice Inn, renowned for its home-farmed steaks and fresh scampi. The Donegan family breed their own beef which supplies the restaurant so make sure to try a steak, you will not be disappointed! 



Day 2

 

After a hearty breakfast, your first stop is the Irish Military War Museum, just outside Collon, which houses an extensive display of weapons, uniforms and military vehicles, from a wide range of conflicts. The museum also has a children’s play area and pet farm.



South-east of Collon is Old Mellifont Abbey, once one of the wealthiest and most influential monastic houses in medieval Ireland. During the summer the visitor centre offers guided tours. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush why not check out WhiteRiver Karting just north of Collon. Visitors are provided with everything they need before taking to the tarmac.

Following this, take a drive out to the nearby coastline where you can enjoy a walk on beautiful Baltray beach or at Clogherhead, followed by refreshment in the Glyde Inn, Anagassan. 

The Glyde Inn was awarded National Pub of The Year and Irish Food Pub of the Year 2018 at the Irish Pub Awards in RDS. The Glyde Inn sits in the heart of natural beauty. A place of sandy beach, deep blue sea and distant granite mountains. Their restaurant specialises in local seafood and using local ingredients from the Boyne Valley.

Alternatively, if you take the southern coastal route you can visit the beach at Bettystown or Laytown, stopping at the Limekiln in Julianstown for lunch or make up a picnic from their bakery and deli to enjoy at the seaside. The nearby Skylight Art Gallery is also worth a visit.

The Smugglers Rest Seafood Gastropub in Clogherhead brings Port Oriel's best quality seafood straight from pier to plate, while serving up the finest local beers and spirits as well as the old favourites.


Funtasia, a state-of-the-art water park in Drogheda, will provide the entire family with hours of entertainment. There is also a Funtasia Park at Bettystown Beach in case the day turns rainy!

If golf is your thing, you will be spoiled for choice. Bellewstown Golf Course, County Louth Golf Club (Baltray), Julianstown Golf Club and Laytown and Bettystown Golf Club are all set in spectacular locations and provide a variety of challenges to suit golfers of all ages and standards. What better way to wrap up your visit to Drogheda, Gateway to the Boyne Valley.

 

As we hope you can see there is lots of foodie fun & adventures to be had in Drogheda! 

 

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