Discover the Flavours of the Boyne Valley- Dundalk & Carlingford Itinerary
Whether you have one day or a week to spend in the Boyne Valley we have some fantastic Itineraries to help you get the most from your visit.
The Boyne Valley was proud to be named as one of the ‘World’s Best Food Destinations’ in 2019 by the National Geographic Traveller, alongside the cities of Bologna in Italy and Cusco in Peru.
As the heartland of Ireland’s Ancient East and the seat of the ancient High Kings of Ireland, the Boyne Valley continues a proud heritage of producing food and drink experiences fit for a king or queen! The historic Boyne Valley is home to a bountiful supply of passionate farmers, skilled food and drinks producers, along with world-class chefs and eateries who are devoted to bringing the rich flavours of the landscape to your table.
Getting to the Boyne Valley is very direct – the M1 from the Dublin Airport will take you to the heart of it in 30 minutes and from Belfast City in just over one hour – once you arrive you can take things at your own pace, by exploring the back roads of this historic valley – discover for yourself its quaint villages and cosy pubs and mingle with the locals who are only too willing to share their stories. The Boyne Valley encompasses so much from scenic coastlines to ancient monuments and a thriving food & drink scene full of passionate producers who use the fertile lands surrounding the river Boyne to grow,rear, produce & make their produce just as their ancestors did over the last 5000 years.
Heading North up the coast from Drogheda will lead you to the Northern parts of the Boyne Valley where you will find Dundalk and Carlingford. Louth may be the smallest county in Ireland but its stunning coastline and mountain landscapes offer breathtaking views.
Dundalk- the town's name, which was historically written as Dundalgan, has associations with the mythical warrior Cú Chulainn. The town's crest reads Mé do rug Cú Chulainn Cróga, meaning "I gave birth to brave Cú Chulainn". Dundalk is one of the most historical parts of Ireland with Louth known as the ‘land of legends’. Rich in heritage with an emerging vibrant food scene.
Carlingford is a town on the Cooley Peninsula, between the waters of Carlingford Lough and the mountain of Slieve Foye, in the northeast of Ireland. It’s known for its oyster farms, medieval buildings and outdoor activities. The 12th-century King John’s Castle overlooks the harbour. Taaffe’s Castle is a 16th-century tower house.
This part of the Boyne Valley offers plenty of adventure with lots of fantastic outdoor activities and trails to discover.
While you discover this Land of Legends make sure to plan a visit to The Spotted Dog restaurant where brothers Brendan (chef) and Vincent Mulligan (restaurant manager) bring local, fresh seasonal food & drinks to Dundalk. Serving breakfast, lunch & dinner in a cosy modern style restaurant. Winner of Best Newcomer for Louth in 2019 RAI awards and a Trip Advisor Award in 2020.
A perfect place to spoil yourself with a decadent afternoon tea is MacNamee’s Tea Rooms in the village of Dunleer where you can sit, relax and enjoy a selection of over 300 loose leaf teas, you can also take home your favourite tea which they blend and packed in store.
They also serve excellent Italian coffee along with Gourmet hand made sandwiches, soup, pastries, salads and light snacks. In their store you can browse gift sets, hampers, tea pots, crockery, caddies etc.. along with coffee machines, grinders and a selection of coffee products for you to enjoy at home. Afternoon tea is very important in MacNamees and they serve this in the traditional way. MacNamee's Tea Rooms are a small family run business where attention to detail and customer service is paramount.
Fans of Oysters will know that Carlingford is synonymous with world for producing world renowned oysters and the Carlingford Oyster Company produces several award winning varieties of Oyster so make sure you try some while in the area.
If you are visiting in August you cannot miss the Carlingford Oyster Festival- a long running festival that celebrates the world famous Carlingford Oyster with lots of events, street activities, music and more.
Also keep an eye on the Sea Louth webpage to get further information on events & activities that are taking place along this beautiful stretch of Louth coastline.
Other products locally produced to look out for include-
- Great Northern Larder
- Urban Indian
- McEntee’s Fine Teas
- Carlingford Oysters