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  • Countryside Fresh Eire
  • Country life Fast horses and slow rivers

Although close to the city thrills of bustling Dublin, Meath has an enchantingly relaxed pace all of its own.

As the seat of the legendary High Kings of Ireland, the deep green pastures of this northeastern county are the ancient royal heartlands of the aptly named Emerald Isle. The racecourses may occasionally thunder under the fleet hooves of Irish thoroughbreds, but time – like the silvery rivers teeming with trout and salmon – flows softly through this land. You can explore the ageless charm of the Royal County on foot, on horseback or by hot‑air balloon; browse the stalls of farmers’ markets groaning with fresh organic produce; or happen upon ancient, myth-rich Celtic hill forts. And, once you’ve allowed the slow pulse of Meath to seep into your veins, there can be nothing more pleasurable than luxuriating with a summer picnic on the banks of the Boyne, under the long shadows of mighty Trim Castle.

Do go/Don’t go

There are two seasons in County Meath: the Flat season and the National Hunt season. Rainfall is quite high but that creates the fish-filled rivers and the luminous green of the countryside – when the sun shines you’ll realise why it’s called the Emerald Isle.

Getting thereView map

  • Planes The town of Navan in the heart of County Meath is just 33 miles from Dublin International Airport (www.dublinairport.com). It takes about 45 minutes from the airport to Dublin city centre with Air Coach (www.aircoach.ie); a taxi costs about €35 (www.cabhire.net).
  • Trains The main coastal line between Dublin and Belfast passes 30 minutes of your time on its run through County Meath to Drogheda via Laytown (www.irishrail.ie).
  • Automobiles A hire car is the easiest way to make the most of your stay. From Dublin | drive along either the M1 motorway | the N2 or the N3 – they all travel north through County Meath.
  • Taxis Minicabs are your only option here: Navan Free Phone Cabs operates 24 hours a day and can be contacted locally on 1800 313233. Otherwise, ask your hotel to book your transport.