Why You Should Make Boyne Valley Your Next Staycation

Bronwyn O'Neill on the simple joys of a staycation

There’s something to be said for staycations. Na laethanta here-a, if you will. I could wax poetic for hours about my grá for Ireland. Where others find that coming home feeling when they step off the plane into a sunny country, I have never felt more settled in my bones than when I’m exploring Ireland.

So a weekend spent in the Boyne Valley is my ideal trip. Especially as it’s just down the road from my home.We have a rich history here in Ireland. So where better to learn about our majestic past than at the Hill of Tara?

We were greeted by our tour guide, Michael Fox, who gave us a very insightful talk on the sacred spot. It has recently been adopted as a spiritual site for people who are leaning into their Celtic roots, myself included. And without sounding too airy-fairy, the feeling on the hill is truly mystical.

If history lessons aren’t your game, big-budget blockbusters might be. Just a few minutes down the road is Bective Abbey. While it was once a working monastery and it does have a rich history throughout the year, it’s now used to shoot movies, including the iconic Braveheart. More recently the surrounding fields were used in Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s The Last Duel. Y’know, the film that had Matt officially become a member of Irish society?

A morning of walking around had us absolutely starved so we headed to the Bective Tearoom for lunch. Then it was on to Bective Stud farm. Do I know a thing about horses? No! But there were alpacas and foals, so I was delighted.

Of course, a trip to the Boyne Valley wouldn’t be complete without heading to Kells. Unfortunately, the Book of Kells isn’t there anymore, you’ll have to travel to TrinityCollege for that. But there is plenty of pride in the town as well as stories about how that book came to be.

Being a bit of a history nerd paid off because I was left absolutely enthralled by the history of the town that was founded back in Viking times. After exploring Kells and stopping off for dinner, we were off again to reconnect with nature. We popped into Loughcrew Estate where we explored the sprawling garden and forest.

We got absolutely drenched, but walking through this gorgeous garden made it all worth it. Honestly, it’s like being transported to a different world.

We spent the night at Tom Blake House, a B&B that had me thinking I was in a Home Alone film. The staircase alone was like something straight out of a fairytale. Breakfast the next morning was an absolute dream with our lovely hosts cooking us a delicious meal. I opted for the staple of poached eggs, avocado and sourdough.

If it’s not broken don’t fix it, says I. It was the perfect fuel to keep us going for our trip home.


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