I spent a lot of time at home in Ireland last summer and I really wanted to make the most of it. To me that meant spending lots of time with my family and friends and seeing some of Ireland I had never seen before.
So for my Mum’s birthday we did a little road trip up to Glendalough (post here) and then Newgrange. Newgrange is something I had been interested in seeing especially since I went to Egypt last year and saw the pyramids. I saw the pyramids and my thought was ‘What were Irish people up to when all this was happening?’. It was then I learnt that Newgrange is older than the pyramids.
Anyone who is not Irish is probably confused about what Newgrange even is. It doesn’t look so impressive from the outside. But to me it is amazing! It is a stone age passage tomb built around 3200 BC which makes it older than the pyramids and Stonehenge. It’s a circular mound surrounded by kerb stones that came from the Wicklow Mountains (almost 100 km away). This was the time before the wheel in Ireland so the mystery of how they got the kerb stones there is pretty amazing itself. A lot of the kerb stones are covered in megalithic art and this region of Co. Meath holds half of Europe’s megalithic art.
The most impressive part is how these stone age people lined up the chambers of these passage tombs with the sun. Newgrange is aligned with the rising sun on the winter solistice, when the sun rises it completely lights up the back chamber of the tomb. Other passage tombs in this area are lined up with other solstices.
I was so impressed with how well Newgrange was organised. When you arrive at the visitor centre you have the option of doing a guided tour for Knowth (the larger, more damaged passage tomb) and/or Newgrange. In the visitor centre they have a little museum explaining some of the history, a gift shop and a cafe. Both guided tours were only 13 Euro. From the visitors centre you take a short walk over the river to the bus stop. There you will get a short bus ride to Knowth and Newgrange, this is included in your ticket.
First we went to Knowth, this is where most of the megalithic art is and it’s also the bigger of the two but has more damage. The tour guide was very informative and made it so interesting. We got the chance to go inside the tomb too. After Knowth we had some time for lunch before hopping onto the bus for Newgrange. The tour guide for Newgrange was just as good. And we got to go inside the chamber here too. Once inside they did a demonstration of what it’s like on the morning of the winter solstice when the sun lights up the back chamber, and I honestly had goosebumps from it.
After the tour you can enter a raffle and get a chance to win tickets to come to Newgrange on the Winter solistice which would be such an incredible experience!
Hope you enjoyed this post from me. Would love to know if you had heard about Newgrange before reading this post, and if you’d like to visit now that you have heard of it! Thanks for reading and you can see other travel posts here. Follow me on bloglovin’ here, I have lots more photography on my instagram here. Thanks x