We look at five great ways to enjoy St Patrick’s Day this year or next, from distillery tours to luscious green landscapes.
Boyne Valley is the birthplace of Ireland’s Ancient East and has some of the country’s most mythical landscapes. It is also the place where St Patrick first returned to Ireland as a missionary.
Tourism organisation Discover Boyne Valley suggests five ways to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, on 17th March, amongst 5,000 years of history, including the Spring Equinox, traditional parades and the newly opened Slane Castle Distillery.
1. Follow in the Footsteps of Saint Patrick
The Hill of Slane is where Saint Patrick first returned to Ireland as a missionary and introduced Christianity to the country. Follow in the footsteps of Ireland’s national saint with a three-day tour that takes you on the path trodden by St Patrick including iconic stops such as the Medieval town of Drogheda. For a tour that takes in the area’s renowned UNESCO sites, the High King Guided Tour combines religious monuments with some of Ireland’s most mythical landscapes.
2. Experience a true taste of Ireland at Slane Castle Distillery
Celebrate St Patrick’s Day at the newly opened Slane Castle Distillery with a glass of their triple-casked whiskey. Housed within the 250-year old stables of the iconic Slane Castle estate, the new distillery pays homage to the area’s rich heritage. The Distillery Tour gives visitors a unique insight into how Slane Irish Whiskey is produced, from the barley room all the way through to the final production, finishing off with a taste of Slane’s signature triple-casked blend.
3. Discover awe-inspiring landscapes at the Spring Equinox
The Equinox marks the halfway point in the year between the summer and winter solstices. During three days in March the back chamber of Loughcrew’s Cairn T is illuminated as part of the 5000-year-old alignment of the sun and the magnificent iconic monument. The annual Spring Equinox takes place at the Loughcrew Megalithic Centre, featuring a series of events including crafts, tours and talks.
4. Celebrate St Patrick’s Day in traditional Irish style
Experience some of Ireland’s most scenic landscapes and the charm of a traditional St Patrick’s Day parade in Boyne Valley. In the shadow of Trim Castle, experience the Trim St Patrick’s Day parade featuring Daft-Raft Race on the River Boyne and the crowning of the Celtic Queen. For a chance to experience the best of Irish music and dance head to the Medieval town of Drogheda for a taste of traditional culture, in the lead up to the area hosting Ireland’s biggest cultural festival Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann this summer.
5. Hunt for Irish myths and legends amongst 5,000 years of history
Boyne Valley is home to some of the world’s most important UNESCO world heritage sites, which date back further than Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza. Brú na Bóinne is one of the most important prehistoric megalithic sites in Europe, and you can explore the legends behind the tombs amongst beautiful scenery including the meandering River Boyne. After a busy day exploring sample some of the best local produce from Boyne Valley’s artisan producers in honour of St Patrick.
For more information, visit www.discoverboynevalley.ie