Hill of Tara
The Hill of Tara is an important archaeological site about 60km north of Dublin in County Meath. Once upon a time (before the Norman invasion in 1167), it is believed this was the seat of the kings of Ireland. Whether this is true and how important the site actually is are still up for debate. The hill itself rises 197m over the Irish countryside.
There are around 30 monuments scattered around the hill. Most are simply stones and can be hard to discern. The Ráith na Ríogh, or Fort of the Kings, and Cormac's House, are oval Iron Age enclosures around the summit. The Stone of Destiny was an important part of the coronation ceremonies of Celtic kings. The Mound of Hostages is an underground tomb dating between 2500BC and 2100BC.
Truth be told, there's not much here to look at unless you're really into history and archaeology. The views from the summit are spectacular, though, and the atmosphere is interesting -- it just feels ancient. Tara Hill is also a great place for a hike or a picnic. Come here for a nice change of pace from Dublin, and to get an introduction to Ireland's countryside. It's located right along the M3 and is easily accessible by car (parking is free!) or bus. Tours are available.
Location: Navan, County Meath, 60km north of Dublin
Telephone: +353 46 902 5903
Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset.