Despite being one of Ireland’s most important historical sites, it’s Tara’s otherworldly views and fascinating archaeological finds that make it such a popular day trip from Dublin. The Hill of Tara, known as Temair in Gaelic, is located in County Meath and was once the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland – a series of grassy landscaped mounds presiding over the surrounding land.
Ancient Irish mythology tells that 142 kings reigned from this mount in prehistoric times and Temair was renowned as the ‘sacred place of dwelling for the gods’. Legend dictates that Saint Patrick, patron Saint of Ireland, also visited the Hill, and a statue of him still reigns proud at the top.
To make the most of a visit to Temair, head first to the Hill’s visitor center, set inside a disused church, where an audio-visual presentation will fill you in on the area’s majestic heritage. Exploring the landscape, you’ll uncover a host of interesting ancient relics including a number of passage tombs and ceremonial enclosures, Neolithic burial mounds and a sizable temple constructed from over 300 wooden posts. Make sure you don’t miss the ‘Stone of Destiny’, an ancient coronation stone that remains one of Tara’s most famous monuments.
Entry to the site is free but the rough terrain means you’ll need to scramble over ditches and up slippery grass mounds, so don’t forget your hiking boots! Best of all are the views and Tara’s summit offers an expansive panorama of the landscaped surroundings – clamber up the hill at sunrise or sunset for the most dramatic view.