Untold riches lie outside Dublin’s gates, and it doesn’t take a treasure-seeker to find them.
5 kmThis historic former prison, not far from central Dublin, provides insight into what life behind bars was like in a fiercely divided Ireland. The prison was open from 1796 until 1924.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the cells that held leaders of numerous rebellions between 1798 and 1916. The prison site, used as a film location for "In The Name of the Father," is home to a museum about Irish nationalism and an art gallery with paintings and sculptures of people imprisoned throughout Ireland.
10 kmA 78-acre estate once owned by the Guinness family, Farmleigh House was purchased by the Irish Government in 1999. The residence now provides accommodation for guests visiting Ireland, including Queen Elizabeth II in 2011.
When not occupied by dignitaries, Farmleigh is open to the public. Visitors can witness the stunning Georgian-Victorian architecture of the main house, walled and sunken gardens, and the Benjamin Iveagh Library, which holds fine examples of Irish bookbinding dating back to 18th century.
Hill of Tara
43 kmThis archaeological site in County Meath is one of Ireland’s historic treasures. In ancient Irish mythlogy, Tara was revered as a dwelling of the gods and an entrance to the Otherworld. St Patrick is said to have come here in A.D. 433 to confront the Pagans.
More than 30 monuments are still visible, some dating back to 3,500 B.C. Visitors can take guided tours of the site, and on a clear day, see stunning views across Ireland from the top of the hill.
47 kmTrim Castle is located on the south bank of the River Boyne in the Heritage Town of Trim in County Meath. It's the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Built over a 30-year period in the late 12th century, it was used for the filming of Hollywood blockbuster "Braveheart."
The castle is open to the public every day from Easter Saturday to Halloween. Visitors can transport themselves back to medieval times by exploring the impressive 3-storey keep and the curtain walls of this impressive monument to Ireland.
60 kmThe Glendalough valley was formed during the Ice Age and is now part of Wicklow Mountains National Park.
The area is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland, founded by St Kevin in the 6th century. Guided tours are available year round.
Glendalough and its surroundings offer some of the most stunning rural landscapes in all of Ireland. US First Lady Michelle Obama and her children visited on their tour of Ireland.