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A Guide to Newgrange

Newgrange, also known as the Newgrange Monument, might not be as famous in the modern world as the likes of the Cliffs of Moher, the Guinness Storehouse, and the Giant’s Causeway, but it’s arguably more important than all of them combined.

This large man-made monument is a testament to Ireland’s history and holds a millennia of stories within…

What is Newgrange?

Newgrange is a large prehistoric monument from the Neolithic era. It is estimated to have been built around 3200 BC.

This means that Newgrange is older than both Stonehenge, in England, and the Egyptian pyramids!

It is a large monument, built by the farmers and community of the time, featuring a large circular mound on the outside, and an array of passages and chambers on the inside. Separate to that, it is ringed or enclosed by a circle of engraved curbstones and also features Megalithic art throughout.

It is estimated that the building took between 5 and 30 years and features rock transported from as far away as the Mourne and Wicklow Mountains, both 50km north and south of the site respectively!

The site is said to have religious or faith based connotations but, as of yet, this hasn’t been officially confirmed.

It is part of the Boyne Valley Tomb complex and is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site and can be visited today throughout the year.

Where is Newgrange in Ireland?

Newgrange is located in County Meath along the east coast of Ireland. It can be found approximately 8km from Drogheda and is located along the River Boyne.

For many, it is easily accessible via the M1 motorway which connects Belfast to Dublin along Ireland’s east.

How Far is Newgrange from Dublin?

The good news is, if you’re visiting Newgrange from Dublin, like many tourists and visitors to our country, you won’t have far to travel!

The site isn’t easily accessible via public transport alone so we would recommend driving or taking one of the many bus tours.

In this case your travel will take approximately 1 hour from Dublin to Newgrange.

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When is Newgrange Open?

Newgrange, and the visitor centre, is open all year round apart from the 24th to 27th of December when it closes for the Christmas holidays.

Depending on the time of year the monument and centre is open from approximately 9am to 7pm but it’s recommended you check before visiting and pre-book your tickets online.

The Newgrange Winter Solstice

The Newgrange Monument is particularly famous for its connection to the Winter Solstice.

The Winter Solstice, which occurs on December 21st every year, is the shortest day of the year and in previous eras would have represented a significant day in the calendar.

Incredibly, the entrance to Newgrange is aligned with the rising Winter Solstice sun and bathes the internal chamber in sunlight via a connected roofbox.

Modern visitors can experience this…if they’re lucky enough to win the lottery!

Due to popularity, every autumn a lottery is held to choose 20 lucky winners (who get to bring one guest) who can then experience this special Solstice event over the course of 5 days.

What a treat!

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