Explore Navan, a bustling town in County Meath. Stroll down the riverside for picturesque town views and check out the artistic exhibits at the Solstice Art Gallery.
Where to stay in Navan
Navan may be the primary city of County Meath, but much of the best accommodation is located in the countryside. With that in mind, many tourists and visitors end up booking rooms in smaller countryside towns.
Trim (15 km south via R151) is one of the most popular hotel bases. The town’s castle makes for a beautiful backdrop for rooms with a view. Kells (16 km north-west via R147) also tops the list thanks to the role it played in protecting its eponymous book from the 9th to 16th centuries.
The following are among the most popular hotels within short distance of Navan:
Bellinter House (outside Navan)
The Bellinter House is located on the outskirts of Navan and offers some of the most sought-after accommodation within reach of the city centre. This 18th-century country home presides over the River Boyne and offers plenty of period ambiance. Facilities include the Bathhouse spa and a set of restaurants.
Headfort Arms Hotel (Kells)
This family-run operation in Kells is one of the most popular places to stay in County Meath. The rooms are decidedly modern, but not at the expense of the establishment’s lightly rustic charm (think: open log fire in the lounge). Facilities include a restaurant and spa.
Castle Arch Hotel (Trim)
The Castle Arch manages to feel posh without being pretentious with its Old-World ambiance. The hotel offers 21 rooms and is a favourite place to host seminars, weddings and small conferences outside of Dublin.
Trim Castle Hotel (Trim)
Located in the Trim town centre, this hotel has played a key role in rehabilitating a neighbourhood close to the castle. Guests enjoy impressive views and plenty of luxurious extras. Facilities include a collection of five restaurants and bars, one of which features rooftop dining.
Knightsbrook Hotel (Trim)
This impressive hotel is situated on just shy of 200 acres of attractive parkland. Guests enjoy luxury amenities, fine dining and access to a swimming pool, health club and championship golf course.
Navan Depot Location
The Navan hire car collection depot is centrally located on Academy Street, near its intersection with R147. This places it immediately south of the city centre in an area easily reached by public transport—or even on foot for that matter. Point in case: passengers who arrive in Navan via Bus Éireann will be dropped St Joseph’s Mercy Convent, which is just 10 minutes’ walk from the depot.
Weather permitting, getting around the town centre on foot is feasible. However, the primary allure of visiting Navan is the chance to escape into the countryside. Public transport options are limited, and those who have arranged car hire in Navan are better positioned to see everything Navan has to offer. Best of all, having your own private transport means that you won’t have to fuss with transport timetables or join crowded package tours.
The car hire depot in Navan is open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:30 and Saturday from 10:00 to 13:00. The office is closed on Sunday. Customer service officials are available during these hours to assist with completing the paperwork to get you behind the wheel of a rental car in Navan.
Navan Car Parking Options
Thanks in part to Navan’s popularity as a shopping destination in Ireland, this town has ample parking. In fact, many major shopping areas—such as the Navan Town Centre—offer free parking for customers. In addition, there are enough private parking spaces in Navan to accommodate upwards of 2,000 vehicles.
If you just plan on leaving your vehicle for a few hours near the city centre, then the most convenient parking is probably on Brews Hill at the O’Mahony GGA pitch. Cars can be left here for an affordable hourly rate within easy walking distance of shops, restaurants and boutiques.
Another car park located to the south-west of the stadium offers discount all-day parking. Leaving your vehicle for the day will cost roughly twice the hourly rate at the stadium.
Drivers will find several other private car parks around town, including at the following locations:
Opposite the Kennedy Centre (outside of St Mary’s Credit Union)
Behind the Kennedy Centre (at a filling station)
On the N51 / Kells Road
On Athlumney Road
Finally, parking is free out at the Ramparts, which is a good place to go for angling or riverside picnics. Just bear in mind that most locals wouldn’t leave a vehicle unattended here.
Shopping in Navan
While County Meath is home to a few of the finest historical attractions in all of Ireland, the actual city of Navan is less of a tourist centre and is better known as a shopping destination. To that end, many local Irish who visit Navan do so to stock up on supplies and discount merchandise.
In times past, Navan was best known for its furniture-manufacturing industry. Globalisation ultimately moved the furniture trade to Eastern Europe, and Navan has evolved into more of an all-purpose shopping destination. However, there is still an emphasis on house wares and furnishings.
The following shopping centres and retail parks are located in Navan:
Navan Town Centre
Navan Town Centre—which you may also hear called ‘Navan Shopping Centre’—is a local retail heavyweight. You won’t find any shopping centres of this size in any other Irish towns as small as Navan. Upwards of 70 retailers operate on site, and doors open at 09:00 each morning (except on Sundays, when they open at 12:00). Closing time is at 18:00 every night of the week except for Friday, when the shopping centre is open an extra three hours.
Located on Trimgate Street near St Mary’s Church, this is a member of the Irish Charity Shops Association. It deals in bric-a-brac, house wares, clothing, books and music.
Blackcastle Shopping Centre
Located north of the river, this secondary shopping centre features a couple of restaurants along with a few basic services.
Blackwater Retail Park
This minor retail park deals primarily in gardening shops and home-repair depots. However, on-site angling outfitters can help visitors arrange a day of casting a line on the river.
Navan Car Tours
Car Tours from Navan
Navan is far enough outside of Dublin to significantly diminish public transport options. If you hire a car in Navan, you’ll be able to explore the whole of County Meath at your leisure, without having to worry with public transport schedules, expensive taxi fares or crowded package tours. In so many words, private transport is essential to the visitor experience in County Meath. There’s not much to see and do in Navan city proper. Dubliners come here for the extensive shopping options, but this is less attractive for tourists and other visitors. Indeed, Navan’s most attractive feature is that it provides car hire for exploring County Meath.
Don’t let Navan’s workaday atmosphere mislead you—County Meath is chocked full of incredible sites and attractions. The prehistoric sites of the Boyne Valley are world-class and one-of-a-kind. Just a few minutes’ drive from Navan city centre delivers drivers to Brú na Bóinne visitor’s centre, the gateway to millennia-old passage tombs and stone circles.
Likewise, you can easily hire a car in Navan and quickly connect to smaller, historic towns brimming with charm and charisma. The towns of Trim and Kells are tourism headliners, but you can just as easily stop by quaint B&Bs and self-catering cottages in the countryside that provide an ideal base from which to explore the countryside immediately outside of Dublin.
For those arriving in Navan from elsewhere in Ireland, it’s easy to hire a car. Buses from elsewhere drop passengers at St Joseph’s Mercy Convent. From here, it’s only 10 minutes’ walk to the car rental depot on Academy Street. Taxis and other modes of public transport also connect here.Start your search
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