Day Trips from Navan
Once you hire a car in Navan, you’ll be eager to get out and explore. This area is rich in historical attractions and quaint, provincial towns. In fact, most tourists opt to stay outside of Navan in one of several atmospheric towns in the countryside. The following destinations are all worth visiting for a day or more if you’ve rented a car in Navan:
Located just over 50 km south-west of Navan, Mullingar can be reached via the N1 and N52 motorways. The key attraction here is Belvedere House, which was built in the 1700s as a hunting lodge. It features beautiful gardens, a Victorian glasshouse and a fair amount of scandalous history. Mullingar also features heavily in James Joyce’s work—specifically in Finnegans Wake and Ulysses.
A short, 26-km drive north-east along the N51 leads to Drogheda. The local cathedral and museum are well worth visiting, but many visitors are so taken by the charms of this provincial outpost that they end up staying the night. The riverfront is well-developed and offers plenty in the way of dining and evening entertainment.
You don’t have to drive far out of Navan to reach the Boyne Valley (less than 20 km north-east along the L1600). This area is steeped in history and boasts the remains of impressive structures that are even older than the pyramids in Egypt.
Trim is a small town with an important Norman castle some 15 km south-west of Navan along R161. You may want to consider making Trim your hotel base while staying in County Meath as there’s something satisfying about returning to views of Trim Castle after a day of sightseeing.
Most visitors have heard of the Book of Kells by the time they reach Navan. In fact, most have already seen it on display at Trinity College in Dublin. The book was named after the town of Kells, and while it probably wasn’t created here, Kells did serve as the book’s home for centuries. This is also a popular place for accommodation.