Hill of Tara: Ancient and sacred landscape of Ireland’s royal seat 

Nestled in the heart of Ireland, the Hill of Tara stands as an ancient sentinel steeped in myth and history.

HILL of TARA: Ancient and sacred landscape of Ireland’s royal seat 

Often hailed as the erstwhile capital of Ireland and a revered seat of kingship, Tara’s undulating landscape unfolds tales of Celtic mythology and the nation’s rich past. 

This article invites you to journey through time and explore the mystical allure of Tara’s royal enclosures, standing stones, and sacred wells. 

Unravel the legends of Lia Fáil, the Stone of Destiny, and discover the echoes of ancient ceremonies on this hallowed ground. 

Join us in delving into the layers of Ireland’s cultural tapestry woven into the very fabric of the Hill of Tara. 

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for visiting the Hill of Tara: 

An image of the Cross on the Hill of Tara, County Meath, Ireland, marks the site of the 1798 Battle of Tara Hill
Credit: Wikipedia Commons/ N Chadwick
  • The site involves walking and exploring, so comfortable shoes are essential. 
  • Start your visit at the visitor centre to gain insights into the historical and archaeological significance of the hill. 
  • Consider taking a guided tour to understand the site’s history and significance better. This is free of charge. 
  • Ireland’s weather can be unpredictable, so bring layers and waterproof clothing. 
  • Many structures on the hill are ancient and fragile. Observe posted signs and avoid climbing on them.

Interesting facts about the Hill of Tara: 

Image of The Stone of Destiny (Lia Fáil) at the Hill of Tara, once used as a coronation stone for the High Kings of Ireland
Credit: Wikipedia Commons/ August Schwerdfeger
  • Tara was once considered the ancient capital of Ireland in County Meath and served as the seat of the High Kings
  • The Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny), a standing stone on Tara, was believed to roar when touched by the rightful king
  • Tara is associated with Irish mythology, particularly with tales of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a mythical race in Irish folklore. 
  • The Hill of Tara has been an important site for over 4,000 years, with archaeological evidence dating back to the Neolithic period
  • The site features several earthworks, including mounds and ditches, which are part of its ancient landscape. 
  • Tara has a series of circular earthworks known as royal enclosures, believed to have been used for ceremonial and political purposes. 
  • Tara is surrounded by several sacred wells, adding to its mystical and spiritual significance. 

What’s nearby 

Exterior view of Bellinter House, showcasing its elegant Georgian architecture surrounded by lush greenery and manicured gardens.
Credit: Booking.com

Food: Monto’s (Kilmessan; Irish), the Gate Restaurant (Navan; Irish), Arthur’s Place (Navan; Irish), Room 8 (Navan; Irish). 

Drink: Fox’s (Skreen), H.A. Thornes (Tysaxon), Ryan’s Bar (Navan), Fergie Maguire’s Pub (Kilmessan). 

Accommodation: Bellinter House (Ballinteer; four-star), the Station House Hotel (Kilmessan; three-star), Cillin Bed and Breakfast (Killeen; B&B). 

Other attractions: Emerald Park, Bective Abbey, Monktown Castle, Athlumney Castle, Trim Castle, St. Mary’s Abbey, Ireland’s oldest bridge. 

Your questions answered about the Hill of Tara 

An image of Monktown Castle, a medieval fortress nestled amidst lush greenery, showcasing its weathered stone walls and timeless architectural grandeur.
Credit: Wikipedia Commons/ Kieran Campbell

Why is the Hill of Tara famous? 

The Hill of Tara is renowned as the ancient capital of Ireland and a symbolic centre of Irish mythology, history, and kingship. 

How long does it take to visit the Hill of Tara? 

The duration of a visit to the Hill of Tara can vary, but a typical visit to explore the site and its monuments may take around one to two hours. 

Do you have to pay to go to the Hill of Tara? 

No, there is no entrance fee for the Hill of Tara; it is open to the public, allowing visitors to explore its historical and archaeological wonders without charge. 

Contact info 

Telephone: +353469025903

Email: [email protected] 

Address: Castleboy, Co. Meath, Ireland

Opening times:

Hill: 10 am–5 pm, year-round 

Visitor centre: 10 am–6 pm, May–September (last admission 5 pm) 

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