An August 2000 trip
to County Meath by lisamcgu
Quote: Where is Co. Meath? Its just above Co. Dublin and just below Co. Louth, which borders No. Ireland. Here you will find a country oasis just outside of the bustling area around Dublin, stopping perhaps to visit Trim castle, where they filmed parts of Braveheart with Mel Gibson.
B&B accommodations in the area are lovely and maintained the 20-25 punt price, per night (which included my single supplement), that I was used to paying all across Ireland. I found comparable accommodations in County Dublin, the next county over, to cost much more. They were, obviously, taking advantage of being closer to the airport and sights of the big city of Dublin.
Anne O''Regan is your hostess. She is wonderful and helpful. Breakfast in the morning is in the small but formal dining room where her breakfasts are cooked to order and the tea is especially wonderful. She told me her secret but I''ve forgotten it now. Drat!
The night I was there, I could hear the phone ringing in the hallway, all evening, with people looking for a last minute room. The next morning, Anne told us she filled up with the first calls, having to turn away the rest.
Along with the fact that this was a most charming B&B, it is in County Meath, right next to County Dublin - with the country''s main airport there only a half-hour away. As such, this B&B is located in an area that is a haven for tourists fleeing the bustle of Dublin and the high B&B prices associated with that busy tourist area - one of the reasons I stayed here in County Meath rather than County Dublin.
Like almost every other B&B I stayed in, I only paid, with a single supplement, from 20-25 punts a night (converted over, that''s like $25-30). I still can''t get over how little one pays for a room in Ireland, and not just a room, a great room in a great B&B, and with a great breakfast too! Unbelievable.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 9, 2001
County Meath, Ireland
Attraction | "Town of Trim"
I changed money here at the bank, used the small convenience stores to get some items, including my must-have, Hello magazine. Then, after walking around a bit to take care of such vacation "business," I was ready to leave as soon as possible, not staying to partake in a nice tea or anything. I had decided it just wasn't that type of town.
Before, for going to the castle, I had parked just across from it, in front of a church. The main entrance was way down the block and on the corner so, where I was originally parked, it was not a busy area at all.
After my tour, when I drove around the corner from Trim castle, into the main part of town, it was very different - it was terribly crowded. First, I had to wait and fight for a parking spot. Then, I had to keep my purse close as I walked on the busy sidewalks. All this reminded me of another busy tourist town I visited, Donegal, and sure enough it happened again, as it did there.
I encountered one of Ireland's infamous tinkers, someone perfectly able who, instead of working for money, prefers to try and take it from someone else. (See my Tinkers in Trim entry.)
So, while I recommend Trim castle, I do not recommend hanging out in town and I say shame on the Trim city council for allowing such vagrancy and loitering.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 10, 2001
Trim, County Meath, Ireland
County Meath, Ireland
You are free to peruse the grounds and outer buildings on your own and there are signs indicating each buildings use or the significance of a certain structure.
The tour itself takes you through the main part of the castle. Up and around and across you go, through different levels. The central area has a vaulted ceiling so you can look straight up to the roof and see the walkways of the upper levels from down below. There are cubbyholes and stairs here and there, but the tour guide will rush you by, asking you to stay with the group, like he knows you don't want to waste time on those areas when he has so much more for you to see. It goes on and on until you come to the roof. Wow, what a view!
I was there when the place first opened, August 2000, and they were still working the kinks out. All around, there were planks, boards, uneven stairs, dirt, rocks, etc. Also, they were trying, but had not, by any means, screened up all the holes where pigeons were getting in.
Once in, the birds were leaving their calling card everywhere! Who knew little pigeons could leave such large poop puddles. Part of the tour was dodging all the puddles and noticing which railings not to use.
I am sure, by now, they have ironed out these things, I just looked at it as an authentic castle tour, one which truly showed what the original occupants must have put up with. Besides, I felt lucky to even be there.
Before the opening two weeks earlier, before the remodeling started the year before, the place was just sitting there unoccupied, a ruin. It was where the local schoolchildren used to play after school.
I remember thinking, "how cool, I wish I had a castle to play in where I grew up" and I wondered if the kids were totally bummed that they didn't get to play there anymore. I could imagine the effects - a deep-seated, lifelong hatred of tourists taking root in the children of Trim.
I didn't make it! With the praise I was hearing about the place while I was in Trim, and now with what I've read, I wish I had tried harder to get there and would encourage others to go.
The place has come together since the 1970s. It was created by a man who owned a sizable piece of farmland, Jim Reynolds, just using a corner of it for a small personal garden. It grew and became something huge and diverse. Now, it is open to the public, with eating facilities, restrooms and, thoughtfully, handicap access.
Broken into sections, different areas include the Summerhouse, the Temple and Pool and Isolde's Tower. There is a staggering variety of all manner of plant life including roses, some found and taken from old walled Irish gardens, the rose's names no longer known.
Everyone I met in Trim, other tourists, my B&B hostess, all asked if I had been to the gardens, telling me I must go and speaking in awe of the place.
With all this, I very much recommend these gardens.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 13, 2001
Kildalkey Road, Trim, County Meath, Ireland
County Meath, Ireland
When I was coming out of a little store in Trim, lying in wait was a teenage girl who approached me trying to bum money. She was perfectly healthy and fit and I told her politely, "no." She then began to whine a little and try to work me harder. What nerve, I couldn't believe it! I had to say, in my most authoritative, loud voice, "I said No!" I was really miffed I had to put up with this, being forced to be a see-you-Next-Tuesday on vacation.
I had to go to another store to get a phone card for my cell phone (see my journal, General Tips for Ireland, Buying a Cell Phone entry). As I was coming out, I saw one of the girl's cohorts trying to get money from a motorcyclist who was at an ATM. Meanwhile, his woman companion, who was halfway down the block watching their motorcycles, had "my" bum standing next to her, while she called out to the man, waving her arms and shaking her head no.
If only all tourists would be like this woman and me. If they wouldn't give money to these roving bums, infecting tourist towns wherever they go, then maybe they would stop their annoying, pathetic behavior.
They go by different names (Tinkers, Travelers, Gypsies), but it's all the same, a name to associate with those who bring your beautiful vacation down a notch.
Orange County, California