Newgrange, County Meath

Several places of interest are grouped on this site, led by the Newgrange passage tomb, built 5,000 years ago and regarded as the world's first solar observatory. At the winter solstice on 21 December, the rays of the sun shine directly down the passageway; during tours, the effect is recreated by electric light. The great mound of Knowth, nearby, dates from about 2000 BC to 2500 BC, has two passage tombs and 17 satellite tombs.

Knowth also has the greatest collection of passage tomb art ever discovered in Europe. Also in this immediate area, it's worth seeing the collection of old farm machinery, the cooper's workshop and the blacksmith's forge at Oengus Lodge.

11 km (7 miles) W of Drogheda.
Newgrange: Admission charge.
Tel. (041) 24488.

Knowth: Admission charge.

Oengus Lodge: Admission charge.
Tel. (041) 24150.