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Kells
Navan
Trim

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County Town: Navan
Population: 162,831
Area: 2,342 sq km
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County Meath is also known as The Royal County, since it was from here, in ancient times, that the High Kings of Ireland ruled the land, according to tradition. Meath today is rich in history and mythology, with numerous monuments up to 5,000 years old bearing testament to a colourful past. The prehistoric passage-tomb at Newgrange dates back to around 3000 BC and is a UNESCO world heritage site, along with companion sites at Knowth and Dowth. Other wonders of Meath include the Hill of Tara, allegedly the coronation place and seat of the High Kings. The hill is surrounded by intrigue and legend: it contains a megalithic passage-tomb, a standing stone and a large hill fort called the Royal Enclosure. Meath also boasts many mottes, towers, religious ruins and castles, notably Trim Castle, regarded as Ireland's finest Anglo-Norman castle, and Slane Castle, which famously hosts major rock concerts. The countryside is characterised by fertile, low-lying farmlands watered by the rivers Boyne and Blackwater, although there is some lovely, rolling drumlin country to the north, areas of peat bogland in the south west, and a 12-kilometer coastal stretch beside the Irish Sea to the east. One seaside resort, Laytown, is the location for Europe's only officially approved grandstand horse race along the beach. More conventional races are held at the Fairyhouse, Bellewstown and Navan courses. Other sports enjoyed in Meath include golf, fishing, hunting, cycling and walking, with seven different heritage trails to explore. Shoppers will enjoy browsing in curiosity shops and wonderful craft centres, while the main towns of Navan and Trim also offer high- street stores and lively pubs, restaurants and nightspots. Meath is also famed for its abundant flowers. Gardeners might take some tips from Ballinlough Castle Gardens at Athboy, Loughcrew House and Gardens in Oldcastle and Grove Gardens & Tropical Bird Sanctuary near Kells.

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First Non-Stop Transatlantic Jet Flight - 1950, Launch of ITV - 1955, 10 Soldiers killed by IRA bomb attack in Deal - 1989
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