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Post Info TOPIC: Newgrange: Planning tips?? by Melissa2Ireland


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Newgrange: Planning tips?? by Melissa2Ireland
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Registered User
Posts: 28
(8/5/05 6:55 pm)

Newgrange: Planning tips??

Hi Michele and experienced travellers, can you help me plan a great visit to Newgrange?

I thought we'd spend 2 nights in Trim and day-trip to Newgrange from there. But I was just reading in someone's trip report that with the Mary Gibbons tour you get to see inside the real Newgrange, as opposed to seeing inside the replica...

We want to go inside the real Newgrange! Can you only do this with a tour like Mary Gibbons? I would be very disappointed if we got all the way to Newgrange and weren't allowed inside.

We will have a car and were planning to drive. But is there really a unique advantage to taking Mary Gibbons tour?

Thanks for any info! Also since we'll only have 2 nights in Trim, could the weather cause us to miss Newgrange? Am I cutting it too close?

Michele Erdvig
Posts: 3310
(8/6/05 1:16 am)

Re: Newgrange: Planning tips??


Anyone can see the inside of the real Newgrange. When you arrive at the visitor's center they will ask you what you want to visit. Do it all! Since the space inside Newgrange tumulus is limited the number of people who enter at a time is also limited. That means you must get your name on the reservation list to go inside. You might not be able to go in right away and might have to wait for the next group. While you wait you can see the museum, visit the Newgrange replica and perhaps have lunch or a snack. The earlier you arrive, the better. Tour groups arrive as the day progresses and it takes a long time for all those people to go into Newgrange. If you arrive at opening time you will be first on the list. Weekends are more crowded than weekdays.

Weather is not really a factor except for taking photos outside Newgrange.

Do note that Newgrange is not for the claustrophobic. People who are tall will want to "mind their head" as they say in Ireland.


Registered User
Posts: 29
(8/6/05 1:29 am)

To: Michele; Re: claustrophobic

Michele, I DO get claustrophobic! :eek But I am very intrigued by Newgrange. If I tried to go inside, and had to come back out due to claustrophobia, would there still be enough to intrigue me about the site? This is an unexpected predicament but better to know about ahead of time!

I'm okay in elevators. My claustrophobia tends to strike at unpredictible times...I'm not sure what triggers it. I have to take Xanax to fly because I can get claustrophobic on planes otherwise.

Well, maybe I can take Xanax to see Newgrange...normally I only take Xanax to fly. Other times I simply "get out" if someplace makes me claustrophobic. You see, there's no way out on the plane!!!

Thanks for the tip from an "INSIDER"! :rollin Am I the only one who gets my jokes?

Michele Erdvig
Posts: 3311
(8/6/05 3:22 pm)



When you enter Newgrange you must go through a stone tunnel about 60 feet long. It is made up of megaliths that have shifted slightly over the centuries. It is very narrow and in some places you have to duck down or slide through sideways to get through. I thought the interior chamber was plenty roomy even with all the people inside. I tended to try and stay over near the wall instead of the center where everyone was crowding into.

Talk to the tour guide and tell them your problem. Maybe you should go into the tunnel last so that if you are uncomfortable you can just turn around and exit. As I recall the tour guide comes in last so they may have to go out if you decide to.

Outside are standing stones, huge megaliths surrounding the mound with ancient carvings, etc. Not quite as intriguing as the inside but interesting for those into archaeology.

I "get" the jokes. Keep them coming! ;)


Registered User
Posts: 33
(8/6/05 3:36 pm)

To Michele; Re: Backin out!

Michele, thanks for your patience with me and your detailed description of tunneling into Newgrange...You are right, I would prefer to be last in line with the guide...In case I need to back out!

You must have seen lots of ancient sites in Ireland. Do you have a favorite ancient, pre-Christian site? I chose Newgrange as our ancient site. I'm trying to balance the trip, a representative castle, ancient site, scenery, pubs, music...You know, a nice balance.

Do you prefer seeing Newgrange on your own or with a tour? Usually we prefer being on our own. But sometimes ancient ruins come to life with the right guide. I do understand from your description that you have to go inside Newgrange with a guide.

Thanks for everything! Thanks to you we'll be very well-informed tourists. 8o

Michele Erdvig
Posts: 3315
(8/7/05 2:32 am)

Re: To Michele; Re: Backin out!


Patience is my middle name. ;) I think that you will probably want to see Newgrange on your own. The tours originate in Dublin and you will be in Trim. The Gibbon's Tour does visit some other sites but you can do that yourself too.

There are so many ancient sites in Ireland that it is hard to choose. Lough Gur has the largest stone circle in Ireland. Boa Island has some intriguing Janus-faced idols. Ireland's largest dolmen is near Carlow.

I think one place that always affects me greatly is Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains, although the ruins are not pre-Christian. But it was definitely built in a pagan place and still has traces with the Deer's Stone, the fairy tree & holy well. I don't like Glendalough on a Bank Holiday or weekend when the Dublin hordes are there. But at other times when the tourists are few it is very special.

Carrowmore outside Sligo is very evocative too.


Registered User
Posts: 48
(8/7/05 2:28 pm)


If you are anywhere near the Bricklieve Mountains, you can make a terrifying drive (wouldn't try it in my own car, but okay in a rental:rollin ) practically straight up the mountain, and then a climb on foot up to four passage graves. The view from the top is spectacular and you can actually go into the graves.
Creevykeel is also a good place for that prehistoric feeling.
And don't forget the Hill of Tara, near Newgrange. Not much left, but real history happened there.

Registered User
Posts: 35
(8/7/05 4:45 pm)

To Michele; Re: the leftovers

Michele, I guess the reason Ireland has so many pre-Christian ruins left is the English couldn't figure out a good use for them!!! >: No slight intended towards any English who are reading this. History is history...After all, I live in the "Wild West" of California and I DIDN'T kill off all those wild herds of buffalo! Somebody sure did though... :(

I am beginning to understand biologist hubby's lament for the lost ancient forests of the earth. Because I have been searching for them on-line and lamenting the lack of them in Ireland... But the links you sent me on Killarney National park area were very interesting, Michele, thanks a bunch! I have printed them out for hubby as I want him to have a realistic notion of what's left, and then he can make an informed decision about his nature walks.

Newgrange seems to be one of the ancient pre-Christian ruins that is conveniently located for our itinerary.

Probably I should visit whatever ancient sites are within a convenient day-trip from our route. Other interesting sites will be waiting for my return trip to Ireland! (Which I am already dreaming about before even taking my first trip!)

I will definitely plan on visiting Newgrange on our own then, and we'll get there early in the morning and get our name on that list for getting inside Newgrange. And I'll try to be last in line...

Registered User
Posts: 36
(8/7/05 4:50 pm)

TO: Dude; Re: ruins

Hey Dude! I just love all these names of Irish places. They tend to be hard to spell, and many of them aren't even in the index of my guidebooks. :\

Thanks for the tips. Newgrange and Hill of Tara are in my guidebooks. Bricklieve Mountains and Creevykeel aren't in the guidebooks. Probably I can find some info by using the yahoo web-search.

Registered User
Posts: 50
(8/7/05 7:07 pm)


The Bricklieve Mountains are south of Sligo City, 6 miles (10 km) southeast of Ballymote, signposted road leaving the L11 at Traveller's Rest. This area is called Carrowkeel which may be how you will find information about it.
Creevykeel Court Cairn is near Cliffony, 15 m. (24 km) north of Sligo on the N15.
If you are in County Sligo at all, don't miss the Glencar Lake and Waterfall. Just beautiful.
Oh, 4 m. (6 km) southwest of Sligo City is Queen Maeve's grave near Knocknarea. The book says "easy climb on SE side" but I didn't find it all that easy at age 47. But it is an impressive site. And sight.

P. S. I could go with you and show you!

Michele Erdvig
Posts: 3317
(8/8/05 1:07 am)

Re: ruins


I totally floored my husband several years ago by climbing Knocknarea. He thought I was kidding at first. The views from the top were fantastic and it was a clear day. I couldn't believe how large the tumulus was. It looks so small from the bottom. People had taken rocks and made their initials with them all around the mound. Can you imagine hauling them all up there? What a job!:eek



"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

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