A fun excursion from Dublin is to Newgrange and the Boyne Valley to learn about pre-historic Ireland. The Boyne Valley has a large concentration of ancient monuments i.e. enclosures, forts, standing stones, and passage mound tombs. Built around 3200BC the passage mounds of Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowd are 500 years older than the pyramids at Giza.The passage mound (so called as human remains were found inside when it was discovered) at Newgrange has a narrow 60 ft. long passage that leads you to a center chamber with three surrounding chambers. This center chamber will be lit up by the sun at the winter solstice for a few minutes. The passage mound at Loughcrew is related to the summer equinox. Newgrange is immense, measuring 280 feet across and 50 feet high. Be sure to look up while in the center chamber to see the beehive of stones above you forming a roof. Bring your own flashlight when entering the mound on your guided visit to better see the spiral markings on the stones in the side chambers.
Archeologists believe that these sites have a lot more meaning than just burial mounds It is hard to believe how advanced these ancient peoples were.
If the visitor’s center is really packed when you go to visit try driving over the Knowth. You can’t go into the passage mound but the area will be less crowded.