Trim Castle, Co Meath, Ireland, at sunrise

Above: Trim Castle at sunrise. Photo by Andrew Parnell

On a recent beautiful morning my companion and I decided to take a trip to Trim on the banks of the Boyne River in Co. Meath to see and walk around the grounds of Trim Castle. The castle is mostly in ruins but the central keep is there and 45 minute tours are available. We opted for a gentle stroll around the grounds.

The castle is Norman, 12th century, built by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter, on the site of an earlier wooden fortress. Its most recent claim to fame is being used as the backdrop in the film Braveheart. Another claim to fame is that it is the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland.

We adjourned to Trim Castle Hotel which is opposite the castle itself.  It had been recommended and is popular for weddings and celebrations. It is a surprisingly unassuming building but beautifully appointed inside. Another bonus is a Kilkenny Shop accessed from the hotel. This contains a treasure trove of Irish crafts, jewellery, pottery, etc for a pleasant browse!

There is a restaurant with a very comprehensive and also a coffee bar.  We opted for a meal in the coffee bar. My friend ordered cottage pie with a cheesey mash, and I had a warmed tartlet of puff pastry, mozzerella, tomato and pesto. The latter was accompanied by a choice of three salads. Dessert was the same for both of us - mouthwatering strawberries and cream tartlets.  Coffee rounded off a very pleasant meal.

Definitely worth a visit and meal if you are in this part of Ireland, which incidentally marked the end of the Pale! M.S.

(To go beyond the Pale – a boundary of stakes or fences - meant you were entering a part of Ireland that was not under English rule.)

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