Explore Louth’s ancient past
County Museum Dundalk
Visit the County Museum Dundalk to get an unparalleled insight into Louth's history, with exhibitions covering as far back as the Stone Age. This award winning museum also regularly hosts local productions, film screenings and art exhibitions.
Originally built by a pirate in the 1700s, Castletown Motte is also known as Cúchulainn’s Castle, as it is the supposed birthplace of the legendary warrior. The towering building sits atop a small hill and legend has it that the standing stone in the field marks the final resting place of Cúchulainn.
Drogheda Museum Millmount
Towering over Drogheda, Millmount is in an old Norman fort and is home to Drogheda Museum Millmount, as well as craft shops, art galleries and an artisan food centre. Enjoy beautiful views over the Boyne Valley before taking the tour of the museum, which includes an authentic 18th century Irish folk kitchen, dairy and laundry.
Just ten minutes away at Old Mellifont Abbey, you’ll learn about the work of masons from the Middle Ages, explore a fascinating monk’s chapter house and marvel at the ancient craft and church relics on show at the monastic site’s visitor centre.
Monasterboice Round Tower
A short spin from Mellifont you’ll find the impressive round tower and high crosses of Monasterboice. Muiredach's High Cross is 5.5 metres high, overshadowed only by the magnificent round tower that was once a refuge for monks during times of Viking attack.
Go walking or cycling in County Louth
Walk or cycle The Great Eastern Greenway
Built along an old railway line from Carlingford to Omeath, The Great Eastern Greenway is an easy 6km walking route along Carlingford Lough’s stunning southern shore. The scenic route takes about 1.5 hours to stroll, or 30 minutes by bike, with great views of Slieve Foy, the Mournes and the lake to keep you occupied the whole way.
Slieve Foye Loop
If you’re after something slightly more challenging, head out from Carlingford on the 9km Slieve Foye Loop, which takes about 2.5 hours. Following arrows through forest roads, grassy track and mountain paths, there are a couple of steep climbs on this route, but the views along the coast to the north and south, and across Carlingford Lough to the Mourne Mountains make it worth every step. On a good day, you might even see the Isle of Man.
The Táin Way
Looping around Carlingford Mountain, The Táin Way is a circular walking route of forestry tracks, open mountain paths and quiet roads. The full walk is 40km and best spread out over a couple of days, you can choose a section to tackle during your stay. From its high points, the views are spectacularly good, northwards across Carlingford Lough to the Mournes, and southwards down the east coast.
See Dundalk's murals
Exciting mural festivals in Dundalk give this exciting town a vibrant splash of colour, making it a fantastic place for art lovers to explore by foot. In its second year, SEEK has transformed the streets of the town centre with powerful and striking works of art depicting the area's history from St. Bridget to the crowning of the High King of Ireland.
Keep an eye out for unique Dundalk sayings painted on buildings as you walk the streets. Talented artists have painted shop shutters and walls throughout the town as part of EPSO, a contemporary art project.
Take a foodie tour of Louth
Gastronomy lovers and gin connoisseurs are spoilt for choice in The Wee County.
In the centre of bustling Dundalk is Square, one of the county's finest restaurants. Championing local produce and modern Irish cuisine, this eatery has a great reputation amongst local foodies. Try the buttermilk fried chicken or the roasted hake and spiced aubergine for an unforgettable meal.
Close to the historic Laurence's Gate in Drogheda, the award winning Scholars Townhouse Hotel Restaurant is set in a Victorian building that dates back to 1867. The interiors are homely yet old world, with hand-painted ceiling frescoes of the historic Battle of the Boyne, oak-panelled walls and open fireplaces. Fish fans will love the bouillabaisse and lobster platter.
Ten minutes north of Drogheda, Listoke Distillery & Gin School is an interactive and educational gin experience. You can choose a blend of botanicals and distil your own personalised gin on a miniature copper pot still, which you’ll later bottle and label yourself.
The Glyde Inn
From Listoke, head north towards the coast to scenic Annagassan, where you’ll find The Glyde Inn. Locally sourced food is served at the beautiful seaside setting overlooking the Cooley and Mourne Mountains. The old bar has that authentic Irish look and traditional music is on the bill every Thursday and Friday night.
Carlingford Brewing Company
Head north again to the Cooley Peninsula for a guided tour at Carlingford Brewing Company. Learn all about the famous Carlingford landmarks that inspire each beer and get a peek behind the curtain at the brewing processes, before enjoying a delicious Ploughman's Lunch.
While you’re in Louth…
Time your trip to the Wee County right and you might just catch one of these fun events.
Horseracing at Dundalk Stadium
Watch in awe as majestic horses gallop around a floodlit Dundalk Stadium. Trainers from across Ireland and the UK bring their prized performers to County Louth where they compete for big prizes. Stand out on the terrace and feel the electric buzz of horseracing or book a table in the restaurant overlooking the finishing line below.
Hop out to the coast from Dundalk and visit the idyllic seaside village of Blackrock. Walk along the seafront and gaze out at views of the Cooley Mountains on the northside of Dundalk Bay and the Viking village of Annagassan to the south. Ask anybody in Blackrock and they'll tell you that you can't leave without getting a coffee and bite to eat in Rocksalt Café. Order from the delicious, ever-evolving menu and watch the waves lap up against the shore.
Carlingford Oyster Festival
A four-day, fun-filled event, The Carlingford Oyster Festival every August is described as the most relaxing seafood festival in Ireland. Enjoy incredible views across the lough, while sampling delicious food and entertainment.
Louth is the perfect place for a short stay in Ireland. Check out our Louth destination page and find amazing things to do in the mountains, historical towns and beautiful coastline that make up the Wee County.