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The Drogheda Destination derives its name from the town of Drogheda, Ireland. The town itself was once said to be one of the most important commercial centres for the European region. However, in recent history, much of that commerce has shifted to the larger city of Dublin, which is also located in the region. Much of the history of the region has been preserved in a number of museums dedicated to relating local stories as well as UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Brú na Bóinne. One popular site, in particular, is that of Newgrange, a large ancient burial mound located within Brú na Bóinne, which is a large mound with a stone roof and interior chamber that can be toured. Other natural formations that may be of interest to guests can be found at Wicklow Mountains National Park, where a number of trails showcase a variety of biomes. Many people often travel to the region between the months of June and August due to the warmer temperatures during that timeframe. That is also generally the time of year when the destination sees its heaviest amount of rain. Due to its location along the coast of Ireland, the Drogheda Destination typically sees high humidity throughout the year, regardless of the amount of rainfall.
The city for which the Drogheda Destination is most well known is Dublin, which is located 56 kilometers south of the destination’s namesake. Dublin contains a variety of attractions, with many of them showcasing historic architecture or books. In 2010, the city was designated as a UNESCO City of Literature due in part to ancient books contained in Trinity College, such as the Book of the Kells, which is said to be on permanent display. The city has other museums dedicated to a number of different topics, including EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum, which showcases the ways that Irish migration has affected Irish culture both within the nation and in other countries, and the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History that showcases important historical collections of fashion and jewelry all shown in a former army barracks. Tourists interested in architecture can also travel around the city to see various historical structures such as the Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Castle, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Another major reason people often travel to the Drogheda Destination is to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne, located west of Drogheda proper by eight kilometers. The site contains a number of ancient cairns; however, Newgrange, the largest, is typically the most popular among tourists. Newgrange is an ancient tomb with a diameter of 80 meters that visitors are allowed to walk around and inside. The monument’s construction dates back to before the Egyptian Pyramids were built in 3200 BC. Other notable locations at Brú na Bóinne include Knowth and Dowth, which are also both ancient tombs that tourists can either take a tour of or explore themselves.
Within the city of Drogheda, visitors can tour and view many historical buildings just as they can in Dublin. One such building is St. Peter’s Church, which houses the preserved severed head of Saint Oliver Plunkett, who was a Catholic Martyr in the late 1600s. Those interested in the history of the city may visit Millmount Tower and Museum to learn more about Drogheda’s early inhabitants and growth throughout history. Every summer, Drogheda Port hosts the annual Irish Maritime Festival along the River Boyne. The festival is advertised as being family-friendly and features a number of food vendors and ships on display for people to look at and tour.
South of Dublin, visitors to the area will find Wicklow Mountains National Park, which is one of six national parks in the country. The park is open free of charge and offers a variety of natural vistas and trails. Three scenic roads wind through the park, and depending on the path taken by guests, circular routes can be driven to see a range of the park’s wilderness. Visitors can hike on the park’s trail system to reach different campsites and valleys; however, the park’s website stresses that the park’s primary purpose “is the conservation of wildlife,” and as such, visitors are asked to abide by the principles of “Leave No Trace.”
The eastern portion of the Drogheda destination is made up of Ireland’s east coast and features a number of beaches that can be accessed by visitors. With that being said, much of the destination is flat and used as farmland, with the exception of Wicklow Mountains National Park to the south and the area surrounding Dublin, which is generally more urban. Rivers are also a notable feature of the region, with the River Liffey running through Dublin, the River Boyne running through Drogheda, and other smaller tributaries running throughout.
With regards to the weather of the destination, it is generally fairly humid, with the least humid month occurring in May at about 70% humidity. Rain is common throughout the year, usually falling the least in March and April and falling the most between June and August. Based on these weather conditions, typically, the best time to visit the Drogheda Destination is said to be between mid-June and September, as these months are usually the most comfortable for warm-weather travelers, despite the heavier rainfall. Another peak season for tourism occurs at the beginning of the year in January and February.
Animals can be seen throughout the region; however, people are most likely to witness them in the Wicklow Mountains National Park due to its goal of being a conservation park for plants and animals. Some of the fauna most commonly observed include sika deer, swans, and foxes, among others. Off the coast of Drogheda, various whales and dolphins have been spotted by tourists.
The history of the Drogheda Destination can be traced back to 3000 BC. It was around this time that the area of Newgrange was settled and when the circular mound that is situated on the land was built. The mound was built as a tomb for those in the area at the time, with additional minor details built into the structure, such as a gap that was made above the Entrance Stone, which fills with sunlight each Winter Solstice. It is believed that many people stayed in the area due to its proximity to the Boyne River and a natural ford that was created there. Many ancient people would conduct commerce in the Drogheda area due to its access to the Irish Sea via the Boyne River.
Eventually, a town was settled in the early Middle Ages, with structures such as Millmount Fort and the Augustinian Church being erected. As the Middle Ages progressed, Drogheda became an important city for meetings of the Irish Parliament, which moved to the city in 1494. In addition to hosting parliament meetings, Drogheda continued to be an important commercial center for Ireland, with some of the largest exports of the region being wool, beef, and a variety of grains. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Dublin emerged as an additional important port of trade, with both ports being major trade contributors during World War II.
Today, much of the industry in the Drogheda Destination is split between brewing and distilling in the town of Drogheda by companies such as Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola, and Jameson Whiskey. In addition, there are various global information, pharmaceutical, and communications companies having offices in Dublin. Much of the growth in this area can be attributed to a period from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s called the Celtic Tiger period. Many people travel to the area for business in these industries as well as to visit a number of historical landmarks that the destination contains, such as the previously mentioned Millmount Monument in Newgrange, the Augustinian Church, Trinity College Dublin, and Dublin Castle.