Navan, Co Meath, Ireland

Known as Ireland’s floral town, Navan is a great travel destination. Walk through any neighbourhood and the disciplined gardens and pretty parks will impress you.


The town is located 56km northwest of Dublin, and founded by the Normans about 850 years ago it is now a vibrant business metropole and the administrative centre for County Meath.


Surrounded by patchwork farmland, Navan offers access to many historical sites such as the Hill of Tara, Trim Castel, and the Stone Age site of Newgrange just to mention a few. The local Pubs, Restaurants, and Cafes offer something for everyone.


Put on a pair of comfortable shoes, pack a raincoat or warm jacket, and explore this beautiful town.

Spectacular riverside walks

A stone’s throw from Navan’s town center you will find a park that will offer a forest-like hike along the banks of the river Boyne on the one side and the water canal on the other. The Boyne River later merges with the Black River. On the day of our first visit to the park, the two rivers flowed strongly due to heavy rains in the weeks before, while the canal offered calmer waters where ducks floated lazily pecking around in the dark water to find a bite to eat.


We often accessed the walk from Boyne Road just before it crosses Navan Newbridge, then following a tarmac path snaking through a green canopy of trees and shrubs where flowers grow abundantly and bees harvest nectar as if there is no tomorrow. The tarmac walkway often splits off into gravel pathways and then later merges with the tarmac again.


Many no-mow areas in Navan provide protected untouched habitats for native wildlife and in particular for the busy pollinators as part of Irelands’ formally known Pollinator Plan.


This park offers a few parking spaces along various points of the rivers and also playground areas for young kids to enjoy.


Rent a Bike

When I visited in August 2023, Navan was the latest location to have a shared bike scheme put in place by international mobility provider ‘Tier’.


There are two options: a normal pedal bike, or an e-bike.

The difference with an e-bike is that every time you pedal, the motor assists you. This is great for beginners or for those steep hills or somewhat windy days. The bike-share scheme is part of the overall plan for sustainable and active travel for Navan.


The scheme allows people to cycle into town where they can find public transport such as busses into Dublin City. Users can take a bike in one location and leave it in a parking area at their destination. Actually, you can leave these bikes almost anywhere since they are equipped with anti-vandalism features and GPS tracking and are tracked so the provider knows where every bike is at any given time.


Athlumney Castle Ruins

The Athlumney Abbey

Step back in time at Athlumney Castle. It is situated on Convent Road within walking distance of Navan town center. The oldest part of the castle is the tower house, which dates back to the 15th century while the Tudor-style house attached to it was built later, during the late 16th and the early 17th century.

In 1649, during the Siege of Drogheda, the owner of the castle, Maguire, burned it down to stop Oliver Cromwell from taking it over. Then, in 1686, the castle was owned by the high sheriff of Meath, Sir Launcelot Dowdall, who burned the castle again before leaving for France.

Accessing the Castle grounds was not possible when I visited Ireland in August of 2023.

Earls Kitchen

We found a busy little cafe called “Earls Kitchen” on Old Cornmarket Street.


Also known as ‘EK’ it seems to be a favorite amongst the locals as they came in a steady stream to purchase freshly baked goods while we were having coffee.

Their baking is magnificent – especially the Scones!


We liked ‘EK’ so much that we went back there the next Monday, and were very disappointed to find that it is closed on Mondays (and Sundays). As with many other venues – it is custom to do.

The Round O Bar

Established in 1876, this is a well-established landmark in Navan. The Round O stands gracefully overlooking Flower Hill, the Blackwater Park, and the River Boyne, offering an interesting variety of food on the menu. The Caramel Roulade is to die for.


You can find more information about them on Facebook or via this link


I would love to give their website a makeover.


Trip Tips

Many local restaurants and coffee shops are closed on Sundays and Mondays.


Always check their website or phone to confirm.


Go to our blog post ‘Trip Tips’ for more info


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