A rich collection of history and beauty awaits discovery amid the gorgeous Irish countryside. Trim Castle, just a short distance from Dublin’s bustling streets, remains a witness to ages past, giving a thrilling day trip that blends rich heritage, breathtaking architecture, and the beauty of the Irish environment.
Trim Castle should surely be on your list if you’re looking for the right combination of history and adventure. Read on to find how to maximize your time by reading our guide for Trim Castle day trip from Dublin.
Things you'll find in this article
- Trim Castle Day Trip From Dublin
- Trim Castle History
- Best Time to Visit Trim Castle
- How to Get There
- 6 Best Things to Do at Trim Castle
- Best Group Day Tour to Join in Trim Castle
- Practical Tips for the Trim Castle Day Trip
- Is Trim Castle Worth Visiting?
Trim Castle Day Trip From Dublin
Trim Castle History
Trim Castle is located in Ireland’s County Meath, on the banks of the River Boyne. It was constructed in the late 12th century when Henry II handed Hugh de Lacy Lordship of Meath to curtail Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, commonly known as Strongbow’s growth.
Trim Castle hosted parliaments seven times throughout the 15th century. It was in a condition of decay by the 16th century and was finally abandoned.
During the Cromwellian Wars in the mid-16th century, the castle was pillaged by troops and residents who removed roof beams and lead from the decaying edifice.
Trim Castle was bought by the government from Lord Dunsany in 1993. It is now administered by Heritage Ireland, the Department of the Environment and Local Government’s Heritage Service.
Best Time to Visit Trim Castle
Please keep in mind that this is a very active site, and visitors may encounter delays during the summer months. Access is not guaranteed. Visitors with impairments have extremely limited access.
It should be noted that several of the staircases in the keep are quite steep and tight. The keep is inaccessible to tourists with impairments, and only the grounds are open to them. There are explanatory panels on the castle grounds that enable self-guided tours.
- October: 09:30 – 16:00
- 17 March – 30 September: 10:00 – 17:00
- November – early February: 09:00 – 16:30 (Weekends only)
Early February – 16 March: 09:30 – 16:00
How to Get There
Duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Trim Castle is a well-known day excursion from Dublin. If you are traveling from Dublin, you may take Bus Éireann from Busaras Station to Trim Castle.
Estimated Fuel Cost: $13.00
Duration: 40 minutes
Follow the M1 until you reach the M50. Leave the M50 at Junction 6 and take the route that leads to the M3/N3. You’ll have to pay $1.60 to pass through a barrier toll on the M3. They will take cash.
When you get to Trim, you will see Trim Castle. Trim Castle Hotel is situated across the street from Trim Castle.
6 Best Things to Do at Trim Castle
Trim Castle is a beautiful medieval fortification that not only has historical interest but also provides tourists with a variety of activities. There’s something for everyone at this historic Irish monument, from immersing yourself in history to enjoying the lovely surroundings.
1. The Castle
It’s easy to see what Lord of Meath Hugh de Lacy was trying to convey with Trim Castle. It was a declaration of dominance, a warning to the local Irish that the Anglo-Norman conquerors were here to stay. This huge, 20-sided cruciform structure, the walls of which are three meters thick in parts, served as a stronghold. It was also a house.
When you go inside the Great Hall, you might envision magnificent feasts and flaming flames. Climbing the tiny spiral staircase to the chapel will put you in the footsteps of many devout castle dwellers.
And, if you gaze out over the battlements atop the three-story keep, you’ll find a scene that hasn’t altered much since the castle’s construction: the River Boyne running below, and Trim’s lush commonage reaching out as far as the eye can see.
2. Trim Castle River Walk
If you enjoy the countryside, the sound of rushing rivers, and historic medieval remains, the Trim Castle River Walk is for you. Starting at Trim Castle, this walk will take you to some of Trim’s most prominent remains while following the banks of the lively River Boyne.
You’ll arrive at Newtown after passing past St Mary’s Abbey, Shees Gate, and the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul.
The walk lasts around 30 minutes and includes interpretive panels that describe life in Trim throughout the Middle Ages along the way. For good reason, this is one of Meath’s most popular treks.
3. Enjoy the Views
Trim Castle’s most famous fight was a fictitious one. Despite being set in Scotland, Mel Gibson’s Oscar-winning epic Braveheart was partially shot in Ireland, with Trim Castle serving as the walled English town of York. The London scenes were shot inside the castle walls.
Walking through the castle grounds and along the River Boyne, it’s easy to see why the filmmakers fell in love with the area. The inside of the castle is breathtaking, with guided tours offering access to the keep, which provides panoramic views of the surrounding area.
4. Bective Abbey
Bective Abbey is only slightly a 10-minute drive from Trim and well worth a visit. The remains of Bective Abbey, located in the middle of a field adjacent to the River Boyne, are free to view and there is parking nearby.
The Cistercian Order built this monastery in 1147 intending to rediscover the simplicity of monastic life. The remains that remain now are mostly from the 13th and 15th centuries.
Visitors will see the chapter house, the church, and the cloister. Bective Abbey was closed down in 1543 during King Henry VIII’s reign, after the destruction of the monasteries.
5. Take a Picture with the Outside Walls
The outer walls are the primary thing you notice as you approach Trim Castle, and they are breathtaking. They originate from the 1170s and are surrounded by powerful towers, between which two gates, the Trim Gate and the somewhat later Dublin Gate, stand.
We strongly advise you to stroll around these walls: they are enclosed by grass, and the main path with pavement still follows their pattern, allowing you to understand how vast this castle was and, to some extent, still is.
6. Go to the Top of the Main Tower
The castle was created as a military bastion to challenge the might of Strongbow, who had his headquarters in Kilkenny, and it genuinely dominates the surrounding landscape.
Once on top of the tower, you can enjoy the castle’s vantage point and how far you can view from here.
You will also see how close the river Boyne is, two factors that were significant in deciding where to locate such an important military position.
Best Group Day Tour to Join in Trim Castle
Joining a group day trip is strongly suggested to make the most of your stay. We’ll look at some of the Trim Castle group day tours and why it’s a must-see for history buffs, architectural fans, and anybody wishing to immerse themselves in the beauty of Ireland’s medieval age.
Dublin: Private Boyne Valley and Trim Castle Day Tour
Meeting Place: Dublin City
Price: $126.00 per person
Leave the bustling city of Dublin behind and explore the UNESCO world heritage-listed attractions of the Boyne Valley, which includes the Neolithic tombs of Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, and Loughcrew.
Explore the corridor and chamber at Newgrange, which lights the innermost room, displaying ancient artwork. Walk around the one-acre site to witness the 5000-year-old roof, which is fully intact and watertight.
Continue deeper into the Boyne Valley following lunch to the Hill of Tara, which was the seat of the Celtic Kings of Ireland notably Brian Boru.
Continue to Trim Castle, Ireland’s biggest Norman castle. Explore the inside and ascend the spiral stairs to the De Lacy stronghold’s eating halls and sleeping quarters.
Day Tour Highlights:
- Explore Bru na Boinne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring Neolithic monuments older than the Pyramids.
- Discover the lovely Boyne River Valley.
- Trim Castle, Ireland’s biggest Norman fortress, was made famous in the film Braveheart.
From Dublin: Celtic Boyne Valley Tour
Meeting Place: Suffolk St, Dublin 2, D02 KX03, Ireland
Price: $74.00 per person
Discover the Neolithic graves of Loughcrew, the primarily Iron Age Hill of Tara, the seventh Century Christian abbey of Fore Abbey, as well as the Anglo-Norman Trim Castle on this trip.
This Celtic trip through Ireland’s Ancient East takes you to the archaeologically significant Boyne Valley in County Meath, where the prehistoric High Kings of Ireland reigned.
Then, pay a visit to Tara, which is most renowned for being the royal palace of the ancient High Kings who controlled Ireland in Celtic times and beyond. This peak is supposed to have a view of a fifth of Ireland’s landscape. Take enjoy this breathtaking view before returning to the capital.
You next proceed to Trim Castle, Ireland’s greatest surviving and most spectacular Anglo-Norman castle. It provides a breathtaking glimpse into the life and habits of medieval people.
Day Tour Highlights:
- Visit the Loughcrew Passage tomb, which is the final resting place of a fabled High King.
- Visit the Hill of Tara, where Ireland’s High Kings were crowned.
Trim Castle, one of Ireland’s biggest Anglo-Norman castles, is open for tours.
To book this tour click here.
Practical Tips for the Trim Castle Day Trip
If you’re considering a day trip to Trim Castle, here are some helpful hints to make your visit unique.
Operating Hours may Change
The operation hours of the facility vary throughout the year, being shorter during the off-season. The castle grounds are open to the public for free. Guided tours of the castle grounds are given Monday through Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
There are Steep Staircases
Don’t forget to visit Trim, which has historic 13th-century walls that still exist surrounding it.
Please keep in mind that the paid parking lot has a 2-hour time limit. Access for visitors with impairments is restricted.
Be warned that guests with disabilities are unable to access the keep due to the high steps. If you visit during the rainy season, it might get quite muddy, so make sure you wear appropriate footwear.
Check Out Old Brides
While at Trim, visit Ireland’s oldest intact and unmodified bridge, which is located close to the castle. It was constructed across the Boyne River in 1393.
Visit the Jealous Man as well as Woman’s Tomb in the cemetery of Saint Peter and Paul’s Cathedral.
Trim Castle’s Architecture
Trim Castle is Ireland’s biggest Cambro-Norman castle. The cruciform fortress has twenty corners and a three-story keep. The structure of the castle was essentially dictated by the need for strength, which resulted in robust buildings of great beauty.
The castle, despite it appears to be in ruins, is a work of art and a symbol of Ireland’s power. When the sky is clear at night, the castle appears to be a lovely romantic narrative, but during the day, it is a powerful military fortress.
The castle does not have a conflict of opposing architectural styles like the Victorian; rather, it was designed as a Norman fortress and has remained that way for 800 years.
Is Trim Castle Worth Visiting?
Trim Castle is Ireland’s largest, best-preserved, and most spectacular Anglo-Norman castle. Trim Castle is a must-see for anybody interested in history or Irish culture.
This medieval castle is Ireland’s largest and best-preserved of its kind. It was utilized as a set in the film Braveheart and will leave you speechless. A visit to Trim Castle is like traveling back in time.
Hi, I’m Christine – a full-time traveler and career woman. Although I’m from the Philippines, my location independent career took me to over 40 countries for the past 8 years. I also lived in 3 continents – from the Caribbean, South East Asia to Africa. But despite living in several countries, my love for Ireland remains the same. A country that had been a part of my life since I was 14 because of my love for Irish music and bands. Ireland Travel Guides was born because of this passion and hopefully, in some little ways, this website will be able to help you on your next trip to Ireland.