Ireland's Ancient East

Experience 5,000 years of history in Ireland’s Ancient East

Where Vikings settled and saints roamed, journey back in time through 5,000 years of history in Ireland’s Ancient East. This magical region is steeped in history, with countless stories to be heard and a backdrop of glorious scenery that is just as unforgettable.

Experience 5,000 years of history in Ireland’s Ancient East

Ireland’s Ancient East certainly gives the Wild Atlantic Way a run for its money. The region – the largest and most expansive of its kind in Ireland – has a wealth of iconic sites to explore and glorious scenery to drink in. From the wilds of the Wicklow Mountains, breath-takingly beautiful and with some of the finest hikes in Ireland, to the pre-historic landscapes of the Copper Coast UNESCO Geopark in Waterford. 

A region steeped in history and intrigue, widely considered to be the birthplace of modern Irish culture, Ireland’s Ancient East is broken down into more manageable chunks, to give visitors the opportunity to explore each area in greater depth.

Choose from ‘Historic heartlands’, with sites of pilgrimage including the Hill of Slane, where St Patrick lit the first Pascal Fire in 433 AD in defiance of the pagan King Laoighre, and the epic Rock of Cashel; the Celtic Coast, where every cove has a story to tell, not least Hook Head, which houses one of Europe’s oldest lighthouses; and the ‘Land of 5,000 Dawns’, including the must-visits of pre-historic Newgrange and the ancient burial site at the Hill of Tara.

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Best Things to Do

in Ireland’s Ancient East

Narrowing down the best things to do in Ireland’s Ancient East is no mean feat, though as Ireland immersive tour specialists, we can help you to draw up a shortlist of must-sees. Some of the better-known sites and Ireland’s Ancient East experiences, include:

  • Cycling the 46km Waterford Greenway, which hugs the Comeragh Mountains and follows the River Suir to magnificent effect; the opportunity to explore Waterford City, a Viking settlement that grew to become the first city in Ireland is a bonus.
  • A visit to the ancient passage tomb at Newgrange – a site older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids – will leave you simply spellbound.
  • Explore ‘The Marble City’ of Kilkenny, with its medieval streets and thriving arts and crafts scene. 

Step back in time at Glendalough, a glacial valley home to an ancient monastic settlement of St. Kevin in the sixth century.


As well as the most popular sites and day trips in Ireland’s Ancient East, our experiences are designed with complete immersion in mind. That means tours that take you beyond the obvious, on paths less travelled to places little known. Some of the less obvious activities in Ireland’s Ancient East, include:

  • Take a boat trip out to Wexford’s Saltee Islands, a special area of conservation home to an array of seabirds including puffins, gannets and guillemots. 
  • Marvel at 400-year old Birr Castle and its award-winning gardens, home today to the 7th Earl of Rosse.
  • Discover the unique environment of the Cavan Burren Park, one of the finest prehistoric landscapes in Ireland, with amazing walking trails taking in prehistoric tombs and fascinating geology. 

Ireland Wild Escapes is your trust local expert, offering a comprehensive selection of immersive Ireland tours. We cover all the main sights, and take you on roads less travelled, too, so that you can enjoy an authentic Ireland’s Ancient East experience. We are passionate about preserving the natural environment, as well as local customs and traditions. 

Contact us below to arrange your next trip.

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Our office hours are
9:00 am to 5:00 pm Irish time.

We’ll get back to you
as soon as we can