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8 fascinating ancient places to visit on Ireland's east coast

It’s not all about the west, you know.

THE WEST COAST of Ireland gets a lot of deserved praise for its scenery and epic locations – but what about the poor, ignored east coast?

The east’s answer to the Wild Atlantic Way was launched today – called Ireland’s Ancient East – and there are some truly special places along this side of the island to check out:

1. Castle Roche Castle, Louth

Roche_Castle_from_North_West_1 Wikimedia Wikimedia

This Norman castle lies a top a hill outside Dundalk, and its size dominates the landscape around it – giving perfect views of the area. It is surrounded by a deep moat and its complex walls are perfect to roam around in.

2. Hook Head Lighthouse, Wexford

Hook Lighthouse Anna & Michal Anna & Michal

The 13th century lighthouse on the tip of Hook Head in Wexford is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world that is still operating. It offers spectacular views over the Irish Sea and is a picturesque landscape on the harsh, windy coast.

3. Cúchulainn’s Stone, Knockbridge, Louth

Cloghafarmore commons commons

According to the legend, the Gaelic warrior Cúchulainn tied himself to this massive stone to keep himself upright and face down an opposing army. It’s named Clochafarmore – meaning ‘Stone of the Big Man’ – and is well worth such a title.

4. Reginald’s Tower, Waterford City

Reginald's Tower Waterford PapaPiper (Travelling) PapaPiper (Travelling)

One of three epic and historic museums in Waterford City, Reginald’s Tower is a landmark that is noticeable to anyone who has passed. Inside, you can see weapons from Viking warriors and centuries-old pieces of metal work from the era. Truly an essential part of the Viking Triangle in Waterford.

5. Mount Usher Gardens, Wicklow

Mount Usher Gardens, October 19, 2008 - 41 bencrowe bencrowe

These beautiful gardens are situated in Ashford, Wicklow and are loved by all those that visit. The gardens boast over 5000 species of plants and shrubs, but for the uninitiated, the specific knowledge is not needed to enjoy the wonderful surroundings.

6. Trim Castle, Meath

Trim Castle andrewcparnell andrewcparnell

Nestled on the south bank of the River Boyne, the imperious Trim Castle is the largest castle of its kind in Ireland. Not only is it a hotspot for tourists, it still gets recognised for its starring role in Braveheart to this day.

7. Glendalough, Wicklow

Glendalough Sean MacEntee Sean MacEntee

As well as its glorious lake and mountain scenery, Glendalough in Wicklow has a Cathedral and Round Tower among other fascinating buildings in its lower valley. It certainly earns its reputation as one of Ireland’s most picturesque places.

8. St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny

Rainbow at St. Canice's Cathedral Rob Hurson Rob Hurson

This huge Cathedral looks over the city of Kilkenny and is a beautiful and historic building. Its Round Tower is well known in the area as providing perfect 360 degree views of the city and beyond. About a ten minute walk from the more well-known Kilkenny castle, this is a good starting point for a walk through the medieval city.

More 14 of the most scenic drives in Ireland>

More 10 alternative facts about Ireland’s top 10 destinations for tourists>

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