Getting to Newgrange via Public Transport

***Click here for the trip experience compilation***

Newgrange is a prehistoric site located an hour north of Dublin.  It is Ireland’s Stonehenge, except older and perhaps not as high-profile as its English counterpart.  Nonetheless, it is still a highly popular tourist spot and crowds are not uncommon.  The site, collectively called “Brú na Bóinne”, features 3 Stone-Age passage tombs: Newgrange itself, Knowth, and Dowth, though only Newgrange and Knowth is accessible to the public.

Access to the site is via the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre only.  Visitors can visit both Newgrange and Knowth, or just one of them.  There is a short exhibition located in the Visitor Centre and is included in the ticket price.  Visitors are assigned the next available tour timeslot when purchasing their tickets, so if there is a crowd you can expect a wait of at least 30 minutes.  A shuttle bus will then take you to the sites themselves.

Getting there

The easiest way to get there is by driving, or by taking a tour bus.  These options will allow you maximum flexibility in planning your trip.  A cheaper but slower option is to go via Public Transit.  The visitor centre is served by Bus Éireann route 163, running between Drogheda Bus Station and the visitor centre.  Frequencies are very low, as there are only 2 services per day, and do not run on Sundays (except during the months of July and August).  The first departure from Drogheda bus station is at 1115am, while the second (and final) is at 1445pm.  This obviously doesn’t give you much time to complete your tour of the site.

<<<Timetables can be found below>>>

Drogheda itself is well connected to Dublin, by both rail and road, though as Drogheda train station is a 20 minutes walk away from the bus station, it might be better to take the bus instead as Bus Éireann services call at the Bus Station.  If you’re coming from Belfast you may note that the Enterprise service  does stop at Drogheda.  This is a possible connection option, though (presuming you’re travelling on weekdays) only doable if you catch the 0645 service from Belfast, which would drop you at Drogheda at 0822, giving you 3 hours to make the connection.

Alternatively, you could take the Bus Éireann 100x service from Dublin.  The route 163 timetable itself also includes the most convenient 100x timings from Dublin, which are 1000 and 1300.  Buses depart from outside the Customs House, located 10 minutes away from Connolly Station, and are actually bound for Dundalk.

 

Thoughts

Personally, if you rely on public transit to get to Newgrange your time at the site will be limited.  At most, you will only have time to visit either Knowth or Newgrange, but not both.  This is largely due to the very low frequency on route 163 provided by Bus Éireann, and this translates into low ridership: There were at most only 4 other passengers on the ride to Newgrange, and nil on the trip back to Drogheda.

So if you’d like to have more flexibility in your timetable, simply drive or follow a tour bus.

 

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