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Bective Abbey, on the left bank of the Boyne close to Bective Bridge is one of the more picturesque of the ruined abbeys of Meath. It was founded in 1147 for Cistercians by Murchad O’Melaghlin, King of Meath and soon rose to importance, its abbot...

A massive collection of stone, with a heavy cubist beauty, Hermitage Castle sits isolated beside a rushing stream surrounded by bleak, empty moorland. Dating from the 13th century, but substantially rebuilt in the 15th, it embodies the brutal history of the Borders; the stones themselves...

Valetina Island – also known as Valencia – with its dramatic cliffs at Bray Head, is separated from the mainland by a torturous sound with narrow entrances. It is 11km long and 3km broad, and was once famous for its slate. The original Altlantic cable...

Situated at the eastern end of North Street is the ruined western end of St Andrews Cathedral, once the largest and one of the most magnificent cathedrals in Britain; the striking ruins convey a sense of its immensity. Although it was founded in 1160, it...

Thurles is an ancient episcopal market town, where in 1174 Strongbow met his match at the hands of Donal O’Brien and Roderick O’Connor. The castle (12th century) guards the bridge over the Suir, and there is another smaller fort near the square.   The handsome Cathedral of...

The country’s historical roots are deeply embedded in the sandy soils of Central Scotland. Significant ruins and castles that chronicle the region’s charismatic history pepper the landscape. Key battlegrounds shaped the country’s fortunes around Stirling, and Perth is the former capital where kings were crowned...

From Castlebaldwin, just northwest of the lough, a minor road leads west to Ballymote, famous for its strong castle, flanked by six corner towers. Built in 1300 by Richard de Burgh, the ‘Red Earl’ of Ulster it became a bone of contention in the Civil...

The 5th and 6th Dukes of Devonshire re-planned the town in early 19th century, and a grid layout surrounds the spacious Grattan Square. It lies at the head of fine harbour, and is the capital of the district of The Decies. It was saved from...

Inverness, the primary city and shopping centre of the Highlands, has a great location astride the River Ness at the northern end of the Great Glen. Many come in search of monsters at nearby Loch Ness, but the picturesque River Ness is also worth a...

It’s difficult to believe that Scotland’s last executed witch perished in a vat of boiling tar in Dornoch in 1722, because today this graceful village is all happy families. On the coast, this symphony in sandstone bewitches visitors with flowers, greenery and affable locals at...