As a child my family's annual summer holidays were always spent in Galway city. My mum would take me and my brothers and sisters to stay with her sister - my aunt - to this lovely seaside city in the west of Ireland for one week every summer without fail. Galway had it all to miniature me - Leisureland, slot machines, McDonalds and the beach. And I remember those summers with sepia-toned fondness. But aside from other occasional day trips closer to home I didn't explore Ireland that much as a kid. And as soon as I became an adult holidays became synonymous with catching a flight somewhere warmer and more exotic than Ireland.
However, after living in the UK for the last 5 years and only getting to breeze through Ireland on rushed trips home to see family and friends Ireland seems very exotic to me now. Added to that my interests have expanded beyond theme parks, fast food and building sand castles! So since moving home exploring more of Ireland has been high on the agenda.
I'd heard of Trim Castle but thought it was just a small humdrum castle until I read a really great post on it on the fantastic travel blog The Art of Exploring. So one Sunday afternoon a few weekends ago when I randomly found myself in County Meath for an afternoon I decided to pop along to see it.
It’s an Anglo-Norman castle dating from the twelfth century (the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland no less) plus it featured in Braveheart - had I known this before it may have convinced me of its superiority in the castle rankings. I think what makes it all the more impressive is its setting on the outskirts of the lovely and unassuming little town of Trim – with more hanging flower baskets than you can shake a stick at! Call me silly but I half expect castles and their hometowns to be matched in size and grandeur. But it's hard to imagine the cute pint-sized town of Trim ever having been home to the fierce battles this castle no doubt attracted.
So if you find yourself in the vicinity of County Meath then make sure to stop off at Trim Castle and feast your eyes upon this lovely castle and accompanying town.