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Smarmore Castle

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Portland, Oregon
posts: 10
Smarmore Castle

Hello we are thinking of staying at the Smarmore Castle this May for 2 days with a trip to NewGrange. Had a couple of questions. Are there any good restaurants in and around near by Smarmore. ? We will have a car. I read about the Italian restaurant onsite but wanted to find out if there are any other options. Also apart from NewGrange and Tara are there any other places that are also accessible from Smarmore?

Thanks so much for your time!

13 replies to this topic
Cork, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Ireland
posts: 12,276
reviews: 232
1. Re: Smarmore Castle

Never heard of the place, but great name all the same.

Do they call it Smarmy for short ;-))

Destination Expert
for County Cavan
posts: 4,079
reviews: 37
2. Re: Smarmore Castle

Must admit it is the first time that I have heard of Smarmore also. However it is set in a nice part of the countryside bordering Meath and Louth, I know of a good pub/restaurant in nearby Ardee on the Main Street. There is also a roadside pub/restaurant at Blakestown on the N2.

Nearby places to visit would be the Boyne Battle-site, Newgrange and Drogheda. You can also visit Slane village, Monastaboice and Mellifont abbey. Near Ardee it is also worth stopping off at Tallanstown village (Irelands tidiest town in 2010) where there is a friendly little pub.

Edited: 4:17 pm, April 30, 2012
Destination Expert
for County Meath, County Louth
posts: 3,046
reviews: 170
3. Re: Smarmore Castle

Hi Madmadgal

Smamore Castle is situated between Collon and Ardee on the N2. You will have relatively handy drive to Bru Na Boinne for Newgrange. To be honest, I hadnt realised that they had accommodation available. I know lots of locals who use the swimming pool facilities and gym, but have never visited myself.

Lots to keep you busy in the area. In the immediate vicinity you have the bustling town of Ardee. Nice local little town with a number of medieval structures still standing. Most noticeable would be Ardee Castle, a large fortified medieval tower house www.megalithicireland.com/Ardee%20Castle.html Closer to Smamore you have the "Jumping Church" where legend has it, the walls "jumped" to exclude the grave of an excommunicated man! irishidentity.com/extras/…kildemock.htm

If you are a "shoe gal", be sure to visit Pasma http://www.pasmashoes.com/ Another nice shop for cute nick-nacks is Deismirean Doesnt have a website, but think they have a facebook account. Both on the Main Street.

The pretty village of Collon has "New Mellifont Abbey", home to a Cistercian Community. http://www.mellifontabbey.ie/ Lovely garden centre for us locals, and they usually have pots of jam/honey etc in their little giftshop. Lovely peaceful grounds. "Old" Mellifont is a short drive away from the town. heritageireland.ie/en/… First Cistercian Monastery in Ireland, founded in 1142.

Picturesque village of Slane is enroute to Bru Na Boinne. You will be too early to visit the historical castle as their seasonal tours only begin early in June. Nice to stop and overlook where the infamous openair concerts take place with the castle as the backdrop. A natural amphitheatre www.slanecastle.ie/castle/castle_home.php A visit to the home of Francis Ledwidge is a poignant tribute to the local poet, and his "love story" is a special one. I highly recommend it. http://www.francisledwidge.com/ And of course, a visit to the Hill of Slane mythicalireland.com/ancientsites/…index.html

High Crosses at Monasterboice and the town of Drogheda are short spins away too sacred-destinations.com/ireland/monasterboice & www.drogheda.ie

A short drive northwards from Ardee will take you to Market town of Carrickmacross where you could visit the Lace Gallery www.carrickmacrosslace.ie/acatalog/index.html A visit to another Irish Poet, Patrick Kavanagh Centre in Inniskeen, which straddles the Monaghan/Louth border could be incorporated into a visit to Carrickmacross http://www.patrickkavanaghcountry.com/ and follow with a cross-country drive to the Cooley Peninsula and the medieval town of Carlingford www.carlingford.ie

Some good restaurants in the vicinity including Fushia House in Ardee http://fuchsiahouse.ie/fuchsia-house/ and The Forge Gallery in Collon. www.forgegallery.ie Another hot spot is the restaurant at Darver Castle, another short spin away. http://darvercastle.ie/Restaurant.aspx All have special early bird menus, and Darver Castle in particular with their €25 4 course evening menu offers exceptional value for money. I would be more than happy to dine at any of the three.

For a more informal (pubgrub) type, Muldoons on Main Street in Ardee is long established and well regarded

Hope this gets you started. Let me know if I can help more. Would love to know how Smamore goes if you stay there :-)

Edited: 5:33 pm, April 30, 2012
Destination Expert
for County Meath, County Louth
posts: 3,046
reviews: 170
4. Re: Smarmore Castle

Just re-reading back over the thread, and it kinda looks like I was endorsing Darver Castle Restaurant over Fushia House and The Forge. I'm not, and each of them have similar priced menus. Fushia House in particular with its "Made in Louth" 4 course menu plus glass of wine at €25 is a steal too. I'd pay that for the 4 Co Louth Cheeses and the glass of wine! The Glebe Brethan cheese is worth it alone. One of the nicest cheeses ever!

I really would have a difficult choice if I had to pick from either of the three restaurants. Heck, why don't you stay a third night and try them all ;-)

Portland, Oregon
posts: 10
5. Re: Smarmore Castle

Thank you so much for all your replies. I picked Smarmore Castle from the Fodors guide and it being one of the top 5 in Tripadvisor. However, I am a bit concerned after reading your mails. Is Smarmore actually" smarmy " ? :) or worth it? :)

Destination Expert
for County Meath, County Louth
posts: 3,046
reviews: 170
6. Re: Smarmore Castle


Considering two of the three replies to you had never heard of Smamore Castle, I think the "smarmy" comment should be taken with a pinch of salt.

The Castle is set in a rural setting, but has a good network connection to lots of the activities in the vicinity. As I mentioned, I hadnt realised it had accommodation. Co Louth is not exactly on the "Tourist Trail" so to speak and doesnt get the masses of crowds that other more "popular" destinations do. Judging from the reviews on TA and the testimonials from their own website, I would have absolutely no worries and would actually feel quite excited to stay there. With only 5 bedrooms, I'd imagine you are going to have a personal experience, and will probably trailblaze for others in your wake who may like to experience an authentic castle experience. To be honest, it would be somewhere I would really like to experience if I was visiting the area, and not living down the road!

I'd say, take the chance - I have a funny feeling you won't be disappointed. Be sure to let us know how you get on! I am happy to ask some of my friends who live in the vicinity and will get back to you.

ps. see in your thread on the Oxford forum that you have two young children. There is a great (free) playground just at the top of the town of Ardee (the northside). Swings, roundabouts, slides etc. Very safe and secure with good quality playthings.

Another attraction which may interest them and could be incorporated into your visit to Newgrange is Newgrange Farm. Very popular with families (kiddies) in the area where they can interact with the animals, good play area and very popular with my "junior" friends http://www.newgrangefarm.com/

Dublin, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dublin
posts: 4,066
reviews: 183
7. Re: Smarmore Castle

Just a small input as I see it mentioned that you have two children. When I was 10/11 our school took a trip to Smarmore Castle and I remember having a fantastic time, there was lots of activities in the grounds from forest trails to deer watching. I think there was a small farm yard too.

Dundalk, Ireland
posts: 86
reviews: 22
8. Re: Smarmore Castle

I went to a harp recital in Smarmore a couple of years ago and the hospitality of the owners went above and beyond what was expected. It is in a lovely peaceful location but close enough to the towns of Ardee, Collon and Dunleer. There is a restaurant in Dunleer called Carlitos which is much loved by locals as well as several restaurants in Ardee. Another suggestion might be to take a trip to Carlingford which is about 45min. drive from Smarmore.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 10
9. Re: Smarmore Castle

Thank you so much! I am going to try out Smarmore and I will let you guys know how it was.My kids are super excited to go there, given that they have a pool, jacuzzi etc - that is their attraction :) me- I am just super excited to soak it all in :)

Portland, Oregon
posts: 10
10. Re: Smarmore Castle

Smarmore was wonderful folks- I totally recommend it. What a charming place! The host family- the Mullens were great! If yuou are going to stay at county Louth - stay there- its great! the kids just enjoyed it and loved telling their friends- they stayed in a castle. Beautiful Victorian furniture everywhere- lovely rooms!

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