Newgrange is a stone age structure located in the Boyne Valley, Co. Meath. This prehistoric monument dates from between 3000 BC to 2500 BC and is older then the pyramids and Stonehenge. It is the largest mound with a stone passageway in the Brú na Bóinne complex. This massive structure is aligned with the winter solstice.
The rich lands of the Boyne Valley provided the farming community that built these incredible buildings the necessary resources. It is a designated World Heritage Site bestowed upon it by UNESCO. The Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre interprets the Neolithic monuments of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth.
On the morning of the shortest day of the year, the passage and chamber of Newgrange are illuminated by the sunrise. A the roof box over the entrance alllows light to pass through, up the passage way and light up the chamber. This light show lasts for 17 minutes at dawn on the Winter Solstice and for even shorter time the mornings either side of the shortest day.
To witness this spectacle you need to enter a lottery and you can fill in an application form at the Brú na Bóinne visitor centre. 50 names are drawn from about 30,000 applications with 2 places are awarded to each person drawn.
For the Loughcrew Equinox which lasts about 50 minutes and happens over 3 mornings, everyone who queues up in the morning will get a chance to go inside.
You can visit Loughcrew and Newgrange all in the same day: