County Louth is the oldest and smallest county in Ireland. It is situated on the east coast on the borders of Northern Ireland and less than thirty miles from Dublin. Dundalk is the county town and the others are Drogheda, Dunleer, Ardee and Greenore and there are twenty-one villages. The county is steeped in history, legend and myth dating back to the 1st century and the days of the Cooley cattle raid (Táin Bó Cúailnge) and was later influenced by the Vikings.
County Louth has witnessed many important events throughout the ages and you only have to take a look at the county map (available from Louth County Council) to see the how just how many archaeological sites are dotted around. One of these is Dun Dealgan is a sixty foot mound near Dundalk thought to be the birthplace of Cuchulain. When it comes to finding accommodation in County Louth, it has its fair share of hotels but staying in a hotel puts certain restrictions on you, which is why many prefer self-catering holiday cottages.
A holiday cottage lets you stay amongst dramatic scenery around Carlingford Lough, in country or seaside cottages besides Dundalk Bay, barn conversions or in Drogheda, the "Gateway to the Boyne Valley". Perhaps you might prefer a cottage besides the river. Louth may look small on the map but it is big on choice, as are its facilities.
Facilities near to holiday cottages include two hospitals, fifteen golf courses, Louth Gaa, indoor swimming pools, greyhound stadium, bowling alley, gyms, two outdoor activity centres, horse riding and racing, soccer, rugby and tennis clubs. If you choose self-catering cottages in Dundalk you will have a great base to pursue a wide range of activities including salmon and trout fishing, nature walk, as well as having access to good food and a great nightlife.
Newgrange is a falconry situated in the Boyne Valley and makes a stimulating day out, close by are the passage tombs. Beaulieu House in Drogheda has been in the same family since 1650. It has four acres of walled gardens and museum housing classic race and road cars.
The Drogheda Omniplex cinema is a first class location to watch the latest blockbuster movies and there is an open-air market on Saturday mornings in Bolton Square. Here you can buy freshly picked farm and homemade produce to take back to your holiday cottage.
Carlingford is a listed medieval heritage town. It was raided by the Vikings and the Normans and has more historical buildings than any other town of its size in Ireland. Here you will find King John's Castle, Taaffe's Castle, Mint, the Tholsel and the Heritage Centre is situated in the tower of the old town wall, now part of Carlingford Church. The earl of Ulster founded Carlingford Friary in 1305. Coastal areas to visit in County Louth include Sandpit, Bettystown, Clogherhead, and Blackrock.
The climate is similar throughout Ireland and it can be cold and damp in the winter.
Aer Rianta Dublin and Belfast International Airports serve County Lough, as do the seaports of Larne in County Antrim and Dun Laoghaire in County Dublin. Bus Eireann operate a bus service throughout the county and trains run from Dublin to Belfast through Drogheda and Dundalk.