Newgrange or Clonmacnoise?

Jul 17th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
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Newgrange or Clonmacnoise?

I will be leaving in a couple of weeks and only have time to visit either Newgrange or Clonmacnoise. Does anyone have a suggestion which one I should see? I have heard Newgrange is hard to get into if not going with a tour. We are renting a car but could arrive first thing in the morning for New grange or mid afternoon for Clonmacnoise.

Thank you!!!!!
colleen1 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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Using this forum, we decided to do Mary Gibbons' tour of Newgrange (many posts; also her website) in May. What a find! We've traveled quite a bit, but this probably was the highlight of Ireland for us, rivaling Machu Pichu, the Pyramids. Awe for "primitive" man. Didn't do Clonmacnoise so can't compare. Assume that Newgrange's web site would give you info on how to book individually, but Mary herself traveled with us and her commentary was very impressive.
Jul 17th, 2007, 08:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 525
we enjoyed both...totally different experiences.

we arrive in am for newgrange and didn't have any problem. it does take quite a bit of the day to see newgrange/knowth...think we stayed atleast 4 hours...probably more. it takes time because you have to wait on busses to take you to/from each site.

clonmacnoise is famous for high crosses. you can walk around on your own or join a tour...sometimes need to wait for english tour. we caught up with a tour and probably stayed about an hour.

so maybe time will help you decide. both interesting. probably newgrange more unique site...can see round towers and high crosses other places.
chip is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 09:54 PM
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Clonmacnoise... I have never been to Newgrange, but spent many days at Clonmacnoise. The pictures do nto do it justice. There is the "topsy turvy"castle, dramatic against teh sky ans river,which they say leans every which way because the earth undr it had healing powers and so much was dug out that the foundations gave way. There is an interpretive centre and the ticket includes a video show etc. The view alone, over the wide Shannon, with swans and herons always there, and boats creaming slowly along..the High Crosses and many ancient gravestones are now safe in the Centre; immense spiritual power there. There are replicas outside there now.. the peace that that holy place exudes is awesome; far more so than Glendalough, because it is further from any town, and, somehow, even the bus tours don't disturb that. One chaple that few find in the Nuns Church just down the lane. I long to go to Clonmacnoise again, but we are too far away now...It has everything; High Crosses, Round Towers.. even an excellent coffee shop...Enjoy....
anchoress is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 06:00 AM
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Thank you for all the great responses. I am going to try to find a way to get both in during our visit. I appreciate the insight!
colleen1 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 09:50 AM
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Ah, enjoy and say a prayer at Clonmacnoise for me.. You have me seing it all over again. For me the most moving thing was seeing that High Cross in the new interpretative centre. They built the place round it... you can touch it.. and the grave slabs. Interesting that the only "working"church on the site is Anglican... enjoy!!
anchoress is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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Newgrange is a little out of the way and it is time consuming but it should not be missed. They have the visit very well organized. I think you will be pleased with your experience there. We were traveling on our own. For us, it was the highlight of our trip. If you buy the Heritage Pass, I think Newgrange is included.
GBC is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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We visited both a few times. If you only have time for one of them choose Clonmacnoise.
eri is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2007, 09:21 AM
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I echo the thought that they are very different experiences.

We arrived at Newgrange at opening. Since it was early November, there were no crowds and we were able to get on the first tour. Knowth was closed at that time of the year. You do spend much of your time waiting for your tour. It is awe-inspiring to be in the presence of something that old. Be aware that going inside is NOT for someone with claustrophobia issues. I managed, but was very uncomfortable going through the narrowest/lowest areas. Our tour was not full so there was ample room inside for all. I don't think I'd have been very happy squeezed into that small area with a full tour.

Clonmacnoise was beautiful. Some of my best pictures are from there. If you are interested in monastic ruins and high crosses, it is fantastic.
xxxx is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2007, 10:20 PM
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REgarding Newgrange: I too am claustrophobic and I was not sure if I could go into the chamber. A person working in the information center showed me the mock chamber (great idea to have that) and I was pretty sure from that that I would be ok. And, sure enough I was fine....we had about 20 people on our tour....if there were 40 (don't know how many are allowed) I might have had a problem!!
Shadow is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 02:13 AM
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Clonmacnoise is literally at the very heart of Ireland. The view is awesome; over the wide Shannon river, flat land so a wide and peaceful vista. Just to sit a while and watch the river flow by... and the swans and herons drift along. There are no nearby towns so it keeps its peace.
anchoress is offline  
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