The burgeoning town of Navan lies at the confluence of the rivers Boyne and Blackwater. It is the county town, or administrative capital, of Co. Meath. The name Navan has long confused etymologists. It is thought that it may take its name from the Irish An Uaimh, meaning ‘the cave' or perhaps from Nuachongbhail, meaning ‘new habitation'. Navan was accredited Purple Flag in 2015 promoting a well managed vibrant town with an impressive nighttime economy.
A burial site close to where the River Boyne and Blackwater meet has been identified as Dún Dubchomair, where a Viking fleet is reputed to have landed. The Anglo-Normans also recognised the importance of this location and around 1185 Joselyn de Angulo converted a nearby glacial mound into a motte and bailey castle. Legend tells that this mound was the burial site of Odhbha, the wife of éremón, a Milesian invader from Spain (link to Myths & Legends). In the later medieval period Navan was a walled town and, like Trim, was an outpost of The Pale. The ruins of Athlumney Castle, facing Navan, across the Boyne are located in the town. The house was burned by the Maguire's in 1649 rather than allow Oliver Cromwell shelter within its walls.
Navan is famous for being the birthplace of Francis Beaufort (1774 - 1857), who developed the Beaufort Scale of wind force. In 1805 Commander (later Admiral) Beaufort published a method of measuring the wind at sea based on the sails a frigate could safely hoist. The Beaufort Scale, as it came to be known, was adopted by the Royal Navy in 1838 when it became mandatory for all ship's log entries. The 13-point scale ranges from 0 (calm) to 12 (hurricane); with this scale also came descriptions of the state of the sea.
Navan is also the childhood home of Pierce Brosnan, the fifth actor to play the iconic role as James Bond. Comedians Dylan Moran and Tommy Tiernan, and television personality Hector ó hEochagáin also hail from the town.
Navan, offers a variety of quality accommodation, restaurants and bars, and is an ideal base for touring the Boyne Valley. There are enjoyable walks around the town, particularly along the Boyne River and canal at the Ramparts. Navan town has a self-guided, signed walking trail – Navan Points of Pride. Commence the walk at the Solstice Arts Centre where a brochure, map and audio guide can be obtained.
Navan has achieved the prestigious Purple Flag status for its evening and night-time economy in 2015. Purple Flag is a town and city centre award – similar to the Blue Flag for beaches – which aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 6pm and 5am. Towns awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant mix of entertainment while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents. Read more about Navan's Purple Flag.
Navan is the only palindrome place name in the Republic of Ireland, meaning that its name is spelled the same from left to right, or right to left.
Solstice Arts Centre and Tourism Information Point, Railway St., Navan, Co. Meath
Take the M3 (this road is tolled) headed for Cavan. At junction 8, exit toward R147Navan (South). Merge onto Navan (South). Turn left onto R147. Arrive at destination. Via M1 Motorway or Drogheda: Take the M1 (this road is tolled) coming from Belfast. At junction 10, take the N51 exit to Drogheda (North)/Navan/Collon. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto N51 for Slane. Continue on the N51 to Navan.
Head south on Castle Street. At the roundabout take the 1st exit onto R154 to Navan. At the traffic lights turn right onto the R161. Continue on this road until arriving in Navan. From Kells: Take the R147 headed towards Navan/Dublin. Continue on this road until arriving in Navan.
Monday to Saturday, 9.30am - 4.00pm