Newgrange was really interesting and everything in the museum was very clean and updates. As you enter the building you will sign up for a tour time, then you can walk around the museum and learn all about newgrange. When it is time for your tour you have to walk to the buses which is about a 5 min walk. The tour is interesting but we had a tour guide that was not very good. He had alot of theory's about newgrange and held back the facts. After our tour was over we stuck around and listened to the next tour guide and she was much better. After the tour of the tomb you can take the bus back and finish the museum. The parking lot is a good little walk as well but everything was wheelchair accessible.
Newgrange is the obvious passage tomb to visit in the Brú Na Bóinne complex, especially for the experience of entering the chamber. After that, Knowth might be considered as rather less interesting. However, Knowth has different features from Newgrange. It consists of a series of mounds, the largest of which it is possible to climb for a view of the whole area (including Newgrange itself). These mounds are surrounded by keystones carved with designs such as spirals, horseshoes and undulating lines dating back 5,000 years. Unlike Newgrange, it is not possible to visit one of the central chambers but you can see one of the passages (and look into similar passages in the smaller mounds). So, perhaps: Newgrange for what the solstice might be like - or the reality if you're very lucky; Knowth for the mysterious Neolithic art.
On the advice of our B&B owner we went to Newgrange first. It was nice and quiet when we arrived, but very crowded when we left. We took tours of Newgrange and Knowth (both prehistoric burial sites). Newgrange is impressive - built around 3500BC, the mound is oriented in a way that allows the sun to shine down the passage only around the winter solstice (and 5000 years later it still works!). You can actually go down the tunnel and they simulate the winter solstice. Knowth, was about the same age, but the mound isn't as big (in fact there are lots of mounds) and you can't go in. In addition, someone has built a house that blocks the sun near the winter solstice so even if you could go in, the impressive light display doesn't work. They say that about 2/3 of the prehistoric art work that exists is on these two sites. Lots of spirals and shapes. Our son enjoyed making spirals with his foot in the gravel. Ummm.
The opening hours are as follows:
Nov to Feb 9.30 - 17.00
March to April 9.30 - 17.30
May 9.00 - 18.30
June to mid-September 9.00 -19.00
Mid - September to end September 9.00 - 18.30
October 9.30 - 17.30
Visiting Newgrange (as well as Knowth or Dowth) is allowed only through Bru na Boinne visitor centre. There is little museum in visitor centre with guides available in English and also French. You can buy also books about Ireland and particulary Newgrange there.
Newgrange is Neolithic passage tomb built 5000 years ago. In fact, it is older the Egyptian pyramids. The white facade you can see on photos is reconstructed, but everything else is intact. Through very narrow passage you can get in the middle of the mound. No photo is allowed there so you must wait until you visit this place to know how it feels being inside the mound. Visiting Newgrange is allowed only with guided tour through Bru na Boinne visitor centre from where there are museum buses which will take you directly to the sites. It takes a little less than hour to visit the place.
Once you step into the tomb you are transported back in time thousands of years (five to be precise). The sheer size of some of the stones and the decorative art covering them will leave you in awe. The main chamber in the rear of the tomb can get a little cramped, and claustrophobic (along with the rest of the tomb), so when the lights go out in order to demonstrate the light beam which shines in the tomb only on the winter solstice annually-prepare yourself.
Almost all of the rocks inside the tomb are covered with graffiti, but before you get angry, understand that the graffiti too is ancient history ranging from the 1700's onward. It is a sight to see in itself-and a funny one at that. How can you get mad at John from 1788?
Not far away from Newgrange is Knowth. The Megalithic Passage Tombs of Knowth are located in the County of Meath. The Boyne Valley Cairns of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth were built around 3200BC making them older than Stonehenge in England and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. (information from the Knowth HP)