Louth holds the title of the smallest county in Ireland being just 317 square miles in size. The name derives from the Irish Lu which translates to river Lud. Louth is positioned in the north east of Ireland and stretches from the River Boyne as far as Carlingford Lough; the land in this area is predominantly rolling fertile soil. The coastline is vast and consists of sandy bays with sporadic rocky headlines. In the north of this area the landscape dramatically alters to mountainous and is referred to as the Cooley Peninsula.
It is a region rich in history with numerous historical events occurring here and this is clearly demonstrated by the relics that have been unearthed here. Louth is also featured in a lot of the heroic tales of ancient Ireland.
Louth has a combination of towns with industrial towns such as Dundalk and Drogheda co existing with quiet fishing villages. A renowned part of the country is Carlingford Lough which is located at the base of the Cooley Mountains; it is in fact a section of a submerged river valley. The village at Carlingford Lough is the oyster capital of Ireland and annually in August an oyster festival is held which attracts large crowds into this attractive village with its white washed cottages and collections of antique buildings.
You will find here one of the foremost religious sites in the country, Monasterboice. This site was constructed in the 5th century and is situated in a beautiful isolated location the site consists of 2 churches, a round tower, an old graveyard and 3 sculptured crosses. The jewel of the site is the high cross of Muiredach which, is deemed to be the best of its kind and remains as unmarked as when it was originally constructed.
Drogheda is positioned on the River Boyne and during the 14th century was the largest town in Ireland and was heavily involved in importing and exporting goods. Unfortunately the fierce attack by Oliver Cromwell and the Battle of Boyne caused major damage to the town and it never recovered. The other major towns in this county include Dundalk, Ardee and Dunlee.
Around the county are may cultural, heritage and places to interest to visit and these include the County Museum and Millmount Museum which, are both found in interesting buildings. A fine example of gothic architecture can be found at Saint Peters Church. Local heritage sites can be discovered at the Holy Trinity Heritage Centre and Old Mellifont Abbey. Another place worth a visit is the Proleek Dolmen where your wish may come true if legend is to be believed, all that is required is that you succeed in throwing a stone onto the capstone and it remaining there.