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Located on the eastern coast of Ireland, County Louth expands to 316.8 square miles. Louth is known to be the smallest county in Ireland with regard to its land area. Many of the attractions offered in the county are tours around the area, whether by bicycle, walking, guided, or individually. The Belfast Day Trips from Dublin tends to be one of the more popular tours, as visitors can explore various attractions such as the Republican History Museum, the peace walls, and the Belfast Cathedral. An abundance of historical sites can also be found throughout Louth, with one of the most prominent ones being the Saint Brigid’s Shrine and Well. This historical site contains various relics that are dated back several centuries ago. For those who are hoping to engage in outdoor activities, the warmest month in County Louth is July, with an average high of 63.86 degrees Fahrenheit. A marine west coast climate affects Louth, and the county receives about 1.98 inches of precipitation annually.
County Louth, located in the province of Leinster on the eastern coast of Ireland, was named after the village of Louth. The name is also known as “Lughbhadh” in Irish, which some say refers to the Celtic god, Lugh. Nicknamed “the Wee County,” Louth is classified as the smallest county in Ireland, with a length that extends 29 miles from the boundary slightly north of Ravensdale to the boundary south of Drogheda. Louth covers an expanse of 316.8 square miles. The county’s population totaled 128,884 residents as of the 2016 census, which was an increase of about 4.9% since the 2011 census. Approximately 155.4 people per square kilometer make up the population density of the county. Considering that Louth’s population density is more than double the national average, this makes Louth the second most densely populated county in the Republic of Ireland, as well as the fourth most densely populated county of Ireland’s island as a whole. Nearly two-thirds of the general population reside in one of two towns, namely Dundalk and Drogheda, both of which are some of the most urban districts and seaports in the county.
Dundalk, a town in County Louth, is home to a few notable attractions that tend to draw a fair amount of visitors. It is situated almost midway to Belfast and Dublin, some of the largest cities on the island of Ireland. Dundalk is also in close proximity to the southern border of Northern Ireland. The Spirit Store is one particular attraction located just off the Dundalk Harbour that receives a considerable number of tourists. This particular attraction is one of Ireland’s major music venues. Another notable place in Dundalk is the Dundalk Stadium, where horse races take place.
A wide range of tours is offered throughout County Louth, with one of the most popular among tourists being the Belfast Day Trips from Dublin. There, visitors can learn more about the political and cultural history of the capital whilst attending the area's varying attractions such as the Harland and Wolff dry docks (also referred to as “the birthplace of the Titanic”), the Irish Republican History Museum, Belfast Cathedral, and the peace walls that are positioned between the city’s Catholic and Protestant communities. Visitors can tour the area and learn about the culture with or without a guide.
County Louth is bordered by Northern Ireland, with the Irish Sea to the east, County Meath to the south and west, and County Monaghan to the northwest. The majority of Louth is composed of a central lowland, about 200 feet above sea level. Glacial drifts occur frequently in Louth. A fair amount of agricultural areas and farmlands can also be found throughout the county, ranging from smaller farm regimes that neighbor northern Ireland to larger grazing farms located in Meath. Oats and vegetables are the most prominently grown crops at these farms.
Louth is characterized as a marine west coast climate. The county’s yearly temperature is about 49.77 degrees Fahrenheit, nearly 0.23% lower than Ireland’s averages. Year-round, County Louth generally receives about 1.98 inches of precipitation, with an average of 151.91 rainy days annually. August typically receives the most amount of precipitation, with a total of 2.64 inches over the course of the month. July is presumably the warmest month, as temperatures reach around 63.86 degrees Fahrenheit, in contrast to the coldest month, February, which has an average temperature of 35.56 degrees.
The County Louth coastline of Ballaghan Point typically draws a fair amount of fishermen to the area near Carlingford Lough and Clogherhead. Carlingford is home to several types of fish including ray, dogfish, flounder, whiting, pollack, and tope, with some of the more common being mackerel and codling. The fishing season is said to be from May to September. Greenore is another potential fishing area located on the southern shore of Carlingford Lough.
In the early 14th century, Edward Bruce claimed the High Kingship of Ireland as he led an expeditionary force through the country. On the hill of Maledon near the town of Dundalk, Edward was crowned as king in 1316. Later, Edward was killed in the Battle of Faughart and his army was defeated. One of County Louth’s notable historic sites, that encompasses some of the history of Edward Bruce, is the Saint Brigid’s Shrine and Well, also known as the “Holy Well.” The place is composed of two sites, one of which is called Faughart, and it is an early Christian site, as well as the birthplace of Saint Brigid in 453 AD. Faughart overlooks the town of Dundalk and is also the area where Edward Bruce fought in the Battle of Faughart, gaining the title of King of Ireland. Eventually, he was buried at this site. Kilkurry church is the other site at Saint Brigid’s Shrine and Well that contains a relic of Saint Brigid, which is presumed to be a small portion of her skull. Numerous other historically significant shrines and ruins are also characteristics of the Saint Brigid’s Shrine and Well.
County Louth features a number of castles and ruins that date back several centuries. The St. Laurence Gate, in particular, was constructed in the 13th century and is now currently a tourist attraction, as well as an entranceway. King John’s Castle is another site that strives to teach visitors about Irish history, in addition to the background of how the site came to be. Magdalene Tower, Termonfeckin Castle, and the Kilwarra Church Ruins are other notable ancient ruins that visitors can explore.
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