Kells Car Hire

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Picturesque scenery for walking in or just admiring, ancient history to read about, or castles to inspect awaits the adventurous visitor who plans a sojourn around Kells, just one of the towns of County Meath, approximately 65 kilometres northwest of Dublin, in the Boyne Valley.

Guide of Kells


Kells, just one of the towns along with Navan, Ashbourne, Slane, Trim, Oldcastle, Drogheda that comprise the County of Meath. County Meath lies north of Dublin on the east coast and midland regions of Ireland. County Meath land is low lying fertile but well draining so suitable for agriculture, farming and industrial practices. Efficiently constructed railways and motorways has given access to the ocean for exports/imports allowing commuters to embrace country lifestyle whilst commuting to the city for work. Kells township, in Irish Ceanannas Mor means ‘great residence’. Kells namesake refers to the cell or abode of a monk. An ancient town which had a monastery past, an abbey and the housing of a illuminated manuscript of the Gospels called the Book of Kells.

Climate in Kells

Kells location on the east coast, albeit slightly inland with an elevation at sea level provides climatic conditions that could be described for Ireland as maritime. In the Summer months, June, July, August, daily temperatures range from 11°C to 26°C, with some precipitation. Being prepared with layered clothing and an umbrella would be ideal. In Autumn, September to October or the Winter months, December to February, temperatures range from 4°C to 16°C and 3°C to 14°C respectively. Planning your activities in the middle of the day when sunshine hours are greatest and possibly temperatures are warmest could be ideal. Spring months, March to May, have temperatures ranging from 6°C to 22°C, as it leads into Summer and is another great time for travelling the region.


Kells originated as a monastic settlement surrounded by a vallum, circular boundary wall, that segregated the holy world within from the secular world outside. Features of the monastic settlement were a church, graveyard, high crosses, monk’s cells and round towers. Kells is renowned for the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels of the Christian New Testament. The works are famous for the medieval illuminated manuscript’s intricacy to detail and attention to artwork more than text. The Book’s origin has a series of conflicting theories, but the most substantiated theory is that the production was started by monks of St Columba’s order of Iona Scotland in 800 AD then bought and continued in Kells for completion, hence the name. Changing boundary divisions, Viking raids, diocese degrading makes the Kells of the monastic settlement hard to find, except there is evidence within the present day street plan and with the historical sites not demolished. Kells’ circular street pattern, adopted by the Anglo-Normans, aligns with the outer monastic enclosure. Some of the streets are named after the gates that led into the vallum, such as Cannon Gate, Cannon Street. Kells prospered through the centuries on agriculture trade in grain, salt, livestock, skins, tallow, woollen cloth, linen, hemp, dyes, timber, nails, brass, copper and food produce. Whilst the historical past is respected, the daily life requirements completed, it is the cultural activities such as hiking, theatre, festivals and sporting events that regularly highlight the yearly calendar that enthuse the inhabitants of Kells or County Meath or the welcomed visitor.

Things To Do in Kells

Historical sites are many and those within the Kells township can be best appreciated with a self guided walk. Start at St Columba’s Church and the grounds that mark the original site of the Kells monastery. Kells first church was completed in 814. In 817 the remains of St Columba were relocated from Iona Scotland. Viking raids, Protestant Reformations destroyed the church over the centuries so numerous reconstructions have been required. The bell tower is believed to be a remnant of the medieval church. Surviving records indicate that the old church was of cruciform structure with a chancel and tower. Within the churchyard grounds one can find three high crosses and the base of a fourth that are typical of a monastery structure. The Celtic crosses in various stages of damage point North, South, East, West and are carved with scenes from the testament. A fifth cross, known as Market cross, once located in the east churchyard, now resides outside the Old Court House Heritage Centre. This cross is the most preserved and decorative. The Round Tower, approximately 23 meters in height, was built without stairs and had multiple functions for the monks. Regularly the tower would have been used as a belfry to call the monks to mass or as a lookout from the top 5 windows for intruders entering the roads to Kells. As access to the floors was only via ladders which could be quickly removed the monks could use the tower for safety from attackers. St Columba’s House, close to the church grounds, is the ancient stone oratory. The monks used the house to say the prayers of the hour. The Old Court House Heritage Centre houses multi-media exhibits to inform the visitor of ‘The Splendour of Ireland’ and in particular to entice you to explore the crafts and culture of the monastic County Meath. Audio with visual relives the history of Kells’ monastery past as well as why, how and the making of the Book of Kells was supposed to be conducted. A room is dedicated to a facsimile copy of the Book of Kells with descriptive panels of the images.

Let’s move ahead a couple of centuries. Moynalty Steam Threshing Museum, located 9 minutes north of Kells town centre, provides the opportunity to see how previous generations used horse or steam power with flails and other tools to reap, bind, thresh the crops for harvest. During their annual festival, which occurs early August, additional crafts such as basket weaving, steel forging, horse shoeing, tin craft, wood turning, harness making are presented. In a full size replicated cottage the local ladies demonstrate the making of butter, soda brown bread, colcannon, boxty and pancakes on an open fire. The produce is available for tasting and purchase. Highlights continue with a display of vintage road making, an Irish lumberjack show which is all accompanied with local popular musicians and entertainment from a local Irish dancing group. Get back into nature by heading south west approximately 10 to 15 minutes to find two treasured locations. Causey Farm is a working farm of cattle, Belclair ewes, pigs, winter wheat, spring barley and other produce. The farm offers on hand experiences of farm life, themed events, summer camps and traditional home baking. All age groups are bound to experience a fun day, themed night or longer occasion if time permits. Stretch your legs and enter one of the few remaining raised bogs in County Meath. Girley Bog Eco Walk is a marked 5.6 kilometres loop. The first section takes you through the tranquil Coillte Forest before the platform walks over the Girley Bog section. There will be a wonderful variety of bird, plant and animal life that recognition is assisted with by the display panels along the way. Interested in a family home that is a historic property of the 1700s housing a unique art collection and antiques. Killua Castle and grounds, just 14 minutes south west of Kells, is worth a visit. Each room is a magnificent display of a bygone era of opulence. From a luxurious castle to a traditional Irish cottage drive a little further west to Loughcrew Megalithic Centre. At Loughcrew you will be able to understand how a late 1700 traditional Irish cottage, Maggie Heaney’s Cottage, was constructed including furniture and implements.

Eating Out in Kells

The chef culture of Kells and County Meath is to use local suppliers with seasonal produce to create culinary inspired menus to tantalise the diners taste buds. The Vanilla Pod restaurant’s mission statement reflects seasonal local sources such as lamb and cheese and this is reflected in their menu. Camembert and caramelised red onion fondue with sourdough soldiers can be shared amongst friends. Tender lamb is experienced with a slow cooked lamb shank and accompanying sides. The Bective restaurant proudly lists their local suppliers within County Meath. The chicken is sourced from Oldcastle, just a close 22 minute drive away from Kells and is served in many combinations. Try to decide between homemade chicken liver pate with toasted brioche, apricot ginger chutney or crispy, spicy chicken wings served with a blue cheese dip or salads that have the option of adding chicken or a Thai green chicken curry or grilled Irish chicken breast with mushroom, bacon sauce and finally a chicken fettuccine. Time for that Irish pub vibe at Jacks Bar restaurant where great wine, beer, cocktails is provided whilst also having an emphasis on serving local food produce in a traditional pub style. With respect to all sort of allergens the menu is easy to navigate. Starters are varied from deep fried Brie, loaded nachos, chefs fish cakes and skewered chicken satays. Mains are numerous but some are baby back ribs with smoky BBQ sauce, chicken noodle stir fry, seafood linguini and chargrill steaks. Desserts like chocolate fudge cake or sticky toffee pudding are all homemade. Whilst out at Loughcrew Megalithic Centre, Nelly’s Kitchen provides homemade delights to quench the thirst and appease the appetite. Coffee or tea to linger over as you reflect on your day or chat with your friends. Carefully prepared soups are thick, hearty and served with traditional soda bread. How many ways can a humble spud be baked and filled? The choices are endless and one is bound to please. You deserve to try a mouth watering, daily on the premise made, cake, slice or scone which is light in texture and infused in flavours.


Kells is located approximately 65 kilometres northwest of Dublin Airport (DUB). Bus Eireann has a regular service to Kells that takes in the vicinity of 1 hour. There is always the option of an Uber, taxi or car rental. Kells town centre is compact and easily accessible by walking. A number of local taxis services are available. The County Meath area has a series of bus networks but careful planning would be required for timetabling and bus changes. To explore the wonders of Kells and County Meath the convenience, flexibility of hiring a car would be ideal.

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FAQs about car hire in Kells

Most frequently asked questions about hiring a car in Kells

Car hiring costs in Kells are at around €41.49 per day.
Budget Car Rental and Enterprise are the most popular car hire companies in Kells.
The driving distance from Kells and Dublin is about 60 kilometers.
The average price of a litre of fuel in Kells can vary between €1.62 and €1.39.
The most economic options among small cars in Kells have rates of €286.75 for a week, which is about €40.85 per day.
The most economic car hire options in Kells for an entire month start at €1,225.32, or €40.57 per day.
Based on the weather the best time of the year to visit Kells is from late June to early September (As far as average temperatures go).
Saint Columba's Church is the best place to start exploring Kells.

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