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Attractions in Navan

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      28.04.2001 05:00
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      Navan. Slightly strange sounding name. Befitting of a slightly strange place if truth be told. Navan is where Pierce Brosnan escaped (probably thankfully), Tommy Teirnan made jokes about and Navan Man originated. Located about 50 minutes outside of Dublin it is quite simply farming country. Where boys drive 'donuts' in their mates cars, girls push prams and brains are frowned upon. This is not to say that it hasn't its charms. The town centre is on something of a revival and renovations are happening thick and fast. More clothes shops, fast food joints and aspirations of a double level shopping centre are touted from time to time. Its night life is somewhat limited. The Beachmount, a hotel with over 21's disco (I can't with all sincerity call it a club) burned down under dubious circumstances ages ago, not that there were many over 17 in there anyway. The Ardboyne Hotel on the outskirts of town has undergone a paint job and is now a nice shade of lurid orange. You can't miss it. Even if you want to. But there are 'huge tunes' to keep most punters happy. Pubs, like in all parts of the country, are plentiful and quite friendly. Some are more 'local' than others but you won't get too much grief early evening or week nights. Beware the prices of drinks will hurt you! Ireland is more expensive on alcohol than the UK...budget accordingly for a big night out! A nice place is the Newgrange, a black and gold exterior hides a lovely wooden beamed place with little nooks and crannies to hide in. They play live jazz some nights and there is a good mix of old and young to make everyone feel at ease. Restaurants are much better than before, with a good mix of tastes and flavours to suit most appetites with reasonable prices to match. The Loft is good as is Hudsons Bistro - if a little pricier than the rest. (They do a wicked chocolate cake too so ask for extra whipped cream!) On a serious
      note, crime is a problem and the dublin crowd have started to make regular trips into the 'culchy land' to see what rich pickings there are. While street crime isn't too big, car break-ins and more recently house break-ins are common. There is also a large homeless contingent, bigger than you would expect from a small town. Whilst not pushy they can be unsettling to some. Overall, it is not a place you would go out of your way to see. Newgrange nearby is fun and the Royal Hill of Tara is beautiful in early morning or on the Summer Solstice when the druids come out to play. But that's about it. If you are stuck there for one night, you can amuse yourself and B&B quite reasonably, but if don't have to go, don't.

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