Slane is an planned Irish village, steeped in history, easily accessible, with lovely historic walks, and rural enough to feel like you are really in the Irish countryside, while being only a 30-minute drive from Dublin. It’s a wonderful place to spend a day or two and a great central location if you’re planning on staying for a while and exploring the Boyne Valley.
Driving up from Dublin is the easiest way to get around in the Boyne Valley, but there are also buses that travel around the area. If you aren’t planning on needing a car then the bus is perfectly suitable. A Collins long distance bus from Dublin runs on scheduled times throughout the day. You can get on at Lower Abbey Street, Dublin and about an hour and forty-fives later you’re dropped off at Chapel Street by a round and rusted sign that says: Bus Éireann. It has a greyhound pictured, just like the greyhound bus service. It’s a little scary at first, getting on buses you have no idea where they are going, but everyone is wonderfully friendly, even if they don’t know the answer. Most of the time they’ll walk down the street with you and find the answer. Anyway it’s a white bus that says Collins on it. Someone, usually the driver, will put your bag in below and take it out when you arrive.
Stops aren’t always announced and people get off in the middle of stops. The best thing to do is to sit on the right side of the bus and when you come around a bend and the River Boyne is in front of you and a mill across, and the bus goes over a bridge, then you know it’s time to pack up. Once you hit the intersection, where a Georgian home sits at each of the four corners, then your bus stop is fast approaching. Another thing to keep in mind is that whatever side you are dropped off on, the opposite side will pick you up. Buying a return ticket is easier and will usually save you money, especially on long journeys. Buses in Ireland are very common. People are polite and quiet, mostly listening to music, reading or looking outside. Commuters, students and people nipping into Dublin for the shops are the usual travelers. When you travel by bus you get to take in the scenery so much better.
There are other bus services that run up to Slane, especially when Slane Castle is hosting a major music concert. Buses generally make the roundtrip journeys every hour or half-hour during the concert weekends.
There’s no need to get tickets ahead, just jump on and tell the driver where you’re headed. You have to pay in cash, and use paper money, not coins. Although this is more for the local Dublin buses, it is just a good principle to keep so that you don’t end up in a jam.