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The Enchanting Emerald Isle

10 Days from £1,595per
person
Early Booking Offer

Save up to £80 on 2020 departures when you book on or before 15/10/2019

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Itineraries and pricing may vary by departure year

(Tour code: IRS20)

Explore the highlights of Ireland by rail in 10 days

Rugged coastline, beautiful rolling hills and dramatic castles are all within reach on this tour of the Emerald Isle. Our highlights include the Ring of Kerry, Cork and Killarney, the legendary Blarney Stone, the Cliffs of Moher and Ireland's wonderful capital, Dublin.

Highlights
  • Dublin and The Merry Ploughboys Pub
  • Jameson Distillery
  • Blarney Castle & the Blarney Stone
  • Cork
  • Kinsale
  • Killarney and the Celtic Steps Show
  • Ring of Kerry
  • Cliffs of Moher & Galway
  • Celtic Crystal Factory in Connemara
What’s Included
  • Standard Class Rail
  • 3-4* Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
    1 Lunch
  • NEW Inclusive Luggage Transfer
    From Dublin 1x bag up to 25kg per hotel room
  • Return ferry from Holyhead

The Enchanting Emerald Isle 2020Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Days 1 Dublin
Dublin

Dublin

Our tour begins in Holyhead, where our Tour Manager meets us at the ferry* port for the crossing to Dublin. The capital of the Republic of Ireland, this gorgeous city is steeped in history and tradition, and is the perfect place to start our Irish adventure, with every turn revealing a myriad of historic architecture, welcoming locals and lively music. We transfer to our hotel, just outside the city and enjoy dinner together.

*Please note: your luggage will travel on the ferry with you, rather than via our luggage
service.

Includes:
  • Dinner
Day 2 Cork
Cork

Discovering Cork

We transfer into the centre of Dublin by coach today, and take the train to Cork, for free time to explore. This afternoon, we visit the Jameson Distillery for a tour. Whiskey is one of Ireland's most famous exports, and Jameson Whiskey was brewed at this Bow Street site from 1780 to 1971, when it moved out of Dublin. In its heyday, this distillery was a community within the city, boasting numerous workshops, including a smithy, a coppersmith, and a saw mill. During the tour, we learn fascinating aspects of the whiskey distilling process, hearing about the method of triple distilling for a smoother taste. Afterwards, we also have the opportunity to enjoy a wee dram before transferring to our hotel in Midleton.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

We begin the day with a visit to Cobh, the last port of call of the Titanic in 1912. We continue to the famous Blarney Castle. One of Ireland's greatest treasures, this iteration of the medieval castle was built in 1446, but sources suggest that there have been dwellings here since perhaps the 12th century. Of course, the most famous attraction here is the Blarney Stone. Legend has it, if you hang upside down and kiss the stone, you are said to become extremely eloquent. Because of this, the world 'blarney' has become Irish slang for someone who possesses the 'gift of the gab'. There's time to explore the castle and its gardens, be sure to look out for the fascinating poison garden, filled with a number of nefarious plants, including wolfsbane, ricin, and opium.

Afterwards, we continue to our hotel in Killarney for dinner. Later this evening, we are whisked off to the Celtic Steps Show for an evening of Irish music and dance.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 Killarney
Killarney

Killarney and the Ring of Kerry

We enjoy a scenic drive around the beautiful Ring of Kerry today, one of the most dramatic areas of scenery in Ireland. From the tumultuous sea, to the craggy windswept mountains and cliffs, experience the Irish countryside before our visit to the Kerry Bog Village Museum to discover more about Ireland's rural heritage. Here, we experience what the culture, living conditions and customs of Irish ancestors from the 19th century would have been like. The village offers an immersive experience, complete with thatched cottages, genuine antiques and realistic figurines.

Later, we take a horse and carriage ride on the Jaunting Cars of Killarney. Step back in time with tales of a bygone era and Irish folklore, all whilst exploring the stunning views of Killarney National Park and the Lakes of Killarney. Jaunting Cars have been a traditional mode of transport in Ireland since the early 19th century, and they are a wonderfully unique way to see the Emerald Isle.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 5-6 Cliffs Of Moher
Cliffs Of Moher

Iconic Ireland

We travel to Galway today, via the famous Cliffs of Moher - Ireland's most dramatic natural attraction. A UNESCO Global Geopark, it is easy to see why, as the cliffs rise to great effect out of the sea, staggering into the distance. The cliffs are also home to over 20 species of seabirds, including puffins, razorbills and kittiwakes. The landscape of these cliffs is incredibly calming, and just offshore, other animals such as dolphins and sharks, also gather. Later, we continue along the coastline of County Clare to Oranmore, where we stay for the night.

On Day 6 we make a visit to the Celtic Crystal Factory in Connemara today, where we enjoy a demonstration of glass cutting. We then continue to Glen Keen Farm for a sheep dog demonstration, followed by a buffet style lunch accompanied by traditional dancing and singing. This afternoon, we visit Kylemore Abbey. Kylemore Abbey is relatively young in the history of Ireland, only being founded in the 1920s on the grounds of a late 19th-century castle, but it has served as a Benedictine monastery for nearly 100 years and is a truly remarkable example of Victorian architecture. Here we see the restored rooms of the Abbey, uncovering a vast history of romance, deception and spirituality. The gardens are also a delight to explore, with 1,000 acres to wander, and a Gothic church not far from the Abbey.

Later, we visit the famous Quiet Man Cottage. This museum is an exact replica of the cottage used in the 1952 film 'Quiet Man', starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

Includes:
  • Day 5 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 7-9 Dublin
Dublin

Discovering Dublin and home

We return to the vibrant city of Dublin by rail today, and check into our hotel. We enjoy a sightseeing tour on Day 8, including a visit to the Book of Kells, an ancient codex believed to have been written in around 800 AD. The intricate detail on this book is remarkable, and well worth lingering over. We continue to Kilmainham Gaol for a guided tour, before we are treated to a farewell dinner at 'The Merry Ploughboys."

On Day 9, we return to Holyhead by ferry*, where our tour concludes upon arrival.

*Please note: your luggage will travel on the ferry with you, rather than via our luggage service.

Includes:
  • Day 7 - Breakfast
  • Day 8 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 9 - Breakfast

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

What’s included

An escorted experience and all travel arrangements

  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Standard Class rail and coach travel throughout
  • Return ferry from Holyhead to Dublin
  • All rail and coach transfers

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 8 nights' hotel accommodation including 1 night at the 4-Star Red Cow Hotel near Dublin, 1 night at the 3-Star Midleton Park Hotel near Cork, 1 night at the 4-Star Oranmore Lodge Hotel near Galway and 2 nights at the 4-Star North Star Hotel in Dublin

Delicious meals included

  • 16 meals including 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 7 dinners, including an evening of food and entertainment at the Merry Ploughboys Pub

 

Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • Tour of Dublin including Guinness Storehouse and Trinity College and the Book of Kells
  • Cork & the Jameson Distillery
  • Celtic Steps Show
  • The Blarney Stone in Blarney Castle
  • Scenic Ring of Kerry coach tour
  • The Cliffs of Moher
  • Kylemore Abbey and Celtic Crystal Factory

NEW FOR 2020: Inclusive Luggage Transfers

  • Inclusive luggage transfers from Dublin 1x bag up to 25kg per hotel room 

Not Included

  • Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged.

Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.

What our customers think
92%

of travellers would recommend this tour

Tour Rating

based on 3 verified reviews

Helen Laverack
Helen
Julie Pacalon
Julie
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
The Enchanting Emerald Isle

Explore the highlights of Ireland by rail in 10 days

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Europe & UK by Rail 2020

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