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Dublin and the Enchanting Emerald Isle

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4.1 stars(35 reviews)
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Enchanting landscapes and a culture rich in legend

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20232024
9 days From £1,695 per person

2023 Tour code: IRS23

About the tour

Rugged coastlines, stunning rolling hills, dramatic castles, and a culture rich in legend; the Emerald Isle is as beautiful as it is fascinating, and we see the best of it on this holiday. Explore vibrant Dublin, see the iconic Blarney Stone, and admire the natural beauty of the dramatic Cliffs of Moher.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Holyhead and Dublin

Our holiday begins as we meet in Holyhead for the ferry to Dublin, spending the night at a hotel just outside the vibrant capital city.

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

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – Cork

We transfer into Dublin for the train to Cork, where there's time to explore. Cork is officially Ireland's second city, and its beautiful centre is surrounded by pretty waterways, creating an island of elegant Georgian streets, ornate architecture, and a tangle of old alleyways. The streets are packed with exciting shops, pubs, cafés and restaurants, along with some fantastic museums and monuments, making Cork a delight to explore. This afternoon, we head to the Jameson Distillery where we enjoy an authentic taste of Ireland with a tour and whiskey tasting.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - Blarney Castle and Killarney

We begin the day at Cobh, the last port of call of the Titanic in 1912, before making our way to Blarney Castle. One of Ireland's greatest and most well-known treasures, the impressive castle was built in 1446 and it's here we see the iconic Blarney Stone. Legend has it, if you hang upside down and kiss the stone, you'll become extremely eloquent. There's time to explore the castle and gardens, including the poison garden, where you'll find wolfsbane, ricin, and opium. We continue to our hotel in Killarney ahead of tonight's entertainment: an authentic Celtic Steps show.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - The Ring of Kerry

Today we soak up the dramatic beauty of Ireland on a scenic drive around the Ring of Kerry, an area of tumultuous sea, windswept cliffs and mountains. Next, we visit Kerry Bog Village Museum, exploring the recreated thatched cottages for an insight into life in 19th-century rural Ireland. Later, we enjoy a ride on the Jaunting Cars of Killarney, a traditional mode of transport here.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - The Cliffs of Moher

We make our way to Galway via the dramatic Cliffs of Moher - Ireland's most iconic natural attraction and a UNESCO Global Geopark. Here, towering cliffs rise up out of the sea as the wild ocean, home to dolphins and sharks, crashes against the jagged rocks below. We arrive at a local smokehouse for a smoked salmon masterclass, enjoying a demonstration. Continuing, we visit the Burren Centre in Kilfenora, for a fascinating insight into local history. We then make our way to Kinvara, near Galway for the night. This evening, at our hotel, we have a chance to pull our own pint of Guinness - Ireland's iconic stout.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Connemara

We start our day with a visit to the Celtic Crystal Factory in Connemara, where we learn about glass cutting. We continue to Glen Keen Farm where we watch a sheep dog trial, followed by a delicious lunch and traditional entertainment. This afternoon, we visit Kylemore Abbey, a spectacular waterside Benedictine nunnery. Originally built in 1867, the abbey is surrounded by dramatic mountains and lakes. Next, we visit the 'Quiet Man' Cottage, a replica of the cottage used in the 1952 film of the same name.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Dublin

We return to vibrant Dublin by rail and check into our hotel. The city is steeped in history and tradition, with every turn revealing historic architecture, welcoming locals, and lively music.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Dublin

Our day begins with a private, pre-opening tour of EPIC The Irish Emigration museum, where we discover how the Irish people have helped shape the world. We continue on a guided tour of vibrant Dublin, seeing the Book of Kells, an ancient codex written in around 800 AD. We visit Trinity College. Later, we enjoy dinner at 'The Merry Ploughboys', one of the best traditional pubs in Dublin and the perfect way to end our explorations of Ireland.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Holyhead and home

After breakfast we return to Holyhead by ferry, where our holiday comes to an end.

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

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Maldron City Centre Shandon

Maldron City Centre Shandon, Cork

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Belvedere Hotel, Dublin

Belvedere Hotel, Dublin

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Roganstown Hotel & Country Club

Roganstown Hotel & Country Club, Dublin

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Lady Gregory Hotel, Galway

Lady Gregory Hotel, Galway

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Castelrosse Hotel Kerry, Killarney

Castelrosse Hotel Kerry, Killarney

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The Randles Hotel, Killarney

The Randles Hotel, Killarney

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Merriman Hotel, Kinvara

Merriman Hotel, Kinvara

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Train

Irish Railways

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

UK rail to and from Holyhead

Reviews

4.1 stars4.1 / 5 · 35 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (13)
  2. 4 stars
    (15)
  3. 3 stars
    (3)
  4. 2 stars
    (4)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Astrid Athen

5 stars

Submitted 30/May

The rail journey to Dublin was fine without any problems. Before we boarded the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin we met our guide Ivan. During the 9 days he was always friendly, with patience and gave us the relevant historical information. Hotels bus trips and driver all was top class. I personally had a very positive experience since it was my first trip with GRJ .

Collected by Trustpilot

David Bentley

4 stars

Submitted 23/May

A beautiful , hectic but very rewarding tour

Collected by Trustpilot

Andrew Brown

3 stars

Submitted 18/May

The scenery was fabulous and Kay our tour leader was perfect.The holiday was too flat out for us and we were exhausted. The hotel rooms were good. The food was very disappointing. White fish or chicken every night.

Collected by Trustpilot

Louisa

5 stars

Submitted 29 Sep 2022

I thought the journey was excellent and good value. I loved all the travel and activities. The hotels were good on the whole and the food provided was better than I had expected I did not take either photos or videos so cannot answer the next question.

Collected by Trustpilot

R Warburton

4 stars

Submitted 28 Sep 2022

Excellent tour and a great tour manager. Just a couple of comments. 1) could do with all hotels being in town and city centres not on the outskirts or in the countryside. 2) tried to pack too much in which led to many early starts in the morning.

Collected by Trustpilot

Briane Davies

4 stars

Submitted 27 Sep 2022

Three of the hotels which we should have stayed at - were not available. The quality of the food at the replacement hotels was generally below standard. But our Tour Manager, Malcolm Rogers, was really excellent.

Collected by Trustpilot

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UK by Rail 2023

UK by Rail 2023

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