DERRY, CARRICK-ON-SHANNON, GALWAY, KILKENNY, DUBLIN, WESTPORT HOUSE, INISHOWEN MARITIME MUSEUM & PLANETARIUM, DOAGH FAMINE VILLAGE, BIRR CASTLE & GARDENS
Day One. We journey to Cairnryan for our ferry crossing to Larne. We continue to Redcastle Hotel, set amongst woodland with a waterfront location in the stunning Inishowen Peninsula in Moville. Once part of the Redcastle Estate, this outstanding property combines modern comforts with period elegance. It boasts a lovely terrace and superb leisure facilities.
Day Two. First treat today is Inishowen Maritime Museum & Planetarium. Within its walls you’ll discover the town’s connection with the Spanish Armada, Irish emigration, both world wars and shipwrecks. Its state-of-the-art planetarium shows how mariners used the stars to navigate. We continue to Doagh Famine Village to experience life during the famine in the 1840s. Explore original thatched dwellings, join a traditional ‘wake’ and seek refuge in the Republican Safe House.
Day Three. We check out then make our way to Derry for a guided walking tour of the city’s seventeenth century encircling walls with their seven gates and 24 cannons. Afterwards, we continue to Carrick-On-Shannon and to the centrally located Bush Hotel. This former coaching inn delightfully blends original character with modern amenities. It has a coffee shop and traditionally furnished lounges with open fireplaces.
Day Four. A day at leisure to enjoy Carrick-On-Shannon. Perhaps head to the marina and take a cruise on the mighty Shannon.
Day Five. Check out after breakfast then we travel to the graceful Georgian town of Westport for free time and a guided tour of Westport House. This beautiful manor features sumptuously furnished period rooms. Outside, you’ll find formal gardens, an aviary, mini railway and a lake with pedalos. After you’ve been enchanted by this fairytale estate, we make our way to Galway to check into the Oranmore Lodge Hotel & Leisure Centre. This nineteenth century manor house has been tastefully converted into a four star hotel with a cosy bar and superb leisure complex. The village of Oranmore with its friendly pubs and scenic walks is just a few minutes’ walk away.
Day Six. A guided tour of handsome Galway followed by free time. This gorgeous harbour town is cultural and compact as well as being home to eighteenth century Eyre Square and a Latin Quarter.
Day Seven. We check out and journey to Birr Castle & Gardens, a storybook fortress surrounded by a moat, rare plants and waterfalls. From here, we continue to the four star Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise. This superlative hotel stands proudly in the heart of town and features a grand lobby, chic bar, furnished terrace and top notch leisure facilities.
Day Eight. A day in Kilkenny – step behind the stone walls of Kilkenny Castle, visit St Canice’s Cathedral, view the stained glass of Black Abbey or explore Rothe House – perhaps use the town’s sightseeing land train to get around.
Day Nine. After checking out, we’re off for a guided coach tour of Dublin, feasting our eyes on the endless landmarks, before free time to continue exploring. From here, we check into Rochestown Lodge Hotel & Spa where impressive facilities include a traditional bar and a soothing spa.
Day Ten. After breakfast, we head for our ferry home