Explore the luxury manors and castles of Ireland on this 8 night itinerary
Drive at your own pace on the highways and byways of the Emerald Isle and absorb the true Ireland of history, myth and wonder inclusive of car hire and 11 entrance fees enroute
This trip encapsulates the greatest of Irish Castles and Luxury Lodgings –
- Kilkenny – Butler House, Kilkenny – Unique Luxury Hotel of the Year by the Luxury Travel Guide
- Waterford – Waterford Castle Hotel – Irish Hotel awards Hotel of the year 2018
- Cork – Hayfield Manor Hotel, Cork – 2 nights – Number 1 Hotel in Cork on TripAdvisor with many spa awards
- Kerry – Sheen Falls Lodge Hotel, Kenmare – 2 nights – a five-star Relais & Chateaux hotel, 3rd top resort hotel in UK and Ireland
- Clare – Dromoland Castle, Clare – World Luxury Spa Awards – Luxury Boutique Spa Winner: Northern Europe, AA – Irish Restaurant of the Year 2019
- Kildare -K Club, Kildare – Ireland’s first ever AA 5 Red Star Hotel
Inclusive of following –
- 8 nights accommodation at the luxury hotels above or similar, rooms with private bath/shower
- 8 full Irish Breakfasts at your hotels
- Hertz car rental for 9 days category D, Dublin to Dublin (VW Jetta manual or similar, upgrades available)
- Visits included in the price (all items in bold on itinerary are included):
- Powerscourt Gardens
- Kilkenny Castle
- Smithwicks Experience Kilkenny
- House of Waterford Castle
- Blarney Castle
- Jameson Whiskey Distillery Midelton
- Titanic Experience Cobh
- Bantry House and Gardens
- Cliffs of Moher
- Bunratty Castle
- King John’s Castle
- Service charges and taxes at current rates
Day 1 Dublin – Wicklow – Kilkenny
Arrival at Dublin Airport. Travel to county Wicklow, a few miles south of Dublin and popularly known as the Garden of Ireland. Visit the popular Powerscourt Gardens, dating from 1731. Nestled in the Wicklow landscape, the estate features Walled Gardens, an Italian Garden, Japanese Gardens, The Dolphin Pond, Pets’ Cemetery and Pepperpot Tower. Continue to the Medieval Capital of Ireland – Kilkenny. You may be wondering why Kilkenny is so often referred to as the Medieval Capital of Ireland but visiting Kilkenny Castle you will know why. Dating back to the 18th Century this intricate structure boasts a variety of contrasting styles of architecture.
Day 2 Kilkenny – Waterford
Smithick’s Brewery Kilkenny invites visitors to see the working factory of this most famous ale. Smithwick’s trade secrets have been passed down over 300 years, originating with John Smithwick. His is an inspirational story, fraught with hardship, courage and an unwavering determination. John was left an orphan after the Irish rebellion, but undeterred by his situation, he strove to make something of himself, and today what started out as a local family brewery is still going strong. Also included in the tour is a visit to St. Francis Abbey, which dates back to the 12th Century and can be found on the same site as the brewery. Once you’re packed up and ready to embark from Kilkenny, your route will take you to the coast and Waterford City. Dating back to 941 AD, Water ford is the oldest of Ireland’s cities. Each brick is loaded with historical importance or a secret long forgotten. The city has strong links with the Vikings as well as the historical figure Strongbow, whose arranged marriage to Aoife (daughter of Dermot Mac Murrough – King of Leinster) changed the course of Irish history forever. History aside, for any visitor to Waterford the most obvious starting point the House of Waterford Crystal, home to the elegant crystal ware, which is known the world over for its beauty and craftsmanship. Taking the factory tour you’ll get an up close and personal look at the various stages of the process, which results in these intricate works of art. Watch the craftsmen at work as they demonstrate an art form, which they have perfected since the companies humble origins dating back to 1783.
Day 3 Waterford – Cork
Full after another morning of a full Irish breakfast; the wonderful town of Cork awaits you. But first visit to the famous Blarney Castle which resides there. Legend has it that a kiss on the Blarney stone will endow you with the gift of the gab and you’ll never again be lost for words. Millions of visitors have flocked to Blarney to do just this, but you would be foolish to think that that’s all there is to Blarney. Blarney is also famed for its woollen mills, which is now home to Ireland’s largest gift store, stocking the best of the best in quality Irish gifts, stocking Waterford Crystal, Belleek China, Aran Sweaters, Celtic Jewellery, and Irish linen and lace. So if you’re looking for some gifts to bring home or even a souvenir or two for yourself, it’s the perfect one stop shop for all things Irish. Next it is off to see Cork City where you’ll be settling into your accommodation for the night.
Day 4 Cork
It’s another new day and of course, that means another delicious Irish breakfast to fuel you on your journey around the Ireland. If you’d prefer to get out in the open, the Fota Wildlife Park might be just the thing for you. Located in Cork harbour and a mere fifteen minute drive outside the city, this attraction is well worth the short trip. No two trips to Fota are the same. Free roaming animals populate the park and are sure to surprise, thrill and bring a smile to your face. The park is also home to some highly endangered species such as the European bison.
Be sure to stop off in Midleton for a walk through this beautifully restored industrial distillery. A tour of the Jameson Midleton Distillery is a journey through the story of Irish whiskey by means of an audio-visual presentation. Follow the old distillery trail through mills, maltings, stillhouse, warehouses and kilns – some of these buildings date back to 1795. Unique within Ireland and Britain, you can also see the fully operational water wheel and large grain stores.
Before you make the return trip to your accommodation for the night, swing by Cobh. Cobh (pronounced cove) is situated in south west Ireland, just twenty minutes from Cork City. In 1849, following the visit of Queen Victoria the town was renamed Queenstown but in 1921, it once again reverted to the old name of Cobh. The Titanic Trail Cobh (Queenstown) in Cork, is a fascinating guided tour that explores the town of Cobh in Cork Harbour, which was the last port of call of the RMS Titanic. This Irish heritage walking tour takes visitors through the historic town of Cobh where the buildings, streets and piers have not changed since the Titanic’s sinking nearly 100 years ago.
Day 5 Cork – Kerry
Enjoy some time exploring Cork City – the English Market is well worth a visit before continuing to the lovely town of Kinsale, best known for its gourmet restaurants and pubs and marina, known as the gourmet capital of Ireland. Depart Kinsale and travel through the pretty villages of West Cork to Bantry which nestles in the foothills overlooking Bantry Bay. Why not visit Bantry House & Gardens, which is located in beautiful surroundings and has a splendid collection of art treasures? Built about 1750, the house was formerly the house of the Earls of Bantry. Continue over the Kerry Mountains to Kenmare, which is one of Ireland’s prettiest towns with a great selection of quaint shops, cafes and excellent restaurants.
Day 6 Ring of Kerr
Every visitor to Ireland’s south-west talks about The Ring of Kerry but this attraction is really one that must be seen to be believed. The Ring of Kerry is one of Ireland’s most scenic touring routes. At 179 km long, it circles the awe-inspiring Iveragh Peninsula. You’ll feel as if you have moved into nature’s mystic arena, and truly you have, as you pass between soft mountains, through forest glades, around bogs, rivers, lakes and pristine beaches. The road between the magnificent MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountains presents secret passes and valleys dotted along the fabled shores of Dingle and Kenmare Bays. Ireland’s natural beauty sings throughout the Ring of Kerry. You may wish to explore several charming villages along the route, including Glenbeigh, Waterville, and Sneem. Stroll and talk to people—this is what makes your travel experience unique. Follow the drive to Killarney by way of the Ladies View and the legendary Lakes of Killarney.
Overnight at Kenmare
Day 7 Kerry – Clare
An early morning start for a day full of breath-taking landscapes. You will pass through the postcard pretty Adare Village. Adare is the proud bearer of the title: “Ireland’s prettiest village”. This wonderfully picturesque rural village does its part to keep the Irish traditions alive. After that is time to catch the spectacular Cliffs of Moher – which fall 200m steeply into the wild Atlantic ocean. Pass through the Burren – without dispute, one of the most unique – and strangest –landscapes in Europe. The Burren is bounded by the Atlantic on the west and rocked by Galway Bay to the north, it is a multi-layered landscape where rare and delicate plants have adapted in order to thrive and flourish between harsh crevices.
Overnight in Clare
Day 8 Clare – Limerick – Kildare
Continuing to explore Clare you’ll find Bunratty Castle – a 15th Century castle, which is the acclaimed setting for the 19th Century Bunratty Folk Park. Built in 1425 and restored to its former medieval glory in 1954, Bunratty Castle is the ultimate medieval fortress in Ireland. Weary from your travels you may want to pop into Durty Nelly’s (just beside the castle) for a pick me up. The history and heritage surrounding Durty Nelly and her public house date back to 1620 and include: a toll bridge, an Irish wolfhound and a miracle cure. For years travellers have enjoyed the hospitality and warmth of this one of a kind pub and now with live Irish music seven days a week, you can’t help but be lured into Nelly’s cosy welcome. On the way towards Kildare you will be passing through the city of Limerick, a bustling urban delight situated at the mouth of the River Shannon (Ireland’s longest river). King John’s Castle is one of Limerick’s most famed monuments and rightfully so. Nestled in the heart of the city on its very own island home, the fantastic 13th century structure hosts a range of exhibitions and castle tours, which breathe life into the esteemed history of the castle. King John, after whom the castle was named, was once “Lord of Ireland”. He used the building for minting his own coins and today, visitors can receive their very own souvenir coin as a reminder of their visit.
Overnight at Kildare
Day 9 Departure
Departure from Dublin Airport
NOT INCLUDED IN PACKAGE PRICE
- Any other services not stated above
Car rental T&C:
Currency: Euro (€)
Deposit: Credit Card (Damage Excess & Fuel Deposit). Credit Card at commencement of rental is mandatory to cover for Toll Fees, speed cameras, parking offences. Cash payment can be made at end of rental.
Tax: 13.5% will be included in the price. This is subject to change. Tax will not be applicable to Insurance Products.
Airport/Location Service: LSC is included in the rates
Hours Grace: Clients are allowed a 29 minute grace period
Driving Licence: Must hold a current national licence valid for at least 2 years or more at time of rental. Provisional or Learner drivers or seriously endorsed licence holders are not eligible to rent a vehicle e.g drink driving disqualification.
Other Terms and Conditions apply
Prices are twinshare per person, based on current availability for May 2020 and cash transfer of funds