Dublin & the East of Ireland

Straddling the River Liffey, Dublin is Ireland’s vibrant capital city, where old and new sit side by side and its people are infectiously warm-humoured. Wonder at the sixth-century Book of Kells in Trinity College, follow in James Joyce’s literary footsteps and try Guinness in its birthplace. Out of town the beautiful Wicklow Mountains and some of Europe’s most important prehistoric sites await.

Large enough to keep you endlessly amused, but small enough to walk around easily, Dublin is Ireland’s vibrant and infectious capital city. While it doesn’t, with the exception of its fine Georgian squares and townhouses, have the architectural grandeur of many other European capitals, a stay in Dublin will provide you with fantastic memories – the people are as witty, eloquent and sharp-humoured as any you will find elsewhere, and chances are you will find yourself becoming acquainted with the black beer and whiskey with considerable ease.

Of course in between meeting the locals in the pubs, there’s plenty to do. Culture vultures can marvel at the Book of Kells, an extraordinary sixth-century illuminated manuscript kept in beautiful Trinity College, take a literary walking tour following the footsteps of James Joyce and hear traditional Irish music in a number of venues. You can visit the Guinness Storehouse or the Teelings Irish Whiskey Distillery to see how and where the magic is created; visit a haunted library; even learn a few steps of Irish dancing.

Dublin is also within easy striking distance of a number of incredible places to visit. The Boyne Valley in Meath is one of Europe’s most incredible prehistoric ritual landscapes, and sites like Newgrange and Knowth are well worth visiting. South of Dublin, the Wicklow Mountains are a scenic delight, in whose heart the wooded valley of Glendalough with its two lakes and early Christian monastery and round tower offers as much spirituality and serenity as anywhere in Ireland. There are also great gardens to visit and grand country houses to visit – one of which at Ballyfin in County Laois is now unquestionably Ireland’s grandest luxury hotel.

Head down to Ireland’s southeastern corner, into sleepy Wexford and Waterford, and you’ll find green and gentle landscapes and a gorgeous beach-lined coast with pretty coastal towns like Kilmore Quay and Dunmore East that are perfect for enjoying some gentle relaxation interspersed with the odd horseback beach gallop or sea kayaking trip. Inland are medieval castles such as Enniscorthy as well as Cistercian abbeys to explore, while Inistioge in Kilkenny is a must for movie buffs – both Widow’s Peak and Circle of Friends were shot here.

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Highlights of Scotland and Ireland

Dublin, Co. Galway, Edinburgh, Loch Creran

This multi-country itinerary is a perfect way to explore both Dublin and Edinburgh, as well as the glorious countryside of Scotland and Ireland. With your private guide, experience the local ways of life and admire the breathtaking scenery.

Best for: Adventure, Culture, Couples, Off the beaten track

Ireland for Families

Dublin, Ardmore, Kerry, Clare

Ireland is a magical destination to travel through with children of all ages and this fabulous family adventure includes castles, ghosts and plenty of active outdoor adventures. Together as a family explore prehistoric monuments, crumbling monasteries, green hills and wild shoreline and take part in fun activities such as horse riding, archery and...

Best for: Adventure

Grand Tour of Ireland

Belfast, Antrim Coast, Donegal, Ashford Castle, Clare, Kerry, Cork & Dublin

Exploring Ireland’s length and breadth, this comprehensive private journey takes you around Ireland in style from Belfast to Dublin, discovering its cities and ancient sites, culture and history, and natural wonders from Giant’s Causeway to the Burren. Travelling to the furthest flung corners of the Emerald Isle, you’ll visit many of Ireland’s most...

Best for: Adventure, Couples, Culture

Ireland by luxury train

Dublin, Cork, Killarney, Galway, Westport, Belfast & Waterford

Hop aboard the Belmond Grand Hibernian and discover the magic of Ireland in style. This all-encompassing ten-night itinerary will take you from Dublin to the four corners of the Emerald Isle, with the most comfortable cabin to relax in along the way.

Best for: Couples, History, Rail, Culture

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