NEW – Unusual Beautiful Ireland Tour

Unusual Beautiful Ireland Tour by Liberty GB & Ireland  

ireland   ITINERARY

 DAY 1 – Arrival at  Shannon airport – Limerick – Ennis

Meet private English speaking guide, board private coach and travel approx.. 20 minutes to Limerick. Upon arriving in the ancient city of Limerick, enjoy some free time for breakfast on your own before taking a tour of this city that was once the key settlement for Vikings in Ireland, and is more recently known as the setting of Frank McCourt’s harrowing memoir Angela’s Ashes.

Tourist attractions in the city center include King John’s Castle (1212), St Mary’s Cathedral (1168), Hunt Museum, the University of Limerick, Georgian house and gardens and the Treaty Stone.

Following this rich bit of history, board your northbound coach to Ennis (approx. 45 minutes drive), which will be your base for the next 3 nights. 

Lunch on own and afternoon tour of the city including Ennis Friary and Quinn Abbey.

Ennis Friary, established in County Clare in the 13th century, was once renowned across Europe as a center of learning. Throughout medieval times, the O’Briens were the principal patrons of these Franciscan friars and likely the reason they settled in Ennis Town. Dinner and overnight at the hotel/pub in Ennis

Day 2  – Burren, Kinvarra, Ballyvaughan villages and Cliffs of Moher

After breakfast, visit Poulnabrune Dolmen, the Burren with Kinvarra and Ballyvaughan villages. On the way back the Cliffs of Moher. Dinner and overnight in Ennis.

Day 3 – ENNIS – Adare Village – Folk Park – Bunratti Castle

Breakfast at the hotel and day at leisure.

OR  Optional: Travel to Adare Village (approx. 40 minutes drive), and possibly attend Mass if interested (St. Nicholas Church – Worship times Sundays 12.00 noon). Time for lunch on own. Afternoon travel to Folk Park and visit the Bunratti Castle (approx. 25 minutes drive).

Medieval dinner at Bunratti Castle.

Return to Ennis (approx. 25 min. drive) for overnight

Day 4 – Ennis – Cahir Castle – Rock of Cashel – Holy Cross – Kilkenny

Breakfast at the hotel.  Board your private bus and travel south to Tipperary, Co. to visit Cahir Castle (approx. 1 hour and 40 min. drive).

Cahir is a fine example of a late Medieval Castle that had been enlarged and greatly remodeled in the 15th to 17th centuries. When the main line of the Butler family died out in the late 1700’s, the castle fell into ruin. It was partly restored in the 1840’s by the Cahir Butlers and more heavily restored after it became a National Monument in 1964.

Continue on to visit Rock of Cashel  (approx. 20 minutes drive) and Holy Cross (approx. 15 minutes drive).

The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most visited sites, and is a spectacular and archaeological site. A collection of medieval ecclesiastical buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale. The 12th-century round tower is of the oldest surviving building on the Rock, also include a high cross, and the ruins Romanesque chapel – Cormac’s Chapel is one of the earliest, and finest churches built in the Romanesque style. The Hall houses the museum where the original Cross of St. Patrick can be found.

Holy Cross Abbey is a restored Cistercian abbey built on the River Suir in Co Tipperary. Founded in 1168 by the King of Munster, it became a place of great medieval pilgrimage; Catholic Mass and other religious events continue to be celebrated there. It is one of Ireland’s National Monuments and has a richly colorful past. It takes its name from a relic of the True Cross or Holy Rood, a fragment of which was brought to Ireland by Queen Isabella of Angoulême around 1233. 

Overnight in Kilkenny (approx.1 hour drive). Dinner and overnight.

Day 5:  – Kilkenny (Tasting trail tour)

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning your guide will introduce you to Kilkenny’s many unexpected culinary and craft treasures on a leisurely walk, peppered with fascinating and lighthearted snippets of information on the city’s history and architecture. Kilkenny Tasting Trail is a guided walking tour of Kilkenny City’s foodscape. A snack-fest of treats, spiced up by ‘meet the maker’ craft studio visits.  The tour will include a visit to Smitwick’s brewery, with beer tasting  – depending on group size we can request an evening tour/experience (min. 20 people).

Balance of the day at leisure.  Dinner on own and overnight in Kilkenny.

 Day 6 – Kilkenny  – Birr Castle – Clonmacnoise – Kilbeggan Distillery – Dublin

 After breakfast depart for an excursion to the gardens at Birr Castle (approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes drive).  Birr Castle Gardens in Co Offaly is a historic and beautiful part of the Irish midlands. Comprising award-winning landscapes and set in Birr, one of Ireland’s beautiful Georgian heritage towns, the gardens are abundant in exotic trees and flowers. The features extensive gardens as well as Ireland’s Historic Science Centre and the great telescope—known as the Leviathan—of the 1840s. Walk the grounds and possibly enjoy lunch in the courtyard café’.

Afterwards drive approx. 30 minutes to Clonmacnoise

Back in the 6th century, Clonmacnoise lay at the center of Europe. This was an early Christian crossroads famed for exporting art, learning and faith all over the continent. St Ciarán and his monks, who founded the site, were clearly busy people: remains at Clonmacnoise today include nine churches, three superb high crosses, an iconic 12th-century round tower, and the ruins of a cathedral.

Afterwards travel (approx. 40 minutes) to the Old Kilbeggan Distillery for a tour and tasting of this award-winning Irish whiskey.

Continue on to your hotel in Dublin (approx. 1 hour drive). Dinner and overnight

Day 7 –  Dublin (full day at leisure to explore city on own)

Breakfast. Farewell dinner in a pub. Overnight in Hotel.

 Or OPTIONAL

 Dublin – Glendalough – Powerscourt – Dublin area

Breakfast at the hotel and morning departure for Glendalough (approx. 1 hour and 20 min. drive).

Glendalough (the name means glen or valley of two lakes) in County Wicklow is naturally and spiritually spectacular. The site was carved out in an Ice Age thousands of years ago, with mountain streams and alluvial deposits conspiring to create the Upper and Lower lakes so beloved of walkers today.

Renowned for its Early Medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St Kevin , a hermit priest, and partly destroyed in 1398 by English troops. The present remains in Glendalough tell only a small part of its story. The monastery in its heyday included workshops, areas for manuscript writing and copying, guest houses, an infirmary, farm buildings and dwellings for both the monks and a large lay population. The buildings which survive probably date from between the 10th and 12th centuries.

Continue (approx. 35 minutes drive) onto Powerscourt House, a beautiful Palladian mansion, home to Lord Powerscourt and his family for over 350 years. Located at the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains, off the N11, while Powerscourt waterfall, Ireland’s highest, is 6 kilometres from the main estate Sadly the house was destroyed by fire in the 1970s but was renovated, although not to its former glory.

Powerscourt House now features a beautiful terrace café where Avoca serves up delectable cuisine. There are shops located in Powerscourt House including Avoca Stores and Global Village who specialise in interiors. Powerscourt offers visitors a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes with secret hollows, rambling walks and beautiful walled gardens, revealing new treasures such as fountains from Paris, gates from Venice and statues from Rome.

Overnight in Dublin (approx. 1 hour drive to Dublin). Dinner and overnight.

OR OPTIONAL – Dublin – Malahide – Howth– Dublin

Today will be dedicated to the sightseeing of Malahide, coastal town just outside the city (approx.. 40 minutes drive).

At  Malahide Castle and Gardens the history of the Talbot family dates back to as far as 1175 and is one of the oldest castles in Ireland, set on 260 acres, this magnificent & historic castle was home to the Talbot family for over 800 years.

Malahide Castle has a long and rich history and played a central role in Medieval Irish history. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 12th century.  The building was notably enlarged in the reign of Edward IV, and the towers added circa 1600-1650. The estate survived such losses as the Battle of the Boyne and the Penal Laws. It was home to the Talbot family for almost 800 years (1185 to 1975).

The tour will carry on towards Howth (approx. 25 minutes drive), a little fisherman village where the legendary Molly Malone use to buy her fish. Time for Oyster and Guinness tasting in the village.

The group will return to Dublin (approx. 40 minutes drive) for farewell dinner in a pub and overnight.

DAY 8 – Dublin airport – departure

Breakfast at the hotel and departure transfer to Dublin airport  

 

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