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An Irish Family Adventure

  • Ireland
  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • HIGHLIGHTS


An Irish Family Adventure

Ten Days

This chauffeur-driven adventure presents you with the opportunity to experience the wonder and charm of the Emerald Isle – from the history of the vibrant capital city to the epic natural beauty of County Kerry and the rugged Wild Atlantic Way, which is sure to leave you lost for words.

Specially designed with families in mind, there are plenty of special activities arranged which are sure to keep every family member entertained. It will be hard to choose a highlight of the trip – perhaps meeting the delightful sheepdogs, fishing with a local ghillie, or kayaking in Killarney National Park?

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HOLIDAY ITINERARY



Day One: Arrival to Ireland

Day Two: The Irish National Stud

Day Three: Gourmet Galway

Day Four: On-Site Adventure

Day Five: The Cliffs of Moher & The Burren

Day Six: Authentic Ireland

Day Seven: Country Pursuits

Day Eight: Killarney National Park – Part I

Day Nine: Killarney National Park – Part II

Day Ten: Blarney Castle & Onward Travel

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HIGHLIGHTS

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Day One: Arrival to Ireland

On arrival at Dublin Airport you will be met and welcomed by your local touring chauffeur. He will provide a comfortable transfer into Dublin and take you on a panoramic orientation tour of the city on which he will point out the best-known landmarks.

 

Set on Ireland’s east coast, Dublin is an essential stop for any visitor to the Emerald Isle. With an eventful history that stretches back over 1,000 years there is much to be discovered. Today, the city is regarded as one of the liveliest and most atmospheric in Europe. Viking, Medieval and Georgian architecture have all left their marks, while the River Liffey cuts a mighty swathe through the city.

On the northern side of the river, see the wide boulevard of O’Connell Street. Pass the General Post Office, scene of the 1916 Easter Rising and birthplace of the Irish Nation. Additional highlights include the majestic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest church.

Your accommodation for the first two evenings is located in the very heart of Dublin, just off Grafton Street. It stands half way between the historic Trinity College and St Stephen’s Green, offering a luxurious and stylish resting place in the city.

 

Day Two: The Irish National Stud

Travel west out of Dublin to spend the morning at the Irish National Stud; this is the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred industry. A private guided tour delves into the history, spanning over a hundred years. Watch equine royalty at close quarters, marvel at their grace and grandeur while also learning of Ireland’s triumphs on the turf in the widely-acclaimed museum.

Return to Dublin for the afternoon. Younger family members may like to discover the magical world of Irish mythology at the National Leprechaun Museum. An expert storyteller will bring fascinating folklore and enchanting stories to life in a captivating and interactive experience. Find yourself in a leprechaun-sized world, and perhaps even discover if the elusive crock of gold really can be found at the end of the rainbow…

Day Three: Gourmet Galway

Leave Dublin this morning and drive across the Irish Midlands to the West Coast. Visit the lively and picturesque city of Galway, located on the Bay of the same name. It has a wonderful culture, and many relics of its medieval past – for example, the Town Walls date back to 1270.

There can be no better way to discover the city and to get a true taste of Irish culture than with a culinary walking tour, led by a specialist local guide. At each stop, a specially-prepared treat will be waiting for you to sample, showcasing local produce such as cheese and seafood as well as a sweet treat or two. Your guide’s insider knowledge will ensure a unique, and not to mention delicious, experience!

Continue thereafter to your home for the next two evenings – a stunning castle hotel set on an estate extending to around 350 acres. Overlooking Lough Corrib, the main house was built in 1870 for the Guinness Family, although the estate dates to 1228. The estate offers plenty of activities; you can explore the estate on horseback or bicycle.  For the adults, the spa is the ideal retreat for revitalisation.

 

Day Four: On-Site Adventures

Spend the day taking advantage of the estate’s excellent activities. It is one of the finest sporting estates in Ireland and is something of a country playground. Try your hand at the ancient sport of archery with a private family lesson. Learn how to hold the bow and arrow and how to hit your target with impressive precision; it’s the perfect activity to inspire some friendly family competition!

Next, venture into the woodlands and zip through the branches on an exciting aerial adventure. Whizz from platform to platform, covering a total distance of 300 metres. It’s a magnificent way to hang out in the tree tops – one of which, nicknamed ‘Monty’ is a 110-year old Monterey Pine.

To follow, visit a sheepdog farm on the shores of a lake in beautiful Connemara. By special arrangement, enjoy a private demonstration which will allow you to see the skills and individual talents of each of the dogs. The dogs are bread for intelligence, stamina and obedience; see how each of them responds to their handler, and how efficiently they can move sheep from location to location.

 

Day Five: The Cliffs of Moher & The Burren

The Wild Atlantic Way is where the wild Irish landscape collides with the dramatic Atlantic seascape; County Clare is home to some of the route’s most beautiful highlights.

Explore The Burren, a special place full of wonder and other-worldly beauty. This limestone plateau resembles a lunar landscape and is made up of an extraordinarily rich geological, botanical and archaeological heritage. A local guide will take you on a walk, bringing this stunning landscape to life.

Make your way to the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs are the crowning glory of the Co. Clare coastline; like a viewing platform for prehistoric giants who wish to peer over the edge of Europe, they provide an unrivalled view across the vast boiling wildness of the Atlantic Ocean

Day Six: Authentic Ireland

Discover Ireland at its best: untouched, undiscovered and truly authentic. When not accompanied by your touring chauffeur, your mode of transport is a skippered motor yacht. It is a day to remember as you experience “Ireland through the Ages”.

Visit a private Castle, set on its very own tiny island. Once a ruin, this 16th century building has been beautifully and painstakingly restored. It is now used as a private summer residence and is only accessible via water.

In this atmospheric setting, savour a range of artisan food and drinks akin to those of the 16th century. Honey glazed ham, Irish Meade, and if feeling a little braver, Irish Poitin – once illegal Irish vodka made from potatoes.

Meet a Sean-nós performer in this idyllic location. The oldest form of Irish dance, a percussive and freestyle dance, this is a vibrant performance with live Irish music. A lesson for those brave enough to try is included before one last finale. Make sure you head to the roof-top terrace and capture the scenic views before departing!

To follow, travel to Williamstown Quay. It was once the busiest place in Co. Clare for emigrants leaving during Famine Times. This sombre quay has been restored by its owner and Famine historian, Tommy. Tommy speaks eloquently about the harsh reality of living in Ireland in the 1800’s and why so many people starved. It’s an emotive experience for many; more so for those how have Irish ancestors.

 

Day Seven: Country Pursuits

In a previous life the property was part of a private country estate at which shooting season was the most exciting time of year. Meet some gorgeous and impressively trained Irish Labradors to enjoy a unique experience which celebrates this sporting heritage. This charming activity will allow you to watch the dogs demonstrate their obedience, agility and ability to work as part of a team of dogs, before learning how to handle the dogs yourself.

To follow, accompanied by an expert ghillie, spend a few hours fishing on the estate. Whether you are an expert or complete novice, their expert guidance will ensure an enjoyable, and hopefully successful, fishing trip. The fast-flowing River Maigue runs through the heart of the estate and is home to an abundance of trout and salmon when in season. The stretch of river running through the grounds is reserved exclusively for hotel guests, ensuring minimal competition!

 

Day Eight: Killarney National Park - Part I

This morning travel to the gorgeous south-west corner of County Kerry. The magnificent Killarney National Park is at its heart and covers some 25,000 acres. Sitting at the foot of the Macgillycuddy Reeks – Ireland’s highest mountain range – and encompassing lakes, islands and sprawling forests, it is a true paradise for outdoors enthusiasts.

Your final accommodation is one of the leading properties in Ireland and provides a delightful experience. Set in peaceful private grounds and surrounded by the famous national park from which it takes its name, the property could not enjoy a more picturesque setting.

This evening, let the activities commence as you enjoy the experience of kayaking on one of the beautiful lakes, silently passing rustling islands and sleepy swans. Your privately guided journey will see you discover wooded islands, limestone caves and local history. Wonderful wildlife-spotting opportunities include the free-roaming Red Deer and the massive, 8ft wing-spanned, white-tailed Sea Eagles. The wonderful journey concludes as you return to Ross Castle in twilight, and possibly moonlight, as nightfall creeps over the oak and yew woods.

Day Nine: Killarney National Park - Part II

Spend a second day exploring Killarney National Park. Your private experience will provide a wonderful opportunity to see the ability of these incredible predators and the relationship that they have with their human partners. You will then have the chance to become the falconer, handling and flying one of these incredible creatures.

With the MacGillycuddy Reeks, the highest mountain in Ireland, providing a spectacular backdrop, watch your bird showcase its aerial acrobatics before gliding majestically to return to your gloved fist. The experience concludes with an owl encounter where you can hold one of these beautiful birds.

 To follow, sit back and relax in a privately reserved Jaunting Car to see the Park from a different perspective.

Day Ten: Blarney Castle & Onward Travel

Day Ten: Blarney Castle and Onward Travel

Depart Killarney, travelling east. The final visit on your Irish adventure is to Blarney Castle – a medieval stronghold steeped in history. Though earlier fortifications were built on the same spot, the current keep was built by the MacCarthy of Muskerry dynasty and dates from 1446.

A privately reserved guide will take you on a tour of the castle. Legend has it that if you kiss the Stone of Eloquence – also known as the Blarney Stone – found at the top of the Tower, you will never again be lost for words!

Your touring chauffeur will then transfer you to Cork Airport where you will board your flight for onward travel.

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HIGHLIGHTS

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THINGS TO DO

IRISH NATIONAL STUD

is the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred industry. HM, Queen Elizabeth II took a tour here as recently as 2011. Her fascination is understandable, as the farm and its stock were gifted to the Crown in 1917.

SECRET IRELAND EXPERIENCE

Visit a private castle, set on its very own tiny island. Once a ruin, this 16th century building has been beautifully and painstakingly restored. It is now used as a private summer residence and is only accessible via water. In this atmospheric setting, savour a range of artisan food and drinks akin to those of the 16th century. Honey glazed ham, Irish Meade, and if feeling a little braver, Irish Poitin – once illegal Irish vodka made from potatoes. Make sure you head to the roof-top terrace and capture the panoramic scenic views.

FALCONRY

Experience first-hand the art of falconry. Known as the “sport of kings”, this is a wonderful opportunity to see magnificent birds of prey up close. Often including Falcons, Owls, Hawks and Eagles; in full flight, they are spectacular.

BLARNEY CASTLE

Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold steeped in history. Though earlier fortifications were built on the same spot, the current keep was built by the MacCarthy of Muskerry dynasty and dates from 1446. Legend has it that if you hang upside down to kiss the Stone of Eloquence – also known as the Blarney Stone – found at the top of the Tower, you will never again be lost for words.

 

KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK

As you travel on horse-back, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

KAYAKING – KILLARNEY

Enjoy the experience of kayaking on one of the beautiful lakes, accompanied by an experienced guide. Departing from 15th century Ross Castle, your journey will see you discover wooded islands, limestone caves and local history. For an extra special experience, make the trip at sunset.

 

PLACES VISITED

DUBLIN

Dublin is steeped in history, with Viking, medieval and Georgian influences all having left their marks. Since the time of the Vikings, Dublin has been the principal gateway to the Emerald Isle. The medieval city, with its intimate knots of small alleys and broad streets south of the river, was developed in Norman times around St Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle, and later came to symbolise British rule in Ireland. The 18th century was the “Age of Elegance”, a time of relative prosperity when the Irish gentry set about remodelling the city into one of elegance, replete with graceful terraces, wrought-iron balconies and fanlight doorways. The city became Ireland’s capital with the establishment of the Republic of Ireland in 1937, and today is regarded as one of the liveliest and most atmospheric in Europe.

GALWAY

Galway is the official European Region of Gastronomy 2018. The region stretches from green fields and rich farmlands to the unique karst landscape of the Burren and into Galway city, the trout fishing capital of Europe, and along the wild, rugged Atlantic coast. Galway has one of the highest densities of restaurants in Ireland and includes two of the country ‘s Michelin Star restaurants: Aniar and Loam. Galway is a city with a proud seafaring tradition and Galway Bay is one of the most celebrated oyster fisheries, where the native Irish oyster is widely prized as a delicacy in the later months of the year.

CLIFFS OF MOHER

Selected as one of the Signature Experiences of the Wild Atlantic Way, the Cliffs of Moher are a breath-taking Discovery Point. They are the crowning glory of the Co. Clare coastline. Like a viewing platform for prehistoric giants who wish to peer over the edge of Europe, they provide an unrivalled view across the vast boiling wildness of the Atlantic Ocean

THE BURREN

The Burren is truly is a special place full of wonder, beauty and discovery. It is a karst landscape made up of an extraordinarily rich geological, botanical and archaeological heritage with parts of the region classed as a National Park. This limestone plateau resembles a lunar landscape; in the spring and summer months, great colour abounds against the stark landscape. Ruined forts and castles and numerous prehistoric sites dot the landscape; the region has been aptly described as ‘one vast memorial to bygone cultures’.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

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