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Ireland by Rail

  • Ireland
  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • HIGHLIGHTS


itinerary Map

Ireland by Rail

12 Days

Embark on an epic journey through the Emerald Isle as you experience the luxury of the Belmond Grand Hibernian. Discover the history and heritage of Ireland and its people as you soak up the culture and charm of this mythic country.

The second half of your trip aims to continue the comfort and magnificence of your rail journey with chauffeur-driven transportation to the West of Ireland, where some of the most stunning scenery and landscapes await you.

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ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS



Your tailor-made Dream Escape programme could include any of the following experiences:

  • Evoke a lost romantic age of travel as you stay in elegant private cabins and dine on fine cuisine, travelling by train from Dublin to Belfast and Waterford.

 

  • Step back in time as you visit The Titanic Experience, a world-class museum that tells the tale of this tragic vessel in the city where it was built.

 

  • Forage for wild shellfish, seaweed and plants on the coast of Kinsale with a private guide who will then take you to some nearby eateries to sample local delicacies.

 

  • Learn how Irish emigrants and their descendants have helped influence and shape the world at a privately guided visit to EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum.

 

  • Allow a local guide to introduce you to the vibrant, friendly city of Dublin as they walk you through one thousand years of history.

 

  • Enjoy a sumptuous dinner and traditional music on board the Belmond Grand Hibernian in the lavishly decorated Observation Car.

 

  • Dine ‘at home’ with an Irish family, feasting on traditional fare and sampling whisky as you enjoy the warm hospitality and good craic that the Irish are famed for.

 

  • Visit the historical harbour town of Cobh which was the final port of call for both the ill-fated RMS Titanic and for Irish emigrants travelling to the New World.

 

  • Watch a glassmaking presentation featuring the oldest piece of Waterford crystal in the world at the historic Viking port town.
  • Take part in traditional country pursuits at the ancestral home of Gaelic royalty, try falconry, archery, boating, clay pigeon shooting, tennis, and mountain biking.

 

  • Peer over the edge of the Cliffs of Moher, the crowning glory of the County Clare coastline.

 

  • Walk through the Burren with a specialist guide and marvel at the wealth and diversity of this archaeological landscape, as well as the remarkable array of plants that grow here.

 

  • Set off on a Black Taxi Tour of the city of Belfast and learn of its fascinating and turbulent past.

 

  • Explore the Ring of Kerry, weaving through a breath-taking mosaic of rugged coastline, steep mountains, medieval ruins and welcoming towns and villages.

 

  • Savour a delicious afternoon tea at the historic home of the 9th Marquis of Waterford, after an exclusive tour of the magnificent mansion and grounds as well as a visit to the stables.

 

  • Spend a day at Killarney National Park, one of the most beautiful areas in the whole country, and with your touring-chauffeur explore the jagged mountain ranges and island-filled lakes.

 

  • See the priceless Book of Kells in the historic Trinity College in Dublin, housed in the Old Library, said to be one of the most impressive in the world.

 

The accommodation provided by Dream Escape during your stay aims to provide an authentic, yet luxurious Irish experience. Options will include a charming country house tucked away within two acres of walled gardens, and an understated Georgian hotel considered to be one of the finest in the entire country.

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HIGHLIGHTS

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HIGHLIGHTS

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THINGS TO DO

TRINITY COLLEGE

Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1, it is home to one of the most impressive libraries in the world, the Book of Kells and the Brian Boru Harp.

KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK

Killarney is an excellent spot from which to explore the outstanding natural scenery of Co. Kerry. Today and the National Park is renowned for its beauty; Ireland’s highest mountains raise a jagged edge to the sky while at their feet rest three still lakes (Upper Lake, Muckross Lake and Lough Leane) studded with little islands.

THE SKELLIGS

Skellig Michael is named by Lonely Planet as one of the top regions in travel for 2017. One of only two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country, this inhospitable rock rising out of the Atlantic covers an area of less than 50 acres. Monks settled on the rock during the 6th century; perched on a ledge and reached by an amazing 1,000-year-old stairway is an isolated early Christian monastery.

TITANIC BELFAST

This world-class modern museum is housed in a striking aluminium-clad building reminiscent of a ship’s hull. Here, you can walk the decks, travel to the depths of the ocean and uncover the true legend of RMS Titanic in the city that built her. Don’t forget to step aboard Titanic’s little sister, SS Nomadic, which carried passengers to the mighty ship.

 

CURRAGHMORE HOUSE

Curraghmore House is the historic home of the 9th Marquis of Waterford. Take an exclusive tour of the magnificent mansion and grounds including a visit to the stables, then savour a delicious afternoon tea.

BELMOND GRAND HIBERNIAN

The Belmond Grand Hibernian is a shimmering world of indulgence—contemporary carriages inspired by Dublin’s architecture, fine cuisine enhanced with local delicacies and an ever-changing backdrop of Ireland’s celebrated landscapes.

 

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.

BELFAST

Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland. The 19th century was a golden age for the city; it experienced the full force of the Industrial Revolution and in 1888 was granted city status by Queen Victoria. Compact and intimate in size, it boasts a rich legacy of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture.

KILLARNEY

Located by the three lakes and mountains of the Killarney National Park, Killarney is well known for its excellent shops, restaurants and cosmopolitan appeal. During the summer months, the lively on-street musical entertainment complements the meandering of tourists and locals alike. On bright evenings, one can browse in a bookstore, admire art or savour the delights of homemade ice cream or a finely prepared lobster.

KINSALE

One of the prettiest small towns in Ireland, with its crooked streets, slate hung houses and bow-fronted shops.It has a long and chequered history. The Battle of Kinsale in 1601 was the ultimate battle in England’s conquest of Gaelic Ireland.  The Irish forces and their Spanish allies were defeated which signified the end of the old Gaelic order, Irish resistance and marked a turning point in the history books. For over 300 years it was a garrison town and port of consequence, which left a legacy of Georgian and Victorian architecture.

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’.

THE RING OF KERRY

Is possibly Ireland’s most famous scenic drive. It encounters some of the country’s finest landscapes, weaving around a breath-taking mosaic of rugged, storm-bashed coast, steep mountains, medievalruins, slate-coloured glacial lakes and welcoming towns and villages. As you might expect, there are many wonderful photo opportunities.

  • "Probably the best of the best in the UK and Ireland for organising amazing trips. They know their stuff, have fantastic relationships with suppliers and always go the extra mile."

    Rob Arrow, Al Tayyar Group

  • "Lovely suite. Fabulous private tours. Everything has exceeded our expectations. "

    William A Heim, Client

  • "I had the most wonderful time with you and learned so much...What you offer is rare and much needed in the truly exclusive travel world. "

    Jean Newman-Glock, Signature Travel Network

  • "You were the heart and soul of the trip….I truly admired your sunny personality, sense of humor, organization and professionalism.  You also demonstrated  that a guide’s work is never done as you were constantly researching….. Did you ever rest??? "

    Sharon Delano, Frosch

  • "We want to thank you and the team from Dream Escape.  All six of us in our group had a wonderful time, and we all agreed we owed that in large measure to the work of Dream Escape. From the onset of working with you, you demonstrated a tremendous knowledge about all the activities we wished to pursue —from playing golf to dining at excellent restaurants to seeing historical sites and the Tattoo and Fringe Festival.  And, then you executed "

    Thomas Cohen, Client

  • "THANK YOU a zillion times over for choosing/assigning Rosie to be with this family.  She MADE the trip for them – there’s no other way to put it! "

    Jill Jergel, Frontiers International Travel

  • "Our holiday in Scotland now tops their lists of best trips…… To their growing list of amazing and memorable first-time experiences, our sons may add fishing for trout and salmon on the River Tay; steering a motor boat on Loch Ness; and taking private guided tours on Culloden Moor Of the eight full days we were in Scotland, Alex and Mattie thought each and every day was the best"

    Michael Guadarrama & Trammi Nguyen, clients of Peter Carideo. CRC Travel

  • "All six of us were deeply moved by the whole experience. Bravo Dream Escape "

    Max Levy, Direct client

  • "Thank you Karen and all of the staff and guides affiliated with Dream Escape…..the Flemings are having an awesome tour of Scotland. You all have made me look like a star! "

    Joni Gerace, The Travel Society, LLC

  • "Thanks for all your help and we can chalk this one up as a big success!   Our anniversary celebration was all we could have hoped for "

    Clients of Courtney Regan, Affiliate of Brownell Travel

  • "Rosie was MORE than outstanding – she went out of her way to help us in every regard...She was so knowledgeable – we all loved her"

    Jill A. Jergel, Frontiers International Travel

  • "I cannot thank you, Nicola and all the Dream Escape “clan” for the wonderful care & attention you have provided, and are providing for my clients"

    Cindy Evans, Travel Consultant

  • "I hope I have another opportunity to work with Dream Escape in the near future. The company is so professional, yet approachable and easy to work with. It has been a pleasure!"

    Carole McFarland, Universal Travel

  • "Dream Escape is delivering in a superb manner. Jim Johnston is a great driver and one of the best guides we've had - I wish to very much thank the Dream Escape Team for fulfilling a Dream…"

    Donald M. Davis, President, Luxury Travel, Inc.

  • "Thank you all so much it's great to have trusted friends on the ground to take care of our clients!"

    Peter Carideo, CRC Travel

  • "The trip was great.... Dream Escape is the name of the game"

    Ann Lipschitz, Worldview Travel

  • "Your level of service is just outstanding"

    Debra Fini, VWTI

  • "Dream Escape don’t just organise trips – they create adventures"

    Financial Times, How to Spend it

  • "It was, without doubt, one of the most spectacular weekends I have ever had"

    Country Life

  • "David Tobin’s an ace at getting inside private castles and estates and he’s well connected.... "

    Conde Nast Traveller Magazine

  • "The level of service they provide is outstanding. They truly care about every aspect of the trip to ensure you have a fantastic stay. Rosie is a hidden gem of a tour guide. Just fabulous."

    Yvonne Malka, Signature Travel Network, April 2018