Follow us on:

Ireland by Rail

  • Ireland
  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • HIGHLIGHTS


itinerary Map

Ireland by Rail

12 Days

Ireland is home to some of the world’s most breath-taking scenery. Experience the grand luxury of the Belmond Grand Hibernian, discover the history and heritage of Emigration in Ireland with visits to some of the most important locations, savour the best flavours that Ireland has to offer and soak up the culture and charm that the locals are renowned for.

GET IN TOUCH
  •   
  •   
  •   
  •   

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS



Day One: Arrival in Dublin

Day Two: Dublin Highlights

Day Three: Belmond Grand Hibernian – Taste of Ireland

Day Four: Belmond Grand Hibernian – Taste of Ireland

Day Five: Belmond Grand Hibernian – Taste of Ireland

Day Six: Historic Port of Cobh and on to Cork

Day Seven: Ireland’s South Coast

Day Eight: Killarney National Park

Day Nine: The Ring of Kerry

Day Ten: Dromoland Castle and Activities

Day Eleven: The Cliffs of Moher and The Burren

Day Twelve: Departure Day

Contact our Creative Planners Now


HIGHLIGHTS

VIEW ALL HIGHLIGHTS


Day One: Arrival in Ireland

Upon arrival, a chauffeur will transfer you into Dublin. Today, the city is regarded as one of the liveliest and most atmospheric in Europe. The city is steeped in history, as Viking, medieval and Georgian influences have all left their marks.

Your hotel is one of the finest in Ireland; its understated listed Georgian exterior gives no indication of the sumptuous, graceful elegance inside. This evening perhaps dine in Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, a centre of fine dining in Dublin for the last thirty years and Ireland’s only two-star Michelin.

 

 

Day Two: An Introduction to Dublin

A local guide will accompany you today.

Begin with a visit to Trinity College which was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. Here, see the priceless and lavishly decorated Book of Kells and explore the Old Library which is said to be one of the most impressive libraries in the world.

Follow with a privately guided visit at the EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum Dublin to gain a unique insight into the compelling story of how Irish emigrants and their descendants helped to influence and shape the world.

Day Three: Belmond Grand Hibernian - A Taste of Ireland

Depart on the Grand Hibernian from Dublin Heuston Station early afternoon.  Lunch is served on board as the train travels north along the coast and through the green Irish countryside.

On arrival to Belfast, set off on a fascinating Black Taxi Tour to take in the city’s highlights.  Then step back in time as you visit The Titanic Experience.   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.

Return to the train and enjoy a leisurely dinner followed by the evening’s entertainment.

 

Day Four: Belmond Grand Hibernian - A Taste of Ireland

Arrive at the historic Viking port of Waterford for a visit to Curraghmore House, the historic home of the 9th Marquis of Waterford. Embark on an exclusive tour of the magnificent mansion and grounds including a visit to the stables, then savour a delicious afternoon tea.

Next, visit Bishop’s Palace for a private after-hours tour with the director. See an impressive collection of 17th century Irish silver and enjoy a glassmaking presentation featuring the oldest piece of Waterford Crystal in the world.

A sumptuous dinner on board is complemented by a traditional music performance in the Observation Car.

 

Day Five: Belmond Grand Hibernian - A Taste of Ireland

The train returns to Dublin where you will be met by a chauffeur who will provide a transfer to your hotel for another evening. The day is then yours to explore the city at leisure.

Day Six: Cobh and on to Cork

Depart Dublin with your touring-chauffeur and travel to the harbour town of Cobh.

A private local guide will take you on a gentle walking tour during which the rich heritage of the harbour side town will be explored. The port is known for its maritime and emigration legacy, and a history intrinsically linked with great ships, majestic liners and adventurous tales of the sea.

Later travel to Cork City and check-in to your next accommodation. Discreetly nestled within two acres of walled gardens and provides the charm of a country house within the vibrant city.

Day Seven: Ireland's South Coast

Spend the day in Kinsale. With its crooked streets, slate hung houses and bow-fronted shops, it is one of the prettiest small towns in Ireland. Take time to explore the historic streets and the many independent shops and galleries found tucked away.

A privately reserved guide will take you on a unique culinary adventure here, combining foraging on the coastline for wild shellfish, seaweed and plants with visits to local eateries to sample specially prepared dishes. Along the way you will meet local characters and producers, allowing you to discover their stories and the history of this charming part of Ireland.

Day Eight: Killlarney National Park

This morning, travel to County Kerry in the gorgeous south-west corner of Ireland.

En route to Killarney, explore the Killarney National Park with your touring-chauffeur. It is Ireland’s first National Park and a place 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.

Your accommodation provides a truly luxurious experience. Set in peaceful private grounds and surrounded by the famous national park, the property could not enjoy a more picturesque setting.

 

 

Day Nine: The Ring of Kerry

Spend the day exploring the coastline of the Ring of Kerry. It encounters some of the country’s finest landscapes, weaving around a breath-taking mosaic of rugged, storm-bashed coast, steep mountains, medieval ruins, and welcoming towns and villages. The highlight for many is the famous Skellig Islands.

This evening, dine ‘at home’ with a local family. The idea is that guests are exposed to a home environment; there are no menus or waiters and visitors are treated as guests of the family. Expect a wonderful evening, dining on traditional typical Irish fare and sampling a whiskey or two!

 

Day Ten: Dromoland Castle and Activities

Your touring-chauffeur will take you to your final accommodation, a castle hotel which offers modern-day luxury and impeccable service with an extraordinary history to match – it was originally the ancestral home of one of the few families of Gaelic royalty.

Activities that can be arranged on the estate include falconry, archery, boating, clay pigeon shooting, tennis and mountain biking.

 

 

Day Eleven: The Cliffs of Moher and The Burren

This morning enjoy a visit the Cliffs of Moher. They are the crowning glory of the Co. Clare coastline and provide an unrivalled view across the vast boiling wildness of the Atlantic Ocean.

From the Cliffs, travel to the Burren – a curious lunar-like landscape with deep links to Ireland’s ancient past. The wealth and diversity of its archaeological landscape is remarkable; and it has been fittingly described as ‘one vast memorial to bygone cultures’.

The region will be brought to life by a specialist local guide who will take you on a guided walk. By strange coincidence of geology and climate, the Burren is the only place on earth where Arctic, Alpine, and Mediterranean flowers grow side-by-side in perfect harmony.

 

Day Twelve: Departure Day

Your chauffeur will provide a transfer to Shannon Airport for onward travel.

 

 

  •   
  •   
  •   
  •   

HIGHLIGHTS

VIEW ALL HIGHLIGHTS

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

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

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.

  • 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.

  • "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