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Ireland for Families

  • Ireland
  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • HIGHLIGHTS


Ireland for Families

12 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.  Specially designed with families in mind, there are plenty of activities arranged which are sure to keep every family member entertained. It will be hard to choose a highlight of the trip – perhaps kayaking in Killarney National Park, visiting the magnificent Cliffs of Moher or staying in a castle!

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HOLIDAY ITINERARY



Day One: Make a Splash in the City

Day Two: Dublin – History & Heritage Part I

Day Three: Dublin – History & Heritage Part II

Day Four: Across the Country

Day five: Outdoor Adventure

Day Six: Countryside and Coast of Co. Clare

Day Seven: Country Pursuits

Day Eight: Killarney National Park – Part I

Day Nine: Killarney National Park – Part II

Day Ten: Killarney National Park – Part III

Day Eleven: The Ring of Kerry

Day Twelve: Blarney Castle and Departure

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HIGHLIGHTS

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Day One: Make a Splash in the City

Set on Ireland’s east coast, Dublin is an essential stop for any visitor to the Emerald Isle. Today, the city is regarded as one of the liveliest and most atmospheric in Europe.

A touring-chauffeur will provide a transfer from Dublin Airport to your first accommodation. This 5* hotel is widely considered the finest hotel in Dublin, and it is famous for the world-class hospitality it offers guests – in particular, junior family members.

Let your exploration get underway as you board an amphibious vehicle that will take you from land to water and back again, exploring the city in a truly unique way.

Day Two: Dublin - History & Heritage Part I

Begin your day by delving head-first into Dublin’s past at EPIC; The Irish Emigration Museum Dublin. A privately reserved guide will take you on a tour that will provide insight into the compelling story of how Irish emigrants and their descendants influenced the world.

Next, stretch your legs and explore the city with an eco-friendly bike tour. Led by a knowledgeable and personable local guide, discover hidden gems and highlight attractions.

To follow, enjoy an introduction to Irish cuisine with a private cookery class. Your three-hour hands-on immersion into culinary Ireland can include Irish staples such as potato cakes and soda bread, as well as more modern interpretations and treatments of traditional Irish food. At the end of your class, take a seat and tuck in to your fantastic culinary creations!

 

Day Three: Dublin - History & Heritage Part II

Visit Kilmainham Gaol. Its history is strongly linked with the story of Irish nationalism; it has held some of the most famous political and military leaders in Irish history, from Charles Stewart Parnell, to the 1916 Rising leaders. The visit, which includes a guided tour and an exhibition, gives both a dramatic and poignant insight into what is was like to have been imprisoned here.

Next, meet a private coach for an introduction to two Gaelic sports: hurling and Gaelic football. After a brief introduction, you’ll soon be holding the hurley (wooden stick) and the football and running around the field. Compete in fun family challenges and, who knows, perhaps even uncover some unknown sporting talents!

Your introduction to Irish culture continues as a private music teacher shows you how to play the tin whistle and create your own bodhrán – the famous Irish drum. Now that you’ve ‘mastered’ Irish music, a private teacher will provide a light-hearted lesson in traditional Irish dance. To top off the experience, your teachers will then perform a private song and dance show for your entertainment.

The day concludes with a well-earned chocolate experience. Based in the home of Butlers Chocolates, you will be guided through the origins of chocolate and see how they create their chocolates today before being given the chance to decorate your very own chocolates!

Day Four: Across the Country

Depart Dublin and travel west to Strokestown Park House and The Irish National Famine Museum. The 18th century Palladian mansion has a unique, and dark history as it was the home of the first landlord to be assassinated during the height of the Great Famine of Ireland in the 1840s.

Located in the original Stable Yards, the museum was designed to commemorate the history of the famine of Ireland and to balance the history of the ‘Big House’. See a haunting collection of pleas from starving tenants on the estate, and the responses that they received.

Continue to your next accommodation, a magnificent 800-year-old castle. Set on a sprawling estate and overlooking Lough Corrib, the property is considered one of the finest hotels on the island.

Day Five: Outdoor Adventures

Spend the day on-site. It is one of the finest sporting estates in Ireland and is considered something of a country playground.

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.

Next, channel your inner ‘Robin Hood’ as you try your hand at archery. This ancient sport has been practiced by kings and lords for centuries and is perfect for encouraging some friendly competition!

 

Day Six: Countryside and Coast of Co. Clare

Travel south into the Burren region. Made up of an extraordinarily rich geological, botanical and archaeological heritage, this limestone plateau resembles a lunar landscape; a truly special place, full of wonder and other-worldly beauty. Perhaps make a brief stop at an artisan chocolate factory found here.

The sheepdog is an integral part of farming culture in Ireland. Visit a sheepdog farm and watch a private demonstration of these dogs responding to their individual whistles and work with both cattle and sheep.

Travel onwards to the Cliffs of Moher; they are the crowning glory of the County 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 wildness of the Atlantic Ocean.

Your next accommodation is nothing short of glorious. Since re-opening in 2017, it has attracted widespread acclaim, including winning the prestigious title of ‘Hotel of the Year’ at the Virtuoso Best of the Best Awards 2018.

 

Day Seven: Country Pursuits

The property’s estate encompasses beautiful walled gardens and unspoiled parklands. Enhanced through careful landscaping, it creates a magical backdrop for the range of activities on offer.

Enjoy a unique gundog experience which celebrates the property’s sporting heritage, by meeting some gorgeous and impressively trained Irish Labradors. This charming activity will allow you to watch the dogs demonstrate their obedience, agility and ability to work as part of a team, before learning how to handle the dogs yourself.

Later, accompanied by an expert ghillie, spend a few hours fly fishing on the estate. Whether you are an expert or novice, their guidance will ensure an enjoyable afternoon. The stretch of river running through the grounds is reserved exclusively for hotel guests, ensuring minimal competition!

 

Day Eight: Killarney National Park - Part I

Travel south into County Kerry. Your final accommodation is a wonderful 5* property set in peaceful private grounds and surrounded by the famous national park from which it takes its name.

This evening let the activities commence as you go kayaking on one of Killarney’s beautiful lakes. Your privately guided journey will see you discover wooded islands, limestone caves and local history. The journey concludes as you return to Ross Castle in twilight, as nightfall creeps over the oak and yew woods.

Day Nine: Killarney National Park - Part II

Meet an experienced falconer and hawk. Your private experience will let you see the ability of these incredible predators and the relationship that they have with their human partners. You’ll then have the chance to become the falconer, handling and flying one of these incredible creatures.

Spend the rest of the day exploring Killarney National Park. It 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.

At one point in the day, sit back and relax in a privately reserved jaunting car to see the Park from a different perspective. Perhaps explore the Gap of Dunloe, one of the most beautiful parts of Kerry, or take a peaceful ride along the shores of one of the loughs.

Day Ten: Killarney National Park - Part III

Spend the day at leisure. There are many established walking and cycling routes in the Park should you wish to stretch your legs; however, the beauty of it is that it offers numerous options still very much in their ‘undiscovered’ state, presenting visitors with the opportunity to explore and discover at your own pace.

A truly special and memorable evening beckons as you dine with a local family in their home in Killarney. The Irish are renowned for their good spirits and great ‘craic’ and this evening is genuine Irish hospitality at its very best. There are no menus or waiters; visitors are treated as guests of the family. Expect traditional fare, usually prepared and cooked by the host. The meal will be typically Irish such as smoked Irish salmon followed by Irish stew, a native and much celebrated dish of the country.

Day Eleven: The Ring of Kerry

Spend the day exploring the Ring of Kerry with your touring-chauffeur/on your own. Following the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula, the route is one of Ireland’s most famous drives. It encounters some of the country’s finest landscapes, weaving around a breath-taking mosaic of storm-bashed coast, steep mountains, ancient ruins, slate-coloured glacial lakes and welcoming towns and villages.

The highlight experience today is a private boat trip to see the Skellig Islands. The larger of the islands, Skellig Michael (Sceilg Mhichíl), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Monks settled in solitude here during the 6th century; reached by an amazing 1,000-year-old stairway is an isolated early Christian monastery. Recently it took a starring role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The island’s epic appearance provides a suitably otherworldly feel – it’s not hard to imagine a Jedi knight taking refuge here!

Day Twelve: Blarney Castle & Departure

Your final experience in Ireland is a privately guided tour of Blarney Castle, a medieval stronghold steeped in history. 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. A fitting ‘souvenir’ to take from the Emerald Isle!

Your touring-chauffeur will then take you to Cork Airport for onward travel.

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HIGHLIGHTS

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THINGS TO DO

KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK

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

PRIVATE COOKERY CLASS

Enjoy a three-hour, hands on immersion into culinary Ireland is a unique tapas course.

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.

IRISH FAMINE MUSEUM

Visit The Irish National Famine Museum. The 18th century Palladian mansion has a unique, and dark history as it was the home of the first landlord to be assassinated during the height of the Great Famine of Ireland the 1840s. Located in the original Stable Yards, the museum was designed to commemorate the history of the famine of Ireland and to balance the history of the ‘Big House’. See the painfully thin sculptural figures at Customs House Quays.  Presented to the city in 1997, this moving memorial is a grim reminder of the Great Famine in the mid-19th century.

KILMAINHAM GAOL

Kilmainham Gaol is the haunting former Country Gaol for Dublin which today symbolises the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism, from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23. It has held some of the most famous political and military leaders in Irish history, from Charles Stewart Parnell, to the 1916 Rising leaders.

The visit, which includes a guided tour and an exhibition, gives both a dramatic and poignant insight into what is was like to have been imprisoned here between 1796 and 1924, the year of it was decommissioned.

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.

 

PLACES VISITED

ADARE

This heritage town is home to thatched roof cottages, Tudor style houses, beautiful gardens and ivy clad medieval churches that flank the river banks, making it the picture perfect place to spend the morning.

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

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.

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.

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.

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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