The Irish heartland and vibrant capital
This gently paced holiday is based in a lovely four-star hotel, overlooking Lough Ennell, with its own leisure club and spa. Carefully planned to make the most of your visit, the holiday includes something for everyone - from ancient Clonmacnoise and the Derryglad Folk Museum to Dublin and a River Shannon cruise.
Tour Highlights And Inclusions
- A visit to fascinating Strokestown Park House and Famine Museum
- Time to explore lively, historic Dublin
- Visit the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens
- Discover the historic, riverside town of Athlone
- Enjoy a guided tour of ancient Clonmacnoise
- Entry to, and a tour of, fascinating Belvedere House and Gardens
- Cruise along the River Shannon
- Entry to the Derryglad Folk Museum
- Five nights' dinner, bed and Irish breakfast accommodation at the four-star Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar
- Return flights to Dublin
- Coach travel and transfers throughout
- Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager
Tour only passengers will be met by the Tour Manager at Dublin Airport on Day One. Return airport-to-hotel coach transfers are included (pick-up time from the airport on Day One is 1:30pm).
Single rooms are available for a supplement
Fly to Dublin, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, the rest of your day is free. Explore the hotel's parkland, or make the most of the spa and leisure facilities. Alternatively, visit the nearby town of Mullingar, where you'll find the cathedral of Christ the King, several museums and a range of interesting shops.
Head to Strokestown Park House, today, for a guided tour of this 18th-century mansion, faithfully restored to give a real taste of Georgian Ireland. In direct contrast to the house, the Strokestown Famine Museum is a sobering reminder of the horrors of that time, including original letters written by tenants suffering at the time.
This afternoon, enjoy the unspoiled beauty and wildlife of the mighty River Shannon, and learn about some of the history and folk lore of the area as you cruise up a stretch of Ireland's longest river to Athlone.
Dublin - the city of Joyce, Yeats, U2 and Riverdance - beckons today. Start with a short panoramic tour of the main sights then spend the rest of the day exploring. See Dublin Castle, Trinity College, the Old Jamestown Distillery or the Guinness Storehouse, and browse the city's many excellent shops.
Today, we head to County Kildare to visit to the Irish National Stud, home to some of Ireland's finest thoroughbreds. See the Living Legends (five retired geldings), browse the Irish Horse Museum and visit the adjacent Japanese Gardens before we continue to Kildare, one of Ireland's oldest towns.
Today's final stop is the Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons, where you'll see artefacts associated with such legendary names as Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Bette Davis and the Beatles.
This morning, you'll visit the Derryglad Folk Museum. This unique collection of over 6,000 items gives an excellent insight into Irish farm and folk life. From here head to Athlone, perhaps to visit the 12th-century castle, take a nature walk along the river or enjoy some traditional Irish hospitality.
Finally you'll take in Clonmacnoise, one of Europe's most highly regarded monastic sites. The extensive ruins include two round towers, a cathedral, churches and three Celtic crosses. A 20-minute audio-visual show sets the scene before a fascinating guided tour.
Your last morning is spent at Belvedere House and Gardens, the lovely Georgian estate adjacent to your hotel. Set in 160 acres, it boasts a fine Palladian villa, a wonderful Victorian walled garden and Ireland's largest folly. From here we'll head to the airport for your flight home.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one and a half hours.
Combining hotel transfers
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
Hotel spa facilities
To avoid disappointment, please pre-book any treatments direct with the hotel prior to going on holiday.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.