Multi-Day Tour

The Grand Hibernian (12 days)

Dream Escape - Scotland/UK/Northern Ireland

Cork, Ireland To Dublin, Ireland

Valid for Departures Now Through: 02 May 2018

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Cork, Ireland
Killarney Park Hotel Breakfast

Day One: Arrival in Cork & to Killarney

On arrival at Cork Airport be met and welcomed to Ireland by an experienced local chauffeur-guide. Enjoy a safe and comfortable journey to the gorgeous south-west corner of Co. Kerry which has been celebrated since the early 19th century for the Lakes of Killarney and the most dramatic mountain ranges and coastal scenery in the country. Its towering peaks appealed to the Victorian travellers seeking “grandeur”- the most sought-after experience among travellers during the period, inspired by the poetry of Wordsworth and Byron. As a local author once wrote, “a day out of Kerry is a day wasted”. Killarney is very much at the heart of Kerry, and is without doubt one of the country’s top tourist destinations. Old-world elegance meets modern day luxury in your first accommodation. Each guest room is stylish and supremely comfortable, offering views of either the pretty hotel gardens, the church steeples in Killarney town, or unrivalled views of the towering mountains.

Day 2
Killarney, Ireland
Killarney Park Hotel Breakfast

Day Two: Killarney National Park

Spend the day exploring Killarney National Park 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, Mucrkoss Lake and Lough Leane), studded with little islands. The dramatic water scenery is subject to subtle shifts of light and colour; the area has attracted writers, poets and painters for centuries. It is not difficult to see why.

Day 3
Killarney, Ireland
Killarney Park Hotel Breakfast

Day Three: The Ring of Kerry

Following the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula, 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, medieval ruins, slate-coloured glacial lakes and welcoming towns and villages.

Day 4
Lahinch, Ireland
Moy House Breakfast

Day Four: The Wild Atlantic Way

Depart Killarney and travel north through the beautiful Co. Kerry countryside. A short ferry journey will transport you into Co. Clare, crossing the Shannon Estuary. If lucky, perhaps glimpse the dolphins that are often seen frolicking in the water. Continue along the famed west coast to the Cliffs of Moher. Selected as one of the signature experiences of the Wild Atlantic Way, they are a breath-taking discovery point and 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 wildness of the Atlantic Ocean. To follow, travel east to visit The Burren, which takes its name from boireann, meaning ‘rocky land’ in Gaelic. It is truly special - a place full of wonder, beauty and discovery that will be brought to life by your local specialist guide. Ruined forts and castles and numerous prehistoric sites dot the landscape. The region has been aptly described as one ‘vast memorial to bygone cultures’ and must surely count as one of the bestpreserved and broadly representative archaeological landscapes in Europe. Continue to your second accommodation, a striking property built in the mid-18th century as home to Sir Augustine Fitzgerald. In its majestic splendour, the house dominates the breath-taking Lahinch Bay, set on 15 acres of grounds adorned by mature woodland and a picturesque river. A particular highlight is the daily changing 5 course tasting menu which you will sample this evening in the Conservatory. The tall window frames offer wonderful ocean views – the perfect location to watch the sun go down on Lahinch Bay and the Cliffs of Moher.

Day 5
Inishmore, Aran Islands, Ireland
Moy House Breakfast

Day Five: Inis Mór

Located in the mouth of Galway Bay are the Aran Islands. Collectively, called the “Islands of Saints and Scholars”, and for the culturally curious are a ‘mustsee’. Gaelic Irish is the first language of the islanders and is still spoken in everyday life. They are known for their geological formation, historical monuments, cultural heritage and of course, knitwear. The off-white jumpers are highly recognisable due to the cable patterns on the chest. Drive north from your accommodation to Connemara Airport. From here, enjoy a short scenic flight to Inishmore (Inis Mór), the largest island although still only 13km long and 3km wide. There are several Bronze Age and Iron Age noted sites including Dún Aonghasa, which is now a World Heritage Site. This is an Iron or Bronze Age promontory fort, set on 300ft cliffs overlooking the wild Atlantic Ocean. Another highlight is Dún Dúchathair – meaning black stone ringfort. Due to erosion, it now sits on a rocky promontory that stretches out to sea. Make the return journey to the mainland by luxury skippered yacht; a truly unique way to travel.

Day 6
Cong, Ireland
Ashford Castle Breakfast

Day Six: via Galway to Ashford Castle

Today experience the sounds, sights and tastes of Connemara as your private guide takes you through one of the most beautiful regions of Ireland on a culinary trail. Take the Wild Atlantic Way out of Galway. Tucked away in a rugged, coastal landscape beside the old pier and coastguard building in Rossaveal, you can enjoy a tour of a modern aquaculture farm, where you can sample maritime delights from the rugged Atlantic coast as well as the freshest local produce. Experience a warm welcome and a fantastic array of local foods at your next stop, an experience complimented by stunning views of Kilkerrin Bay outside. To follow, step inside a prestigious castle and savour local crab paired with a wine. Continue to a cosy pub on the shores of a lough to sample award-winning meat beautifully paired with locally brewed beers. On your return to Galway, your final visit is to a distillery on the Galway Bay Promenade. Here, meet with the 4th generation distiller who will teach you the secrets of creating Poitin, one of the oldest alcohols made in Ireland, before you will get to experience it for yourself in a hand-crafted cocktail. This is most definitely a taste of Connemara that will stay with you forever. Prior to continuing to your final accommodation, perhaps spend a little more time in the lively and picturesque city of Galway. It has many relics of a medieval past and a wonderful avant-garde culture and a fascinating mixture of locally owned speciality shops. See the Cathedral, located on the west bank of the River Corrib, and also the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas, which dates from the 1300s – Christopher Columbus stopped off here on his way to discover the new world in 1477. Head north to the stunning Ashford Castle, an amazing estate extending to around 26,000 acres. Overlooking Lough Corrib, the main house was built in 1870 for the Guinness Family. The estate dates back to 1228 and it is considered one of the finest properties on the island.

Day 7
Connemara, Ireland
Ashford Castle Breakfast

Day Seven: Connemara

Spend the morning exploring Connemara with a specialist walking guide. Situated in the west of Co. Galway, it is one of Ireland’s most iconic destinations and is celebrated for its ethereal beauty. Oscar Wilde described it as a ‘savage beauty’ and its patchwork of brooding lakes, rugged coastline, mountains, and windswept bogs certainly gives a sense of splendid isolation. The region is also home to some of Ireland’s finest beaches, with wide stretches of pure white sands lapped by turquoise seas, picturesque fishing villages, tranquil coves, dramatic islands and some of the richest culture and traditions in Europe. It delivers a wonderfully Irish experience. Perhaps spot the local famous residents, the Connemara ponies. They are known for their athleticism, versatility and good disposition and today are known for making excellent show ponies. This afternoon, see stunning Lough Corrib, Ireland’s second largest lough, from aboard a privately reserved 39-foot luxury motor-yacht. Whether you choose a leisurely pace, or prefer to cruise at high speeds with the wind in your hair, there is no better way to experience the water. Enjoy unspoiled views of the surrounding mountains as you cruise along Lough Corrib, and it’s many islands. Head to the most famous island, Inchagoill, where you will embark upon a private guided walking tour. Your guide will provide a historical insight to the island while you enjoy spectacular views of the Maumturk mountain range and visit 5th and 12th century ruins. Alternatively, you may prefer to follow a nature trail; the island boasts enchanting woodlands and some secluded beaches to be discovered. Enjoy a Champagne reception upon your return from your walk before returning to the harbour.

Day 8
Dublin, Ireland
The Merrion Hotel Breakfast

Day Eight: To Dublin

Travel east to Dublin with your driver and guide. Pause en route to visit Strokestown Park, which is home to Strokestown Park House and The Irish National Famine Museum. Step inside the 18th century Palladian mansion and see the wonderful original furnishings, or take a walk outside in the walled gardens. See the formal Rose Garden, a wildflower garden, and the breathtaking herbaceous border which is listed as the longest herbaceous border in Britain and Ireland. The Irish National Famine Museum was designed to commemorate the history of the famine of Ireland and in some ways to balance the history of the 'Big House'. It stands as a moving tribute to commemorate the millions who suffered. Afterwards, continue to Newgrange; the best known Irish passage tomb which dates back to approximately 3200BC. Set on Ireland’s east coast, Dublin is an essential stop for any visitor to the Emerald Isle. With a history that stretches back over 1,000 years, from Viking rule to the “Age of Elegance” and the battle for independence a century later, there is much to be discovered. Today, the city is regarded as one of the liveliest and most atmospheric in Europe Check into your final accommodation, which is certainly one of, if not the best hotel in Dublin. Its understated listed Georgian exterior gives little indication of the sumptuous, graceful elegance inside. Each guest room has been exquisitely decorated using Irish fabrics and antiques to reflect the architecture and original interiors of the 18th century town house. Throughout, great care has been taken to retain all the outstanding architectural features for which Georgian Dublin is so famous: intricate plasterwork, high ceilings and large windows.

Day 9
Dublin, Ireland
The Merrion Hotel Breakfast

Day Nine: Dublin

Spend the day exploring the city with your chauffeur-guide. The medieval quarter became a Viking hub in the 7th century and is home to many of the city’s oldest buildings, including ancient Dublin Castle which later came to symbolise British rule in Ireland, and two famed cathedrals: Christ Church, founded in 1030 by Sitriuc, King of the Dublin Norsemen, and the truly spectacular St. Patrick’s, the largest in the country. The Georgian period was a golden era for Dublin. The city has come to be renowned for the elegant architecture of this era, characterised by graceful terraces, wrought-iron balconies and colourful fanlight doorways. Merrion Square, perhaps the grandest of the squares, is the address of Leinster House, home to the Irish Parliament. Around the square, plaques commemorate former residents such as WB Yeats (no. 82) and Oscar Wilde and his parents (no.1). Most visitors head for Trinity College, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. It houses the “Book of Kells”, one of the most richly decorated of Ireland’s medieval manuscripts. There are many other landmarks. See the General Post Office, scene of the 1916 Easter Rising and birthplace of the Irish Nation. Whether the holes in its pillars are bullet holes from that historic conflict has been long debated, but even the suggestion is enough to stimulate the imagination. Perhaps enjoy an enlightening guided tour of Kilmainham Gaol which has held some of the most famous political and military leaders in Irish history. Perhaps visit sprawling Phoenix Park, the official home to both the President of Ireland and a herd of wild fallow deer, are both popular escapes within the city. Near to the entrance is the world-famous Guinness Brewery, home to the country’s best-loved export; why not enjoy a pint of the black stuff in the Gravity Bar after a tour of the Guinness Storehouse?

Day 10
Dublin, Ireland
None Breakfast, Dinner, Snack

Days Ten & Eleven:

Belmond Grand Hibernian This morning a unique experience awaits as you step aboard the luxury Belmond Grand Hibernian— contemporary carriages inspired by Dublin’s architecture, fine cuisine enhanced with local delicacies and an ever-changing backdrop of Ireland’s celebrated landscapes. Settle in to your elegant private cabin and anticipate an unforgettable journey. Each day brings a new adventure, with highlights including inspiring destinations, world-class cuisine and traditional entertainment as evening falls. Enjoy an indulgent Irish afternoon tea as the train leaves Dublin and travels north to Belfast. Here, head off for a private, guided tour of The Titanic Experience, an award-winning attraction spread over nine galleries which details the history of the ill-fated ocean liner. Learn of the ship’s origins, construction, launch and legacy. Return to the train and enjoy a leisurely dinner followed by the evening’s entertainment. The next day, following a delicious breakfast, disembark to explore the historic Viking port of Waterford, reputedly Ireland’s oldest town. Today it is the perfect blend of ancient and modern. Its collection of pubs, gourmet restaurants, excellent shops and boutiques coexist with medieval city walls, quaintly cobbled backstreets and the grandeur of historic buildings still standing proud after more than a thousand years. Enjoy an exclusive tour of Curraghmore House and gardens, followed by a delightful afternoon tea. A truly magnificent mansion, it is the historic home of the 9th Marquis of Waterford. To follow, visit the House of Waterford Crystal and learn of historical and contemporary production techniques and see the master craftsmen create beloved sparkling pieces by hand. In the evening, a sumptuous dinner on board is complemented by a traditional local music performance in the Observation Car.

Day 11
Dublin, Ireland
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Belmond Grand Hibernian

Day 12
Dublin, Ireland
None Breakfast

Day Twelve: Onward Travel

Savour your last breakfast aboard as the train returns to Dublin, where a chauffeur-guide will be waiting to collect you. Travel to Dublin Airport, where you will board your flights for onward travel.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

  • Adventure
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Family Vacations
  • Food & Wine
  • Rail Journeys
  • Sightseeing

Description

Experience the myths, charm and culture of the Emerald Isle on this twelve-day tailor-made journey. Explore the contrasting cities of Dublin & Galway alongside the stunning countryside and rugged beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way on the West Coast. Lavish accommodation, exclusive visits, inspiring outdoor adventures and an incredible luxury train journey combine to ensure you will be truly enchanted by this captivating country.

About Us

Dream Escape is your Virtuoso on-site providing the ultimate luxury tailor-made travel service in England, Scotland & Ireland, specializing in the following experiences: Private boxes at events including the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo; Country pursuits and golf with access to private clubs and estates; Equestrian - Stud visits, polo and racing; Whisky Experiences. Private distillery visits and tastings; Exclusive Villa Collection; Incentive and board meetings; Private Castle stays; Celebrations and Events; Bespoke City breaks in London, Edinburgh & Dublin, ; Shorex; Chauffeur guided touring; 'Set Jetting.'

Insider Tip

Our in-house Head of Guiding, Rosie Peattie, is the Mary Poppins of guiding. She knows everything and everyone and adds extraordinary vibrancy to each programme she accompanies!

Terms & Conditions

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Reviews and Recommendations for Dream Escape - Scotland/UK/Northern Ireland

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recommend


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Perfect Itinerary

By: Jordan D


Reviewed on: 12 Sep 2016

Dream Escape put together a wonderful array of activities, lodgings, and restaurants for us to enjoy on our first trip to Scotland. Not being familiar with the lay of the land, it was nice to have expert help in ensuring we experienced a great deal of the pleasures the country has to offer. We would highly recommend using them for your next trip.
Travel Advisor:  Susan Sparks
Not Recommended

Edinburgh

By: Struie


Reviewed on: 23 Sep 2017

We had a very poor experience with Dream Escapes - numerous issues continued to plague our trip - one thing going wrong can be overlooked but their were many issues that greatly affected our ability to enjoy our trip.

Scotland Ireland

By: lola


Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2017

We had a terrific experience but our van in Scotland could have been better..
Travel Advisor:  Michael Distler