Multi-Day Tour

Epicurean Ireland 2017 (10 days)

Dream Escape - Scotland/UK/Northern Ireland

Dublin, Ireland To Shannon, Ireland

Valid for Departures Now Through: 04 May 2018


Day 1
Dublin, Ireland
The Shelbourne Hotel Breakfast

Day One: Arrival, Dublin '

On arrival at Dublin Airport, be met and welcomed by your experienced local chauffeur-guide who will provide a safe and comfortable journey into the city centre.

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 18th century, regarded as 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. A private, chauffeur-driven panoramic and orientation tour of the city provides a great overview.

The city is steeped in history, and Viking, medieval and Georgian influences have all left their marks - there is much to be discovered. Your first accommodation overlooks St Stephen’s Green, possibly Europe’s grandest square. This landmark property, built in 1824, is a much-loved “national treasure” and a place where history has been made. Here the Irish Constitution was drafted, literary masterpieces were penned and society was shaped.

Day 2
Dublin, Ireland
The Shelbourne Hotel Breakfast

Day Two: Discover Dublin

Spend the morning at leisure, relaxing and recharging following your flight the previous day. In the afternoon, take the opportunity to stretch your legs and explore the city with an eco-friendly bike tour. Led by a knowledgeable local guide, discover hidden gems and highlight attractions, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Merrion Square and Temple Bar.

Your guide will entertain and educate throughout the afternoon, ensuring you have a highly enjoyable afternoon that will leave you having experienced the city like a true local!

Day 3
Dublin, Ireland
The Shelbourne Hotel Breakfast

Day Three: A Tasty Bite in the Culinary Capital

Commence the day with a guided food trail accompanied by a private expert guide. They will take you off the beaten track to discover some of the Dublin’s foodie highlights. Along the way, your guide will entertain with a sprinkling of snippets on the history of Irish food and the city, pointing out interesting and quirky architecture as you pass.

Visit a range of bakeries, food halls, street markets and delicatessens where you will have the opportunity of meeting artisans whose families have traded for generations.

To follow, head to a cookery school in the city to explore the heritage of Irish food with a private Irish tapas cookery class.

Enjoy a hands-on experience and take a taste of Ireland home with you, learning how to cook modern Irish recipes using locally sourced, fresh Irish ingredients. The highlight will perhaps be getting to taste your delicious bite-sized canapés and finger food!

Day 4
Killarney, Ireland
Killarney Park Hotel Breakfast

Day Four: to Killarney Depart Dublin and travel 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.

The towering peaks appealed to the Victorian travellers seeking “grandeur”- the most sought-after experience among travellers during the early 19th century, 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 a doubt one of the country’s top destinations, well known for its excellent shops, restaurants and cosmopolitan appeal. During 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.

Old-world elegance meets modern day luxury at your second accommodation. The family-owned property offers the very best hospitality, a welcome retreat beside the warmth and comfort of a real log fire. It is perfectly positioned in peaceful private grounds framed by the Killarney National Park.

Day 5
Killarney, Ireland
Killarney Park Hotel Breakfast

Day Five: Killarney National Park – Take to the Water

Spend the day exploring Killarney National Park, Ireland’s first National Park which covers an area of 26,000 acres. The 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, Mucrkoss Lake and Lough Leane), studded with small islands. The area has attracted writers, poets and painters for centuries.

Truthfully, it is not difficult to see why whilst admiring the moody water scenery. Enjoy the experience of kayaking on one of the beautiful lakes. Departing from 15th century Ross Castle and led by a private guide, your journey will see you discover wooded islands, limestone caves and local history.

Wonderful wildlife-spotting opportunities include the free-roaming Red Deer and the massive, 8ft wing-spanned, white-tailed Sea Eagles, which have recently been re-introduced.

Day 6
Killarney, Ireland
Killarney Park Hotel Breakfast

Day Six: Killarney National Park – Take to the Saddle

Spend a second day exploring Killarney National Park with two specially arranged take to the saddle experiences – it is a nature-lover’s paradise. The free-roaming Red Deer have had a presence here since the last Ice Age. Today the park’s population is the last remaining in the country, and can be spotted grazing both on hillsides and in pasturelands.

Take to the Saddle – Horse-Riding Accompanied by an expert local guide, enjoy a trail ride through Knockreer Estate, which lies north of Lough Leane, the largest of the three lakes. As you travel on horse-back, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

Take to the Saddle – Cycling To follow, take to the saddle once again. This time on a biking tour led by another specialist private guide. Your route will take you along the perimeter of the Killarney Lakes and deep into the Killarney Park.

So much of the area is still very much in its ‘undiscovered’ state, and the company of expert guides will ensure that you enjoy the very best experience the area has to offer.

Day 7
Newmarket On Fergus, Ireland
Dromoland Castle Breakfast

Day Seven: Ireland through the Ages and the Castle Finale

Depart Killarney, travelling north. Today, discover hidden Ireland at its best: untouched, undiscovered and truly authentic. When not accompanied by our chauffeur-guide, your mode of transport is Ireland’s only skippered motor cruiser.

Part One - 16th century Ireland Visit a private Castle, set on its very own tiny island. Once a ruin, this 16th century building has been beautifully restored by a couple who once camped here. Irish Oak replaced the wooden floors and authentic furniture was painstakingly sourced to bring this haven back to life. It is now used as a private summer residence.

Savour a range of artisan food and drinks akin to those favoured in the 16th century and make sure you head to the roof-top terrace and capture the panoramic scenic views.

Part Two - 18th century Ireland Fast forward two hundred years and travel to a gorgeous Manor house and meet the lady of the manor, a wonderful character. Here, sample a wide range of local artisan cheese tastings paired with homemade spiced chutney and an organic apple syrup.

Part Three - 21st Century Fast forward 300 years and travel to a contemporary lakeside Villa. Aptly named The Lakehouse, it was designed by world renowned Irish architect Cathal O’Neill, who studied under Mies van der Rohe. Enjoy a tour of this beautiful private home by its charismatic owner and admire her private collection of Irish Contemporary Art & Sculpture by renowned Irish artists.

Your host, having studied with Chef Rick Stein, then welcomes you to a unique Irish Seafood Platter Meal served in the dining room which offers amazing 300 degree lake views.

Thereafter continue to your final accommodation, which is nothing short of spectacular.

Approached by a meandering drive through magnificent lawns, it sits in beautiful and ornamental grounds of more than 1,500 acres. Today, it seamlessly blends oldworld elegance with contemporary luxuries and an uncompromised tradition of delivering impeccable, unobtrusive service.

Set on 450 acres of parkland, the sprawling Estate has much to offer. The gardens, which are based on designs by Andre Le Notre, who also planned the gardens at Versailles, include a formal rose garden and a lily pond dating from 1812. Deer, pheasant and other wildlife roam the grounds surrounding the Castle, creating a natural ambience.

Day 8
Galway, Ireland
Dromoland Castle Breakfast

Day Eight: Galway

Visit the lively and picturesque city of Galway. It has a wonderful avant-garde culture and a fascinating mixture of locally owned speciality shops, often featuring locally-made crafts including hand knits, pottery, glass, jewellery and woodwork.

There can be no better way to discover the city and to get a taste of Irish culture than with a culinary walking tour, led by a specialist local guide. Explore the famous Galway Market and sample a delicious array of local produce from cheese and seafood to sweet treats and local beers.

Visit some of the city’s best known food destinations and award-winning restaurants alongside some lesser known gems. Your guide’s insider knowledge will ensure a unique, and not to mention delicious, experience!

You may wish to spend the afternoon further exploring Galway and the relics of its medieval past. Explore the Town Walls, dating back to 1270 and Lynch’s Castle, which is at the heart of the old medieval town and one of the oldest buildings in Ireland still used for commercial purposes. It is now a bank but is still the grandest 16th century town house in the city.

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.

Day 9
Newmarket On Fergus, Ireland
Dromoland Castle Breakfast

Day Nine: Burren Food Trail – Farm to Fork

Enjoy a unique exploration of The Burren – a vibrant and truly unique landscape – through a specially arranged food trail which will take you to some of the region’s finest producers and dining establishments.

The day will include a visit to a working sheep farm. Here, allow the farmer to show you around the farm, introduce you to the animals and tell you a little of how they are raised. There will also be a visit to traditional free range pig farm. The pigs, manly Saddleback and Tamworth enjoy a very natural environment; no chemical fertilisers, pesticides, no tail docking and most importantly no addition of medication to the feed.

To follow, head to a highly-respected and award-winning craft butcher. Sample a range of marinated BBQ meats and the famous American style steak burger – it promises to be a delicious experience! Continue to a sustainable farm which specialises in raising rare breed pigs. Meet with the owners before sampling some of their award-winning meats.

The day concludes with an incredible dinner. You may choose to dine in a traditional establishment which boasts a Michelin ‘Bib Gourmand’ and two AA Rosettes for dining. Their menu is an enthusiastic celebration of Ireland’s natural larder, utilising “wild food from land and sea” to mouthwatering effect.

Alternatively, enjoy dinner in the multi-award winning restaurant of a local boutique hotel. The sustainable approach to food preparation is evident, and the authenticity shines through. The menu combines classic French cuisine with local artisan produce to create a very special offering. For a true taste of Ireland, order the signature Rack of Burren lamb with herb crust served with local New Quay Spinach.

Day 10
Shannon, Ireland
None Breakfast

Day Ten: Homeward Bound

Your chauffeur-guide will accompany you to Shannon Airport where you will board your flight for onward travel

Tour Features


  • Cruises & Water Tours
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Family Vacations
  • Food & Wine
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking & Biking
  • Wildlife & Nature


Specially designed with a foodie family in mind, this ten-day chauffeur-driven journey incorporates a wealth of exclusive culinary experiences to ensure you return home having sampled a true taste of the Emerald Isle!

From the culinary offerings of vibrant cities to the artisan produce on the west coast, private guided food tours, fine dining and a private cookery class will ensure that the whole family enjoy a wealth of epicurean experiences.

Commencing in Dublin, the trip will take you to south to rolling hills and shimmering lakes of Killarney before continuing north along the famed west coast to conclude at a spectacular castle property. Luxurious accommodation and fun family activities feature throughout, ensuring a truly memorable and unique holiday.

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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The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

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


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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


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