Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Independent, Private

Irish Exceptional Experience (12 days)

Adams & Butler Ireland

Dublin, Ireland To Dublin Airport, Ireland

Valid for Departures Now Through: 14 Nov 2018

Irish Exceptional Experience (12 days)

Day 3

Birr Castle Demesne , Ireland

Day 4

Bundorragha Harbour , Ireland

Day 5

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Day 6

Secret Ireland Escape, Ireland

Day 9

Middleton Distillery, Ireland

Day 10

Ballyfin House, Ireland

Day 11

Ballyfin House, Ireland

Day 12

Dublin Airport, Ireland

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Dublin, Ireland
The Merrion Hotel Breakfast

Day 1 - Arrive Dublin

You will be met in the arrivals hall by your driver - Private Transfer to your hotel.

Enjoy a walking tour of the city with Pat Liddy, guide to HRH The Queen.

Enjoy a 3-hour walking tour of Dublin, and discover the historic city’s main sites, such as the bohemian Temple Bar district, and Dublin Castle. Immerse yourself in Irish history, and hear music and stories that make Ireland's capital city so unique.

Highlights:

Stroll along the cobbles of Temple Bar and Trinity College,

catching the cadences of Irish accents cascading through the streets

Stand by the River Liffey and tilt your nose to inhale the hops

wafting from the Guinness Brewery

Marvel at the soft lilt of the Gaelic language

Learn about some of Ireland's famous writers and freedom

fighters

Walk across the enchanting Ha'penny Bridge

Later enjoy afternoon tea with historian Turtle Bunbury!

Speaker on Irish Culture - Turtle Bunbury – quite special!

The Hon. Turtle Bunbury, the younger son of Lord Rathdonnell, is a best-selling author and historian based in Ireland. His books include the Vanishing Ireland series, Sporting Legends of Ireland, The Irish Pub & Living in Sri Lanka. He was a curator of the first ever History Festival of Ireland in June 2012. He is the presenter on the 'Genealogy Roadshow', an ongoing tv series which first aired on Ireland's RTE1 television channel in 2011. In the 1990s he studied law and modern history at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and Trinity College Dublin and was then a journalist for several years on the South China Morning Post and in Cambodia.

Day 2
Kildare, Ireland
Wicklow, Ireland
The Merrion Hotel Breakfast

Day 2 - The Grand Tour of Kildare & Wicklow

The Grand Tour is the quintessential circuit of Kildare and Wicklow, taking in the most spectacular scenery, the most beautiful big houses and gardens and the most intriguing Early Christian heritage sites… in a route as suited to a short visit as a long, leisurely meander.

Historically, the ‘Grand Tour’ was a European sojourn undertaken by young aristocrats, a rite of passage soaking up the continental highlights. Kildare and Wicklow recapture this notion, offering a complete Irish experience within a short drive of Dublin.

Roam from St. Kevin’s sixth-century monastic settlement at Glendalough to great mansions like Russborough and Carton House. Stop to smell the flowers in ravishing Irish gardens, savour warm village welcomes, or soak up epic scenery ranging from grassy plains, glacial lakes and wild mountain passes to a surprising eastern coastline. Enjoy a private Sheepdog demonstration at Russborough House.

Along with the hotspots, you’ll find plenty of hidden gems: a Givenchy dress worn by Princess Grace at the Newbridge Museum of Style Icons; a submerged townland beneath the Blessington Lakes, a fairy bower at Lullymore, at the heart of the Bog of Allen. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure right on Dublin’s doorstep.

Once back in Dublin, enjoy a private traditonal music pub crawl.

Day 3
Birr Castle Demesne , Ireland
Ashford Castle Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 - Tour To The West – Royal Lunch

Travel through the gentle midlands of Ireland, a land of sensuously curving rivers, rolling hills and wide open bogs where grouse and skylark song breaks the windswept silence. There will be hidden gardens to explore, and historic mansions to visit.

Lunch at Birr Castle with the Earl & Countess of Ross

Birr Castle Demesne is open to the public every day of the year and attracts an average of over fifty thousand visitors annually. The castle itself, however, remains a private residence: still the home of the family which originally built it and has lived there ever since for some fourteen generations. Two hundred years ago, this family, called Parsons, inherited the Earldom of Rosse, and the present head of the family living at Birr Castle is Brendan Parsons, Seventh Earl of Rosse.

You will first be entertained with sherry or sparkling wine in the tapestried hall, which provides the most appropriate setting for a brief history of the castle and of the family.

Lunch is served…

Lunch is served in the rich red dining room, where the last seven generations, who built up everything from the Telescope to the gardens, look down from their formal portraits on the walls. Under a massive early ormolu and cut-glass chandelier, the main castle dining table seats over twenty whilst a more intimate one in an alcove overlooking the forecourt seats a further eight or nine. The tables are set with various family heirlooms, in silver, china or glass, all on family linen tablecloths and if the party is not too large, lunch ends with coffee served in cups specially commissioned to portray the castle nearly 200 years ago.

The tour continues…

After lunch, the family portraits and furniture in the dining room may be pointed out, as well as the great staircase, which dates from the reign of Charles II and is made entirely of yew wood.

Unless already included in the programme before lunch, Lord Rosse will take the group into the gardens to see the Great Telescope, as well as the galleries of Ireland’s Historic Science Centre, which is located in the castle’s old stable block. Lord Rosse will also show the group as much of the Demesne’s beautiful gardens as the programme may allow for.

Then back on the road to Ashford Castle – Irelands Grandest Castle Hotel

Dinner at your hotel tonight

Day 4
Bundorragha Harbour , Ireland
Ashford Castle Breakfast

Day 4 - Rib & Helicopter Tour OR Inishturk, Off-shore Inhabited Island

Rib & Helicopter Tour

Being picked up at Bundorragha Harbour by a powerboat/rib, and

visiting mussel and oyster farms along the fjord, with explanations and

demonstrations of what is involved,

Sampling fresh oysters with a glass of Guinness or white wine.

Then follows a scenic walk to a traditional farm to watch a

demonstration of sheep shearing, working sheep dogs and turf

cutting.

On returning to the boat, travel along the fjord to a scenic

spot or deserted island (weather permitting) to enjoy a special Delphi

picnic lunch.

After lunch, a visit to a deserted Famine Village, only

accessible by boat, where we can begin to understand the complex tragedy

of the famine. This includes everything from the dependency on the potato

to the culture and politics of the time and the harsh evictions that soon

followed and scattered the Irish to the four corners of the world. A

very special and memorable day to treasure forever.

Lastly, Return by Helicopter to Ashford with a final chance to take in the mesmerising Connemara coastal scenery "it really was for real".

Alternative Activity instead of the helicopter – Seafood & Farming Traditions Day

Killary Harbour is a dramatic deep fjord that penetrates 12km inland from the Atlantic and into which the lakes and rivers of the Delphi valley drain. It produces what is arguably Europe’s best selection of fresh shellfish within surrounding farm lands that have remained unchanged for generations.

The day begins with pickup by powerboat at the pier and visiting mussel and oyster farms along the fjord, explaining and demonstrating what is involved, and sampling fresh oysters with a glass of Guinness or white wine.

Then follows a scenic walk to a traditional farm to watch a demonstration of sheep shearing, working sheep dogs and turf cutting. On returning to the boat, travel along the fjord to a scenic spot to enjoy a special picnic lunch before returning to the pier at about 4pm.

Day 5
The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Adare Manor Breakfast

Day 5 - Tour to Adare by way of The Cliffs & The Burren

The Cliffs of Moher, a sheer precipice 8 km long and rising to a height of 203m, is one of the most impressive stretches coastline in the West of Ireland, remarkable especially at nesting seasons for the quantity and variety of seabirds there.

The Burren - Words simply cannot do justice to this eerie, peculiar, 193-square mile area of ancient seabed that suffered glacial activity during its long history. The Burren, is a bare lunar-like landscape of a limestone plateau dotted with Stone Age forts and megalithic tombs.

Snuggled in a wooded and lush countryside setting, Adare is widely regarded as being Ireland’s prettiest and most picturesque village. Situated on the River Maigue, a tributary of the Shannon river, Adare (Gaelic name: "Ath Dara" - the "ford of the oak" - from the combination of water and woodland) dates back, at least, to the early 13th century. The bridge by which you enter the village, in the shadow of the ruined Desmond Castle, was built in 1329. Two groups of world famous ornate, thatched cottages line part of the village’s broad main street, punctuated with beautiful stone buildings, medieval monasteries and ruins.

On arrival at Adare, be greeted by a horse & hound welcome

Day 6
Secret Ireland Escape, Ireland
Sheen Falls Lodge Breakfast

Day 6 - Secret Ireland Escape

Discover a whole new standard of Irish hospitality with private access to the parts of Ireland many rarely get to see.

Experience a 'new' Ireland as we arrive at a modern villa, designed by a world renowned Irish architect. Meet the owners and view their private collection of contemporary Irish art & sculpture. Relish as only the best of fresh Irish seafood is served for lunch - a truly gastronomic experience. Dessert is served with a range of artisan treats, Nespresso coffees and/or Irish Liqueurs.

First Stop - Villa combined with Art Tour and Seafood Platter Lunch

Second Stop - Arrive at one of the following:

a) Hunters Manor- Receive three Irish whisky tastings in a private Shebeen in the company of the Lady of the Manor.

b) Private Castle- receive a full tour to the rooftop terrace and enjoy a Meade tasting at this secluded castle. Nestled on its very own island and restored to its original condition, the castle is now used as a private summer home.

Final Stop - Arrive at Garrykennedy, one of Ireland's smallest villages. Choose any of the following experiences:

a) Learn how to pull the perfect Pint of Guinness

b) Enjoy a wide selection of warm artisan tapas

c) Receive a local Craft Beer Tasting of a light beer, The Blonde, or, a dark ale The Ruby Red

Your luxury mode of transport for the day is The AZUL, Ireland's only skippered motor yacht.

Then, onwards to the Kingdom of Kerry

Day 7
Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
Sheen Falls Lodge Breakfast

Day 7 - Gap of Dunloe & Dingle Peninsula

The Gap of Dunloe Day Tour - Once in Killarney tour to the world renowned Kate Kearney’s cottage. Here, you take a 7-mile jaunt on a pony and trap through the Gap of Dunloe where you can view a spectacular glaciated valley. The Gap is a narrow mountain pass between MacGillycuddy Reeks (to the west) and the Purple Mountain (to the east) and five lakes all connected by the river Loe. This area is often described as one of the most spectacular glaciated valleys in Western Europe. This part of the journey just takes under 2 hours.

Your pony and trap ride ends at Lord Brandon’s Cottage where you can enjoy a light snack (not included).

This afternoon explore the Dingle Peninsula.

Set off along the shore of Dingle Bay to explore this lovely peninsula. You pass Inch Strand where ancient red cliffs lead down to a sandy spit going far out into the sea. This was one of the entrances to Tir Na Oge, the land of eternal youth of the legend of Niamh and Ossian. Here also is Annascul, where John Crean lived, an Antarctic explorer with Shackleton. Coming on towards Dingle the road winds along the coast, past the ruins of Minard Castle.

The Dingle Peninsula has been inhabited for almost 6,000 years. The first settlers on the peninsula were nomadic hunters and gatherers who foraged on the coast for their food. Later, Stone Age man and Bronze Age man were to build their tombs, erect their standing stones, and till the land for the first time. The Celtic population arrived in the couple of hundred years before the birth of Christ and brought their ancestral goddess "Duibhne", after which the Dingle Peninsula has been named in Gaelic: Corca Dhuibhne, the tribe of Duibhne. In the centuries that followed, the peninsula was to be visited by Vikings, Normans and the English.

Day 8
Cork, Ireland
Hayfield Manor Hotel Breakfast

Day 8 - Tour to Cork

Explore Kinsale - Gourmet Capital of Ireland

Kinsale town's fame was established years ago as a quaint seaside town with delicious restaurants and carefully preserved 18th-century buildings. In the 1960's Heidi McNeice, the wife of the poet opened the first restaurant here and it rapidly became a magnet for the world's glitterati. In the last decade it has become unquestionably the gourmet capital of Ireland; with music and cinema stars bidding up local real estate values, it is also one of the most expensive.

Kinsale is a National Tidy Towns Winner too but for all that it's still a very agreeable place. Once, it was an important naval port. In 1601 the Irish joined forces with Spain against the English, and the Spanish fleet anchored here before the disastrous battle of Kinsale, which led to the 'Flight of the Earls' and put an end to the rebellion against Elizabeth I and her reconquest of Ireland. St Multose Church is the oldest building in town, parts of it dating from the 13th century. Inside are the old town stocks. The churchyard has several interesting 16th-century gravestones which in spring are covered in white bells and bluebells, and in summer red valerian grows out of crevices in every wall. Desmond Castle, a tower house from the 1500s, was once used as a customs house, and later as a prison for captured American sailors in the War of Independence; it now houses an 'International Museum of Wine'. There is also an interesting museum in the old courthouse and market building, with material associated with the life of the town and port through the centuries.

Day 9
Middleton Distillery, Ireland
Hayfield Manor Hotel Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9 - Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey

Visit Middleton Distillery, and enjoy a private tour and tasting.

Set on 15 acres and beautifully restored, this is where the true heart of Irish whiskey beats. The old distillery is a unique experience with some of the buildings dating back to 1795. Take a journey through history and see the old kilns, mills and malting, water wheel and old warehouses.

You will be lead through the extraordinary story of Jameson Irish Whiskey. A short film sets the scene before your guide walks you through the old distillery. After the tour enjoy a tutored whisky tasting to become a certified Irish Whiskey Taster!

The Jameson restaurant, the Malt House, is a great place to enjoy a delicious lunch before hitting the road. Don’t forget to pick up your personalised bottle of Jameson, with your choice of engraving.

Then, on to meet the three Jameson sisters, Kristin, Andrea and Tara- ninth generation direct descendants of John Jameson, whose name is synonymous with Irish whiskey.

Enjoy tea followed by a glass of Jameson poured by a Jameson!

Day 10
Ballyfin House, Ireland
Ballyfin Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Day 10 - Ballyfin House

Be sure to arrive at Ballyfin Demense in time for lunch, as the stay includes Irish breakfast, lunch, tea, coffee & homemade cookies & cake, soft drinks, a pre-dinner drinks reception, gourmet dinner, and use of most on-site recreational facilities (equipment supplied).

Spend the day at leisure enjoying the estate and its varied activities including boating and fishing on the lake, biking riding, picnics, exploring the 600-acre estate, swimming pool and fitness centre, spa treatments, wine and whisky tasting, and feasting on Chef Cordonniers fine food.

Day 11
Ballyfin House, Ireland
Ballyfin Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Day 11 - Ballyfin House

Spend the full day on the estate exploring at your leisure

Day 12
Dublin Airport, Ireland
None None

Day 12 - Transfer to Dublin Airport

Tour Features

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Description

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About Us

Adams & Butler is synonymous with exclusivity and a service bespoke to the desires of the most discerning of travelers. Our team of creative travel designers tailor-make journeys of distinction, providing an exclusive and authentic cultural experience for our guests. We custom-design all our itineraries to suit your interests and wishes and pride ourselves on providing the most personalised care and attention to detail. At Adams & Butler, we give you the vacation you want – a unique experience, designed just for you.Visit our website at www.adamsandbutler.com. We conduct business in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French.

Insider Tip

Don't miss a private visit with Lord Ross, Brother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II, at his private residence at Birr Castle.

Terms & Conditions

Please visit http://www.adamsandbutler.com/terms-conditions for Adams & Butler Terms and Conditions.



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Reviews and Recommendations for Adams & Butler Ireland

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Fabulous!

By: Mendy & Kendall


Reviewed on: 27 Sep 2016

We loved Ireland and a great part of that was how we were treated and serviced while visiting. Our hotels were wonderful, accommodations lovely and comfortable and the locations of each were ideal. By far, our driver for the week, "Paddy" was a real highlight. He was always on time and seemingly effortlessly accommodated our wishes and modifications to our itinerary, even when we know it meant much more driving for him. We met each morning early and exhausted each day with as much site-seeing as possible. Paddy offered great conversation in between venues and navigated the loads of buses so that we never wasted time in queue. We ended our week in Ireland regretting nothing but the lack of more time to spend in such a beautiful country. The People, landscape, architecture, the food and of course the drink were all delightful - it is a very special place. At the beginning of our trip Paddy was our driver and at the end we felt we had made a friend!! Thank you, K & M
Travel Advisor:  Debbie Crockett-Rice

Ireland trip

By: cate


Reviewed on: 29 Aug 2017

Adams and Butler did a wonderful job for us. the driver they assigned to us Paul Hehir was great. He became part of the family by the second day with us. he went out of his way to make our trip memorable. The places we stayed were fabulous. The service and food were terrific. Everything that they recommended turned out to be memorable. we would definitely use them again in our travel planning.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Pulliam

Aug 2017 Tour of Scotland

By: Carmel Traveler


Reviewed on: 31 Aug 2017

Great. There were some miscommunications but only of an aggravation nature not any big issues. Tour went smoothly. Good accommodations, great food. Checked off most of the items we wanted to do that were not specified by the Adams and Butler tour. The two tour guides hired by Adams & Butler in Edinburg were outstanding. Good experience, would recommend working with Adams and Butler to others.
Travel Advisor:  Dennis Wallace

A most memorable Scotland adventure

By: Susan Roche


Reviewed on: 19 Oct 2017

We considered planning our trip to the Scottish Highlands ourselves but quickly realized what a monumental task it would be. We contacted Katie Boydston with CSB Travel and she said she had the perfect tour planners. She wasn't kidding. Adams and Butler blew it out of the park. From Edinburgh to Isle of Skye our hotels were incredible. My husband particularly loved that Queen Victoria spent a week at Inverlochy Castle - hands down our favorite place to stay. Our tour guide/driver Davey was phenomenal. Simply perfect for us. My husband and son are history buffs and he didn't disappoint. Conversation in the car was lively and at every stop he added so much more to the sights than just taking the tour. He even found us some out of the way places to have lunch that were special treats. He was always professional and just delightful to be with. At the end of the trip, we felt like we were saying goodbye to close friend. We will definitely book again with Adams & Butler.
Travel Advisor:  Katie Rollins

Top notch

By: CC


Reviewed on: 16 May 2018

Our trip to Scotland was just a dream! We were thrilled with the itinerary and all that we got to see and do. We felt it was a very good balance of relaxation and adventure. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Fiona our walking guide in Edinburgh. She was so lovely and full of interesting tidbits we would have never known about Edinburgh and Scotland without her! We only had a few minor issues which is inevitable with any major trip. We paid extra for the GPS with Europcar and once we got on the road it became apparent the GPS was not working in the rental car. We have since gotten reimbursed for that, but it was a bit of a headache while trying to navigate with just our cell phones. Additionally, we were not aware that the Castle Hotel required a sport coat for dinner. Luckily they did have a closet full of coats available for loan. Thank you so much for all your assistance with our trip!
Travel Advisor:  Peter Rubin

Scotland

By: Susan


Reviewed on: 05 Jul 2018

We would certainly recommend Adams & Butler. Our driver/guide, Paul was outstanding. He was knowledgeable, congenial and a good fit for our group. He thoughtfully broaded our understanding of this lovely country and it's people. All our arrangements went smoothly and accommodations were lovely and comfortable.
Travel Advisor:  Valerie Ann Wilson

Scotland trip

By: Anonymous


Reviewed on: 12 Jul 2018

The itinerary was very well designed. Our two tour guides were exceptional. Fiona in Edinburgh was knowledgeable and erudite. Our guide for 6 days, Ian Linn, was a gem. He was attentive, on task , personable, and knowledgeable. To learn about Scotland from a native Like Ian was a memory we will cherish. Our only. Issue was the quality of the accommodations. Our hotel in Edinburgh was a business hotel with a decent location and was fair. The Fonab castle was fine. The Strathness House in Inverness was a second rate Hampton Inn We’ve had better breakfasts at Hampton Inns. The room was small, had a slanted floor and was poor. We switched to a larger room the second night but It was hardly what we expected from our previous Virtuoso experiences. the Nights at the Inch hotel had a similar low quality room but the food was quite nice. Our last night st the Crossbadket Castle was exquisite. This was the quality accommodations we’ve had in previous Virtuoso trips
Travel Advisor:  Amy Metzger

wales

By: RBC


Reviewed on: 14 Jul 2018

Charlie (driver / guide) was excellent. Very well organized and helpful in planning each day. very accomodating. And full of knowledge
Travel Advisor:  Nathan Cripps