Guided Rail Tour of Ireland

At a glance

7 days / 6 nights
Departing 09 Jun 2024, 01 Sep 2024
From AUD$3899pp

Your Itinerary

Day One – Arrive in Dublin and Meet for a Welcome Dinner

However you choose to reach Dublin, we’ll be happy to help make your journey as smooth as possible. Once here, check in to your hotel in the centre of town before meeting your Tour Leader and fellow travellers for a welcome dinner.

Your Accommodation in Dublin

Close to Grafton Street and St Stephen’s Green, your hotel lies at the very heart of Dublin’s fashionable centre, and yet there’s a calm about the interior that makes this an ideal place from which to explore. Recently refurbished and upgraded to a high standard, en-suite rooms are thoughtfully furnished in soothing tones and contain every feature to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Inclusions: Welcome dinner
Overnight: Dublin

Ha Penny Bridge, Dublin

Day Two – Discovering Dublin and Ireland’s History

Take your time over breakfast in the hotel restaurant, before stepping out on your first day’s exploration with your guide. First, stroll to 13th-century Dublin Castle, one of the most important structures in Ireland, seat of centuries of power both British and Irish and now the base of Irish Government. Here, visit the enclosed Dubh Linn garden – with landscaping in a Celtic national style – and the Chester Beatty Library, regarded as one of the best museums in Europe and filled with manuscripts, rare books and other treasures from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. Having had lunch here, you’ll head back to the centre of the city via Iveagh Gardens, the colourful 19th-century jewel beloved of residents and visitors. Take the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure – we’ll provide plenty of information to help you make the most of your time here and throughout the tour’s route.

Meals: Breakfast
Inclusions: Morning tour
Overnight: Dublin

Trinity College*

Day Three – North by Rail to Belfast

This morning, take a short transfer to Dublin Connolly station and board the train for the 2.5-hour journey along the coast of the Republic, across the border into County Down and onwards to Belfast. On arrival at the station, you’ll be relieved of your luggage before you’re met by a local guide and taken on a food-themed walking tour of the city. Alongside stories of the city’s food history, you’ll gently stroll while sampling some of the best and tastiest local dishes as you eat and drink your way around traditional bars, cafes, and world-class shops, for an authentic taste of Northern Ireland.

Your Accommodation in Belfast

Belfast has enjoyed a rapid renaissance in the past 20 years. On this trip, you’ll stay at a recently created wonder set in the former headquarters and drawing office of the city’s most famous shipbuilders, at the very heart of the story of RMS Titanic. Its sturdy, unmistakably industrial facade hides a slick interior, with high-spec bedrooms and range of dining while the staff are friendly and chatty.

Meals: Breakfast
Inclusions: Rail Ticket, Belfast walking tour
Overnight: Belfast

Day Four – Belfast’s History and the Story of RMS Titanic

Today is a day of contrasting history. In the morning, you’ll be met at your hotel and set off to discover both sides of the city’s story. Belfast’s turbulent 20th-century history is complex, and not an easy story to tell, but your expert local guide is well versed in presenting it in fair terms and with a sense of unique Belfast humour. Later, delve deeper at your own pace at the superb Ulster Museum – housed in a wonderful Edwardian-cum-brutalist architectural masterpiece – before a visit to the award-winning Titanic Belfast Experience, the state-of-the-art attraction dedicated to the story of ill-fated RMS Titanic. Enjoy an evening at leisure, perhaps with dinner at your hotel and a stroll on the river.

Meals: Breakfast
Inclusions: City tour, Ulster Museum, Titanic Belfast Experience
Overnight: Belfast

Titanic Belfast Experience*

Day Five – Antrim, the Giant’s Causeway and Onwards to Delightful Derry

A day of travel and exploration today, as you set off from your hotel by private coach heading north away from the city, taking the gorgeous winding route along the coast of County Antrim. With photo stops along the way, you’ll pass sweeping Whitebay, take in the villages of Cushendun and Cushendall, and the town of Ballycastle on the way to one of the island’s most famous sights, the Giant’s Causeway. There’s plenty of time to linger here, or even to clamber on the basalt columns for the more intrepid, perhaps feeling a little of the prehistoric atmosphere that pervades this magical location. In the afternoon, allow your luggage to go ahead by road while you travel on one of the UK’s most scenic railways which hugs the coastline between Coleraine and Derry-Londonderry. Check in to your hotel and take dinner at leisure, before meeting later in the evening at one of Derry’s most famous pubs for a creamy pint and a live session of traditional Irish music.

Your Accommodation in Derry-Londonderry

Derry has certainly undergone a dramatic metamorphosis in the 21st century. Indeed, the city had no hotel to speak of until 2001, but now the city attracts ever more eager visitors. You’ll stay at a popular four-star hotel on the banks of the River Foyle, just a five-minute walk from the city walls. Friendly staff here are only too keen to make sure your stay is a memorable one, each more proud than the next that guests now flock to their hometown.

Meals: Breakfast
Inclusions: Coach & Rail Travel
Overnight: Derry-Londonderry

Giant’s Causeway*

Day Six – The Story of Derry, a Private Audience and a Local Beer Masterclass

Much of the history of the city of Derry-Londonderry can be told from its 16th-century walls, the largest monument in state care in Northern Ireland. This morning you’ll enjoy a walk along their ramparts in the company of an expert local guide, telling the story of the city, its ancient battles and more recent challenges. Like Belfast, it’s a tricky tale to tell, but doing so with balance and a glint is something the best storytellers manage with aplomb. Then you’ll make your way to the stunning Guildhall, where you’ll have the unique experience of a VIP mayoral reception and tour of the Guildhall itself. Later, stroll across the Peace Bridge to the Waterside and take lunch at the acclaimed, locally owned Walled City Brewery, followed by a beer masterclass, discovering how their award-winning brews come to fruition. Enjoy some afternoon time at leisure, before meeting up again with your travelling companions in the evening for a farewell dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Inclusions: Walking tour, Guildhall tour, beer masterclass
Overnight: Derry-Londonderry

Day Seven – Return to Belfast

Time to head home this morning. You’ll be transferred to the station to make the scenic rail trip back to Belfast, from where you can commence your onward journey home. Wherever you’re headed, we’ll be happy to help in making the journey as smooth as possible.

Meals: Breakfast
Inclusions: Rail Pass

Tour supplier: McKinlay Kidd Ltd
Prices are per person, sharing a double/twin room based on 09 Jun 2024 & 01 Sep 2024 departure.
A single supplement applies for solo travellers provided on request.
*Image credits: Chris Hill @ Tourism Ireland, Tourism Ireland, McKinlay Kidd
Terms & Conditions apply.  Click to view
Travel Insurance – we ask that our guests purchase suitable cover in case planned travel is affected or disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances
Flights – all tours are land only within the UK & Ireland
Meals and/or sightseeing other than that outlined above.
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