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Arrive in Dublin – we can help with travel should you require it – and immediately set off, taking the first of your train journeys, from the capital to the City of Cork. Upon arrival you’ll be met by a friendly local driver and whisked 30 minutes down the coast to the colourful fishing village of Kinsale, the centre of Ireland’s vivacious culinary scene, and where you’ll find more restaurants per head than anywhere else in the country.
You’ll get here in plenty of time to start exploring, perhaps to Desmond Castle and the International Wine Museum, or a stroll around the harbour and up the hill to impressive Charles Fort for superb views of town.
Peacefully placed just by the harbour, this family owned, art filled guest house is certainly one to which we never tire of returning. Local hosts pull off the rare trick of combining rapt attentiveness with an easygoing, lightness of touch so rarely encountered. The calming en-suite rooms contain all you need for a relaxing stay.
With so many great places to eat, there’s no better way to try a few of the best than in the company of our specially chosen local expert guide. With stories of the town, its history and the origins of the very food you’ll taste, this leisurely walk through the colourful lanes is the perfect introduction to Kinsale and its flavours.
Enjoy a private road transfer to Cork City, boarding the train here at Kent Station. Your westbound journey will take you through the Kingdom of Kerry. The train first travels North to the town of Mallow, where a brief stop sees a change to the train for Killarney. From Mallow, the line spears west through Banteer and Rathmore before arriving in vivid Killarney.
Just a few short steps from the railway station (with help at hand should you require it), this small, family owned hotel has for many decades enjoyed a position at the very centre of life in Killarney. Beautifully presented rooms decorated in neutral tones, and the popular bar and restaurant serve lunch, a fine afternoon tea and dinner to locals and visitors alike.
A classic Killarney excursion today, as you join a horse drawn jaunting car for a clip-clop to the world famous lakes of Killarney and romantic Ross Castle. Run by the same family for generations, there’s no better way to learn of the hidden delights of Killarney than in the company of a Jarvey, full of craic and eager to help you get the best from your trip.
Return to the rails and head north-west, leaving Kerry behind and making your way to County Clare and the lively town of Ennis. One of the friendliest of all Irish locations, Ennis is a town steeped in history and regarded as the very epicentre of Irish traditional music, whose bars play host to daytime and evening sessions hosted by local musicians on fiddle, flute, concertina and pipes.
In a quiet courtyard location, yet moments from the main thoroughfare, your accommodation in Ennis is a welcoming, family owned gem, where nothing is too much trouble. Simple, cosy rooms, a buzzy traditional pub and atmospheric restaurant complete the ideal picture, with local staff always on hand to offer advice on how best to enjoy your time here
A distinct holiday highlight today as you’re met after breakfast by one of our terrific local guides and carried off in style in an executive car to see some of Ireland’s most arresting sights. You’ll visit the vast, mystical landscape of the Burren, the beach at Spanish Point and the Cliffs of Moher, claimed by the county as Europe’s highest.
A short hop by rail today, from Ennis to Galway, Ireland’s second – and Europe’s westernmost – city, and an ever thriving University town with a genuinely international feel. Once here, it’s a brief taxi ride to your accommodation.
Located right next to the harbour, your accommodation in Galway is an independent hotel in the perfect position from which to discover this fascinating city. Friendly staff bring a cheerful note to their efficient service, and each is eager to give advice on how to make the most of your visit to Galway. There’s a bright, airy bar/ restaurant serving an imaginative range of cocktails and a menu of modern Irish flavours. Upstairs, bedrooms are presented with a contemporary edge, with a strong colour palette and every feature to make your stay a relaxing one.
A fun and fascinating day awaits. In the morning, depart Galway City harbour for the short ferry crossing to the Aran Island of Inis Mor. Here, you’ll be met by a superb guide and whisked away in a purpose-built Land Rover 4×4, for a genuinely off-the-beaten-track guided tour. Given the success of the film The Banshees of Inisherin, there’s a renewed focus on Inis Mor, location for much of its filming. But the island remains a romantically rugged and deeply affecting place, filled with history and jaw-dropping scenery. There are few people better placed to bring this place to life than your guide, a man of the Gaeltacht and lifelong resident of the island.
On the return crossing, your ferry detours to the Cliffs of Moher, giving the opportunity to see their awe-inspiring site from a fabulous perspective.
Take the classic Irish cross-country route back to the capital, from which you’ll commence your onward journey home.
This holiday is part of our ever growing collection of public transport based holidays, enabling you to reach destinations around Ireland without the need to drive. We feel strongly that true sustainability also means promoting and helping to maintain a way of life in areas where the economic benefit of tourism can make a genuine difference to the local community, which is why we have used locally owned, small accommodation and a local guide on this holiday.
This holiday covers part of Ireland’s illustrious Wild Atlantic Way touring route, with stays in Kinsale, Killarney, Ennis and Galway, and a visit to the Aran Island of Inis Mor.
£1675 per person in April & October, £1795 per person from May to September.
All prices based on two adults sharing a double or twin room for eight nights on a bed and breakfast basis, in our hand-picked selection of three- and four-star small hotels and guesthouses. The holiday also includes:
We would also be delighted to assist with hotel reservations in Dublin from our selection of centrally located hotel options. We can also assist with travel from the UK to Dublin.
Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday.
As porterage is not included in this largely self-guided holiday, and assistance at train stations is somewhat sporadic, we recommend packing just one manageable suitcase per person.
All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.
You are requesting availability for
This holiday can be arranged from April to October.
Availability is individually checked for a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses and other independent businesses, so please bear with us and we will respond in 1-2 working days.
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All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.
We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.