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Explore Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way Car-Free

Breathtaking coastal vistas are a guarantee around Kinsale

Best Time To Go

April - October

Why not...

Add a few nights at the beginning or end to discover vibrant Dublin?

Prices From


No of Nights


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Finishes In


Breathtaking coastal vistas are a guarantee around Kinsale

Explore Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way Car-Free

Best Time To Go

April - October

Why not...

Add a few nights at the beginning or end to discover vibrant Dublin?

Prices From


No of Nights


Starts From


Finishes In


Leave the car at home and enjoy a relaxing week on the rails discovering a stretch of one of the world’s most acclaimed touring routes.

Since inception just a few years ago, the Wild Atlantic Way has captured the imagination of travellers from all over Europe and the wider world, eager to see for themselves the quite staggering contrasts in landscape, sights, food and experiences along its 2,500km length – all wrapped up in unbeatable Irish hospitality.

Continuing our series of car-free holidays, this carefully created trip combines relaxing train travel from Dublin to Co Cork, onwards through the Kingdom of Kerry, and taking in Co Clare and the city of Galway.

Along the way, enjoy a food tour in Kinsale, classic jaunting car trip in Killarney, a private tour of Co Clare highlights and a boat trip on the waters around Galway followed by the freshest seafood in a quayside lunch.

If you would like to take a car-free trip along the Wild Atlantic Way, but in the security of a small group, our new guided rail tour may fit the bill nicely – places strictly limited.

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Holiday Details

Day One – Southbound by Rail from Dublin

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.

Your accommodation in Kinsale

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.

Day Two – an Expert Food Tour of Kinsale

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.

Day Three – To Kerry by Rail for Two Nights in Killarney

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.

Your accommodation in 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.

Day Four – Take a Jaunting Car Trip with a Jarvey

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.

Day Five – North to Co Clare

Return to the rails and head Northwest, leaving Kerry behind and making your way to Co 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.

Your Accommodation in Ennis

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

Day Six – a Private Tour of Co Clare Highlights

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.

Day Seven – North to Galway

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, where you’ll drop your luggage before setting off for your final excursion.

From Galway harbour, take a relaxing, guided one-hour sail around the city waters, viewing its impressive vista from this unique perspective, and hearing stories of its history from your expert local skipper. At tour’s end, disembark and head straight to the quayside café for a lunch of fresh seafood, much of which caught that very morning. Including the chips!

Your accommodation in Galway

By the rushing salmon weir on the River Corrib, your accommodation in Galway is a perfectly proportioned Georgian house with its own elegant tearoom attached. Just seven stylish en-suite bedrooms, many of which enjoy lovely river views, mean there’s never any danger of overcrowding, while its location couldn’t be more peaceful or convenient.

Day Eight – Return to Dublin by Rail

Take the classic Irish cross-country route back to the capital, from which you’ll commence your onward journey home.


Sustainable Travel

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.


£1295 per person in April & October, £1425 per person from May to September.

All prices based on two adults sharing a double or twin room for seven 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:

  • Train travel from Dublin to Cork, from Cork to Killarney, from Killarney to Ennis, from Ennis to Galway and from Galway to Dublin
  • Private return transfer from Cork City to Kinsale
  • A foodie walking tour of Kinsale as part of a small group
  • A Jaunting Car tour in Killarney as part of a small group
  • A private guided day out with driver-guide in Co Clare
  • A boat trip and quayside seafood lunch in Galway as part of a small group

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.

The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

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.

Check availability for Explore Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way Car-Free

This holiday can be arranged from April to October.

To check the latest availability for this holiday complete the form below or call us. We will respond to your availability check within one working day if at all possible. Please bear with us on this - we work with a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses, and other independent businesses, ensuring that you have the chance to explore off the beaten track and really get under the skin of the destination.

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