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Collect your classic car in Dublin, and after a short tuition period to learn the controls, head out of the city and into the countryside, with your route bringing you through the Curragh, the heart of the Irish horse industry, then by the bog lands of central Ireland to the Shannon waterway and Ireland’s lake district.
Your first hotel has a unique setting on the edge of Ireland’s peaceful inland waterways, close to the historic city of Athlone.
This lochside restaurant with rooms sits on the shores of Lough Ree on the River Shannon just three miles north of Athlone, yet is a peaceful haven for relaxing. For many years a popular destination for gourmet diners, who arrive by road and water, it now offers comfortable rooms with spacious balconies overlooking the water. It traces its heritage back to the monks of St Ciaran, who, in the 6th century, discovered the perfect landing place for their precious cargo of wine barrels from France.
What to see and do
Athlone is right in the centre of Ireland, an historic town, with an atmospheric centre, commonly referred to as ‘the gateway to the west’ and an ideal touring centre. Many day and longer cruises on the Shannon start from here. Other places of interest close by include the newly refurbished Kilbeggan Distillery, Clonmacnoise Abbey and Birr Castle.
Continue west by Galway and you reach County Clare, where the true influence of the Atlantic Ocean begins to be felt. Your next rather special hotel is right on the coast.
Just a stone’s throw from the shingle beach and the Atlantic Ocean, this majestic tower house effortlessly combines contemporary with classic. Where else can you stay in such splendour, yet be encouraged to help yourself to a beer from the fridge in the country-style kitchen? Time it right and you’ll glimpse chef and his team in full flow preparing superb dishes for dinner. Relax and enjoy these later in the elegant restaurant, with the beautiful backdrop of the sun setting over the sea. The staff will share the history of the house with you – how it was saved from rack and ruin by a local man, who used to play in the grounds as a child. The upkeep of this architecturally-intriguing building presents constant challenges – by staying here, you will play your part in contributing to its long-term preservation.
You will stay here for two days, giving you plenty of time to explore.
You are within a short drive of the dramatic Cliffs of Moher, stretching 5 miles along the coast, at a height of over 200 meters above sea level, with often breathtaking views, or head inland to explore the mystical landscape of The Burren, almost 100 square miles of limestone pavement, rich with ancient history, cave systems and unique flora.
Your route today will bring you past Limerick and into Tipperary, where a stop at the Rock of Cashel is recommended, then to Kilkenny with its numerous craft shops and finally into County Wicklow.
Set in the marvelous surroundings of the Wicklow mountains, this traditional Irish farm house has been tastefully renovated to become both a comfortable guesthouse and award winning Cookery School. The guest house is located in the original farm house, with many of the rooms benefiting from fantastic views out over the nearby mountains. On the ground floor there is a traditional decorated lounge and sitting room, with a great open fire and comfortable sofa, unhitch to unwind and maybe enjoy a drink on before dinner.
On your final day, before returning to Dublin, take time to drive some of the historic course of the Gordon Bennett Trophy race, just a few miles from the hotel. Then take a drive through the magnificent Wicklow Mountains, by Sally’s Gap to Avoca, Glendalough and Powerscourt.
Your car is due back in Dublin at the end of the afternoon.
Starting from Dublin, your route will bring you west through Kildare to Athlone, then to the west coast of Clare, before returning east, stopping in County Wicklow.
£945 per person for April and £1025 per person for May to September.
Prices are based on two adults sharing a double or twin room for four nights on a bed & breakfast basis, and five days’ hire of a 1974 MGB roadster, or 1990 Alfa Romeo Spider. Deduct £25 per person for the Morris Minor. Add £50 per person for the 1975 Mercedes 350SL
We would be delighted to book your travel to Ireland for this holiday.
There are direct flight connections to Dublin from many airports.
Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions and recommended routes from your specified starting point, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday.
All Ireland itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.
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.
As a child I spent a very memorable holiday in Connemara, in the west of Ireland. Although we had explored many parts of Ireland and Scotland before, ...
Our highlights were the food, people's kindness and driving around the roads of Ireland.Santiago , Mexico
This holiday is available from April through September.
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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