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AITO Tour Operator of The Year 2016 - Gold AwardThe Telegraph Travel Awards Winner 2017

Giants, Saints and The Titanic

Discover the highlights of Northern Ireland.

This self-drive holiday covers the many highlights of Northern Ireland, the hidden gem of Irish tourism. From the natural phenomenon of the Giant’s Causeway and the beautiful Antrim Coast Road to the patchwork green fields and numerous monastic sites of County Down – not forgetting the reinvigorated city of Belfast.  This holiday now also includes entry to the innovative Titanic Visitor Experience, entry to the St Patrick’s Day Centre in Downpatrick, and a day trip to Rathlin Island.

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Mar - Oct. We particularly enjoy the long, light evenings in June.

Why not...

add a couple of nights in Portstewart at a stunning coastal B&B?

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Office Hours (UK time) Mon-Fri: 8.30am-6.30pm
Sat: 10am-3.30pm
Sun: closed

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Day One – Belfast

Your exploration of Northern Ireland starts in Belfast.

Your hotel in Belfast

Your hotel is a locally-owned guesthouse close to the University area and a mere 10 minute walk from the city centre. This AA four star rated accommodation comes highly recommended for offering great value for money and a comfortable base from which to enjoy the city.  There is complimentary WiFi in all rooms with free, secure car parking. There is a light and airy breakfast room and, within a few minutes’ walk, a host of restaurants and bars to suit all tastes and budgets; as they say “in Belfast the craic is never far away”.

Day Two – Exploring Belfast

At the head of Belfast Lough, the city is compact and easy to get around, whether by public transport or on foot. Belfast is teeming with a multitude of stylish bars, gourmet restaurants, trendy clubs and some of the best shopping in the UK.  Visitors can enjoy traditional Irish music in a local pub or dance the night away to the latest vibes – the choice is yours!

The birthplace of the Titanic, Belfast’s industrial heritage has shaped a city steeped in culture, seen at the City Hall, the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and the city’s many preserved historic buildings.  Also, the city’s many parks, gardens and galleries offer a perfect haven to relax. Don’t miss the newly refurbished Ulster Museum; it has an enviable collection of Irish art and the wonderful Girona Exhibition of Spanish Armada gold.

Day Three – County Down

Today you will head south to County Down.

Your hotel in County Down

This Georgian guesthouse, once the village bank and its manager’s house, is now a welcoming bed & breakfast in the typically colourful village of Killyleagh.  Stripped floors and antique furniture provide a relaxed atmosphere and you can enjoy some typical Irish home-baking in the bright breakfast room and the house is conveniently next door to a popular inn offering great food and regular live traditional music.  Killyleagh is on the shore of Strangford Lough, a few miles from Downpatrick and perfectly located to explore the many places of interest in the county.

Day Four – Exploring County Down

With a history that covers over 7,000 years, County Down is blessed with a wealth of historic sites and is forever associated with St Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, who is reputed to be buried in the cathedral at Downpatrick. Included in this holiday is entrance to the St Patrick’s Day Centre – a permanent interpretative exhibition centre featuring interactive displays on the life and story of Saint Patrick. High on our recommendations would be Inch Abbey, with its defensive “round tower”, the majestic Grey Abbey ruins, and the spiritual Nendrum, tucked away in a quiet corner of Strangford Lough.  This is an abundant nature reserve with seals, geese, terns and wildfowl nestling about its peaceful shores.  You’ll also soon appreciate County Down’s contrasts – small green fields set in rolling hills, then the rugged Mountains of Mourne and the highest mountain in Northern Ireland – Slieve Donard.

Day Five – County Antrim

Today head north to the northern coast of County Antrim. Your destination this evening is the village of Bushmills, famous for its distillery and perfectly placed to explore one of the most scenic parts of Ireland.

Your hotel in County Antrim

Centuries of history exude from the old timber beams and rough plaster walls of this landmark inn.  At its heart is the gas-lit sixteenth century snug, with soot-stained walls and ceilings and a pulley suspended above the fireplace.  You could spend hours here over a Guinness or a dram, dreaming up romantic notions of encounters gone by.  The snug is encased by a ‘mere’ two-hundred year old inn, with an even more modern, yet sympathetically designed, outer shell. Guest rooms are spacious and atmospheric, with individual character and attention to detail to retain design in keeping with the building’s charm.  This place is a genuine meeting point for travellers and locals alike, buzzing with conviviality and conversation throughout a jigsaw puzzle of interconnecting public rooms and cosy corners.  The outdoor courtyard and terrace come into their own in the summer months, while open peat fires provide the perfect ambience in other seasons.

Day Six – Exploring County Antrim

The famous sights of the Northern Coast, including the geological phenomenon of the Giant’s Causeway, and the much-photographed clifftop ruins of haunting Dunluce Castle, are just a short drive away.  For the more adventurous, test your nerve and head for heights by venturing across the suspended rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede.  The Bushmills Distillery is just a short walk from the hotel, and a perfect place to end the day with a relaxing “dram.”

Day Seven – Rathlin Island

For your final adventure we have included a day trip to the peaceful wildlife haven of Rathlin Island that, despite being six miles off-shore, is still home to a vibrant community of around seventy people.  In the harbour is the Boathouse, where visitors can discover some of the exciting history, learn about present day island life and see some artefacts from shipwrecks around the island.  Enjoy a short walk round to Mill Bay where there’s a colony of seals – they’re fun to just sit and watch!  At the other side of the harbour are two churches where visitors can sit quietly or just admire the architecture.  At the west of the island is the renowned RSPB Seabird Centre, where puffins, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes can be viewed during the summer months.  It’s also home to some magnificent views – on clear days Donegal, the North Antrim coastline, the island of Islay and the Mull of Kintyre can be seen.  There are many tales of myth and mystery surrounding Rathlin, the most famous tells of Robert the Bruce.

Day Eight – Return home

The ferry ports and airports of Belfast are less than two hours’ drive, with Dublin just over four.

This holiday covers three centres: Belfast, County Down and County Antrim.

The most convenient ferry routes are the direct routes from southwest Scotland, from Cairnryan to Belfast, overnight from Liverpool to Belfast, or from North Wales to Dublin.

There are also numerous direct flight connections to Belfast from many UK airports including all London airports, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, Luton, Southampton, Glasgow and Edinburgh.


This holiday covers three centres, County Down, County Antrim and Belfast city.

The most convenient ferry routes are the direct routes from southwest Scotland, from Cairnryan or Troon, to Larne or Belfast, overnight from Liverpool to Belfast, or from North Wales to Dublin.

There are also numerous direct flight connections to Belfast from many UK airports including all London airports, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, Luton, Southampton, Glasgow and Edinburgh.


£690 per person for March & November, £735 per person for April & October, £765 per person for May & June, £785 per person for July, August & September. 

Prices based on seven nights on a bed & breakfast basis, based on two sharing a double or twin room ensuite. This includes tickets to the Titanic Visitor Experience, entry to St Patrick’s Day Centre in Downpatrick, and a day trip to Rathlin Island.

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.

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.

In the Footsteps of Giants

In the Footsteps of Giants

I have known the Giant’s Causeway since I was a wee boy. We visited every summer during the school holidays and, like many, I was entranced by the s...


Check availability for Giants, Saints and The Titanic

This holiday can be arranged from March to October.

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