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Your first base is the Georgian capital city of Dublin, a perfect introduction to Ireland.
Enjoy the best of both worlds in this welcoming guest house, comprising two imposing Georgian townhouses. It’s situated in a remarkably peaceful leafy avenue to the south of Dublin city centre, yet you’re just a short walk from St Stephen’s Green, a pint or two of Guinness in a local bar, or a delicious meal in one of Dublin’s many fine restaurants. As exploring the city on public transport and on foot is recommended, it is ideal that there is plenty of free parking here for guests.
Dublin was once the centre of the Irish whiskey industry, with 37 distilleries operating in the glory years, until the last closed in 1976. The Teeling Whiskey Distillery is the first new distillery to open in Dublin in over 125 years, and brings the craft and tradition back to the very heart Ireland’s capital city. Tours of the impressive facility are fully guided by a Teeling Whiskey Ambassador and give visitors the opportunity to experience the fascinating process and unique flavour of Irish Whiskey.
From Dublin, head west to the county of Roscommon, with time to explore the Curragh, perhaps follow Queen Elizabeth and take in the National Stud and beautiful Japanese Garden near to Kildare. Next cross the peat bogs to Kilbeggan; Locke’s Distillery is a wonderful piece of industrial heritage saved from dereliction by the local community. With a working water wheel, it once again operates as a boutique distillery. Your tour will include some tastings of the new and experimental products and a chance to explore the workings for yourself.
You will stay close by in a riverside hotel just north of the town of Athlone. This is a popular destination for special occasions with a superb location right by the famous Shannon.
From Athlone a cross country route to the east coast – with options to visit the world heritage site of Newgrange – will bring you to the county of Louth and the hidden gem known as the Cooley peninsula. Your hotel is in the historic waterside village of Carlingford
This beautiful Georgian house is set within a walled garden and just a few steps away from the mediaeval heart of Carlingford. The welcome is very friendly – this is very much a home and not a hotel, furnished with delightful antiques and well-worn rugs. The views of the garden or lough are great, whether you stay in a bedroom in the original house or the neighbouring modern extension. Best of all is the food – the restaurant has won many awards and is renowned as a destination throughout Ireland. The wine list is extensive and compiled with an expert’s touch. We strongly recommend the oysters – which travel only 500m from the lough to your plate.
Today, cross into Northern Ireland, with plenty of time to explore as you tour, including Downpatrick, Strangford Lough and the Georgian village of Hillsborourgh. Your destination is the picturesque coast of County Antrim and the village of Bushmills.
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 bygone encounters . 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 a 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. Service is attentive and friendly, many staff being young, local, and very proud of the area. The menu offered throughout the restaurant and conservatory fuses local produce with a touch of creativity to make this one of the most renowned dining destinations in the North of Ireland.
This is the only distillery in Ireland to make triple-distilled malt whiskey and is at the heart of all Bushmills whiskeys, creating a unique combination of smoothness and richness. In 2008 the distillery celebrated the 400th anniversary of the original licence to distil whiskey granted to the area in 1608.
After the guided tour you will enjoy a tutored tasting with an expert member of staff, which will introduce you to the craft of making Irish Whiskey and to unravel some of their trade secrets – from the special water from St. Columb’s Rill and the finest malted barley, to the art of triple distillation in copper stills – and finally to aging in oak casks. You’ll then be invited to ‘nose’ and taste three Bushmills Whiskeys and to compare them with an American Bourbon and a Scotch Whisky. Complete the visit with a dram of the exclusive Bushmills Distillery Reserve 12 Year Old Single Malt Whiskey.
Time to enjoy this famous coastline, with its numerous castles, beaches, historic houses and quaint villages. Perhaps take a day trip to Rathlin Island, test your nerve on the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, drive the tortuous Torr Head road, wonder at the Giants Causeway, relax on the beach at Cushendun or gaze at the views from the Mussenden Temple.
The holiday starts in Dublin and meanders northwards, finishing at Bushmills, in County Antrim on the North Coast.
£835 per person for February, March & November, £880 per person for April & October, £925 per person for May, June & September, £965 per person for July & August.
Price is based on two adults sharing a double or twin room for seven nights on a bed & breakfast basis, including tours of the Teeling, Kilbeggan and Bushmills distilleries.
We would be delighted to book your travel to Ireland for this holiday.
The most convenient ferry routes are those from Holyhead to Dublin & Dun Laoghaire, and from Scotland to Belfast & Larne.
There are direct flight connections to Dublin & Belfast from many UK airports.
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.
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.
This holiday is available from February to November.
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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