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Highlights of Ireland’s world-famous coastal touring route, with superb accommodation in four captivating locations reached by rail.
Sometimes spoiling oneself is simply the right thing to do, and at McKinlay Kidd we’re always more than happy to assist in making sure you do the right thing. On this new eight-night holiday, you’ll travel south by rail from Dublin to Cork City; west to Killarney, the vivacious capital of Co Kerry; and north to the mystical landscape of the Burren in Co Clare, and the westernmost European city of Galway.
Along the route, you’ll enjoy private transfers and engaging excursions with the very best local guides, each one bringing to vivid life their own corner of the fabulous and much-acclaimed Wild Atlantic Way.
Once you reach Dublin – we’ll be happy to help in getting you here – you take immediately to the rails and head south on a 2.5-hour journey through Portlaoise, Thurles and Limerick Junction in Co Tipperary and Mallow in Co Cork before arriving in Cork City. Here, you’ll be met by taxi and transferred to your hotel.
Your Accommodation in Cork City
Long-established, family-owned and something of a Cork City institution, your accommodation in Cork is a beautifully refined five-star hotel, with exceptional dining and a world-class spa. The quality is obvious the moment you arrive, the traditional welcome tinged with a Corkonian twinkle, and the grand reception area delivers an immediate touch of glamour. Rooms are certainly on the sumptuous side, traditionally decorated, furnished and equipped, and there’s a tempting range of dining in-house, too, including afternoon tea, a terrific bar menu, bistro-style casual in the garden and fine-dining in the restaurant.
A light breakfast is all that’s required today, as mid-morning you’ll be met by a local driver and transferred the 30-minute journey to the archetypal Irish fishing village of Kinsale in west Cork. This start/ finish point of the acclaimed Wild Atlantic Way touring route is also a food-fans’ heaven, each head of the population treated to more restaurants than anywhere else in Ireland. Today, you’ll meet a superb local guide and take a tasty walking tour around some of the best dining spots in town, trying local seafood and produce as you go. Later, your driver will return you to your hotel in Cork City.
This morning you transfer back to Cork Station and board the train taking you west away from Co Cork, into the Kingdom of Kerry and its vivacious ‘capital’, Killarney. There’s no transfer required to reach your hotel here as it is adjacent to the railway station.
Your Accommodation in Killarney
There’s an unmistakable air of grandeur to your accommodation in Killarney, a fine Victorian hotel set in six acres of beautifully manicured grounds. Inside, rooms are traditionally comfortable, each with a sumptuous en-suite and a wealth of extra touches. There’s a dining choice here to suit every palate, the traditional Irish bar offering its own menu and the garden restaurant offering a refined selection. Guests also have the opportunity to soothe away any lingering knots at the in-house health club and beauty rooms.
A relaxed breakfast this morning, in the impressive surroundings of your hotel’s restaurant, then set off to meet your friendly local guide for a gentle stroll of discovery around Killarney. There’s plenty to see here in the town and just outside, with the National Park and its deer, and McGillicuddy Reeks on the doorstep, with an array of flora everywhere you look. You might get to see locations for classic film Ryan’s Daughter, or where Queen Victoria visited in the 19th century, as well as some of the hidden corners only a local can deliver.
A two-step programme to today’s travels, you first board the train at Killarney heading for Limerick Junction in Co Tipperary. Here, you’ll be met by a local driver and transferred northwest around the city of Limerick, across the Shannon into Co Clare heading for your accommodation by the village of Ballyvaughan in the middle of the mysterious landscape of the Burren.
Your Accommodation in the Burren
In the hands of the same family for decades, your accommodation in the Burren is quite a gem, a country-house hotel of relaxed refinement, warm welcome and uncommonly good dining. With views of the Burren itself that almost envelopes the house, and as far as Galway Bay, the location is simply wonderful. Inside, there’s a calming atmosphere the moment you arrive, with the scent of fresh flowers and smouldering log fires, as well as mouthwatering wafts from the kitchen. Bedrooms are freshly decorated and walk a line between classic and modern, with the en-suites something of a highlight.
Another great guided tour today. After breakfast you’ll be met by a superb local guide and taken on a walking tour of this most magical and untouched landscape. Your guide is a man of this land, born and bred on the Burren, and knows every crack and crevice of the pitching, twisting limestone, every rare species of flora, and is filled with stories of the thousands of years of history here.
There’s no train to catch today, as after breakfast you’ll be met by a local driver and transferred north, via the Co Clare coast of the Wild Atlantic Way, heading to Europe’s westernmost city, ‘the City of Tribes,’ Galway. You’ll enjoy something of a treat for your final base on this holiday.
Your Accommodation in Galway
On the banks of the silvery waters of Lough Corrib, olde worlde atmosphere meets contemporary flair at this landmark five-star estate. Dating back to the 18th century, the main house is a Georgian wonder, with lavish rooms and a choice of dining, including inside one of two Pullman carriages from the Orient Express. Set on vast, rolling grounds, the hotel features a nine-hole championship golf course and a world-class spa, the perfect place in which to spend the last day of your trip.
There’d be no judging from us should you elect to switch off for the day, taking advantage of the many facilities on offer at your hotel. Alternatively, a local taxi can take you in to the heart of Galway city in a little over 10 minutes, where you can discover its vibrant Latin Quarter and ancient cathedral, as well as a host of dining and shopping opportunities.
This morning you transfer back to Galway station to catch your return train to Dublin. Wherever you’re headed from there, we’ll be happy to create a tailor-made solution to get you back to your destination.
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 accommodation and local guides on this holiday.
This public-transport holiday takes in stays in Cork City, Killarney in Co Kerry, Ballyvaughan in Co Clare, and just outside Galway City.
£3140 per person for April & October, £3240 per person for May to September.
Prices are based on two sharing ensuite twin or double rooms for eight nights on a bed and breakfast basis.
Travel to Ireland
We would recommend Dublin as your starting point, whether by air or ferry, although it is also easy to come via Cork and Belfast. We are happy to offer advice where needed.
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.
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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.
The cities were lovely and we enjoyed our trip very much. We love doing business with you. Thank you for treating us with such care.Abigail, North Carolina, USA
We were enchanted with The Burren.Elizabeth & Family , Vermont, USA
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