V. 4 Explorer X- Gilbert - A Giant Adventure in Ireland

David & Linda Gilbert

Wednesday 18th September – Wednesday 2nd October 2024

Number of Travellers: 2
Duration: 15 Days / 14 Nights

Overview

Picturesque coastal towns and villages, green pastoral fields, soaring cliffs, wild barren landscapes, the crash of the ocean, the laugh of a local. Ireland is romantic, authentic, a home away from home where both old and modern seem to cohabit seamlessly on a small island in the middle of the sea. Packed with history and tradition your days are spent exploring the island of Ireland’s famous and of the beaten track sites of natural, cultural and political interest. A world renowned food scene means your evenings are spent dining in style and with the promise of a pub just around the corner, music and laughter are never far away. Your trip to Ireland will surprise and delight you but the people of Ireland will stay with you, long after your journey has taken you home.

Day by Day

Day 1 - Wednesday 18th September - Arrival in Ireland

Disembarking your early morning flight, your guide will meet you at the airport and together you will travel north to Belfast. This is your arrival day and we want you to have as much rest as you may need however we would love to welcome you to the north with a Traditional Irish breakfast called an Ulster Fry, followed by a private guided tour of the Games of Thrones Studio. Much of the iconic series was filmed in Northern Ireland but on location and at the studios. Today, sets, props and costumes bring the story to life as you explore the Seven kingdoms.

Your guide is on hand for the remained of the day should you wish to explore Belfast or you can relax at your hotel. As a suggested activity we would love for you to enjoy a 1 hour Linen Quarter Walking Tour of Belfast or indeed a more bespoke linen tour with a textile expert.

Overnight: Belfast | The Merchant Hotel
Room Type: Junior Loft Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 2 - Thursday 19th September - Belfast Food Tour

You may prefer to go light with your breakfast this morning as you join a couple of locals on a private Food Tour of Belfast. Start in the historic St George’s Market, meeting producers, and tasting yummy local products, before heading around Belfast to visit traditional bars, world-class shops and more, eating and drinking some of the best local food and drink along the way.

Later this afternoon stop by the Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum in the Cathedral Quarter, a site that was bombed during the 1941 Blitz.

 

Overnight: Belfast | The Merchant Hotel
Room Type: Junior Loft Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Friday 20th September - The Trouble's & Titanic

This morning, join a local guide and explore Belfast from the comfort of a London black cab. Unpack the complicated history of The Troubles. See the city’s murals and peace walls, hear stories of life in Belfast at the height of the troubles, check out historical photographs and enjoy narration from your local guide.

Built in Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyards, the ill fasted titanic and Belfasts history are linked forever. This afternoon, visit Belfast’s Titanic Quarter to enjoy the ultimate Titanic day out with private guided tour. Enjoy the award-winning Discovery Tour, entry to the Titanic Experience and SS Nomadic, the last remaining White Star vessel.

 

Overnight: Belfast | The Merchant Hotel
Room Type: Junior Loft Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4 - Saturday 21st September - Sheep Farm and Causeway Coast

Leaving Belfast, your first stop this morning is a local working sheep farm where you get to meet the flock, and see the magnificent dogs at work.
As you journey along the Causeway Coastal Route, you are treated to stunning views of rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and charming villages. You make several stops along the way, including the awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway, a geological wonder of hexagonal basalt columns that attracts visitors from around the world. At Bushmills, you visit the oldest licensed distillery in the world, where you learn about the art of whiskey-making and sample some of the finest Irish whiskeys. There are plenty of opportunities to spot filming locations from Game of Thrones as you travel.

Overnight: Derry | Bishops Gate Hotel
Room Type: Junior Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5 - Sunday 22nd September - Bears, Wolves and Alpaca's

Step back in time into an ancient woodland, inhabited by Wolves, Bears, Lynx & Wild Boar. Meet the animals that once called Ireland home and learn of the conservation efforts that are seeing them reintroduced into Irish soil.
With a day dedicated to animals, you have the unique opportunity to take an Alpaca for a walk in the picturesque Sheephaven Bay area of Donegal. The nature of the Alpaca is gentle and curious, making walking with Alpacas enjoyable and entertaining with their quirky individual characters.

Overnight: Derry | Bishops Gate Hotel
Room Type: Junior Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6 - Monday 23rd September - Derry City Tour

Derry City is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe. Built in the 17th century, the walls, approximately 1.5km in circumference, form a walkway around the inner city and provide a unique promenade with which to view the layout of the original town. Your private tour guide will incorporate the tragic events of Jan 30th 1972 when a peaceful protest turned violent leading to the killing of 14 unarmed men and boys along with the injury of many other in an event knows as Bloody Sunday.

Take a step off Derry’s 400-year-old City Walls and step inside the delightfully Dickensian Craft Village – the Jewel inside Derry’s crown. The reconstructed 18th Century streets meets a 19th century square, packed with an inviting mix of artisan shops, home to local crafters, restaurants and coffee shops. The perfect lunch/ afternoon tea activity before moving to Donegal town.

Overnight: Donegal | The Mill Park Hotel
Room Type: Junior Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7 - Tuesday 24th September - Explore South Donegal

Spend some time today exploring south Donegal with your guide. A morning visit at the highest sea cliffs in Europe, three time higher than the Cliffs of Moher, is the perfect way to work up an appetite for some traditional fish and chips, al fresco, straight off the boat in a little harbour town. Avail of the shuttle to take you to the viewing point at the cliffs for that perfect picture of the majestic cliffs.

Later, meet a local weaver who learned his craft at the age of 16 and who’s traditional hand loom methods date back centuries.

Overnight: Donegal | The Mill park Hotel
Room Type: Junior Suite
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8 - Wednesday 25th September - Foraging the North West Shores

From Donegal, we head south into Sligo, last resting place of W.B Yeats.
Sligo is blessed with some stunning coastline and this morning you will explore Streedagh, with it’s miles long sandy beaches on the north Sligo coast. At low tide it’s the perfect opportunity to explore the rock pools and coves that flank the beach and you will be joined by local foraging expert and author Prannie Rhatigan who knows these shores inside and out. Prannie is a world renowned expert on seaweed and her insight into the natural heritage of the Irish coast is unparalleled.  Keep an eye out from sand-feeding seabirds that flock along this stretch of coastline. This part of Ireland is dominated by the mighty Benbulben Mountain and an afternoon walk in its mighty shadows is a must before moving on to Westport.

Overnight: Westport | The Wyatt Hotel
Room Type: Deluxe Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9 - Thursday 26th September - Ashford Castle Hawk Walk

A visit to Ashford Castle today to become reacquainted with the magnificent birds of prey who call the 800 year old castle home. On your private hour long hawk walk you have you the incredible opportunity to fly your very own harris hawks under the guidance of your instructor. After you have been introduced to your hawks you’ll set off into the magnificent woodlands to fly your hawks, as they follow you from tree to tree through the woods before swooping down to land on your gloved fist.

There are options to enjoy lunch or afternoon tea at Ashford making the most of your time here, explore the quaint village of Cong, know for The Quiet Man movie and Cong Abbey, or return to Westport with some time to browse the shops and local pubs, maybe picking up a trad session.

Overnight: Westport | The Wyatt Hotel
Room Type: Deluxe Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10 - Friday 27th September - Traditional Farm Experience

Leaving Westport we journey south, through Galway and into the lunar landscape of Clare and on to our final destination of Cork this evening.
Enjoy a warm Irish welcome at a traditional farm where you will meet the flock of wooly coated sheep, enjoy a sheep dog demonstration and enjoy a traditional farm experience followed by tea and scones. You can also opt to spend more time here and try your hand at making some traditional Irish bread.

As an optional stop visit a glass cutting factory and meet the talented men and women who’s skill, honed from generation to generation, creates Irish Crystal. Meet the family, learn about our unique Crystal then stand beside our Master Craftsmen and watch in amazement as they create our Celtic designs on crystal using traditional stone cutting-wheels!

 

Overnight: Cork | The Imperial Hotel
Room Type: Deluxe King
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11 - Saturday 28th September - A day with Andrew Heath

Meeting your old friend Andrew this morning you will spend the day discovering some of Corks well known and hidden secrets.

Cork’s iconic English market has been trading since 1788.  One of the oldest and certainly the best covered markets in Europe, it has survived famine, flood, war, fires, and multiple recessions to remain a strong part of Cork’s fabric. Spend some time browsing the stall’s and offerings, sampling delicious treats or picking up a gift for home.
The nearby Butter Museum makes for a unique institution celebrating one of the great success stories of Ireland, the butter trade.

Overnight: Cork | The Imperial Hotel
Room Type: Deluxe King
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 12 - Sunday 29th September - Whiskey Tour

From its origins in 1780 by Scotsman John Jameson through its history, prohibition, revolution and distilling techniques to the world wide brand it is today, the Jameson Distillery tour is both historic and fascinating. Take a behind the scenes tour with one of the expert Ambassadors visiting key buildings including a special visit to the Distillers cottage. Can you taste the difference between Jameson and Bushmills whiskey?

There are options to explore Cobh, visit the Blackrock Castle Observatory, partake in some horse riding perhaps with a trek or return to Cork City.

 

Overnight: Cork | The Imperial Hotel
Room Type: Deluxe King
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 13 - Monday 30th September - Cork to Dublin

Leaving Cork behind us today, our first port of call is The Donkey Sanctuary about a half hour away in Mallow. Since it opened its doors in 1987, the sanctuary has loved and cared for over 5,600 donkeys, many of whom were neglected and abandoned in their early life.

Continuing north, we stop in the little town of Cashel for lunch and a stretch of the legs. You can opt to take a closer look at the imposing Rock of Cashel while here or simply enjoy the charming village before moving on.

Your guide will deliver you to your hotel, Number 31 and say their goodbyes leaving you to enjoy your final few nights in the city unguided.

 

Overnight: Dublin | Number 31
Room Type: Fabulous Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 14 - Tuesday 1st October - Gaelic games, Shopping and Afternoon Tea

Gaelic games are the most popular sports played in Ireland. They are uniquely Irish and are at the centre of every community around the country.  Take a journey of discovery deep into Irish culture, where our sports and language meet. From hurling, one of the oldest field sports in the world, to Gaelic football you will experience an enthralling energy packed introduction to our National Games with the O’Driscoll Brothers who still play for their local teams. Transport will be provided for David.

While David is practising his skills, Linda will join Eveleen for a morning shopping some of Dublins unique boutique shops and markets. Pick up some momentos or key wardrobe pieces and stroll the busy shopping streets of Grafton and O’ Connell.

Once reunited with David, enjoy the remainder of your afternoon visiting Bewley’s Oriental Cafe for tea and cakes.

Overnight: Dublin | Number 31
Room Type: Fabulous Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 15 - Wednesday 2nd October - Departing Dublin

A private transfer will take you to Dublin airport this morning for your returning flights.
After two weeks in Ireland you will feel like you are leaving home and friends behind. All the more reason to come see us again soon.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 15
  • Meals as indicated above, breakfast daily.
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable qualified guide from Day 1 to Day 13
  • Ground transportation from Day 1 to Day 13
  • Airport transfer on departure
  • All guided experiences and activities mentioned in the itinerary
    – Private Game of Thrones Studio Tour
    – Visit N.Ireland War Museum
    – Private Belfast Food Tour
    – Private tour Titanic Museum
    – Black Cab Tour Belfast
    – Private Sheep Farm Experience ( N. Ireland)
    – Causeway Coast sites
    – Private Derry City Tour
    – Private tour of Wild Ireland
    – Private Alpaca Walk
    – Private Foraging Experience
    – Hawk Walk Ashford Castle
    – Traditional Farm Visit with bread baking
    – Day with Andrew Heath – Incl English Market & Butter Museum
    – Jameson Distillery Tour
    – Private Gaelic Games Experience
    – Private Shopping Experience
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • Snacks throughout the trip
  • 24 hour in-country support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for the main driver guide