Duncan Family Ireland Adventure Final Information

Kye, Melanie, Malcolm & Georgia

Saturday 18th May – Tuesday 28th May 2024

Number of Travellers: 4
Duration: 11 Days / 10 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.

Highlights

  • See some of Ireland’s most picturesque and wild coastlines along the Causeway Coast
  • Explore Belfast's history from the Titanic to The Troubles
  • Meet locals as you enjoy some unique experiences

Day by Day

Day 1 - Saturday 18th May - Welcome to Dublin

Arriving in Ireland today, a private transfer will pick you up from the airport and whisk you in to your 5 star hotel in the city centre. Check-in is at 3pm however feel free to leave your bags, freshen up, or have a bite to eat. Head out in the afternoon to enjoy a walking tour with a local private guide through this vibrant capital city, with its mix of 1,000 years of architecture from the mediaeval to Georgian to modern. See the Georgian style Merrion Square, lush St. Stephen’s Green and Fitzwilliam Square, as well as O’Connell Street, the site of the ‘1916 Uprising’ that led to Ireland’s independence in 1922. Your guide is also a historian who will bring the city to life with colourful tales of life in the city in times gone by.

Hotel ref: 6715SE022526/7

Overnight: Dublin | The Westbury
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: None

Day 1 - Transfer Details Read More +

Supplier: Dublin Chauffeurs
Pick Up Location: Dublin Airport Arrivals Hall | Pick Up Time: 10:00 am | Approx Duration: 0.75 hrs
Phone: +353 (0)87 233 8396

Justin or one of his drivers will meet you in the arrivals hall, they will have an iPad with your name on it. They have your flight details so please don’t be alarmed if you are delayed.

Day 1 - Lunch Details Read More +

We recommend grabbing lunch at your hotel before your walking tour. Please note there is a €100 food and beverage credit per room on file for you at the Westbury. Please confirm this at check in.

Day 1 - Historical Walking Tour of Dublin Read More +

Activity: Historical Walking Tour of Dublin
Guide: Tommy
Start Location: The Lobby of the Westbury | Start Time: 2:00 pm | Approx Duration: 1.5 hrs

Phone: +353 (0)87 688 9412

Tommy or one of his guides will meet you in the lobby of your hotel.

Day 1 - Suggested Stops Read More +

EPIC Museum You won’t find leprechauns or pots of gold here, but you will discover that what it means to be Irish expands far beyond the borders of Ireland through the stories of Irish emigrants who became scientists, politicians, poets, artists and even outlaws all over the world.

Kilmainham Gaol For over 100 years Kilmainham Gaol held thousands of men, women and children for crimes that ranged from minor offences to being involved in some of the most momentous events in Irish history.

Dublin Castle Constructed in the early thirteenth century on the site of a Viking settlement, Dublin Castle served for centuries as the headquarters of English, and later British, administration in Ireland.

National Gallery of Ireland At the corner of Merrion Square West and Clare Street, the recently renovated National Gallery is a treasure trove of permanent and temporary art exhibitions. Highlights include Ireland’s National Portrait Collection, the Yeats Archive and stained glass by Harry Clarke.

Day 1 - Dinner Details Read More +

We recommend The Winding Stair, Sole Seafood & Grill or The Boxty House (a modern take on tradtitional Irish food).

For pubs we recommend Doheny & Nesbitt’s, The Hairy Lemon or No Name.

Day 2 - Sunday 19th May - The Guinness Storehouse

Indulge your senses in the world of Guinness with our exclusive private experience at the Guinness Storehouse. For the discerning connoisseur, this journey delves deep into the history and origins of the iconic stout. From the moment you step inside this historic establishment, you’ll be immersed in the rich heritage of Guinness, tracing its roots back to its founding by Arthur Guinness in 1759. Your expert guide will walk you through the intricate brewing process, sharing the secrets and traditions that have been passed down through generations. You’ll have the privilege of tasting various Guinness brews, savouring their unique flavours and gaining a profound understanding of what makes each pint truly exceptional.

Overnight: Dublin | The Westbury
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 2 - Guinness Storehouse Connoisseur Tour Read More +

Activity: Guinness Storehouse Connoisseur Tour
Start Location: St. James's Gate Dublin 8 Co. Dublin Ireland | Start Time: 10:30 am | Approx Duration: 3 hrs

Booking Reference: 901666757
Phone: +353 (0)1 408 4800

Arrive at 10.30 am, quoting booking ref 901666757 for the self guided element. Connoisseur Booking is for 12 noon sharp.

Day 2 - Lunch Details Read More +

The Guinness Storehouse offers numerous lunch options. Alternatively, we recommend Bloom Brasserie.

Day 2 - Suggested Stops Read More +

St. Patrick’s Cathedral As the largest cathedral and one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Ireland, Saint Patrick’s has been at the heart of Dublin and Ireland’s history and culture for over 800 years.

Dublinia See Dublin from a new perspective as you travel back to the heart of the old city at Christchurch. Walk where Vikings walked, find out about Dublin’s rich past and even climb an original Medieval tower.

14 Henrietta Street When you enter 14 Henrietta Street you’ll experience over 300 years of city life in the walls of one address. By connecting to the personal stories of those who called 14 Henrietta Street home, the building’s hidden histories are revealed. See the house, hear its stories and discover the layers of Dublin history within its walls.

Day 2 - Dinner Details Read More +

We recommend Boeuf & Frites, The Church or Agave.

Day 3 - Monday 20th May - Gaelic Games & Belfast

Today you will pick up your rental car and take a trip north across the border, to the bustling Belfast, a city that has managed to grow and thrive into a cosmopolitan hub, effortlessly showcasing its burgeoning foodie scene, its love of tradition and proud history. But first, embark on an exhilarating journey as you delve into the heart of Irish culture during a morning filled with adventure and camaraderie.  You will have the unique opportunity to try your hand at Gaelic Games, guided by a knowledgeable local expert. This insightful session will introduce you to the history and intricacies of Gaelic and Hurling, two sports deeply intertwined with Irish heritage.  Whether you’re hurling the sliotar or attempting to score a point, get ready to embrace the Irish spirit and create lasting memories while learning the art of these traditional Irish pastimes.

Hotel ref: 722604

Overnight: Belfast | The Merchant
Room Type: Deluxe
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Car Rental Pick Up Details Read More +

Car Rental Company: Enterprise
Booking Reference: 1195012131
Pick Up Location: Dublin City Centre Russell Street 10A Dublin, Ireland DUBLIN1 | Pick Up Time: 9:30 am
Phone: (01) 844 5848

Intermediate automatic SUV – Kia Sportage or similar.

  • AM/FM Stereo Radio
  • Air Bags
  • Automatic
  • Petrol Vehicle
  • Air Conditioning

Protection Products

  • Collision damage waiver 1
  • Excess protection

Day 3 - Gaelic Games Experience Read More +

Activity: Gaelic Games Experience
Start Location: Na Fianna GAA Club Saint Mobhi Road Glasnevin Dublin 9 Ireland | Start Time: 11:00 am | Approx Duration: 3 hrs

Phone: +353 1 25 44 292

Please wear appropriate footwear and waterproof clothing if needed.

Driving route from Enterprise: https://maps.app.goo.gl/nbQMxdg8ZvfYeJMg9

We recommend bringing a packed lunch with you from your accommodation.

Day 3 - Directions Read More +

Directions from Dublin to The Merchant Hotel: https://maps.app.goo.gl/rPumrsA6oGMpzDLw5

 

Day 3 - Dinner Details Read More +

Choose to dine at your hotel this evening. Alternatively, we recommend Coppi Restaurant or Home Restaurant.

Day 4 - Tuesday 21st May - Belfast Food Tour

You may prefer to skip 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. This evening, you will be introduced to Belfast culture with a unique twist, joining a local Black Cab tour to visit some of the city’s historical and political sites.  Belfast was at the heart of The Troubles for over thirty years and you’ll see firsthand how this shaped the city and its residents.

Overnight: Belfast | The Merchant
Room Type: Deluxe
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4 - Belfast Food Tour Read More +

Activity: Belfast Food Tour
Start Location: Front Gates of City Hall | Start Time: 10:00 am | Approx Duration: 3.5 hrs

Phone: +44 (0)28 904 57723

Caroline or one of her guides will meet you at City Hall – it is only a 10 minute walk from your hotel so we recommend leaving the car behind.

Walking route: https://maps.app.goo.gl/aeq5gg2G57EJUG2q7

Day 4 - Suggested Stops Read More +

The Titanic Experience Learn the story of the legendary ocean liner and her fateful journey across the Atlantic Ocean at the world’s largest exhibit dedicated to the Titanic.

Crumlin Road Gaol Explore 150 years of the Crumlin Road Gaol where 17 men have been executed and explore its dark secrets. Highly recommended is their Troubles Tour which gives a detailed insight into happenings during the conflict.

Ulster Museum & Botanic Gardens With something for everyone, from art lovers to Game of Thrones fans, the Ulster Museum houses collections from across Ireland and the globe – and it’s free! Belfast’s Botanic Gardens is a 28-acre public park on the grounds of the Ulster Museum. It includes the Victorian-era Palm House, containing many varieties of trees and palms.

Day 4 - Belfast Black Cab Tour Read More +

Activity: Belfast Black Cab Tour
Start Location: The Merchant | Start Time: 4:00 pm | Approx Duration: 1.5 hrs

Phone: +44 (0)79 909 55227

Your Black Cab driver will meet you in the lobby of your hotel.

Day 4 - Dinner Details Read More +

Day 5 - Wednesday 22nd May - The Causeway Coastal Route

Today you will follow the stunning causeway coastal route out of Belfast along the northernmost coast to Portrush, Co Antrim. The Causeway Coastal Route is possibly one of the world’s greatest road trips, featuring castles, temples, cliff top walks, caves, Game of Thrones filming sites, remote islands and its most famous attraction, The Giant’s Causeway. En route you will visit the Gobbins Cliff Path, which is a spectacular cliff walk that offers breathtaking views of the Irish Sea. As you embark on the cliff walk, you would be able to witness the sheer natural beauty of the area, including stunning waterfalls, diverse birdlife, and rugged cliffs. Your guesthouse tonight offers breathtaking views as it overlooks the stunning Atlantic Ocean.

Hotel ref: 32283001908

Overnight: Portrush | Blackrock House
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5 - Gobbins Cliff Path Read More +

Activity: Gobbins Cliff Path
Start Location: The Gobbins Visitor Centre, Middle Road, Islandmagee BT40 3SL | Start Time: 10:40 am | Approx Duration: 3 hrs

Booking Reference: 443293146
Phone: +44 (0)28 9337 2318

Please wear appropriate walking attire and a waterproof jacket if needed. You can hire footwear on-site if needed. We recommend grabbing lunch at the visitor centre. Afterwards, stop at The Rinkha – a local, family-owned shop, ice cream parlour and toy store that is celebrating more than 70 years of providing the community with all their grocery, hardware, ice cream and toy needs.

Driving route: https://maps.app.goo.gl/zLMnJ5VnJZVJPWjo7

Note: This route contains some scenic stops, remove as necessary.

Day 5 - Dinner Details Read More +

We recommend Urban Restaurant.

Day 6 - Thursday 23rd May - Visit Rathlin Island

Sail along the Causeway Coast today to Rathlin Island – many tales of myth and mystery surround Rathlin Island, though the most famous tells of Robert the Bruce. In 1306, the Scottish King was driven from Scotland by Edward I of England and took refuge on Rathlin where he watched a spider persevering again and again to bridge a gap with its web. Eventually it succeeded. Taking heart from the spider’s efforts, he returned to Scotland and eventually regained his crown. You’ll boat out to the island and explore by foot today, visiting the bird sanctuary and discovering the lighthouses on the island’s east and west coasts. You may even spot the resident island Puffins!

Overnight: Portrush | Blackrock House
Room Type: Classic
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6 - Rathlin Island Ferry Read More +

Activity: Rathlin Island Ferry
Start Location: Ballycastle Harbour | Start Time: 10:00 am | Approx Duration: 0.5 hrs

Phone: +44 (0)28 2076 9299

Rathlin Island Ferry takes approximately 40 minutes – please arrive 30 min before departure time. Tickets attached below. Your return ferry is at 5pm.

Driving route: https://maps.app.goo.gl/ZBheiSSYemL9WMVe6

Day 6 - Lunch Details Read More +

We recommend taking a packed lunch with you to eat on the island. Alternatively try Manor House on the island (please check opening hours the day before).

Day 6 - Suggested Stops Read More +

Rathlin Island Bird Centre Must see views of Northern Ireland’s largest seabird colony and a chance to explore Rathlin’s unique ‘upside down’ lighthouse part of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland Trail.

Rathlin Hiking Trails There are lots of hiking trails to choose from but we recommend the Kibble Cliff Walk.

Day 6 - Dinner Details Read More +

Back on the mainland we recommend The Quays or Ocho Tapas.

Day 7 - Friday 24th May - Horse Riding Experience & Derry City

This morning after breakfast, embark on a captivating journey through the heart of Northern Ireland’s enchanting countryside – with a twist! Once you’ve got to know your horse, explore the beautiful terrain from Benone beach traveling to Mussenden Temple on horseback. Ride along the golden sands, through sand dunes, and stop to view the waterfalls cascading off of the majestic cliffs of Binevenagh mountain. Enjoy some time in the spray of the Atlantic, allowing for plenty of photographic opportunities along the way. This afternoon, it’s time to head to Derry City, 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. You will meet a local who will lead you on a tour of the ancient walls. Together you will take a stroll through time, from the city’s mediaeval foundation to its central position in “The Troubles” and Northern Ireland’s turbulent recent history.

Hotel ref: 094417

Overnight: Derry | Bishop's Gate
Room Type: Deluxe
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7 - Horse Riding Read More +

Activity: Horse Riding
Crindle Stables: Amy
Start Location: 6 Carrowclare Rd, Limavady BT49 9ED, UK | Start Time: 11:00 am | Approx Duration: 3 hrs

Phone: +447738516106

Driving route: https://maps.app.goo.gl/67SBXJUzZD62G3E9A

Please note this is a working stable and family home, you’ll be welcomed through their kitchen (perhaps with a warm cup of tea)! Please wear clothing appropriate for horse riding and being outside.

Day 7 - Lunch Details Read More +

We recommend grabbing lunch at your hotel.

Day 7 - Derry Walking Tour Read More +

Activity: Derry Walking Tour
Guide: David Douglas
Start Location: The lobby of your hotel | Start Time: 5:00 pm | Approx Duration: 1.5 hrs

Phone: +447799693789

Day 7 - Dinner Details Read More +

Day 8 - Saturday 25th May - Glenveagh National Park

This morning, depart Northern Ireland as you head for the hills of Donegal and the beautiful National Park at Glenveagh where you will visit the castle, learning about its many owners. Glenveagh National Park is a hauntingly beautiful wilderness of craggy mountains, pristine lakes, tumbling waterfalls and enchanted native oak woodland, dominated by Mount Errigal’s glittering quartzite peak. On a walk along the nearby lake shore, keep an eye out for the herd of red deer that roam the hills. Your destination tonight is one of Ireland’s premier castle hotels, nestled within the forests of County Donegal upon a serene lake. Settle in and relax in luxury.

Overnight: Donegal | Lough Eske Castle
Room Type: Deluxe
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8 - Directions Read More +

To Glenveagh NP: https://maps.app.goo.gl/2dE8nTzmyVbNQEv28

From Glenveagh NP to Lough Eske Castle: https://maps.app.goo.gl/jmn6cJT5QTxuoUaj7

 

Day 8 - Glenveagh National Park Read More +

Activity: Glenveagh National Park

Walking Trails Glenveagh National Park (Gleann Bheatha, in Irish, meaning Glen of the Birches) is the second-largest national park in Ireland and has lots of hikes, from easy to moderate, to choose from.

  • Derrylahan Nature Trail: The way-marked walk near the Visitor Centre is an ideal introduction to Glenveagh’s natural environment and with 2km in length is perfect for visitors of all ages and fitness levels.
  • ViewPoint Trail: Albeit a very short trail, just 1km in length that starts and ends at the castle it leads to an ideal viewpoint that offers splendid views over the surrounding landscape,  Lough Veagh and the castle below.
  • Glen (Bridle Path) Walk: The trail is a mostly flat dirt road 8km in length rising gently over the last 3km. Along the walk which offers spectacular views of Lough Veagh and the surrounding landscape, you’ll be able to see native oak woodland and old settlements.

Glenveagh Castle The castle was styled as a romantic highland retreat and completed in 1873. It hosted many famous guests over the years, including Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne.

Day 8 - Lunch Details Read More +

We recommend Synge & Byrne, located in Glenveagh National Park.

Day 8 - Dinner Details Read More +

We recommend dining at your accommodation tonight.

Day 9 - Sunday 26th May - Glencolmcille & Slieve League Cliffs

Exploring south Donegal today, we will give you many recommendations to introduce you to the region’s history and culture. The folk village at Glencolmcille is an opportunity to step back in time, getting a sense of what life was like in Ireland in the early 20th century, when emigration was a daily reality for many in rural parts. Three times taller than the Cliffs of Moher, the Slieve League Cliffs are some of Europe’s highest sea cliffs and today you will get the chance to stand atop their edge as you hike to the summit.

Hotel ref: 150594 / 150595

Overnight: Donegal | Lough Eske Castle
Room Type: Deluxe
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9 - Glencolmcille Folk Village Read More +

Activity: Glencolmcille Folk Village
Start Location: Glencolmbkille Folk Village, Dooey
Phone: +353 (0)74 9730017

Driving route: https://maps.app.goo.gl/hQyqRWGoYix9fitS8

We will forward tickets asap.

Day 9 - Lunch Details Read More +

We recommend Ti Linn Cafe.

Day 9 - Slieve League Cliffs Read More +

Activity: Slieve League Cliffs

Driving route: https://maps.app.goo.gl/eVkwqn96f9gDfJse9

Check out our travel guide for everything related to the great Slieve League cliffs of Ireland here.

Day 9 - Dinner Details Read More +

We recommend dining at your hotel.

Day 10 - Monday 27th May - Return to Dublin

After enjoying a relaxing morning at Lough Eske Castle, it is time to leave the west coast and return to Dublin. You have a good driving distance ahead of you today and we recommend taking your time, stopping frequently and taking in some sights as you go. One great suggestion for a stop off in the border town of Enniskillen, an island within an island. Just outside you will find The Marble Arch caves, in the foothills of Cuilcagh Mountain. Explore the underground labyrinth with subterranean rivers, winding passageways, lofty chambers and an array of delicate cave formations. This evening arrive in Dublin and end your last night in Ireland with dinner at one of the city’s many award winning restaurants.

Overnight: Dublin | The Merrion
Room Type: superior
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10 - Directions Read More +

Day 10 - Suggested Stops Read More +

Cuilcagh Boardwalk The Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail also nicknamed the Stairway to Heaven Walk is located in Co. Fermanagh. The route meanders through one of the largest expanses of blanket bog in Northern Ireland, traversing over tracks, boardwalk and staircase.

Enniskillen For those intrigued by history, County Fermanagh offers a wealth of historical and cultural sites. Enniskillen Castle, with its medieval and Tudor architecture, stands as a centrepiece of the town and provides insights into the region’s past.

Day 10 - Lunch Details Read More +

We recommend The Jolly Sandwich Bar or  The Toastery (both located in Enniskillen).

Day 10 - Dinner Details Read More +

We recommend The Stag’s HeadCornucopia (vegan) or Featherblade.

 

Day 11 - Tuesday 28th May - Depart

This morning, check out of your hotel and head to Dublin airport. We do hope your time in Ireland has been memorable and we once again have the opportunity to welcome to our shores.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11 - Car Rental Drop Off Details Read More +

Car Rental Company: Enterprise
Booking Reference: 1195012131
Drop Off Location: Dublin Airport Car Hire Desk Dublin Airport Terminal 2 Arrivals Dublin, Ireland K67W6K5 | Drop Off Time: 7:30 am
Phone: (01) 844 5848

Driving route: https://maps.app.goo.gl/YtrMYNZHB4Dhz9rs8

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 11
  • Most meals as indicated above, all breakfast
  • Car Rental from Day 3 to Day 11
  • All guided activities mentioned in the itinerary, specifically;
  • Historical Walking Tour of Dublin
  • Coinnoisseur Experience at the Guinness Storehouse
  • Private Gaelic Games Experience
  • Private Food Tour of Belfast
  • Belfast Black Cabs Tour
  • Entrance Fee & Guided Tour of Gobbins Cliff Path
  • Private Horse Riding Experience
  • Guided Tour of Derry City
  • Entrance to Glencolmcille

 

  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • 24 hour in-country support
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions, specifically lunch and dinner
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities
Notes Read More

If you require support while in-country please call + 353 (0) 86 873 7223 – this phone number operates 24/7.

Important Additional Information Read More
  • Glenveagh Hiking Trails - PDF: View Now
  • Glenveagh Castle Information - PDF: View Now
  • Rathlin Island Ferry Tickets - PDF: View Now
  • Gobbins Cliff Path Tickets - PDF: View Now
Terms & Conditions Read More

Please see our booking terms here.

Get in Touch


Accommodation

The Westbury Hotel

Balfe Street | Dublin | Co. Dublin |
D02 CH66 | Ireland
Phone: +353 (0)1 679 1122
Web: doylecollection.com/hotels

The Merchant Hotel

16 Skipper Street | Belfast | Co. Antrim |
BT1 2DZ | Northern Ireland
Phone: +44 (0)28 90 23 4888
Web: themerchanthotel.com

Blackrock House B&B

26 Dhu Varren | Portrush | Antrim |
BT568EN | Ireland
Phone: +44 (0)77 79 336 885
Web: blackrockbandbportrush.com

Bishop's Gate Hotel

24 Bishop Street | Derry | Derry |
BT486PP | Ireland
Phone: +44 (0)28 711 40300
Web: bishopsgatehotelderry.com

The Merrion Hotel

Upper Merrion Street | Dublin | Co. Dublin |
D02 KF79 | Ireland
Phone: +353 (0)1 603 0600
Web: merrionhotel.com