Secrets of Ireland's Northern Coast

Mike and Lisa Bitting

Friday 10th May – Sunday 19th May 2024

Number of Travellers: 2
Duration: 10 Days / 9 Nights

Overview

From the misty Mountains of Mourne to the haunting beauty and tumbling waterfalls of Glenveagh National Park – welcome to the north of Ireland’s most captivating landscapes, a region steeped in myth and shrouded in legend. Travelling north, discover an area rich in history and folklore.

Amidst sea spray and sunshine, step out onto the iconic rocks of the Giant’s Causeway, cross the waves to Rathlin Island, and venture into the rugged mountains of Donegal. With your expert guide, immerse yourself in a trip designed just for you, enjoying tailored activities and exclusive experiences. As evening approaches, discover the exquisite comfort of your luxury accommodation, enjoying wonderful food in a magical setting.

Highlights

  • Walk along the iconic Giant's Causeway, listening to tales of myth & legend
  • Visit Rathlin Island, home to unique seabird colonies including puffins
  • Explore the wild splendour of the Mourne Mountains
  • Stay in deluxe accommodations nestled in remote hidden gems

Day by Day

Day 1 - Friday 10th May - Welcome to Dublin

Finishing up your guided small group tour of Ireland’s Coast to Coast this afternoon, your small group guide will drop you off directly to your boutique hotel on the edge of the city centre. 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.

Overnight: Dublin | The Wilder Townhouse
Room Type: Popular Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 1 - Dublin Historical Walking Tour Read More +

Activity: Dublin Historical Walking Tour
Start Location: The lobby of The Wilder Townhouse | Start Time: 3:00 pm | Approx Duration: 2 hrs

Phone: +353 87 688 9412 | Website: https://historicaltours.ie/

Your private guide will meet you in the lobby of the Wilder Townhouse after you’ve had a chance to settle in and drop your bags.

Day 2 - Saturday 11th May - Carlingford and Newcastle

This morning, your private guide for the next week will meet you in the reception of The Wilder Townhouse, and from here you will begin your drive north together. Take the time to visit the medieval town of Carlingford, admiring its impressive medieval fortifications, historic buildings and delicious, local oysters. Afterwards, join your guide for a stunning walk through the hills of the Cooley Peninsula, an area that is technically a protected leprechaun habitat. Steeped in Irish mythology, listen to tales of warrior queens and cattle raids, before ferrying across the fjord to the majestic Mountains of Mourne and your accommodation for the next two nights. Your guide will join you for dinner in Newcastle this evening to get properly acquainted and to make a toast to the week of adventure ahead.

Overnight: Newcastle | Burrendale Hotel & Spa
Room Type: Mountain View King
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 2 - Guide Details - Paul Quinn Read More +

Name: Paul Quinn
Contact Number: +353 87 259 2863
Meeting Place: The lobby of the Wilder Townhouse

Day 2 - Dinner Details Read More +

Hotel: Burrendale Hotel
Website: https://www.burrendale.com/dining.html

Your guide Paul will join you for dinner in your hotel tonight to make a toast to the week of adventure ahead.

Day 3 - Sunday 12th May - The Mourne Mountains

Today, enjoy exploring one of the most captivating corners of Northern Ireland – the sweeping, soaring peaks of the Mourne Mountains. Head out with your guide to hike through this dramatic landscape, which served as inspiration for C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. Home to some of the best walking trails in the region enjoy panoramic views that stretch beyond the granite tors, all the way to the glittering ocean. The diverse habitat supports ravens, skylark, meadow pipit and peregrine falcons, while the Mourne Wall – which was finished in 1922 and took 18 years to complete, connects the desolate summits of 15 mountains and stretches for over 22 miles.

Overnight: Newcastle | Burrendale Hotel & Spa
Room Type: Mountain View King
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 - Monday 13th May - In the Footsteps of Giants

After a leisurely breakfast, head out with your guide to hike along the majestic Causeway Coastal Route. Bright in the summer months with blue spring squill, pink thrift and white sea campion, stroll along the Causeway Coast’s cliff tops watching seabirds swoop and dive above the swell. With the cliffs growing wilder with each step, soon the iconic Giant’s Causeway will come into view – the world-famous interlocking columns formed by volcanic eruptions 50-60 million years ago. Chat to your guide about the giants Finn MacCool and Benandonner, a legend born from this unique and mesmerising coastline. Later this afternoon, enjoy a scenic transfer to a lovingly-restored former coaching inn, located in a town known for its whiskey.

Overnight: Bushmills | Bushmills Inn
Room Type: Mill House Deluxe
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Tuesday 14th May - Rathlin Island

Off the northern shores of the Causeway Coast lies Rathlin Island. This morning, make the short crossing over the water to arrive in its welcoming bay. The history of the island is entwined in folklore, with the best known being that of Robert the Bruce. When driven from Scotland in 1306, he is said to have found inspiration to reclaim his crown by watching a spider’s perseverance when building its web. Today, Rathlin is home to Northern Ireland’s largest bird sanctuary and also three enchanting lighthouses. Enjoy exploring the salt-stung cliffs, ancient woodlands and secluded beaches with your knowledgeable guide. Learn about the island’s history of shipwrecks, before returning to the mainland in the golden glow of the afternoon.

Overnight: Bushmills | Bushmills Inn
Room Type: Mill House Deluxe
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - Wednesday 15th May - Derry City and Glenveagh National Park

Travel west this morning to the city of Derry. Join a local guide on a walking tour of one of the finest walled cities in Europe, learning about the city’s civil strife and proud, resilient culture. After a lovely lunch and an amble along the winding cobblestone streets, head into the rugged region of Donegal to explore Glenveagh National Park. With shimmering lakes, valleys ribboned in dark water and rocky peaks that shift with mountain mist, the best way to explore the national park is on foot. For those seeking a challenge, there is also the option of summiting Mt Errigal, the highest peak of the Derryveagh Mountains. This evening, relax in your stunning castle hotel, perhaps enjoying a swim before dinner.

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

Day 6 - Derry Walls Walking Tour Read More +

Activity: Derry Walls Walking Tour
Tour Guide: Ruairí O'hEara
| Approx Duration: 1.5 hrs
Website: https://toursofderry.com/

Day 7 - Thursday 16th May - The Slieve League Cliffs and Irish Tweed

Renowned for both its beauty and its world-class hiking, the north west of Ireland is a well-loved destination for both travellers and locals alike. Spend the morning with your guide taking the lead visiting some of the tallest sea-cliffs in Europe at Slieve League, standing 3 times taller than the Cliffs of Moher! Take an ancient path taken on holy pilgrimages to get the chance to do something few visitors get to do: stand atop the Slieve League Cliffs on the far end of the renowned “One Man’s Pass”. After lunch, meet a local tweed-weaver to learn about the ancient craft and visit a traditional workshop. This evening, head into town to catch a live music performance in one of the spirited pubs – pint in hand sitting by a crackling fire, it’s the perfect Irish evening.

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

Day 7 - Irish Twead Handweaving Demonstration Read More +

Activity: Irish Twead Handweaving Demonstration
Start Location: Triona Design in Ardara Village | Approx Duration: 1 hrs

Website: https://trionadesign.com/

Day 8 - Friday 17th May - Sligo and Lough Gill

Head south to neighbouring County Sligo, or “Yeats Country,” so nicknamed since Ireland’s national poet W.B. Yeats drew great inspiration from Sligo’s landscapes and natural beauty. We will take a unique up-close look at his poetic landmarks, best experienced by kayak on the serene waters of Lough Gill nestled in the Ox Mountains. Your kayaking guide will bring stories of Yeats and the landscape to life, including paying a visit to the Lake Isle of Inishfree made famous by the poet’s writings.

Saying farewell to the west coast after lunch and a stroll through town, continue the drive back to Dublin. Your guide will join for dinner on your final evening together, where we will book you into one of our favourite restaurants in the capital.

Overnight: Dublin | The Wilder Townhouse
Room Type: Popular Double
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8 - Private Lough Gill Kayaking Tour Read More +

Activity: Private Lough Gill Kayaking Tour
| Approx Duration: 3 hrs
Website: https://sligokayaktours.com/

Day 8 - Dinner Details Read More +

Restaurant: Suesey Street
Reservation Time: 7:00 pm
Website: https://www.sueseystreet.ie/

Enjoy a farewell dinner with your guide in Dublin tonight to celebrate your final evening together, just 5 minutes away from your hotel in a delicious modern European restaurant.

Day 9 - Saturday 18th May - Exploring Ireland's Capital

Your guide Paul is a Dublin local and will be on-hand with you through the morning and afternoon as you explore Ireland’s buzzing capital together. You’ve already gotten a keen understanding of Dublin’s historical districts around Merrion Square last week, and today explore a different side of the city featuring the immaculate grounds of Trinity College, the shopping district of Grafton Street, and foodie-beloved cafes and bakeries tucked away in the quieter alleyways. Paul will have his list of top choices to complement this, and you will have a free evening to explore any bucket-list items for Dublin which you may have.

We have provided our ‘Eat, See, Stay’ packet of restaurant and sight recommendations for your self-guided time later in the day, but let us know if you would like any additional recommendations for dinner!

Overnight: Dublin | The Wilder Townhouse
Room Type: Popular Double
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 10 - Sunday 19th May - Departure

This morning, we have arranged a private transfer to take you to Dublin Airport with plenty of time to catch your departing flight back home. We hope you have enjoyed your adventure with us, and we cannot wait to welcome you back to our friendly shores.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10 - Transfer Details Read More +

Supplier: Dublin Chauffeurs
Pick Up Location: The lobby of The Wilder Townhouse | Pick Up Time: 10:00 am
Phone: +353 87 233 8396

Your driver will meet you in the lobby of the Wilder Townhouse and will drive you directly to Dublin Airport, allowing plenty of time ahead of your departing flight.

Trip Details

Notes Read More

May 2nd Arrival Logistics

We have arranged for a private transfer to collect you from Dublin Airport on May 2nd, in line with your arrival flight DL44 expected to land at 09:15.

Your driver will be managed by Dublin Chauffeurs, and your driver meet you at the arrivals hall of Terminal 2 carrying a sign with your name on it.

You will then be transferred directly to The Hardiman Hotel in Galway, where we have booked you in for a 2 night stay in a Classic Double Room under confirmation number 249064799.

Important Additional Information Read More

Get in Touch


Meet Your Guide

Paul Quinn

Contact Number: +353 87 259 2863

I’ve been playing outside in the mountains all over Ireland for the past 30 years and I’m not stopping anytime soon! Working as a mountain guide is the cherry on top – life is certainly looking after me. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to trek through high mountains all over the world.

Working and being outdoors in Ireland is what I truly love. I am passionate about sharing my love of Ireland as well as its great adventures, people and culture with others. My hobby is ‘Adventure Racing’ which I do badly but I thoroughly enjoy. I adore being alive and enjoying places and experiences to the max!

Full Web Bio