(Belfast, Donegal, Sligo, Dublin)
Experience the beauty, history and culture of Northern Ireland as you travel throughout this magical, mythical land. Stay in historical castles that could be taken from a fairytale and see all of the sights - from picturesque towns and villages, to stunning coastlines including the UNESCO site of the Giant's causeway, the pre-historic monument of Newgrange which pre-dates the Pyramids, iron age forts and spectacular mountains and lakes (to name but a few of the highlights!). In the company of a knowledgeable Irish Driver-Guide, you will have the flexibility of spending each day at your own pace, and visiting places that are of particular interest to you.
After you are met by your Driver-Guide in Dublin airport, you will be brought for a full day of sightseeing on your way to Belfast. Newgrange is quite simply one of the great wonders of western ancient civilization that need to be seen close up to be fully appreciated. Dating from before the Pyramids it is a complex chamber that is perfectly aligned to catch the morning sun on the winter solstice. There are two other major tombs at Knowth and Dowth, both equally impressive and different in character. Nearby is the River Boyne where the famous Battle of the Boyne took place. The land here is lush and full of ancient and medieval ruins that are testaments to Irelands great heritage. Because you have the flexibility of your own private vehicle with driver-guide, you can spend as much or as little time at the various places of interest en route to Belfast.
This afternoon, you'll be driven through County Down which is arguably, Northern Irelands most scenic mountainous region that has been immortalized in the songs of Percy French and in ancient folklore. Downpatrick is an ancient town with The Fort of Patrick, a hill on which Down Cathedral is placed and reputed to be the final resting place of St Patrick, Ireland's patron Saint. A large granite boulder marks his tomb and this is a place of pilgrimage on Ireland's national holiday. Newcastle is famous for sweeping long beaches and a golf course. Nearby the famed Tollymore Forest park is green and enchanting. The picturesque village of Rostrevor has a history of ancient kings and buried giants and is a beautiful point in which to explore more of Carlingford Lough.
Upon arrival into Belfast, you'll have time to relax and unwind as you settle into your surroundings before thinking of dinner plans for this evening. “In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site”.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
All of our driver guides are experts on the areas you will be visiting on your tour of Ireland. We bring experienced driving skills, expert touring routes as well as knowledge and insight into the places you will be visiting and staying on your tour. Our driver guides will also recommend places to shop, have a drink, and dine in the various towns and villages and cities of Ireland. Your driver guide can arrange all kinds of activities, events and generally show you Ireland in such depth and quality that is only possible using a local expert. - Simply the best and most enjoyable way of seeing the Emerald Isle, in style! In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
The Mercedes S Class Sedan is the preferred vehicle for luxury individual group travel in Ireland. It has an elegant style and grace along with a smooth interior finished with leather, air conditioning, and electric windows, reclining seats and individual climate controls. It allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery in a space that is both comfortable and relaxing. We carry maps, guide books, water, fridge and music to make your journey as comfortable and entertaining as you wish. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
Belfast City is among the most fascinating places in the world to visit due to the evolving political and cultural shifts taking place weekly. The oldest quarter in the city is the Cathedral Quarter. It is located closest to the waterfront and dominated by the beautiful Church of Ireland Cathedral, St Anne’s. It was here that Belfast grew from an obscure village to become the vibrant city that it is today. In the city centre Donegal Place is one of Europe's finest squares and many buildings from Belfast glory days as the second city of the British Empire remains such as the Opera House, Town Hall and The magnificent Queens University. On the edge of the city are the great attractions at The Ulster Folk Park and Ulster Transport Museum. The waterfront was the engine of the extraordinary wealth and industry that saw Belfast transformed from a small town to a mighty city of over 450,000 people by the beginning of the 20th century. The Titanic was designed and built in Belfast between 1909 and 1912 and sent proudly out on her maiden voyage. When RMS Titanic sailed away from Belfast on her maiden voyage on April 10th, 1912, she was hailed as ‘the new wonder of the world’. A remarkable feat of Edwardian engineering and craftsmanship, she was the largest and most luxuriously appointed ship ever seen, and despite her tragic sinking she remains a source of enduring pride in the city where she was built - Belfast. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
Among Ireland's most unforgettable beauty spots is the Causeway Coast that stretches from Belfast to Derry along the North Eastern region the Island. Enjoy the spectauclar coastal seascapes on your chauffeur driven drive from Belfast to Donegal town, stopping off at various places throughout the day. Soon we enter the Nine Glens of Antrim as they drop majestically from the Antrim Plateau to the ocean below. Touring the northernmost coast will encompass the beautiful highlights of this unique coast that includes The Distillery at Bushmills, Dunluce Castle and Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge as it hangs precariously over the North Atlantic Ocean. A stop for food or a drink at the historic 16th century Bushmills Inn in Bushmills is also a highlight. The Giants Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage site rated as one of the Natural Wonders of the World. It is made up of 40000 interlocking basalt columns up to 12 metres long that stretch along the coast and into the ocean. “In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site”.
You'll spend the day today in the company of your driver-guide who will show you the sights in the area. Derry City is the second city of Northern Ireland and one of the finest walled cities in the country. It has a large town feel and is dominated by the River Foyle that sweeps through the town. The walls are a historic reminder of the troubles and murals, watchtowers and ramparts are interesting to visit. Around the city is the Ulster American Folk Park, an open-air museum which explores the historical link between Ulster and America, focusing particularly on the lifestyle and experiences of those immigrants who sailed from Ulster to America in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Enjoy the afternoon exploring the beautiful Northern coastline. The Inisowen Peninsula (and specifically Malin head) is Irelands' highest point and there are areas of unspoilt and natural beaches with lagoons and raging surf. Lough Swilly to the left and Lough Foyle to the right shape the landscape of this unique peninsula. There are numerous pretty seaside and country towns and villages full of rustic charm including Ballyliffin, Moville and Muff. The highlights of the peninsula tour include Greencastle built by Richard de Burgo in 1305, and the Martello Tower and Fort built in 1805 and 1811 to prevent the possible invasion by Napoleon through this strategic inlet. On the edge of the peninsula is Grianan of Aileach, an Iron Age Fort built by the ancient rulers of Ireland which is still one of the most impressive vernacular structures in Ireland.
Enjoy the day today as you spend your time traveling from Donegal to Sligo in the company of your driver-guide and are shown some of the best sights in the area. West of Donegal Town is one of the most magnificent and fascinating regions in Ireland. The major attractions are the picturesque towns and villages of Killibegs, Ardara where Nancy's is a great lunch stop. Beyond this are the most spectacular and highest sea cliffs in Europe at Slieve League, an awesome sight with the Atlantic crashing below. Glencollumcille is a monastic sight located on the coast road which provides a fitting end to an invigorating day touring. Donegal town has a magnificent castle and some fine shops especially for tweed, the local industry for many generations.
Sligo is an area of extreme beauty and varied landscapes with ancient sights dotted along its coast and mountains. South of the city is Carrowkeel, a five thousand year old megalithic cemetery which is hidden amongst the clambering hills. Ben Bulben is a beautiful Table Mountain where our greatest poet WB Yeats is laid to rest under at Drumcliff where his gravestone with its enigmatic epitaph can be meditated upon. Also in the region are beautiful lakes mystical Islands and pure waterfalls that inspired Yeats with romantic visions. “In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site”.
Enjoy the trip from Sligo to Dublin today with your Driver-Guide, stopping off along the way at different places. Fermanagh Lakeland region is dominated by Lough Erne to the North and South and the pretty island city of Enniskillen in the centre. The main places of interest are the museum located in the Watergate, The majestic Florence Court, The mysterious and enchanting Marble Arch Caves and the Beleek Pottery craft factory. For the more adventurous we suggest visiting Boa Island and exploring the pre Christian pagan statues.
The Lakelands of Ireland is an area with diverse historical attractions and breathtaking scenery. To the west is excellent Strokestown House and Famine Museum. In the north is Lough Crew megalithic cemetery, a wonder of ancient Ireland. Carrick on Shannon is a busy town with a culture based around cruising the waterways of the river and lakes. Local bars are famous for good fun and impromptu music sessions. This ancient sites of these regions dates back to pre pyramids making them among the oldest human settlements in the known world. Depending on your interests, your Driver-Guide will accomodate you to make sure that you spend the day doing things of most interest to you before you are dropped off at your accommodation in Dublin at days end. “In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site”.
A complimentary shuttle service is provided for guests of the Northwood Hotel to Dublin airport. The shuttle is available 24 hours a day.
The Merchant Hotel Belfast (5*) is an intimate, sumptuous, hotel in Northern Ireland, situated in the historical Cathedral Quarter of Belfast's city centre. The hotel rooms offer a classic design inspired by the richness of the Grade A listed architecture, with 21st century technology and comfort. No two rooms at The Merchant are the same – each has its own unique features, artwork and bespoke furnishings. The Merchant Hotel offers guests 5 different dining opportunities, and a fantastic Concierge that will assist guests in whatever they need.
Tucked within the captivating woodlands of Northwest Ireland, Solis Lough Eske Castle (5*) offers luxurious accommodation, stunningly set in a meticulously restored 17th Century castle. Featuring 96 guest suites and a luxuriant spa, this secluded hideaway provides the perfect backdrop to your disocery of this part of Ireland. The pool and Spa treatment building sits in the footprint of the original glass house which once stood in its place. With seven treatment rooms including two couples treatment rooms with jet bath and steam rooms. The hotel's restaurant serves Contemporary Cuisine inspired by fresh local Irish produce; with daily rotating menus focused on the freshest offerings of the season.
Markree Castle Hotel (4*) is one of the finest family run castle hotels in Ireland. Home of the Cooper family for more than 350 years it is now run as a small family hotel by Charles and Mary Cooper, 10th generation of the family to live at Markree. Set in a secluded 500 acre estate in County Sligo, peace and relaxation combined with good food, fine wine and old-world charm make a stay at Markree a step back in time.
Located in 85 acres of the mature woodlands of Northwood Park, Santry, the Crowne Plaza Dublin-Northwood (4*) has 204 bedrooms (all rooms have complimentary internet access). The property is located just minutes away from Dublin Airport which you can reach with a complimentary airport shuttle bus. Located within Northwood Park which consists of an extensive international business campus, a high quality residential village and numerous luxury amenities including a health & fitness centre, crèche, shops, restaurants and an 85 acre public park, this hotel is a property that we suggest if being close to the airport (particularly for an early morning flight departure) is preferred. Please note that it is located approximately 6km from Dublin city centre. While here, one can sample the culinary offerings at Cinnabar, a contemporary bar with views of the lake and surrounding park which offers a beautiful combination of contrasting Asian and Western design while creating a unique atmosphere to unwind in. Alternatively, there is an ‘east meets west' cuisine option at the onsite restaurant, Touzai, which features an Asian styled ambience.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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