Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture

7 days from $4,956 per person*
  • Explore all the highlights of Belfast led by expert private guide.
  • Take in the dramatic beauty of the Giants Causeway.
  • Stroll through the streets of the walled Derry City.
  • Explore the scenic north coast, and enjoy time to discover Galway.
  • Featuring five-star hotels.
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Stay in historical castles and manor houses as you are driven around Northern Ireland with an expert guide. Visit the Giant's Causeway, the revitalized city of Belfast, picturesque Donegal and cultural Galway, as well as stunning coastline, mountains, lakes & historical sites.

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.

Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance. ... Show More »

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Dublin to Belfast
    Dublin to Belfast
    • Ireland - Welcome Package
    • Touring the Emerald Isle
    • Private Transfer - Dublin - Belfast [Airport, with Newgrange & Mourne Coast (8 hrs)] - Vehicle/Driver-Guide
    Breakfast
  • Day 2 Belfast
    Belfast
    • Private Tour - Black Cab City Tour (1.5 hrs) - Black Cab/Driver-Guide
    • Private Tour - City Tour with Titanic Museum (8 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver-Guide
    Breakfast
  • Day 3 Belfast to Donegal
    Belfast to Donegal
    • Private Transfer - Belfast - Donegal [with Giants Causeway & Antrim Coast (8 hrs)] - Vehicle/Driver-Guide
  • Day 4 Donegal
    Donegal
    • Private Tour - Derry and the Inishowen Peninsula (8 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver-Guide
  • Day 5 Donegal to Galway
    Donegal to Galway
    • Private Transfer - Donegal - Galway [via County Sligo (8 hrs)] - Vehicle/Driver-Guide
  • Day 6 Galway to Dublin
    Galway to Dublin
    • Private Transfer - Galway - Dublin [via Galway, Midlands & Clonmacnoise Monastery (8 hrs)] - Vehicle/Driver-Guide
    Breakfast
  • Day 7 Dublin
    Dublin
    • Private Transfer - Airport - Vehicle/Driver
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
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Day 1: Dublin - Belfast

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 provided to you on your first day in destination.

Discover Ireland with a private driver-guide, featuring experienced driving skills and expert local knowledge and insight into the best towns, monuments and historic sites of the Emerald Isle. In addition to your pre-booked customized touring, get recommendations on where to shop, have a drink, grab a bite, and even lesser-known sites typically ignored by visitors, all of which you can stop to visit on a whim (payable on the spot), because your days have built-in flexibility. Enjoy an introduction to Ireland with such depth and quality that's only possible with a local expert. Simply the best and most enjoyable way of seeing the Emerald Isle, in style! 

Meet your private driver-guide at Dublin Airport, and embark on a full-day transfer to Belfast, stopping to explore Newgrange and the Morne Coast en route. You’ll first set your sights on a visit to Newgrange, a stunning Neolithic passage tomb that is quite simply one of the great wonders of ancient western civilization. Be swept back to a time over 5,000 years ago, admiring the massive stone mound and its internal passages and chambers, letting reality set in that you’re experiencing a monument which predates both Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, with passages aligned to illuminate with the summer and winter solstice. 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 Ireland’s impressive heritage. In the afternoon, continue through County Down which is arguably, Northern Ireland’s most scenic mountainous region, immortalized in ancient folklore and the songs of Percy French. 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. Make a stop in Newcastle, famous for long, sweeping beaches and its golf course, then head to Downpatrick, an ancient town where you can visit the reputed final resting place of Ireland’s patron saint, St Patrick, as well as the lovely 12th and 13th century ruins of Inch Abbey, on the bank of the Quoile River. Conclude your day on arrival to Belfast.

Accommodation: The Merchant

The luxurious Merchant Hotel, situated in the historical Cathedral Quarter of Belfast's city center, is Northern Ireland's only 5 AA Red Star-awarded hotel. The grandeur of the original Grade A listed building is complemented by Victorian and Art Deco-styled guestrooms, all offering 21st century technology and comfort. No two rooms at The Merchant are alike – each has its own unique features, artwork and bespoke furnishings. Enjoy live jazz on-site, indulge in the relaxed setting of the luxury spa, or take afternoon tea for a decadent treat. The Merchant Hotel offers guests a quintessential fine dining experience, or superbly casual options to suit any taste.

Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Newgrange
Newgrange
Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Belfast
Belfast

Day 2: Belfast

Embark on a private 1.5-hour tour of Belfast in the classic ambience of a Black Cab. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable, your specialized local driver-guide will take you through the history, politics and turmoil that have shaped the city you see today, one still predominantly divided into Protestant and Catholic territories. Hear stories and personal anecdotes of the lasting religious-political conflict as you drive through Falls Road (Catholic) and Shankhill Road (Protestant), two neighborhoods with a bloody past, witnessing the Peace Line wall that separates the communities. Learn of the many murals which can be seen throughout Belfast, speaking to the troubles of the Loyalist/Unionist and Republican/Nationalist divide. You’ll spot sites like Crumlin Road Jail, Europa Hotel, and The Crown Bar, hearing how they’ve played an important role in the political history of the city – an experience both enlightening and humbling. Conclude back at your hotel.

Set out with your private driver-guide on a full day tour exploring the classic highlights of Belfast. Discover the old Cathedral Quarter near the waterfront, host of the beautiful St. Anne's Cathedral, dating back to 1899. In the city center, explore Donegal Place, one of Europe's finest squares, still home to many buildings from Belfast's glory days as the second city of the British Empire. See the late 19th century Grand Opera House, the beautiful white Belfast City Hall, along with the iconic mid-19th century Lanyon Building of the Queen's University, in all its red brick neo-Gothic beauty. Check out the impressive bronze sculptures of CS Lewis Square, commemorating the local creator of the Chronicles of Narnia. Take in impressive views of the city as you visit the gardens of the historic Belfast Castle Estate, and even visit Belfast's Botanic Gardens, an important part of the city's Victorian heritage - boasting an array of exotic and tropical plant species. In the afternoon, you'll visit the famous Titanic Museum. The RMS Titanic was designed and built in Belfast between 1909 and 1912, a remarkable feat of Edwardian engineering and craftsmanship. Despite her tragic sinking she remains a source of enduring pride in the city where she was built. 

Accommodation: The Merchant
Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Murals of Belfast
Murals of Belfast
Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Titanic Museum
Titanic Museum

Day 3: Belfast - Donegal

Depart Belfast with your private driver-guide for a scenic and leisurely transfer to Donegal today. Heading northwest you'll first enter the Glens of Antrim, a collection of nine verdant valleys that shine from the Antrim Plateau to the coast. Among Ireland's most unforgettable spots of beauty is the Causeway Coast that stretches from Belfast to Derry along the North Eastern region the island. Following the Glens, you'll hit the northernmost coast, site of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Giants Causeway, one of the Natural Wonders of the World. Made up of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns up to 40 feet long that stretch along the coast and into the ocean. It's a unique geological feature that is truly a sight to behold. Touring the unique northernmost coast will open you up to a number of remarkable optional stops en route, if you so choose, including a stop at the Distillery at Bushmills, exploring the ancient ruins of Dunluce Castle, or an invigorating walk across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge as it hangs precariously over the North Atlantic Ocean. In order to give as much flexibility as possible today, entrance fees for optional stops are not included and can be paid on the spot where desired. Conclude your day on arrival to Donegal.

Accommodation: Lough Eske Castle

Nestled amid the majestic scenery of Donegal, Lough Eske Castle offers luxury accommodation set in a meticulously restored 17th century castle, returning to the glamour, style, and elegance of its historic past. Featuring an impressive 96 guest suites and a luxuriant spa, this secluded hideaway provides the perfect backdrop to your discovery of the dramatic landscapes, ragged coastlines and vast seascapes which inspired National Geographic Traveler to label Donegal as the Coolest Place on the Planet. Find solace in the luxury spa, situated in the peaceful setting of the castle garden, or find yourself exploring the tastes of the Wild Atlantic Way, brought together by an exceptional culinary team who draws inspiration and ingredients from the wild and dramatic landscapes around you. Whether you come to discover the real Donegal, celebrate a romantic milestone, or simply retreat from the world, everything about Lough Eske will lend itself to achieving this. 

Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Donegal Castle
Donegal Castle

Day 4: Donegal

With your private driver-guide, set out today on a tour to discover the Inishowen Peninsula, crossing over into Northern Ireland en route to get to know the closely linked city of Derry (officially Londonderry) along the way. Derry is the second city of Northern Ireland, and features arguably Europe's most magnificent fully intact city walls. Walk around, on top, and inside the exceptionally preserved early 17th century ramparts, spotting the St Columb's Cathedral in its Gothic glory, and nestling in beside a decommissioned cannon to cherish a view of the stunning 19th century Guildhall, house of the city council. The afternoon finds you exploring the beautiful northern coastline. The Inishowen Peninsula (and specifically Malin Head) is Ireland's most northerly point, featuring areas of unspoiled beaches with lagoons and raging surf. There are numerous pretty seaside and country towns and villages full of rustic charm including Ballyliffin, Moville and Muff. Highlights include a stop at Greencastle to admire the coastal ruins of the Northburgh Castle, built in 1305, and left in ruin in the 17th century after being pummeled by cannon fire, along with a visit of the small Martello tower at Magilligan, built between 1812-1817 during the Napoleonic Wars.

Accommodation: Lough Eske Castle
Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Cannon View of Guildhall
Cannon View of Guildhall

Day 5: Donegal - Galway

Meet your private driver-guide for a transfer to Galway today. En route, you'll get to spend some time exploring County Sligo, an area of extreme beauty, with varied landscapes and one of the country's highest densities of prehistoric sites, dotted along its coast and mountains. It's here where you can catch views of the impressive Benbulbin, a stunning rock formation that is considered Ireland's Table Mountain. Discover the colorful coastal city of Sligo, originally built around a medieval Norman castle back in the 13th century. Here, optional visits (admission payable on the spot) can be made to the 13th century Sligo Abbey ruins and the Yeats Memorial Building, dedicated to Ireland's greatest poet, W.B. Yeats. South of Sligo city, get out and walk up to admire the Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery, a 5,000 year old Neolithic passage tomb cluster, hidden amidst the clambering hills. Head out into Yeats Country, featuring beautiful lakes, mystical islands and serene waterfalls that inspired Yeats with romantic visions. Your day will come to an end on arrival to Galway.

Accommodation: Glenlo Abbey Hotel

The elegant Glenlo Abbey Hotel has been welcoming guests since 1740, offering the discerning traveler a warm, personable and luxurious base during their stay in Galway. Nestled peacefully on a stunning 138-acre estate on the edge of Ireland’s largest lake, Lough Corrib, the beautiful, rugged and unspoiled natural scenery of Connemara lies right at Glenlo Abbey's doorstep. Guestrooms and suites ooze opulence, but remain inviting and comfortable, having been designed with an emphasis on general space and comfort, with unrivaled views of the dramatic West of Ireland landscape and it's ever-changing colors. The 9-hole Glenlo Abbey Golf Course welcomes visitors from around the world, while the <i>pièce de résistance</i> comes in the form of the AA Rosette awarded Pullman Restaurant, comprised of two former rail cars that once served on the Orient Express. 

Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Benbulbin
Benbulbin
Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Galway
Galway

Day 6: Galway - Dublin

Transfer to Dublin today in the company of your private driver-guide. First, explore the cosmopolitan city of Galway before you leave it behind, Ireland's Gaelic and artistic capital. Discover the Latin Quarter, buzzing from the eclectic legacy of a maritime past with its Spanish Arch and historic cobbled street fronts. The city is famous for its lively ambiance and impromptu street entertainment, never more evident than with a walk through Kirwan's Lane, the city's busking capital, spotted 16th and 17th century architectural relics. See the Claddagh District, the point of origin of the Claddagh ring, world-renowned as the international symbol of friendship. Further along the Claddagh, the city opens to the Atlantic Ocean at Salthill, with promenades and beautiful vistas. Heading out along the famous Galway Bay, you'll happen upon the charming and timeless villages of Spiddal, Barna and Furbo. Continuing on your journey toward Dublin, pass through the scenic Midlands - an area rich in a landscape of blanket bog dispersed with lakes, castles and historic towns. Enjoy a visit to the ruins of Clonmacnoise, where a walk amongst the ancient stone ruins of this renowned 6th century city will envoke images of the scholars and saints of Ireland’s Golden Age of learning. At day's end, arrive in Dublin.

Accommodation: The Westbury

The unrivaled location and luxury of The Westbury in Dublin, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, blends city living with an oasis of comfort and calm. From the moment guests ascend the hotel’s central staircase to be introduced at check-in, there is a sense of being welcomed into a home away from home. Enjoy the utmost comfort in luxuriously appointed guestrooms and suites, each elegantly decorated and providing a haven of calm in the midst of this lively capital. Revel in the institution of Dublin's finest Afternoon Tea, and explore a stunning array of decadent dining at the Westbury's signature restaurant, bistro and bars. With your convenience in mind, it's merely a step outside for immediate access to the pedestrianized social hub of Grafton Street, as well as the historic open spaces of Dublin’s Trinity College and St Stephen’s Green. First class service and attention to every detail will make sure your stay at The Westbury memorable for all the right reasons.

Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Clonmacnoise Abbey
Clonmacnoise Abbey
Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Dublin
Dublin

Day 7: Dublin

Meet your private driver and vehicle for an airport transfer.

Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard)

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

The Merchant : Belfast

The luxurious Merchant Hotel, situated in the historical Cathedral Quarter of Belfast's city center, is Northern Ireland's only 5 AA Red Star-awarded hotel. The grandeur of the original Grade A listed building is complemented by Victorian and Art Deco-styled guestrooms, all offering 21st century technology and comfort. No two rooms at The Merchant are alike – each has its own unique features, artwork and bespoke furnishings. Enjoy live jazz on-site, indulge in the relaxed setting of the luxury spa, or take afternoon tea for a decadent treat. The Merchant Hotel offers guests a quintessential fine dining experience, or superbly casual options to suit any taste.

Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  The Merchant
The Merchant

Lough Eske Castle : Donegal

Nestled amid the majestic scenery of Donegal, Lough Eske Castle offers luxury accommodation set in a meticulously restored 17th century castle, returning to the glamour, style, and elegance of its historic past. Featuring an impressive 96 guest suites and a luxuriant spa, this secluded hideaway provides the perfect backdrop to your discovery of the dramatic landscapes, ragged coastlines and vast seascapes which inspired National Geographic Traveler to label Donegal as the Coolest Place on the Planet. Find solace in the luxury spa, situated in the peaceful setting of the castle garden, or find yourself exploring the tastes of the Wild Atlantic Way, brought together by an exceptional culinary team who draws inspiration and ingredients from the wild and dramatic landscapes around you. Whether you come to discover the real Donegal, celebrate a romantic milestone, or simply retreat from the world, everything about Lough Eske will lend itself to achieving this. 

Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Lough Eske Castle
Lough Eske Castle
Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Gardens
Gardens

Glenlo Abbey Hotel : Galway

The elegant Glenlo Abbey Hotel has been welcoming guests since 1740, offering the discerning traveler a warm, personable and luxurious base during their stay in Galway. Nestled peacefully on a stunning 138-acre estate on the edge of Ireland’s largest lake, Lough Corrib, the beautiful, rugged and unspoiled natural scenery of Connemara lies right at Glenlo Abbey's doorstep. Guestrooms and suites ooze opulence, but remain inviting and comfortable, having been designed with an emphasis on general space and comfort, with unrivaled views of the dramatic West of Ireland landscape and it's ever-changing colors. The 9-hole Glenlo Abbey Golf Course welcomes visitors from around the world, while the <i>pièce de résistance</i> comes in the form of the AA Rosette awarded Pullman Restaurant, comprised of two former rail cars that once served on the Orient Express. 

Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Glenlo Abbey Hotel
Glenlo Abbey Hotel
Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Sitting Room
Sitting Room

The Westbury: Dublin

The unrivaled location and luxury of The Westbury in Dublin, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, blends city living with an oasis of comfort and calm. From the moment guests ascend the hotel’s central staircase to be introduced at check-in, there is a sense of being welcomed into a home away from home. Enjoy the utmost comfort in luxuriously appointed guestrooms and suites, each elegantly decorated and providing a haven of calm in the midst of this lively capital. Revel in the institution of Dublin's finest Afternoon Tea, and explore a stunning array of decadent dining at the Westbury's signature restaurant, bistro and bars. With your convenience in mind, it's merely a step outside for immediate access to the pedestrianized social hub of Grafton Street, as well as the historic open spaces of Dublin’s Trinity College and St Stephen’s Green. First class service and attention to every detail will make sure your stay at The Westbury memorable for all the right reasons.

Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  The Westbury Hotel
The Westbury Hotel
Northern Ireland: Castles, Coastline & Culture Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Gallery
Gallery

Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard): Global Location

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Clark S. — November 10, 2018 — Europe

    We booked a trip to Paris for our 20th Anniversary. The trip was wonderful! We were able to customize our trip with our tour expert, Julie, and our trip was great.

  • David W. — November 21, 2018 — Europe

    I absolutely loved our two guides, Robert (Cardiff Walking Tour) and Noel Clawson, our guide throughout our trip. They are two very special people. The tour in Wales was perfect!

  • Wanda P. — October 13, 2018 — Europe

    Our entire trip was very well designed to fit our schedule and preferences. The on-site guides and drivers were excellent. They were very professional and friendly. We asked for guides that were knowledgeable of Cambridge and Oxford Universities, and we were very satisfied with both guides. Thank you for making our trip one of the best we have experienced.

  • Patricia M. — October 17, 2018 — Europe

    The hotels, guides, transportation, food and city tours of Barcelona, San Sebastián, Bilbao and Madrid were amazing! I would highly recommend the Kensington Culinary Trip to Spain to others.

  • Thomas R. — October 02, 2018 — Europe

    We really enjoyed our tour guide in Rome that took us to Vatican City - very friendly and informative.

  • Bruce B. — September 16, 2018 — Europe

    Edita was amazing with all her help in arranging everything. The hotels were all fantastic, along with the transportation between the Greek Islands and hotels - everything was great. The local guides were friendly and fun as well.

  • Jacqui F. — September 29, 2018 — Europe

    I was very happy with all the assistance I received.

  • Marilyn K. — September 20, 2018 — Europe

    Our guides were knowledgeable and kind beyond expectation, and were extremely amenable to our requests. The tour expert was very patient and knowledgeable as well, and truly had our travel wishes in mind when creating our trip to Poland. It was a wonderful and amazing life changing experience!

  • John H. — December 27, 2018 — Europe

    Outstanding tour. The guides were all great. Everything was top notch.

  • Anthony D. — October 24, 2018 — Europe

    We loved it all!

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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