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Blarney Castle, House & Gardens, Ireland
Caption: Blarney Castle, House & Gardens, Ireland
Caption: Daly's Bridge, Cork
Caption: Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland
Caption: Stable Yard, Blarney Castle, Ireland
Caption: Sunrise at Baily Lighthouse, Dublin

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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility.
Destination: A Taste of Ireland
with Dublin City Stay
Duration: 10 days / 9 nights
Flight information: London Heathrow Airport [LHR] to Shannon Airport [SNN] on Day 1 and returning from Dublin Airport [DUB] back to London Heathrow Airport [LHR] on Day 10
Pickup location: Shannon Airport [SNN]


Choose your departure date for your group.

“One Hundred Thousands Welcomes” to Ireland! Enjoy the timeless historic landscape and witness the legendary shades of green.

Starting at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park we'll be introduced to the legendary hospitality and history of Ireland as we begin our time in Irleand with a medieval banquet. Next we'll travel South to Bantry whose history streches back to Neolithic times. Extremely beautiful scenery to enjoy as we explore around the Beara Peninsula, with views of its dramatic intricate coast and mountains around every turn. A step back in time to see Charles Fort, the best preserved and most extensive star-shaped fort in Ireland dating back to the 17th Century. We couldn't leave Ireland without sampling some Irish Whiskey and a visit to Blarney Castle with the opportunity to kiss the Blarney stone and as legend has it, receive the 'gift of the gab'. The Dunbrody Famine Ship provides us with a world class interpretation of the famine emigrant experience and an insight into the bravery and fortitude of the Irish people. Before heading up to County Wicklow, known as 'The Garden of Ireland' we will witness Ireland's team of skilled workers and their world-renowned crystal at Waterford Crystal. Our final nights will be spent in and around the captivating capital city of Dublin, with a visit to the world-renowned Guinness Storehouse and Malahide Castle & Gardens being just a couple of the highlights.


Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Ceád Mile Fáilte, Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet
DAY 2 - Limerick, Killarney Scenic Drive & Bantry Bay
DAY 3 - The Beara Peninsula & Ferry Round Garnish Island
DAY 4 - West Cork, Charles Sea Fort
DAY 5 - Blarney Castle, Cork & Jameson Whiskey Distillery
DAY 6 - Waterford Crystal & Dunbrody Famine Ship, Wexford
DAY 7 - Powerscourt House & Dublin
DAY 8 - Dublin City Tour & Guinness Storehouse
DAY 9 - Malahide Castle & Dublin City
DAY 10 - Farewell to Dublin & Home...
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Ceád Mile Fáilte, Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet

As the Irish say, Ceád Mile Fáilte! One Hundred Thousand Welcomes to Ireland. You will be met at Shannon airport for transfers to check in to our hotel in Bunratty. You will also meet your Big Journey Company Tour director for more info about the tour and the Welcome Banquet this evening.
Visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park at your leisure this afternoon after check in. Bunratty Castle is the most complete medieval castle in Ireland. Built in 1425 and restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour, the now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings and works of art, capturing the mood of those times. The castle and park are within easy walking distance of the hotel. Here you will enjoy the sights and sounds of Ireland's history as you stroll from house to house and around the charming village streets complete with school, post office, doctors house, hardware shop, printers from the past. You may catch a glimpse of the farmer’s wife baking griddle bread or making some home-made butter. McNamara’s pub is definitely worth a visit.
Return to the hotel with time to freshen up before attending a Medieval Banquet in Bunratty Castle itself this evening. The ladies of the Castle, aided and abetted by the Earl’s butler, ensure an evening of entertainment following in the best tradition of Irish hospitality. Wine flows as entertainers recreate the magical atmosphere of an Earl's banquet as you dine as Lords and Ladies of the castle!

Included meals: Dinner 

DAY 2 - Limerick, Killarney Scenic Drive & Bantry Bay

Today is it a fusion of traditional and modern streetscapes and offers delights for every visitor. After breakfast you will leave the village of Bunratty for Limerick City. As well as giving its name to witty, five lined poems, this compact old town is known for the medieval-era St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. John’s square, which is lined with Georgian townhouses. Limerick is a picturesque town standing along the River Shannon.
Travel through the pretty towns of Adare and Abbey Feale for our next stop in Killarney. Killarney has had a strong tradition of welcoming visitors for almost three centuries. Many writers and artists have visited this area and been inspired by the majestic mountains and mystical lakes. During your stop here you will take a jaunting car ride to enjoy the scenery and have a chat with your ‘jarvey’ (driver) as you take in the beauty of this place. Continue your journey south through the charming town of Kenmare, one of Ireland’s designated heritage towns towards the famous Bantry Bay where you stay this evening. Dinner this evening is in the hotel dining room.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 

DAY 3 - The Beara Peninsula & Ferry Round Garnish Island

The tour today will take you around the Beara Peninsula. Bounded between the Kenmare river and Bantry Bay to the south, this area has two mountain ranges running down its centre, the Caha Mountains and the Slieve Misk Mountains. This intricate coast and the mountains makes for dramatic scenery at every turn on the road.
We will enjoy a traditional pub lunch in O’Neill’s Bar in Allihies before continuing your journey through Eyeries, Ardroom and ending in the town of Glengarriff. Here you will board the ‘Harbour Queen’ Ferry for your journey over to explore Garnish Island. Garnish Island, ‘IIlnacullin’ in Gaelic, is a beautiful island garden located in the sheltered harbour of Bantry Bay. Returning from your ferry trip you will be transferred back to your hotel where you are free this evening to dine at leisure in the town.

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 

DAY 4 - West Cork, Charles Sea Fort

Breakfast at your hotel this morning before continuing the journey along the beautiful coastline of West Cork. You will travel through the towns of Skibbereen and Clonakilty before arriving into Kinsale. Your day includes a visit to Charles Fort. Situated outside the town of Kinsale, Charles Fort once protected the sea approach into the town which is now one of Ireland's finest yachting grounds. The fort is the best preserved and most extensive star-shaped fort in Ireland and covers 12 acres. It was built in the time of Charles II, hence the name. It is an almost unaltered example of 17th century fortification which follows the pattern of other fortified structures in Europe.
Continue on to your hotel in Blarney where dinner is included this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 

DAY 5 - Blarney Castle, Cork & Jameson Whiskey Distillery

This morning we explore Blarney. Blarney Castle is most famous for the Blarney Stone, which has the traditional power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it. The word “Blarney” was introduced into the English language by Queen Elizabeth I and is described as 'pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending'. Nowadays it is more commonly referred to as 'the gift of the gab'. The stone is set in the wall below the battlements, and to kiss it, one has to lean backwards (grasping an iron railing) from the parapet walk. In the grounds of the castle, Rock Close is a curious place of ancient trees and far more ancient stones, by legend a garden of druidic origin and a centre of worship in pre-Christian days. The place has an aura of magic and mystique with Wishing Steps, the Witch's Kitchen, Druid's Cave and many other delights telling a story of centuries past. Blarney Castle also offers you the chance to stroll in one of the country's most spectacular gardens. You may want to leave a little time for shopping at the Blarney Woollen Mills Store in Blarney Village before departing for Cork City.
Cork is Ireland’s second largest city, set on the River Lee. When we arrive, we will enjoy some free time in the city to explore its waterfronts, cafes and restaurants and perhaps visit the English Market, St. Finbarr’s cathedral or The Shandon Bells.
The tour continues to visit the Jameson Whiskey Experience at Midleton Distillery. Step through the doors here and you step back in time. Carts are piled high with sacks of grain and you can smell malted barley drying in closed kilns. Thousands of casks housing ageing whiskey are on show, as well as original kilns. Pride of place for the exhibitions here goes to the largest Pot still in the world, which has a capacity of more than 30,000 gallons and has been used for more than 150 years. You learn about “the angel’s share” (the amount of alcohol that evaporates from the cask during maturation) and the fascinating story behind the creation of one of the most well-known Irish whiskeys in the world.
Return to your hotel in Blarney where you will be free this evening to choose your own Irish Pub or Restaurant in which to dine!

Included meals: Breakfast 

DAY 6 - Waterford Crystal & Dunbrody Famine Ship, Wexford

This morning your coach travels out of Cork, through Youghal and into County Waterford where our first stop of the day is at the world famous ‘House of Waterford Crystal’. The world-renowned crystal is made here in the city by a skilled team of workers. You will be guided through the production area to see the birth of crystal from a white-hot furnace, and then to witness its transformation by dedicated blowers, cutters and engravers into beautiful sparkling crystal. You will be shown around the Crystal Gallery, which houses one of the world’s finest displays of crystal and have time to browse the crystal shop before you continue your journey to County Wexford.
Stopping in the New Ross, you will visit The Dunbrody Famine Ship, one of Ireland’s premier tourist attractions. This experience is centred on an authentic reproduction of an 1840’s emigrant vessel and provides a world class interpretation of the famine emigrant experience, an important and formative event in both Irish and American history. The visit includes costumed performers and themed exhibitions to provide a unique insight into the bravery and fortitude with which the Irish people faced a desperate situation which sent its people across the globe and devastated family life here at home.
Continue on to Wexford town where dinner is included this evening at our hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 

DAY 7 - Powerscourt House & Dublin

This morning we travel through Enniscorthy and up through the east coast of Ireland into County Wicklow, also known as ‘The Garden of Ireland’. Today we visit the magnificent Powerscourt House. The Powerscourt Estate is situated in a breath-taking location, nestling under the mountain The Great Sugar Loaf. Here we see a magnificent example of an aristocratic garden laid out with taste and imagination and with the backdrop of Richard Castle's Palladian style mansion. The gardens were inspired by the Villa Butera in Sicily. Their most striking feature is the circular pond and fountain flanked by winged Pegasi. The house was nearly destroyed by fire in 1974 but is now almost fully restored.
Afterwards you continue on to Dublin City, Ireland’s friendly capital.

Included meals: Breakfast 

DAY 8 - Dublin City Tour & Guinness Storehouse

This morning we will unlock the treasures and stories of Ireland's capital city. We take a short panoramic drive through Dublin with a local tour guide. A visit to Christ Church Cathedral is included. Dublin's oldest building, this has been a place of Christian pilgrimage for almost 1,000 years. Renowned for its beauty, architecture and exquisite floor tiles, it is home to the famous 12th Century crypt, one of the oldest and largest in Britain and Ireland.
No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. As you make your way through the impressive storehouse, discover the age-old art of brewing that makes Guinness so distinctive; discover what goes into the making of each and every pint, and learn about the incredible brand history stretching over 250 years. Visit the Tasting rooms, a multisensory tasting experience designed to help you appreciate the distinctive taste of the iconic stout, from the very first velvet sip to the last lingering drop.
There will be some free time to explore Dublin ‘As you like it’. Later we will return to the hotel in the evening.

Included meals: Breakfast 

DAY 9 - Malahide Castle & Dublin City

After breakfast this morning the tour will travel directly to visit Malahide Castle & Gardens. Malahide Castle, set on 250 acres of park land in the pretty seaside town of Malahide, was both a fortress and a private home for nearly 800 years. It is an interesting mix of architectural styles.
The tour will then travel back into Dublin City where the group will have free time for any last minute shopping or sightseeing before the coach transfer back to the hotel for our farewell dinner together this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 

DAY 10 - Farewell to Dublin & Home...

After breakfast we will arrange for your transfer to the airport in time for you to catch the departure flights from Dublin Airport.

Included meals: Breakfast 


More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • ATOL Protection
  • Economy flights from London Heathrow Airport [LHR] to Shannon Airport [SNN] and returning from Dublin Airport [DUB] to London Heathrow Airport [LHR] 
  • Meet & Greet at the airport on arrival
  • Transport as detailed in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary
  • All activities, visits and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Tour Director from The Big Journey Company as well as the local tour guide (subject to minimum group size being reached)

What's not included

  • Drinks
  • Gratuities
  • All entrance fees to non-stipulated attractions
  • Visas, travel insurance
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above
  • Any meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Any optional activities offered
  • Any COVID tests or related entry & exit requirements

Important information

  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2:00 - 3:00 pm and check out is before 10:00am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable. Final payments are due 14 weeks prior to departure.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.