Ireland’s Ancient East
Departures on Thursdays from Dublin
NEW FOR 2020!
This four day tour will take you through the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East. Through the rugged mountains of Wicklow, to the historic Viking town of Waterford and the picturesque beauty of Cork. You will discover your inner foodie and become a connoisseur of Irish produce. So why not come visit the Ancient East and learn why laughter is brightest where food is best.
ONLY 16 GUESTS PER DEPARTURE!
Stay 1 night in Kilkenny, 2 nights in Cork
Glendalough & Kilkenny
Departure Point – Collection from the Gresham Hotel in Dublin between 08:30am to 8:45am. Please meet out front of the hotel between these times.
Leaving Dublin this morning we travel south to Co. Wicklow and the valley of the two lakes. Our first stop is nestled in the Wicklow Mountains National Park, at the Glendalough Visitor Centre. The Glendalough Valley was carved out by glaciers during the Ice Age and the two lakes, from which Glendalough gets its name, were formed when the ice eventually thawed. The Valley is home to one of Ireland’s most impressive monastic sites founded by St. Kevin in the 6th Century. From here we make our way onto historical Kilkenny with a guided tour of Kilkenny Castle. Built over 800 years ago, few buildings in Ireland can lay claim to a longer history of continuous occupation. The Castle’s interiors today capture the nineteenth-century lifestyle of the Butlers of Ormonde, while the architectural elements of the building and its historic landscaped parkland reflect a more varied history that spans the castles 800 years. Our hotel and dinner for the evening will be at the Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel, conveniently located across the road from the Castle.
Dinner/Overnight – Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel, Kilkenny
Waterford & Cork
Today we head down to the Viking city, Waterford, home to the world-renowned Waterford Crystal where we will be undertaking a tour of the factory. Here we will see first-hand how the exquisite pieces of crystal are made from the furnace to final engraving process that gives Waterford Crystal its signature look. This will be followed by a walking tour which will make Waterford and its heritage the high point of any Irish tour. Moving westward our next stop is Cork City where the evening is yours to discover. Dinner will be on your own choice tonight, and with some of the best eateries in the country you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking for an after-dinner cocktail, why not head to Cask, recent winner of Ireland’s bar of the year, conveniently located across the street from our hotel!
Overnight – Metropole Hotel, Cork
After breakfast we make our way south towards Kinsale, but first we have a guided tour of Charles Fort. Built in the 17th century this historic fort is one of the finest surviving examples of a 17th Century star-shaped fort, and much of the construction begun in 1678 remains. Next, we will have some free time in Kinsale one of Ireland’s most picturesque towns. Kinsale is known for its beautiful waterfront, brightly coloured shops and homes, and most notably the food. Hailed as the gourmet capital of Ireland, we will be embarking on a fabulous foodie tour of this scenic town to try everything it has to offer. The tour brings you on a gentle stroll which wends its way through this colourful town. We will stop at various eateries in Kinsale and meet some of the local characters and producers. These people are passionate about their culinary creations and you will learn their stories and more of the history of this unique part of Ireland. Arrive hungry!
Overnight – Metropole Hotel, Cork
Longueville & Kildare
Departing Cork, we make our way for the orchards of Longueville House. Here, we will learn about the process of making their award-winning cider, and with the entire production happening on site you could say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Continuing on to Dublin we travel through the Curragh of Kildare for a guided tour of the Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens. Touring with a guide you hear the behind-the-scenes story: stealing the show are the stallions whose racing track records enable them to command gigantic fees to cover mares. Maybe the hours-old foal you see (most are born between February and May) is destined to win the Epsom or Irish Derby. From here we make our way back to Dublin where sadly your tour must come to an end.
Return to Dublin by 19:00
- Kilkenny Castle
- Waterford Crystal
- Charles Fort
- Longueville House
- Irish National Stud
- Transportation throughout by modern touring mini-coach
- Services of an experienced local driver/guide
- 3 nights ensuite accommodation
- Full Irish breakfast daily
- 1 x table d’hote evening meal
- Admissions to: Kilkenny Castle, Waterford Crystal, Charles Fort, Cider tasting at Longueville House, Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens
- Walking food tour and tastings in Kinsale