Dates: July 22nd, 2017
For more information on this trip please contact Albion Journeys.
The luxurious Westbury Hotel enjoys a prime city centre location on Dublin’s Grafton Street. The hotel offers smart contemporary surroundings, sumptuously furnished bedrooms and spacious public areas including the relaxing Gallery Lounge. Other facilities include two restaurants, a cocktail bar and a fitness suite.
With the beautiful city of Dublin as our base, we discover Ireland’s long and rich history through its magnificent buildings, fine treasures and hidden gems. We also have the unique opportunity to spend a day at Birr Castle, where we are entertained by the owners, Lord and Lady Rosse.
Special extras included in your itinerary:
• Guided historical walking tour of Dublin
• Exclusive tour and lunch hosted by Lord and Lady Rosse at Birr Castle
• Guided tour at Farmleigh House
• Lunch at the Irish National Stud and Gardens
• Guided tour at Malahide Castle
• Guided tour at Beaulieu House
• Guided tour and afternoon tea at Ardgillan Castle
• Evening literary pub crawl in Dublin
• Guided tour at Tullynally Castle
• Themed evening talk by a guest speaker
DAY 1 Arrival
On arrival at Dublin airport, a private transfer will take you to the Westbury Hotel, our hotel for the duration of our stay. In the evening you are invited to join the group for a welcome drink, followed by dinner.
DAY 2 Trinity College, Book of Kells, Dublin Walking Tour, Chester Beatty’s Library and Guinness Storehouse
We start the day at Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university founded in 1592. The college’s magnificent Old Library displays Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure, the Book of Kells. Written around 800AD and celebrated for its lavish decoration, the manuscript contains the four Gospels in Latin based on a Vulgate text, written on vellum (prepared calfskin).
Next, we enjoy a guided historical walking tour of Dublin conducted by a history postgraduate, which explores many features of Irish history while visiting Dublin’s main sights including Christ Church Cathedral, Temple Bar, Dublin Castle and City Hall.
In the afternoon we visit Chester Beatty’s library, described as the finest collection of manuscripts and books made by a private collector in the 20th century. It includes representative samples of the world’s heritage (artistic, religious and secular) from about 2700BC to the present century.
Our final visit of the day is to the Guinness Storehouse where we discover the history of the world-famous drink through a seven-storey interactive experience. There’s also a chance to sample the ‘Black Stuff’ in the rooftop Gravity Bar which offers panoramic views over Dublin.
DAY 3 Birr Castle
A unique and special experience awaits us today as we head to Birr Castle, the private residence of Lord and Lady Rosse, who will be our hosts for the day. We start with a drinks reception and a brief history of the castle before Lord and Lady Rosse take us on a tour of the main rooms and collections. Lunch is then served in the dining room using, where possible, produce from the estate. After lunch, Lord Rosse takes us on a tour of the beautiful gardens where we can see an abundance of rare plants plus the Great Telescope and the galleries of Ireland’s Historic Science Centre in the old stable block.
DAY 4 Powerscourt House & Gardens and Killruddery House & Gardens
Built in the 18th century, Powerscourt House is one of Ireland’s most important houses, set on a spectacular estate. The beautiful gardens are set against the backdrop of the breathtaking Sugarloaf Mountain and include a charming walled garden, striking terraces, fine statuary and a wide variety of trees.
We continue on to Killruddery House and Gardens, home to the Brabazon family (the Earls of Meath) since 1618. The present Tudor Revival mansion dates from the 1820s, incorporating parts of the original mansion. The unique 17th-century gardens are the oldest in Ireland to survive in their original style and are filled with beautiful planting and wooded areas, water features and distinctive outdoor ‘rooms’.
Dinner is included at the hotel this evening.
DAY 5 Farmleigh House and Irish National Stud & Gardens
We visit Farmleigh House, formerly one of the residences of the Guinness family located in Phoenix Park, where we enjoy a guided tour. The house has been carefully refurbished as an official State guest house for visiting dignitaries including President Barak Obama and Queen Elizabeth II. Its great charm lies in the eclecticism of its interior decoration ranging from the classical style to Jacobean, Louis XV, Louis XVI and Georgian.
We then make our way to the Irish National Stud and Gardens where we enjoy lunch. Afterwards, we have time to explore the sumptuous gardens. The peaceful Japanese Gardens are the finest of their kind in Europe while St Fiachra’s Garden pays tribute to the Irish landscape in its rawest state with woodland, wetland, waterfalls, lakes and streams.
DAY 6 Malahide Castle, Beaulieu House, Ardgillan Castle and Dublin Literary Pub Crawl
Malahide Castle is one of the oldest castles in Ireland. Set in 260 acres, this magnificent castle was home to the Talbot family for almost 800 years (from 1185 to 1975). The castle is adorned with beautiful period furniture and an extensive collection of paintings from the National Gallery of Ireland which we can view on our guided tour. We’re also given a glimpse into life in the castle during the Talbot’s long residency.
Beaulieu House is one of the first unfortified houses built in Ireland and is a rare survivor of the Artisan Mannerist style. The house is currently lived in by the 11th generation of the Tichbourne family and we enjoy a guided tour here.
Our next stop is Ardgillan Castle where we enjoy a guided tour followed by afternoon tea in the stunning Drawing Room. The castle is set in spectacular parklands overlooking the Irish Sea with a magnificent view of the Mourne Mountains.
In the evening, we enjoy the ‘craic’ on a quirky, book-themed pub crawl following famous writers’ footsteps through Dublin’s maze of cobbled streets and historic pubs. The emphasis is on fun, laughter and audience interaction as a selection of writers, from Joyce and Beckett to Oscar Wilde are featured.
DAY 7 Tullynally Castle and Castletown House
We head to Tullynally Castle, home to the Pakenham family (now the Earls of Longford) for over 350 years. The original 17th-century house was remodelled in a Gothic revival style in the early 1800s and houses a fine collection of furniture and art, which we discover on our guided tour. This beautiful country estate also boasts lush gardens and magnificent parkland.
We then pay a visit to Castletown House, Ireland’s largest and earliest Palladian style house built between 1722 and 1729. The extraordinary scale, decoration, plasterwork and collections at Castletown bring to life this unique period in Ireland’s history.
Back at the hotel this evening, we enjoy a farewell dinner together followed by a fascinating talk by a guest speaker.
DAY 8 Departure
A private transfer will take you back to Dublin airport for your return flight home.
Please note: Four of the seven nights on this tour are on a bed and breakfast basis. This allows you to make your own evening meal arrangements and explore Dublin.
• Airport transfers from Dublin*
• 7 nights at the Westbury Hotel
• Welcome drink and canapés
• Full Irish breakfast
• 3 dinners at the hotel (with after dinner tea and coffee)
• Services of a tour director throughout your stay
• Travel to and from all excursions
• All entrance costs
*supplement applies for transfers from all other airports
Single Room Supplement – $600
For more information on this trip please contact Albion Journeys.