Ireland tours & holidays
Just a short hop across the Irish Sea, the Emerald Isle entrances visitors from around the world with its lush, unspoilt countryside and historic cities, its mystical Celtic charm and, of course, the famously warm welcome to be found in music-filled pubs across the country. Embark on one of our escorted tours of Ireland and discover the delights of the UK’s closest neighbours.
First port of call for many is Dublin, the lively capital of the Republic of Ireland. Founded by the Vikings in the 9th century, this is a city with a long and colourful history. Learn about the nation’s past in the splendid National Museum, visit the impressive St Patrick’s Cathedral, spend time wandering through the bustling, bohemian Temple Bar neighbourhood, or relax in the more peaceful surroundings of Phoenix Park. And if you want to know more about the ‘little people,’ the National Leprechaun Museum is the place to go!
Heading west, you’ll come upon the spectacular scenery of the famed Ring of Kerry and the rugged Cliffs of Moher, towering over the Atlantic coastline, while the geological wonder of the Giant’s Causeway – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and the fascinating Titanic Belfast Exhibition are among the many highlights of Northern Ireland holidays.
Tipping is customary for obtaining good service. For service in restaurants etc. 10% is usual.
A buffet breakfast is commonly provided to get you set up for the day, including a selection of both hot and cold items. Where evening meals are included, these might be a set or table d’hote menu. As part of a group booking, included meals are generally eaten together at a designated time. Tap water is generally safe to drink (unless specified). In rural areas, where water is pumped from wells, it may be advisable to drink bottled water.
GMT – the time zone in Ireland is the same as that of the UK, so if you’re taking an Irish tour there’s no need to adjust your watch.
The weather in the UK and Ireland can be unpredictable. Lightweight cottons and linens are advisable, and we suggest that you take layered clothing, so that you can adapt to weather conditions accordingly. A jacket, scarf, hat and woollens for cold days/evenings are required. We also suggest a light waterproof jacket in case of any occasional showers. Comfortable, closed, flat walking shoes are essential. In summertime, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are recommended. Other useful items to pack are a small day-backpack, binoculars, a torch and an umbrella. A hand sanitiser gel is also recommended for use in your daypack. For holidays during winter months, when the weather is a lot colder, you will require waterproof outerwear and stout shoes, warm clothing (hat, coats, gloves and an umbrella). You should be prepared to walk in heavy rain or on snow and ice.
EHIC/GHIC - Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is being replaced by the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). UK-issued EHICs are still valid and offer the same cover as GHICs in the EU. Once your EHIC has expired, you’ll be able to replace it with a GHIC and you can apply online. You should beware of unofficial websites that may charge if you apply through them. An EHIC or GHIC is free of charge.
Either card lets you get medically necessary state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes free of charge, however it isn’t a replacement for travel insurance, you should have both before you travel. Some European countries don’t accept either card (including the Channel Islands of Guernsey, Alderney and Sark, Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland). To access up-to-date details for the country you’re visiting, please refer to this information
Flights from London to Dublin take around 1 hour.
Take a trip to Éire and Northern Ireland and discover a holiday destination that’s a small distance away but is huge on character. Whether you take a cruise to coastal cities like Belfast, or go on one of our Ireland tours and stop at historic inland gems like Athlone, every day holds a new adventure.
The Republic of Ireland’s capital city needs little introduction, but you should shake hands with its highlights. Go and see the home of ‘the black stuff’ at the Guinness Storehouse, and perhaps explore how it’s served at any of the traditional Irish pubs. You can immerse yourself in religious history by viewing the ancient Book of Kells, which is situated in Trinity College Dublin – a building recognisable from many a movie.
A small name with a big history, the coastal town of Cobh was a starting point for the Irish diaspora, and the last port of call for the RMS Titanic. Step back in time at the heritage centres and museums, where you can learn about that fateful 1912 voyage and historic migrations that began here in County Cork.
Go on a scenic trip along Ireland’s West Coast, taking in the lush green coastal landscapes and rural villages of County Kerry. A tour along the Ring of Kerry serves you wild Atlantic views (and is a real highlight of our Irish tours). Or maybe you’d like to see Killarney National Park, regarded as Kerry’s crown jewel by those who’ve seen it up close.
Visit Northern Ireland’s capital for a view of Ireland through a UK lens. You’ll find stunning city panoramas from Belfast Castle and its country park. After visiting, take a stroll in the verdant Botanical Gardens, which is over 180 years old and complete with its own Victorian-era glasshouse.
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