Welcome to Dublin. After you pick up your car, transfer to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day soaking up the atmosphere of this exciting city which includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, with the “Spire” at its centre and the General Post Office, scene of the 1916 Easter uprising.
Why not visit some of its many attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College or the Old Jameson Distillery.
Overnight: Dublin area
Depart Dublin this morning and travel northwards towards Belfast. From Newry travel east through the scenic Mourne Region and on to Downpatrick where you can visit the Saint Patrick Centre. The Saint Patrick Centre, one of Northern Ireland’s major Millennium Projects, is the first permanent exhibition to tell the story of Ireland’s Patron Saint.
Following the visit, you can also visit Down Cathedral, in whose churchyard St. Patrick is reputed to be buried. Continuing on from Downpatrick, you arrive at Castle Ward, a beautiful 300-ha (750-acre) walled estate in a stunning location overlooking Strangford Lough.
Your next stop is Belfast, where you can wander around the city centre and admire some exquisite examples of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, dominated by the magnificently domed City Hall. This Renaissance-style building of Portland stone completed in 1906 and each of the building’s corners has a tower. Its graceful dome rises in the centre to 185 feet. Half a mile from this area is Queens University, with its mellow brickwork and Tudor cloiste.Overnight: Belfast area
This morning travel through the “Nine Glens of Antrim” before arriving in Ballycastle, where a memorial to Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of wireless technology, commemorates his first successful cross-water transmissions between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island. Continue along the impressive North Antrim coastline where you can visit the magnificent Giant’s Causeway.
You can also visit the nearby Dunluce Castle which is situated dramatically close to the edge of a headland, along the North Antrim coast. Surrounded by wonderful coastal scenery, this medieval castle stands where an early Irish fort was once built and where its history can be traced back to early Christians and Vikings.
Why not finish your day in Antrim with a visit to Bushmills Distillery which is the world’s oldest whiskey distillery having received its licence in 1608. At Bushmills, the visitor can observe the craft and skill of making Irish whiskey.Return to Belfast. Overnight: Belfast area
This morning commence your journey back to Dublin, perhaps travelling through the Boyne Valley region whose banks are lined with landmarks from almost every phase of Ireland’s past - from the prehistoric passage tombs at Newgrange, to the legendary Hill of Tara, seat of the Irish High Kings as well as monuments from the early days of Christianity.
You can visit Oldbridge house whose visitor centre tells the story of the Battle of the Boyne, fought between King William III and his father-in-law, King James II on 1 July 1690 (11 July according to our modern calendar).
Both kings commanded their armies in person, 36,000 on the Williamite side and 25,000 on the Jacobite side - the largest number of troops ever deployed on an Irish battlefield.
You can visit the nearby Bru na Boinne Visitor Centre which tells the history of the region and either Newgrange or Knowth burial passages. Continue on to Dublin for overnight.Overnight: Dublin area
Travel to Dublin Airport for return flight home
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