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 as well as many elegant Georgian squares.
Why not visit some of its many attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College or the Old Jameson Distillery.Overnight: Dublin area
Leave Dublin this morning and drive west through farming country and marketing towns stopping at Mullingar where you can visit Belvedere House & Gardens. The magnificent early 18th century stately home of Robert Rochfort, Earl of Belvedere, stands in 160 acres of parkland on the shore of Lough Ennell. Belvedere is one of the finest of Ireland’s historic houses.
Its gardens and park, have been exquisitely restored. A modern visitor centre tells the tale of Rochfort’s cruel 31 year imprisonment of his second wife; Sir John Piers’ seduction of Lady Cloncurry at a picnic and the creation of Ireland’s largest man made folly – the jealous wall.
Then on to Galway City called the “City of the Tribes” after the fourteen most prominent families in this area. Galway long traded with Spain and the Spanish influences are many in the city. Of note is the Spanish Arch, a gateway in the old city walls and the Spanish Parade, where wealthy merchants and their families enjoyed a stroll along the promenade.Overnight: Galway area
Today embark on a tour of the wild and rugged Connemara region, famous for the savage beauty of its lake and mountain scenery. Pass through the village of Oughterard, known as the gateway to Connemara. Stop in the pretty hillside town of Clifden and maybe visit the nearby magnificent Kylemore Abbey - a beautiful mansion in a lakeside setting against a mountainous backdrop.
Irish Benedictine nuns, with a tradition of over 300 years, run this unique Abbey set in the heart of Connemara, overlooking Pollacappul Lake – a haven of peace! Visit the magnificent Gothic Church.
Leaving Kylemore Abbey, travel on through Westport and into Sligo, known as Yeats Country after the poet William Butler. Time permitting a visit to Lissadell House is highly recommended. Lissadell House is celebrated in the poetry of W. B. Yeats and was the childhood home of Constance Markievicz, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising.Overnight: Galway area
Today return inland travelling to Boyle, where you can visit Lough Key Forest Park, which is located in a scenic and historical area of Roscommon and consists of approximately 350 hectares. It comprises of forested areas and open parkland. You can also visit the nearby Strokestown Park House, which was built in the 1660s and was recently restored. The Famine Museum - housed in the stable yards of Strokestown House - commemorates the Great Famine of the 1840s. The Museum, using extensive estate papers, explains the historical and social significance of the famine nationally.
Continue on to Dublin. Overnight: Dublin area
Travel to Dublin Airport for return flight home
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