2017 The Grand Tour - Derry To Kerry

2017 The Grand Tour - Derry To Kerry

37 years ago Michael Palin's first 'Great Railway Journey' to Kyle of Lochalsh prompted Dave to organize his first tour. We thought now would be a great time to recreate Palin's second 'Great Railway Journey' from 'Derry to Kerry'! Experience the fabulous line from Coleraine to Londonderry and the scenic East Coast Line from Dublin to Wexford, enjoy the contrasts of Belfast, Dublin, Waterford and Tralee, and wonder at the natural beauty of the Causeway Coast and the Ring of Kerry!

12 days from £1595.00

 

DEPARTS

Thursday 28 September 2017

 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Marvel at the Giant’s Causeway, a unique natural phenomenon

  • Arrive at the Causeway aboard the Bushmills Railway

  • Taste Bushmills Whiskey at the distillery

  • Experience Northern Ireland’s great scenic rail journey

  • Tour the walls of Derry-Londonderry

  • Visit the Titanic Experience in Belfast

  • Sightsee in Dublin’s fair city

  • Take in the Irish Republic’s most scenic railway along the East Coast

  • Learn about Ireland’s emigrant history at Dunbrody Emigrant Ship Museum

  • Explore Waterford and visit the famous Waterford Crystal

  • Trundle through the Suir Valley on the heritage Suir Valley Railway

  • Enjoy the fabulous views of the Ring of Kerry

  • Let your hair down with a final night’s dinner and Irish Show in Dublin

 

Also included in your Tour Fare:

  • Dinner every evening

  • Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to/from the mainland ports (Standard or First Class)

  • Standard Class rail travel in Ireland

  • Ferries and coach travel, as described

  • Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

  • Hotel Porterage

DAY 1

Customers booking our rail-inclusive package will begin their holiday with the 'Burns Country Line' through Galloway to our hotel for one night, the North West Castle Hotel in Stranraer

D

DAY 2

Our morning ferry crosses from nearby Cairnryan to Belfast Port. A local coach awaits our arrival for the transfer to Belfast itself, where we visit the popular Titanic Experience. The world's largest Titanic visitor attraction is housed at the spot where it all began. We then continue to the unspoilt Antrim coast and our hotel for three nights, the Londonderry Arms in the seaside village of Carnlough.

B, D

DAY 3

Transferring to Ballymoney, we join arguably the most scenic stretch of railway on the island of Ireland. From Coleraine the line runs alongside the River Bann before passing through Castlerock and Downhill tunnels, the longest in Ireland. From the seaside village of Castlerock we pass Binevenagh Mountain, the track running alongside the golden sands of Benone Strand, with views of unspoilt beaches and rolling waves from the Atlantic Ocean. Arriving in Derry-Londonderry, we enjoy a guided walk on the city walls of Ireland's only completely walled city, before retracing our tracks to Ballymoney.

B, D

DAY 4

Today we head along the Antrim coastline to Bushmills. Here we board the Giant's Causeway & Bushmills Railway, a railway built to the Irish narrow gauge of three feet and running for two miles along the track of the former Giant's Causeway Tram. At the Giant's Causeway we visit the Visitor Centre walk the short distance to the stones. Returning to Bushmills, we visit the Bushmills Distillery for a tasting of their malts.

B, D

DAY 5

Transferring to Ballymena, our train takes us through Antrim to Belfast. Changing trains, we continue southwards, with the Mountains of Mourne in the distance, crossing into the Irish Republic. From Drogheda to Dublin the railway skirts a pretty coastline of beaches and harbours. In Dublin we stay for two nights at Cassidy's Hotel.

B, D

DAY 6

A morning sightseeing tour by coach introduces the main sights of Dublin, after which the remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Ireland's capital independently. Be sure to visit the Book of Kells, enjoy a pint of the black stuff at the Guinness Storehouse or explore thriving Temple Bar.

B, D

DAY 7

Leaving Dublin behind, for a few days at least, the most scenic rail journey in the Republic awaits. Heading round Dublin Bay, the coastline really opens out at Killiney Bay and the tracks follow the coastline down through Bray and Greystones to Wicklow, before moving inland through County Wexford. A coach awaits in Wexford to transport us to Waterford, via New Ross, which was the ancestral home of the Kennedys. Here we visit the Dunbrody Emigrant Ship & Museum, exploring Ireland's history of emigration, before continuing to Waterford for two nights at Treacy's Hotel

B, D

DAY 8

A factory tour of Waterford Crystal showcases the different skills that go into creating their world-famous product, including glass blowing, cutting, sculpting, moulding and engraving. Today also features a heritage rail excursion through the beautiful Suir Valley on the diesel-hauled narrow-gauge Waterford & Suir Valley Railway.

B, D

DAY 9

Rejoining the Irish rail system, we depart Waterford across Ireland's green belly. We are not a long way from Tipperary when we change at Limerick Junction, joining a train through County Kerry destined for Michael Palin's final destination, Tralee. Here we stay for two nights at Benner's Hotel.

B, D

DAY 10

A scenic guided tour of the Ring of Kerry takes us through an untouched landscape of rolling hills, fishing villages and tranquil lakes on the dramatically scenic Kerry coastline. Our route passes charming towns, such as Killorglin, Waterville and Kenmare, before spending a little free time in Killarney, sitting at the foot of MacGillycuddy's Reeks.

B, D

DAY 11

Departing Tralee, we cross Ireland from coast to coast, arriving back in Dublin for a final free afternoon's sightseeing and a final night at Cassidy's Hotel. We bid farewell to the Emerald Isle with a final dinner and a rousing send-off of live Irish music and dancing.

B, D

DAY 12

We transfer to Dublin Port for the sea crossing to Holyhead, from where the trains await to transport you home.

B

B=Breakfast, D=Dinner

HOTELS

Londonderry Arms, Carnlough

Built in 1848 as a coaching inn by Frances Anne Tempest, the Marchioness of Londonderry, the Tempests’ estate, including the Londonderry Arms, was passed to second cousin, Sir Winston Churchill in 1921. The hotel boats Georgian architecture and with just 35 rooms it has a cosy, family atmosphere amidst the small seaside village of Carnlough.

 

Cassidy’s Hotel, Dublin

A city centre hotel opposite the Gate Theatre on Upper O’Connell Street and close to Dublin’s sights, Cassidy’s façade is one of Parnell Square’s Georgian terraces.

 

Treacy’s Hotel, Waterford

Treacy’s Hotel is a family-run hotel overlooking the River Suir in the heart of Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, and boasts a traditional Irish pub, restaurant and a heated indoor swimming pool.

 

Benners Hotel, Tralee

A family-run hotel and gastro-pub in the heart of Tralee, the former capital of the Kingdom of Kerry, Benners has a cosy atmosphere, with just 43 recently refurbished bedrooms.

 

FARES

Fare Region

First

Standard

RC (-)

London: Euston

£1,895

£1,745

-£20

Greater London

£1,945

£1,780

-£25

South of England

£1,945

£1,780

-£25

East Anglia

£1,960

£1,795

-£25

South West

£1,900

£1,765

-£25

Heart of England

£1,865

£1,730

-£20

Midlands

£1,810

£1,710

-£15

Yorkshire

N/A

£1,700

-£15

North East

N/A

£1,710

-£15

North West

£1,775

£1,680

-£15

South Wales

£1,880

£1,735

-£20

North Wales

£1,735

£1,665

-£10

Scotland

£1,760

£1,695

-£10



Join & Leave at mainland ports £1,595

Single Room Supplement £225

 

11 nights’ bed, breakfast & Table d’Hôte evening meal

Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

Rail, ferry & coach travel, with transfers as described

All excursions & admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

Hotel Porterage

Important – Please select the number of passengers before proceeding to ‘Book Now’

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