Here is our recreation of 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, all rounded off with a final shindig in Dublin. Cead Mile Failte!
Thursday 23 September 2021
Marvel at the Giants Causeway, a unique natural phenomenon
Arrive at the Causeway aboard the Bushmills Railway
Taste Bushmills Whiskey at the distillery
Experience Northern Irelands great scenic rail journey
Tour the walls of Derry-Londonderry
Visit the Titanic Experience in Belfast
Sightsee in Dublins fair city
Take in the Irish Republics most scenic railway along the East Coast
Learn about Irelands 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 nights 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
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
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
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
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
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 the Academy Plaza Hotel.B, D
Today we are free to explore Dublin at leisure with our hop-on, hop-off bus ticket which will take us around the main sites of Ireland's capital independently. Be sure to visit Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin Castle and enjoy a pint of the black stuff at thriving Temple Bar.
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
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
Rejoining the Irish rail system, we depart Waterford and travel across Ireland's beautiful green landscapes. 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 Benners Hotel.B, D
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
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 the Academy Plaza 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
We transfer to Dublin Port for the sea crossing to Holyhead, from where the trains await to transport you home.B
North West Castle, Stranraer
This comfortable 3-star hotel in Stranraer town centre has been family owned for more than fifty years. The Castle was formerly the home of Sir John Ross, an Arctic explorer, who discovered the ice bound trading route now known as the North West Passage. The hotel offers 72 bedrooms, Regency dining room, Alpine Restaurant and leisure facilities including swimming pool.
Londonderry Arms, Carnlough
Nestled in the picturesque harbour village of Carnlough, the hotel was built in 1847 as a coaching inn and offers old world charm. The 3-star hotel was once owned by Sir Winston Churchill and has now been run by the same family for over 70 years. The hotel has just 35 bedrooms, a traditional bar, restaurant and lounge with antique furniture and open fire.
Academy Plaza Hotel, Dublin
A 3-star city centre hotel is ideally located just off Upper OConnell Street on Findlater Place right in the heart of Dublin City within walking distance of Temple Bar, Trinity College, St Stephens Green and many other famous landmarks. The hotel has a stylish bar and restaurant.
Treacys Hotel, Waterford
Treacys Hotel is a family-run 3-star hotel overlooking the River Suir in the heart of Waterford, Irelands oldest city. The has a great traditional Irish bar called Timbertoes, restaurant and leisure facilities including indoor swimming pool.
Benners Hotel, Tralee
The 3-star Benners is a family run hotel located in the heart of Tralee, a Medieval Town and the Capital of the Kingdom of Kerry. This charming hotel has been welcoming visitors for over 200 years and offers bar, restaurant, café and courtyard garden.
South of England
Heart of England
Join Stranraer & Leave Holyhead £1849
Single Room Supplement £385
11 nights bed, breakfast & Table dHôte 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
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Steam Tours 2020 - More to be added weekly