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Welcome to Railtrail Tours

A family firm with an ethos of honesty and integrity. Our passion for delivering quality escorted holidays by rail at great value fares along with consistently excellent customer service has stood us in good stead for over 40 years.

Big on Quality, Small Enough to Care

01538 382323
Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm

<img src="ringofkerry-shutterstock_572284069.jpeg" alt="Ring of Kerry"/>

Grand Tour - Derry To Kerry

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!

View Dates & Book

12 days from £2219



Thursday 19 September 2024



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

  • Arrive at the Causeway aboard the Bushmills Railway

  • Discover picturesque Dunluce Castle

  • 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


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.



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 and walk the short distance to the stones or take the transfer bus. Returning to Bushmills, we visit the picturesque Dunluce Castle with ruins dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

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.

B, D


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 The Rose 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 of sightseeing and a final night at the Harding Hotel. We bid farewell to the Emerald Isle with a final dinner.

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=Breakfast, D=Dinner


North West Castle, Stranraer

This comfortable 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 ‘Northwest 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 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 an open fire.


Academy Plaza Hotel, Dublin

A city centre hotel is ideally located just off Upper O’Connell Street on Findlater Place right in the heart of Dublin City within walking distance of Temple Bar, Trinity College, St Stephen’s Green, and many other famous landmarks. The hotel has a stylish bar and restaurant.


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. The has a great traditional Irish bar called Timbertoes, restaurant, and leisure facilities including indoor swimming pool.


The Rose Hotel, Tralee

The family-run Rose Hotel is set against the stunning backdrop of Kerry’s Slieve Mish Mountains and positioned along the wild Atlantic way. Conveniently located within walking distance to the town centre. All 161 beautifully appointed rooms feature the standard facilities including air conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities, electric safes, and complimentary Wi-Fi.


The Harding Hotel, Dublin

The Harding hotel is ideally located in a central part of historic old Dublin just a 3-minute walk from Dublin castle and Temple Bar. The Harding offers 52 well equipped, spacious bedrooms featuring artwork from Dingle artist Liam O’Neill, all rooms offer private en-suite bathroom facilities with powerful showers and feature TV, fridge, iron & board, tea/coffee making facilities, free Wi-Fi, in room safe, and air conditioning. Enjoy Darkey Kellys, the hotels traditional Irish bar & The Copper Alley Bistro with a relaxing & informal atmosphere.



Fare Region



London: Euston



Greater London



South of England



East Anglia



South West



Heart of England









North East



North West



South Wales



North Wales






*Please note: Some local and regional train services are Standard Class seating only. So, First Class ticket holders will travel in standard class accommodation for these sections of their journey.


Join Stranraer & Leave Holyhead £2,219


Single Room Supplement £400


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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Contact Us
Railtrail Tours Limited
21 The Smithfield Centre, Leek
Staffordshire Moorlands, ST13 5JW
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