IRELAND’S ANCIENT EAST – suggested 7–Night Itinerary

Covering counties in the Province of Leinster – Wexford – the Model County, Carlow – the Dolmen County, Kildare – the Thoroughbred County, the Royal County of Meath and County Wicklow – the Garden of Ireland

Day 1

Cross by ferry in own car from South Wales to Rosslare, Co Wexford


Sample Hotel – Millrace Hotel – 4*

Day 2

Continue to Carlow to visit Brownshill Dolmen calling into Altamont Gardens near Tullow en-route – FREE ADMISSION to both attractions.


Overnight in Co Kildare
Sample Hotel – Westgrove Hotel – 4*, Clane

Day 3

Spend the day at Castletown House and Gardens enjoying the magnificent 18th century Palladian House and extensive parklands owned by the speaker in the Irish Parliament, William Connolly. Tours are available. Celbridge is situated on the River Liffey and has strong associations with Arthur Guinness, founder of the world-renowned brewery and in tribute to him a life size statue is located on the Main Street.


Continue to Trim, County Meath – your base for two nights
Sample Hotel – Trim Castle – 4*

Day 4/5

The area surrounding Trim offers a microcosm of Ireland’s Ancient East. One of Ireland’s designated heritage towns, Trim is dominated by a medieval castle founded in 1173 now open to the public and maybe familiar to some visitors as it featured in the epic film, Braveheart.


From there it is a short drive to the Hill of Tara, the seat of the ancient High Kings of Ireland and later associated with St Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint.


Continue to Brú na Bóinne – the Palace or Mansion of the Boyne (the Boyne being the majestic river which flows through the Royal county of Meath). This is the location of one of the world’s most important archaeological landscapes, dominated by the spectacular prehistoric passage tombs of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. A world heritage site, this is now recognised as place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial significance constructed during the Neolithic period.
http://www.newgrange.com/


A short distance away, lies the site of the Battle of the Boyne at Oldbridge, which was fought on 1st July 1690. This decided not only the fate of the throne of England but the future of Ireland and French dominance in Europe.

Day 6/7

Tour to County Wicklow - your base for two nights
Sample Hotel: Arklow Bay – 4*, Arklow


Known as the Garden of Ireland, County Wicklow, is an area of outstanding natural beauty – its diverse scenery – mountains, valleys and lakes as well as stately homes have featured in film and on TV such as My Left Foot and The Tudors. It combines the grandeur of historic properties like Russborough House, early Christian settlements such as the Monastic City at Glendalough and spectacular natural features – Powerscourt Waterfall and Sugarloaf Mountain.


County highlights include:


Glendalough (Glen of the two lakes) located in a spectacular setting in the Wicklow Mountains National Park and the site of the 6th century monastic settlement of St Kevin.


Mount Usher Gardens – one of Ireland’s most loved gardens were first planted in 1868 in the Robinsonian style, after the Irish garden designer William Robinson. He emphasised informal planting in harmony with the natural setting of the garden.


Powerscourt House, Gardens and Waterfall – set against the backdrop of the Great Sugarloaf Mountain, the Palladian Mansion houses a range of craft and interior shops that focus on Irish Design.


Russborough House – located near the Blessington Lakes, it houses an eclectic collection of art and furniture and displays part of the National Gallery of Ireland collection. The house was built and gardens landscaped in the 1740s to designs by Richard Castle.


Wicklow National Park – Wicklow Mountains National Park covers part of the mountain range that extends over most of the county. The upper slopes and rounded peaks are blanketed with heath and bog. Open vistas are interrupted only by forestry plantations and winding mountain roads. Fast-flowing streams descend into the deep lakes of the wooded valleys and continue their course into the surrounding lowlands.


Towards the end of your second day in the Garden of Ireland return to the Model County of Wexford for the last night of you Ireland’s Ancient East Tour based close to Rosslare.


However, leave time to break your journey in Wexford Town home of the world renowned Opera Festival (held annually in late autumn). Formerly a port town, it was founded by the Vikings around 800 a.d. remaining so for over 300 years until the arrival of the Normans in 1169. Up to the middle of the 19th century, the Yola language was still in use in the county and some words are common today.


Sample Hotel: Best Western Danby Lodge – 3*, Rosslare.

Day 8

Morning departure by ferry from Rosslare to South Wales.


SAMPLE PACKAGE: Seven-night holiday by sea – price per person sharing from:

Accom APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT
B & Bs £509 £509 £535 £560 £560 £520 £495
Hotels £525 £565 £575 £639 £639 £575 £525

Arrangement includes:

  • Return travel for a car and two adults on Irish Ferries/Stena Line Cruise Ferries* – mid–week travel – South Wales/Rosslare route
  • Seven nights pre–booked accommodation in hotel or B & B – twin/double en-suite room
  • Full Irish breakfast
  • Tailor-Made pre–booked itinerary.

To vary the arrangement e.g., single, larger party or length of stay – please request a costing.

*Full details of routes and schedules advised when booking – Fast Ferries available with supplements payable.

This tour can be tailored for a round trip via Holyhead and Dublin Port or entry through Rosslare and departure from Dublin or vice versa – routes and schedules will be supplied before finalising your itinerary.

Useful sites to visit when planning your Ireland’s Ancient East Tour around the above itinerary:

CARLOW http://carlowtourism.com
DUBLIN http://www.visitdublin.com
KILDARE http://www.intokildare.ie
MEATH http://www.meath.ie
WEXFORD http://www.visitwexford.ie
WICKLOW http://visitwicklow.ie

IRELAND http://www.ireland.com

Click here to request a tailor-made motoring tour