Below you find an example of a luxury castle holiday in Ireland. The itinerary is only an example so if you want changes in the program, we will tailor-make exactly the tour you want.
The group will be met at the airport by their local guide, and a bag piper, who will lead the way for the group until they load their bags on to their awaiting coach. The guests will enjoy a small glass of whiskey during the bag piper’s finale.
When all the guests are on board, they will make the short journey to the Village at Lyons, a restored village on the banks of the Grand Canal. The Village at Lyons is a unique destination in every sense of the word. Guests can experience the hallmarks of a real foodie haven, which emphasizes refined simplicity and a balance of rich and fresh flavors. The restaurant offers formal dining and a seasonally changing menu of traditional dishes with a contemporary twist, a fantastic way for the group to begin their trip to Ireland.
After lunch, the group will begin their transfer to Ballyfin Demense. Set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the center of Ireland, the five star luxury country house hotel of Ballyfin Demesne is a place of history and romance, of tranquility and great natural beauty.
During the journey to the hotel, the group will pick up a musical “hitchhiker”. This entertainer will show his talents in return for the ride to Ballyfin. During the journey, he will teach the group a song and sing some traditional Irish ballads to ensure that their transfer is as enjoyable as possible.
When the group arrive in Ballyfin, they will have the choice of a variety of activities; they can take a boat ride out on the lake, 2 boats will be available, one for 3 passengers and 1 for 4. There will be 6 fishing rods available for the fishing activity on the banks of the lake. The group can also use the 5 golf carts or 8 bicycles to explore the grounds, or else there will be 5 bow and arrows for those who wish to test out their archery skills.
On their first evening, the group will have their dinner at the hotel. The gardens at the hotel yield a wide abundance of fruit, herbs, salads and vegetables throughout the year, which enable the kitchen team to provide the freshest local, seasonal produce for the dining room ensuring the finest culinary experiences, which will make their first evening a night to remember.
On their second day, the group will be able to do a rotation of the activities offered the previous day.
Again, the group will enjoy the produce from the Demense during their lunch after their morning of activities.
After lunch the group will take part in a falconry demonstration, the falconer will display the swiftness and agility of the birds of prey, and even give the members of the group who wish to try it for themselves the chance to hold some of the majestic birds.
After the falconry demonstration, the group will take part in a game of croquet. A game which involves a tactical struggle with each player trying to maneuver both their own and opponent’s balls to make points for their side. It is traditionally associated with the affluent and is a fun way for the group to spend their afternoon taking in their beautiful surroundings.
For their evening meal on their second night, the group will enjoy a gala dinner with a difference. The group will enjoy dressing up in period costumes to make the night one never to forget. The group will enjoy a 4 course meal including canapés on arrival. There will also be a photographer on site so that the guests will have a nice token of the evening upon returning home.
The third morning will commence with a transfer to the West of Ireland, again the journey will be made more fun with the music provided by a “hitchhiker”.
The guests will enjoy lunch shortly after arrival at Ashford Castle, a luxurious five-star hotel situated along the shores of Lough Corrib in Cong, County Mayo. The beautiful 13th century castle, complete with 83 guest rooms, dates back to 1228 and was once the Guinness family estate.
Those of the guests that missed out on fishing at Ballyfin, or those who wish to try it again, will have the chance to fish on Lough Corrib during the afternoon activities. For those who wish to explore the grounds of the Castle on horseback, 7 guests can get into the saddle and take to the “wild west” of Ireland. If some of the guests are feeling less adventurous then they can try a horse drawn carriage instead (max 5 people per carriage).
The guests will enjoy a dinner at O’Grady’s on the Pier in the picturesque seaside town of Barna. Described as a “true hidden gem” on Ireland’s romantic west coast, O’Grady’s on the Pier in Barna is unique situated on the shores of Galway Bay. Located right down on the Pier in Barna Village, O’Grady’s offers a stunning, relaxed location in which to enjoy the freshest, locally sourced and well-prepared seafood and meat dishes. The infamous O’Grady’s Seafood Chowder alone is enough to keep the seafood connoisseur coming back for more.
The guests will have chauffeur-driven vintage cars awaiting their departure on their fourth morning. The group will then begin to explore the wild and wonderful Connemara on Ireland’s West Coast in these cars. Connemara, situated at the very edge of Europe, on the west coast of Ireland, is one of the most beautiful, unspoilt places it’s possible to find. From the rugged Twelve Bens mountain range in the north through lake-rich Roundstone Bog to the golden beaches reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll know you’re in Connemara by the light that constantly changes the mood and tone of the landscape.
The group will get to try the traditional Irish mid-day snack of tea or coffee and scones in the beautiful village of Leenane, snugly situated at the head of Killary Harbour.
From here the group will make their way to Kylemore Abbey, the dramatic landscape and iconic image of a gothic castle reflected in a Connemara lake has made Kylemore Abbey world-famous. The Benedictine nuns invite visitors to experience the Victorian atmosphere of the Abbey’s restored rooms, miniature gothic church, head gardener’s house and garden boy’s house. Learn of the tales of tragedy and romance, the engineering initiatives, model farms, royal visits and the Abbey’s former role as a girls boarding school. Kylemore’s many nature trails, woodland walks and the magical award-winning walled garden offer a wonderland to explore.
Lunch on this day will be served in Renvyle House. Renvyle House is a very special house indeed. Firstly, there is top class chef in the kitchen. Tim O’Sullivan’s reputation precedes him. Here at this County Galway location, on the coast of Connemara, for the past twenty years, he has made the most of local and seasonal ingredients. This Eurotoque and award-winning chef brings his own particular brand of culinary glamour to the table. The style of food is modern Irish, chic presentation without fussiness. With views of Twelve Bens Mountains and Rusheenduff Lake, it is a fantastic location to enjoy lunch.
After lunch, the group will transfer to Clifden where they can explore the town at their leisure. Set between the Atlantic Ocean, 12 Ben Mountains and preserved boglands, lies the town of Clifden on the Coast of Connemara. An area at long last recognised as a new popular destination and not just a place to ‘breeze through’. Enhanced by spectacular scenery, and over 5,000 years of living history. Peruse the many shopping choices in Clifden from sweater shops, quality gift shops, boutiques to antique and souvenir shops.
After the free time in Clifden the group will be transferred back to Ashford Castle for dinner. Dining at Ashford Castle is a world-renowned culinary experience. The George V Room offers elegant dining amid period decor with a world-class menu of modern Irish and International cuisine.
On their fifth day, the group will travel by train to Dublin. The group will be able to sit back and watch the beautiful scenery of Ireland go by.
Upon arrival, the group will transfer for lunch to Peploe’s Restaurant. Peploe’s Restaurant is located in the heart of Dublin city. The product is sourced from the best Irish and European suppliers, great food and ambience is the order of the day at Peploe’s Restaurant.
After lunch, the group will visit Trinity College & The Book of Kells. Dublin’s Trinity College Library has 5 million printed volumes with extensive collections of journals, manuscripts, maps and music reflecting more than 400 years of academic development. The most famous of its manuscripts, the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow, were presented by Henry Jones, Bishop of Meath and former vice-chancellor of the university, in the 1660s.
Then a trip to the largest urban park in Europe. The Phoenix Park home to Dublin Zoo and contains a number of stately homes, including the official residency of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin, and the residency of the US Ambassador. The Phoenix Park is also home to a large herd of fallow deer. The deer have been present in the park since the 17th century, when they were hunted for sport by the gentry of the day.
A trip to Dublin is not complete without a visit to The Guinness Storehouse. The Guinness Storehouse is located in the heart of the St James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin, which has been home to the ‘black stuff’ since 1759. The seven storey high building, a former Guinness fermentation plant, has been remodelled into the shape of a giant pint of Guinness. A visit will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about this world famous beer, from how Guinness are made to the ancient craft of Guinness barrel making in the cooperage and on to the creation of the world famous brand. The highlight for many visitors is the Gravity Bar, where they collect their end of tour pint of Guinness and can relax and enjoy the 360 degrees views across Dublin City.
After their visit to Guinness, the group will transfer to The Westbury Hotel. The Westbury offers modern five star accommodation in a lively yet surprisingly private city centre location. The Westbury is tucked away just off Grafton Street in Balfe Street. The Westbury is a haven for serious shoppers. Ideally located for Dublin’s finest shops around Grafton Street and adjacent Clarendon Street, South William Street and Drury Street, the hotel building even houses its own exclusive shopping centre, the Westbury Mall.
On their last evening, the group will enjoy dinner at a Michelin standard. L’Ecrivain Restaurant holds many awards, including a Michelin Star (given each year since 2003). L’Ecrivain is located in Baggot Street in Dublin and serves a modern and contemporary blend of exquisite Irish and French dishes.
On their final day before leaving the Emerald Isle, the group will travel to County Meath, The Royal County where they will see how a traditional Irish farmhouse was run. Causey Farm is a fun-based venue for a variety of entertainment. The Murtaghs run a 300 acre farm in County Meath and have opened up their farm to give visitors the opportunity to experience living Irish culture and fun farm activities and provide interactive cultural experiences in a friendly atmosphere.
The group will learn how to play the traditional Irish instrument the Bodhrán, and make some traditional Irish brown bread which they will be able to enjoy over lunch. They will see how the farmer gets help herding his sheep from his trusted sheepdog, and also learn how to dance a jig of traditional Irish dancing. The activities will be followed by a traditional Irish farmer’s lunch. A truly memorable way for the group to finish off their stay in Ireland.
From Causey Farm the group will go directly to Dublin Airport to make their return journey home.
Contact us now if you have any questions – we will be more than happy to help and discuss your requirements.