Ireland has romantic preconceptions with its amazing diversity of terrain for such a small island, and is interspersed throughout with lakes and primeval bogland. In the east, the folded granite of the Wicklow Hills sit in contrast to the brilliant green plains of the Curragh, and in Connemara on the west coast, you can walk from beach to mountain to fen in a matter of hours. 21st-century Ireland is a modern destination, yet rooted in the strongest of traditions, a country marked by humour, hospitality and late-night bonhomie.


  • The magnificent Cliffs of Moher on the Atlantic coast.
  • Stunning scenery and majestic castles throughout.
  • Staying in the lap of luxury in Ballyfin  House.
  • Dublin's legendary craic and vibrant nightlife.
Per person

Price from

Clare Watkins

Europe Specialist


  1. Arrive
  2. Day 1 Arrive in Shannon

    Arrive into Shannon Airport and pick up your hire car, ready to begin your journey through Ireland. A delightfully scenic drive along the west coast through rural County Clare will bring you to the Cliffs of Moher. Standing over 700ft (214m) at their highest point, the Cliffs stretch for some 5 miles (8km) along the Atlantic coast of Co. Clare. The views are simply magical and on a clear day, you can see for miles. Continue on to Ballynahinch Castle, set in a private 450-acre estate of woodland, rivers in the heart of Connemara, County Galway.

    Overnight: Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

  3. Day 2 - 3 Connemara and Kenmare

    You might like to loop through Connemara, with its quintessential West Coast scenery, in the morning and then head back south to Kenmare, and the Sheen Falls Lodge. Surrounded by purple heather-covered mountains and cascading blue waters, Sheen Falls Lodge is perfectly placed for exploring the southwest of Ireland, the world famous Ring of Beara, Ring of Kerry and the beautiful Killarney Lakes. There are unrivalled views of Kenmare Bay, the MacGillycuddy Reeks and cascading Sheen waterfalls.

    Overnight: Sheen Falls Lodge

  4. Day 3 - 5 Killarney and Dingle

    Enjoy a ride in a traditional horse and carriage (or 'jaunting car') in Killarney through the MacGillycuddy Reeks and then boat across the lake back to Killarney. Or perhaps drive the classic Ring of Kerry. Alternatively, explore the amazingly beautiful and wild Dingle Peninsula, where many of the locals still count Irish Gaelic as their first language.

    Overnight: Sheen Falls Lodge

  5. Day 4 Blarney, Cork, Waterford and Kilkenny

    Leave Kenmare and drive the scenic route along Ireland's south-eastern coastline, stopping in Blarney Castle (don't forget to kiss the Blarney Stone), the lovely city of Cork and visiting Waterford Crystal. Arrive in Kilkenny, one of Ireland's prettiest inland towns with a fine castle overlooking the River Nore. Butler House is a beautifully restored Georgian house and an integral part of the Kilkenny Castle Estate.

    Overnight: Butler House

  6. Day 5 Kinritty, Birr Castle and the Slieve Blooms

    Head north to what is undoubtedly the jewel in Ireland's crown, the splendid Ballyfin House, offering the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable. We would recommend detouring via the gently rising Slieve Bloom Mountains which provide the boundary between County Laois and Offaly. From the peaks at 1,500ft, all four provinces of Ireland are visible if weather conditions are favourable. Stop awhile in Kinnitty to visit a classic Anglo-Irish folly - a tomb in the graveyard designed as a 30ft scale model of the Great Pyramid of Cheops and also visit Birr Castle with its fantastic observatory, once home to the world's most powerful telescope. You might also like to visit nearby Leap where the castle is reputed to be the most haunted in Ireland.

    Overnight: Ballyfin House

  7. Day 6 Ballyfin and the Slieve Blooms

    Time to explore the vast Ballyfin Estate this morning. As you wander through the grounds, you'll come across a lake, ancient woodland, grottoes, walled gardens and a six-storey medieval tower, built as a folly in the 19th century. If you prefer to head further afield, this is excellent walking country and the 50-mile Slieve Bloom Way loops round from Glenbarrow and takes in the very best of it.

    Overnight: Ballyfin House

  8. Day 7 Wicklow Mountains National Park

    Visit the Wicklow Mountains National Park, to the south of Dublin today, about a one-hour drive from Ballyfin, where the scenery is simply stunning. Afterwards, head to Dublin and spend the afternoon and evening enjoying the craic and legendary hospitality in Ireland's capital city.

    Overnight: The Merrion

  9. Depart


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