IRELAND’S ANCIENT EAST – 8 DAY, 4 STAR SELF-DRIVE TOUR
Tour Categories: IRISH CASTLES SELF-DRIVE/PRIVATE TOURS
YOUR OWN IMMERSIVE JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY OF 5,000 YEARS OF IRELANDS HISTORY & HERITAGE!
Ireland’s Ancient East
Welcome to Dublin. Explore this capital city with its many historic buildings, Georgian streets and colorful gardens.
Take the opportunity to visit some of this historic City’s many attractions such as the Christchurch Cathedral.
Located in the heart of Dublin city center, Christ Church was originally a Viking church and has been welcoming pilgrims and visitors for almost 1,000 years.
This working Anglican cathedral is an architectural masterpiece, evident from the moment you enter the magnificent Nave with its vaulted ceilings and medieval tiled floor.
Dig a little deeper to find the crypt, the city’s oldest working structure, or climb higher into the belfry and discover the world-famous bells.
Hidden treasures are waiting to be discovered around every corner: Strongbow’s final resting place, the heart of St. Laurence O’Toole, a rare copy of the Magna Carta and the famous mummified cat and rat.
You can also visit the Guinness Storehouse. Opened in 1904, the Storehouse was an operational plant for fermenting and storing Guinness.
Visit the Boyne Valley. The Boyne Valley is a World Heritage Site and is the largest and one of the most important prehistoric megalithic sites in Europe.
The Prehistoric inhabitants of the area built huge burial tombs on the banks of the river Boyne and on hilltop sites such as Loughcrew. The area was also hugely important in pre-Christian times when the Hill of Tara seated the High Kings of Ireland.
Christianity was brought to the region by St. Patrick, forever associated with the Hill of Slane on which he lit a fire on Easter Eve, 433 to challenge the druids who were holding a festival at Tara.
Travel to Celbridge on the River Liffey in County Kildare and visit the Palace of Castletown House, Ireland’s largest and earliest Palladian style house, built between 1722 and 1729 for William Conolly.
The façade was almost certainly designed by the Italian architect, Alessandro Galilei, while the Irish architect Sir Edward Lovett Pearce added the wings. The house remained in the hands of the Conolly’s until 1965 when it was purchased by a property developer.
You will experience the medieval city of Kilkenny and visit to Kilkenny Castle, built in 1195 to control a fording-point of the River Nore. Due to major restoration works, the central block now includes a library, drawing room, and bedrooms decorated in 1830’s splendour, as well as the beautiful Long Gallery.
Discover Wexford by way of a walking tour. Wexford Town, founded by the Vikings who named if Waesfjord (meaning ‘harbor of mud flats’) and its handy location near the mouth of the Slaney encouraged landings as early as AD 850.
The Normans captured the town in 1169; traces of their fort can still be seen in the grounds of the Irish National Heritage Park. Cromwell included Wexford in his Irish tour from 1649 to 1650. Around 1500 of the town’s 2000 inhabitants were put to the sword, including all the Franciscan friars.
The Garden of Ireland, Wicklow. County Wicklow has several world famous sites and attractions but there is also an abundance of smaller, less well known, but equally interesting places to visit and things to see.
From golden sandy beaches to rolling hills and valleys, Wicklow’s unique topography means that yet another stunning scene awaits just minutes away no matter where you are in the county.
True to its name the Garden County also boasts some of the most beautiful gardens and homes in Ireland. Enjoy a visit to Killruddery House and Gardens and to the monastic site at Glendalough. Killruddery is home to the Earls of Meath since 1618.
Vikings and medieval Dublin
Back to Dublin, and why not enjoy a walk in the Temple Bar Cultural Quarter, one of the oldest parts of Dublin. The city of Dublin was born in and around Temple Bar. Some of the earliest Temple Bar residents were Vikings, the area is rich in Viking and medieval history.
Enjoy an Irish Coffee in one of the pubs!
Visit the Trinity College and see the famous Book of Kells. Thomas Burgh built the Old Library building in the 18th century, today it houses one of Ireland’s most illustrious books, the 9th century “Book of Kells”.
Before viewing the famous book, visitors pass through an excellent exhibition based on the Book of Kells and other important books written in monasteries around Ireland from the 9th century.
The Long Room
After viewing the Book of Kells visitors are invited to visit the Long Room built in 1745.
Once the principal library of the University, it now contains over two hundred thousand books and manuscripts of the Trinity’s oldest volumes. Brian Boru’s harp said to be the “oldest harp in Ireland” and a copy of the 1916 proclamation, one of the most important documents relating to Irish history, are also on display in the Long Room.
In 2015, Conde Nast Traveler magazine included visiting the Book of Kells as one of the ’50 things to do in Europe before you die.
Alternatively visit Howth (Irish – Binn Éadair, meaning ‘Éadar’s peak’), a picturesque fishing village which is situated at the foot of a huge rock peninsula. Howth, a huge rock massif with footpaths ideal for small walks, offers beautiful views of Dublin Bay and a clifftop trail with sweeping sea views.
Visit Howth Castle, the earliest parts of the Castle are the Keep and Gate Tower dating from 1460. On the grounds near the castle are golf, pitch and putt and footgolf facilities, a former hotel, formal gardens and a pond, rhododendron walks – and several small streams pass through the estate. You can also visit one of the numerous seafood restaurants.
Your final Overnight is in the Dublin area and the following day will be your farewell departure.