Tentative Ireland Trip (A Work In Progress!!)

June 15, 2011-July 6, 2011

Day 1: Arrive at Dublin Airport

Dublin is a lively cosmopolitan city brimming with culture. You could spend your time strolling the streets soaking up the atmosphere, relaxing in its cafes and bars, or you could check out its myriad historical, literary, and cultural delights. The 8th century illuminated manuscript, the Book of Kells, must be viewed. It is on display at the impressive Trinity College, Ireland’s first university (founded in 1592) in the heart of Dublin. For the rest of your time, it is up to how much you are willing to pack in. Phoenix Park, twice the size of New York City’s Central Park, Georgian Dublin around Stephen’s Green, the National Botanical Gardens, National Museum, Kilmainham Jail, and the Hugh Lane Municipal Art Gallery are all highly recommended stops on your tour. Then there is the Guinness Storehouse and Jamieson Distillery. A visit to Dublin’s Temple Bar to experience the lively Dublin pub culture is a muse, though many of Dublin’s best bars can be found outside this area in the streets and lanes around Grafton Street, the shopper’s street of choice.

The Temple Bar in Dublin

Day 1 through 3 of your vacation will be spent in Dublin. You will be residing at The Fitzwilliam Hotel. The Fitzwilliam Hotel is one of Dublin’s most luxurious and is located in the heart of the city. Experience the best of both worlds when staying at this chic haven, to one side the tranquility and calm of St. Stephen’s Green and to the other, Grafton Street, Dublin’s finest shopping avenue.

En-route from Dublin to Kinsale, we would recommend visiting:

Blarney: Only a few miles from Cork City, Blarney is a charming village, most renowned for its castle and stone. The impressive castle, perched on solid limestone, dates from 1446, and is situated on magnificent grounds. To acquire “the gift of gab” one must kiss the Blarney Stone, which is located under the battlements at the very top of Blarney Castle. This involves bending over backwards at quite a height!

Day 4, 5 & 6: Kinsale

Located just 16 miles from Cork City in a naturally protected harbor, Kinsale is one of the most picturesque, popular and fashionable towns on the south-west coast of Ireland. Kinsale is a centre for yachting, sea angling, gourmet eating and golf. Restaurants in Kinsale pride themselves in their high reputation for culinary expertise, and the Good Food Circle has been organizing a Gourmet Festival here every Autumn for over 25 years. A charming town, its narrow streets are steeped in history and its harbor is always full of boats. Visit the museum housed in the French Prison, or, just outside the town, the star-shaped Charles Fort with its spectacular views, before retiring to one of the town’s many cozy atmospheric pubs. While in Kinsale, you will be staying at The Blue Haven Hotel. The Blue Haven is a luxury boutique style hotel situated in the heart of Kinsale. The Blue Haven graciously combines the charm of yesterday with the luxuries of today. Their reputation for excellent food, friendly personal service and meticulous attention to detail will always ensure your visit to Kinsale is a special one. The restaurant offers a restaurant, Restaurant Blue, a lovely cafe, CafĂ© Blue Haven, and Blue Haven Bar.

The hotel offers the following day trips while staying in Kinsale:

Cork- Cork City is 35 minutes from Kinsale. In the bustling city of Cork, stroll the river walk at the University and pop into the Glucksman Gallery.  Relax in a cafe, and hit Shandon Street, just a short walk from the main shopping district.  Climb the 120 foot steeple, and ring the bells of Shandon.  Soak up the city views as they fade into the countryside. Award-winning restaurants line the streets, and nightlife choices include Irish Traditional, classy nightclubs, theater, opera, plays, and dance.  (Take the haunted night tour of the city jail—it’s a great way to start your evening with a bang.) Of course, there’s the Jameson Old Middleton Distillery in east Cork.  Learn how Irish whiskey is made, and finish with a tasting.  As for Ennis, her beautiful medieval streets, narrow and meandering past small colorful shops, are enchanting.

Skibbereen- Skibbereen is one and a half hours from Kinsale. This thriving town is the 'capital' of West Cork, centre for all the agricultural, industrial and tourist activities of the region. Its streets are full of life and character and it is an ideal base from which to discover the delights of West Cork. You could easily spend days or weeks exploring West Cork, wandering up and down its lovely quiet roads. Although popular, it is never crowded like Kerry, and there are always delightful places to discover. Around each western headland the unsuspecting visitor will discover coastlines dominated by scenic harbors and colorful fishing villages such as Glandore, Baltimore and Schull, secluded beaches and dozens of sparsely populated islands such as Sherkin and Cape Clear. These islands, which were once populated with Gaelic speaking colonies, now offer the visitor endless hours of exploring an old-world traditional Ireland.

Cobh- Cobh is one hour from Kinsale. Cobh is a picturesque town situated on Great Island in Cork Harbour just south of Cork City. The island is connected to mainland Ireland by both rail and road. Cobh has a relatively short history by Irish standards, it was established in 1750, but has played an important role in Ireland's history. From 1848 to 1950, over six million Irishmen and women emigrated from Ireland and over 2.5 million of these departed from Cobh, making Cobh the single most important port of emigration in Ireland. During the famine years between 1845 and 1851, over 2 million people emigrated from Ireland, decreasing the country's population by half. Many of those emigrating left from Cobh and sailed to America to start a new life. You can find out more about Cobh's role in Irish emigration at the fascinating "Queenstown Story" visitor attraction at the Cobh railway station. Cobh is also famous for being the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic, which sank after striking an iceberg on Sunday April 14, 1912. Today, Cobh is a pleasant town with streets that climb up the steep slope of a hill to the top where the impressive St. Coleman’s Cathedral stands. There are many wonderful restaurants to choose from, many serving fresh seafood dishes. There are also a variety of lively pubs in Cobh where you can escape from the brisk air and enjoy some traditional Irish music.

St. Coleman's Cathedral in Cobh

Kenmare- Kenmare is three hours from Kinsale if you take the scenic route via West Cork and the Beara Peninsula. Kenmare, with its pastel coloured houses, is the usual starting point for the Ring of Kerry round trip.  The small town, founded by a handful of Englishmen in 1670, has every tourist convenience imaginable, including 2 of the most luxurious hotels in Ireland,the Park Hotel and Sheen Falls Lodge.  A trip round the peninsula of Iveragh should not be missed; it has some of the most magnificent landscape in Europe, as any of the hundreds of people on bicycles, motorbikes, cars and buses traveling the 110 mile long coast road will tell you.  Starting the Ring of Kerry trip from Kenmare means that you will meet the countless buses from Killarney going the other way instead of being stuck behind them!

Day 7 & 8: Dingle

The residents of Dingle, or An Daingean as it is now officially known, are the envy of everyone in Ireland. They live in what many agree is the most beautiful part of the country, in a strikingly attractive fishing village with fantastic pubs, rousing music, great restaurants and more characters per head of population than anywhere in the world. The key to Dingle is to visit as many pubs as you can while there. Seek out the old pubs frequented by the locals, sit up to the bar, order a drink, and prepare to be entertained! The Dingle Peninsula on which the town is located is littered with ancient archeological sites including stone forts and many beehive huts. Scenically, the Peninsula is an absolute delight with every turn of the road revealing more of the achingly beautiful landscape. One highlight is the Slea Head loop drive from Dingle which is easily driven in an hour or cycled in an afternoon. For the energetic, a day spent climbing Mount Brandon, the peninsula’s highest, will be richly rewarded. The views from the top on a clear day are absolutely amazing! While in Dingle, you will be staying at The Dunlavin House B&B. Dunlavin House is a traditional style Irish Bed & Breakfast, situated in the utterly beautiful seaside town of Dingle, Co. Kerry. Located on a hillside overlooking Dingle Harbour, Dunlavin House is a perfect base from which to explore and enjoy the beauty and charm of this unique area. Situated a mere quarter mile from the town of Dingle, guests are offered the tranquility of the Irish countryside coupled with close proximity to a town that is alive with festivals, traditional music and great pubs.

Day 9 & 10: Tralee

Tralee lies on the scenic south west coast of Ireland at the head of the Dingle Peninsula. It is the capital town of County Kerry, and is almost 800 years old. Its setting is lovely, surrounded by mountains, and looking out over a sheltered bay. Today, Tralee has all the facilities of a county capital: historical buildings, spacious parks, superb golf courses, horse and greyhound racing stadium, vibrant night-life, and a range of all-weather visitor attractions unmatched anywhere in Ireland. If you want to see a show that truly reflects the wealth of Irish culture, then go to one at Siamsa Tire Theatre. You don’t have to speak or understand Irish to appreciate the magic they create on stage. While staying in Tralee you will be residing in Ballyseede Castle! Ballyseede Castle is an impressive building and has a history dating back to the 1590’s. Wonderfully transformed into a hotel in 1965, Ballyseede Castle offers 23 en suite bedrooms, three function rooms, beautiful reception rooms and an enchanting formal garden. The thirty acre estate is a perfect base to unwind and discover the South-West of Ireland. Only minutes from Kerry Airport, the national train station and the major arterial road network, Ballyseede Castle is an ideal location to relax and unwind in historic surroundings.

Ballyseede Castle was the chief garrison of the legendary Fitzgerald’s - Earls of Desmond, many of whom refused to swear allegiance to the crown. This resulted in the infamous Geraldine Wars that continued intermittently for three centuries and concluded in 1584 with the beheading of Gerald, 16th Earl, in the Demesne of Ballyseede.  Gerald's head was exhibited in a cage on London Bridge. Following the defeat of the Desmonds, the Castle plus 3000 acres of land was granted as a perpetual lease to Robert Blennerhassett, the rent being one red rose to be presented each year on Midsummer’s Day. This noble family and their descendants occupied Ballyseede until 1966.

The Castle boasts that the ghosts of Landlords past are known to walk the long corridors on the basement level. On the 24th of March each year the ghost is known to make its presence felt. On that night in 1998, a resident of the castle vacated their room and were last heard of when they went to a local bookshop and asked for a book on ghosts! They told the shop assistant they had a frightening experience and “saw a Spirit”. This is the first time anyone was scared of the ghost, as past residents of the castle fondly call the ghost Hilda!

The Structure of the castle is a large three-story block over a basement, with two curved bows on the entrance front and another bow at the south side and a battlemented parapet. Inside the impressive lobby, Doric columns lead to an elegant wooden bifurcating staircase of fine oak joinery, which is almost unique in Ireland. There are two magnificent drawing rooms with cornice plasterwork, adorned by marble fireplaces, which are ideal for afternoon tea or morning coffee. The gracious dining room overlooks the front lawn and its ancient oaks. In the library bar there is a great-carved oak chimney piece over mantle dated 1627. There is a splendid Banqueting Hall where feasting and entertainment were historically held in a grand manner, and still are to this day.

While staying at Ballyseede Castle, we recommend you visit Killarney Town. It is a mere 45 minutes from the castle and lies on the edge of the astoundingly beautiful Killarney National Park with its three magnificent lakes and the spectacular MacGillycuddy Reeks mountain range. The park is also home to Muckross House and Gardens. Killarney is a wonderful base for all manner of activities including angling and water sports, golf, riding, orienteering, hiking, cycling, and canoeing. The town itself is quite small but full of charm as you will soon see as you walk down the brick footpaths and pass curious old-style shop fronts. Killarney is well known for its excellent shops, restaurants and cosmopolitan appeal. It is also renowned for its evening entertainment including many singing pubs, cabarets, dancing venues, and banquets. Traditional Irish music can also be heard in many of the local pubs.

Killarney Castle
Day 11 & 12: Ennis

Located just 15 miles from Shanon Airport, Ennis is the county town of Clare and is always pleasantly busy. It takes its name from the Irish word “inis” or island, as it is virtually surrounded by the River Fergus on which it sits. Its streets are narrow and attractive. The Friary, at the bottom of Abbey Street, was founded by the O’Briens in the 13th Century. Many of its original features survive and it’s well worth visiting. The main attraction in Ennis is the locals’ obvious love of traditional music. While staying in Ennis it is vital to visit the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions. The cliffs are 214 meters high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O’Brien’s Tower stands proudly on the headland o of the majestic cliffs. From the cliffs, you can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, The Twelve Pins, Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the south. The Old Ground Hotel will be your home away from home while visiting Ennis. The Old Ground Hotel in Ennis is a former Manor House dating back to the 18th century. Although its ivy-clad exterior retains all the splendour of a by-gone age, inside, all the conveniences of a modern hotel prevail. The exceptionally welcoming atmosphere of the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis persists to this day and strikes you from the first greeting, to the brightly burning turf fire in the lobby. The Old Ground is located right in the heart of Ennis, making it the ideal location from which to explore an authentic Irish market town. It hosts its own restaurants and cafes including the Town Hall Bistro, O’Brien Room Restaurant and The Poet’s Corner.

The Old Ground Hotel was built by Barry Upton & John Dwyer in the early part of the 18th Century as a private dwelling. Upton & Dwyer subsequently leased the building to Charles Mahon for a period of "Three Lives". When Mahon died in 1822 his son Charles Jr. took over the lease. On the 13th February 1863 Charles handed the property over to his nephew John Mahon, who then resided in London. John left London and traveled to Ireland. Riding on horseback from Limerick to Ennis to take up residence, he arrived at the mansion to be greeted by an old retainer with the words "You are welcome to the Old Ground Sir." The warmth of the greeting and the sincerity behind it immediately influenced the owner to call his mansion "The Old Ground" and this name it has retained to the present day.
It would appear that Mahon actually became owner of the property as on the 10th December 1875 he then sold it to a John Petty. Presumably Petty died sometime between 1875 & 1886, as in 1886 a William Hynes M.D. became a tenant in the house. In 1895 approximately Jane McNamara acquired it and thus turned it into a hotel. The McNamara's sold the premises (exact date unknown) and it has a chequered history thereafter. Eventually the bank acquired it and in 1927 James O Regan bought it from them.

In 1946, with the advent of scheduled transatlantic flights into Shannon Airport, an extension was built onto the house. The Lounge beside the old reception area, known as the Blue Lounge was a communal room for T.W.A. The cocktail bar was where Reception is now and was used by Pan Am. Meals were served throughout the night.

Next door to the Old Ground was the town hall, which incorporated a jail. In 1963 the O'Regan family who owned a large residence in Bindon Street, swapped it for the town hall, with the town commissioners. The Town Hall is now the Banquet Suite. In former times there was a bridge leading from an upper window of the town hall across the street to an exercise ground for the prisoners. The jail was used more as a depot where prisoners were kept while awaiting deportation to Australia and Tasmania.

It is not known exactly when the jail ceased being used for this purpose. Later, the Grand Jury, who held the jail on the payment of a shilling, gave it to another government department. It had been intended to open it as a Library, but it was, in fact, acquired by the Grand Jury once more where it was used a court house and later closed to become a library, It was then sold to the Town Commissioners who in turn sold the entire premises to the O'Regans.

Some years ago there were excavations carried out and the dungeons were discovered under the building with chains attached to the walls (the chains are now in Ennis Museum). Underneath the floor of the dungeon a flowing river is tidal as far as Ennis. This branch of the river formed an island, thus giving the town its name, i.e. Inis, meaning Island. The fireplace in the Lemenagh Hall (formerly the jail) was originally in Lemenagh Castle (built by Conor O'Brien in 1553) and was given to the Old Ground by Gerard McDonagh of Dromoland Castle, on the understanding that if Lemenagh Castle is ever restored the fireplace is to be returned.

The new section of bedrooms, which is known as the New Wing, was built in 1966. The O'Regans sold the hotel to Kingster Windsor Hotels in 1967 and Strand Hotels subsequently acquired it in 1970. It again changed ownership in 1977 when it was incorporated into The Forte Group and in 1995 was purchased by Allen Flynn and is now part of the Flynn Hotels Group.

While staying at the Old Ground Hotel, they recommend the following day trips:

Bunratty- Bunratty is only 20 minutes from the hotel. It is located on the river Shannon - a charming little village that oozes character. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, is high on the list of Ireland's top visitor attractions. If you want to learn about Ireland and how the Irish lived in earlier times, Bunratty's Folk Park is a must.  Entire houses of various sizes and dates have been taken apart stone-by-stone and reassembled here, along with a school, a pub, a church, a row of shops, and other buildings. What makes it especially enjoyable is watching activities, including scones and bread being made, as well as work being carried out in the little fields. Bunratty's most obvious attraction is its imposing castle which overlooks the river Shannon. Once the stronghold of the O’Briens, kings and later earls of Thomond, it reflects their style and power. Its Great Hall has a very fine collection of 14th-century furniture, paintings and wall hangings and also hosts medieval banquets which anyone can attend with plenty of entertainment as well as food and drink. Finally no visit to Bunratty would be complete without a pint of plain in the world-famous Durty Nelly's Pub located right next to the castle.

Bunratty Castle
Doolin- Doolin is around 45 minutes drive from the hotel. The small coastal village of Doolin is located on County Clare’s wild Atlantic coast.  The surrounding area has much of interest including the barren yet strikingly beautiful Burren region with, among other things, the 5,000 year-old Poulnabrone Dolmen. Also worth a visit is Doonagore Castle and of course the spectacular 650-foot high Cliffs of Moher, which are only a few miles from Doolin. But the real reason people flock to Doolin from all over the world is the traditional music in the local pubs. Until recently Doolin had only three pubs. There are now some new establishments on the scene but we recommend sticking to the old reliables: McGann’s, McDermots and O’Connor’s. Each pub is full most nights with musicians and music lovers alike. Be sure to check out all three!

Adare Heritage Village- Adare is one hour from the Old Ground Hotel and is a quaint picturesque village lined with traditional thatched-roof cottages. Snuggled in a wooden and lush countryside setting, Adare is widely regarded as being Ireland's prettiest and most unique village. Situated on the river Maigue, a tributary of the Shannon river, Adare dates back, at least, to the early 13th century. Adare village has a rich wealth of heritage, as well as architectural and scenic beauty. Two groups of world famous, ornate, thatched cottages line part of the village's broad main street, punctuated with beautiful stone buildings, medieval monasteries and ruins. Situated in the centre of County Limerick, with just 15 minutes from Limerick City and 45 minutes from Shannon Airport, Adare Village is an ideal base from which to explore County Limerick's many visitor attractions such as Lough Gur and King John's Castle.

13th Century Castle in Adare Heritage Village

Day 13-16: Galway

The people of Galway are said to be the most happiest in Ireland! Galway City is a lively university city of narrow streets, quaint shopfronts, bustling pubs and stunning surrounding scenery. It has always attracted a bohemian mix of musicians, artists and intellectuals and that attitude is palpable as you walk the streets.

Galway has been commercially important since the 11th Century when it was a center for trade with Spain and Portugal. In 1477, Christopher Columbus paid a visit. Galway earned the title “City of the Tribes” around that time, when it was ruled by 14 wealthy merchant families. Today, it is lively with loads of things to do. Its famous Druid Theatre produces and stages plays and has toured internationally, winning awards, including Tonys on Broadway. While visiting Galway, a little northwest is Connemara. It is the rocky, barren, but breathtakingly stunning region and is one of the few remaining where Gaelige, the native tongue of Ireland, is still fluently spoken as a first language. Stop off in the fishing village of Roundstone, where currachs, old style featherweight rowing boats are still in use every day. The village also boasts an impressive crafts complex, selling everything from teapots and sweaters to traditional Irish music instruments. Clifden, Connemara’s capital, is well worth a visit and the scenic Sky Road drive, just outside town, should not be missed! From here, travel north, to see the exquisite neo-gothic Kylemore Abbey, nestled in a lush forest on the edge of Kylemore Lake. Connemara is Ireland’s big sky country!

You will be staying at the Marless House B&B while in Galway. Mary and Tom Geraghty welcome you to Marless House, a Georgian style family home situated in a quiet residential area of Salthill, just 100 meters from the beach and 3 kilometers from Galway city with frequent bus service and off-street parking. The lounge and dining room are bright and spacious, offering friendly accommodation with a relaxed atmosphere and an extensive breakfast menu.

Centrally heated throughout, there are 6 bedrooms, all with private en suite bathrooms, cable TV, orthopaedic beds, tea/coffee tray, hairdryers, electric clock radios and free Internet access.  Electric blankets take the chill from the cool evenings. Daily coach tours to Connemara, Burren, Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands can be arranged in advance with free collection from Marless House.

After a hearty breakfast, you can take a stroll on the nearby Salthill promenade or visit Galway’s many historical and cultural sites.  In the evening enjoy a visit to one of Galway’s restaurants, theatres, art galleries, pubs with Irish music or simply relax in the guest lounge with a good book.  Enjoy a conversation with other guests after a day’s touring of Connemara, the Cliffs of Moher or the Aran Islands.  Mary’s helpful advice will help you decide how to make the most of your visits. Marless House has been awarded the Irish Welcome Award many times, and has been acclaimed by many well known travel publications.

Mary recommends that their visitors travel to the following places while staying in Galway:

Aran Islands- If you fancy a day free of  driving,  then a day trip to the Aran Islands is a must.  Situated on the edge of the Atlantic, are the three world famous Aran Islands – Innishmore, Innismaan and Innisheer, –  a maze of stone walls and tiny fields, high cliffs and incredible rugged landscapes. Gaelic is still the spoken language on all three Islands. They are renowned for their unique way of life, where age-old traditions co-exist with modern living. The islands are rich in history, with ancient monuments, from both pre-historic and Christian times. The Dun Aengus fort on Innishmore, the largest of the islands, is the main attraction.

The Salthill Promenade & Galway Bay- We are situated just steps from the Salthill promenade and Galway Bay, which is one of Ireland’s most popular destinations. Enjoy our seaside walks and sandy beaches or just sit on the promenade and enjoy the salty air and marvelous sea views. In the evening, take a stroll along the promenade and way the sun go down on Galway Bay.

Day 17 & 18: Westport

Westport is a postcard-perfect town with as lovely a main street as you’ll be likely to find anywhere else in Ireland. The town lies in the shadow of Croagh Patrick with Clew Bay and its 365 islands just to the west. While in Westport be sure to visit Westport House and climb at least a little of Croagh Patrick. Westport House dates from 1730 and offers everything from a dungeon to a zoo! Croagh Patrick is a 765 meter hill where St. Patrick is said to have banished the snakes from Ireland. This hill is climbed, often barefoot, by thousands of Catholic pilgrims each July. South of Westport is some stunning scenic drives leading into the Connemara region. A trip northwards will bring you to remote Achill Island which is accessible by only a small bridge.  It is the largest island in Ireland at 60 square miles. Here, you can visit the quaint villages of Dooagh and Dooega, the high cliffs at Slievemore and Minuan, and the magnificent beaches at Keel and Keem, under Achill Head. No visit to this island would be complete without taking a journey of scenic splendor of the famous Atlantic Drive which circuits the island. Achill’s beautiful, unspoiled, remote scenery and clear waters make it ideally suited for the outdoor person. You can rent bicycles on the island, climb the highest mountain on the island, Mount Slievemore (about 1800 feet), or climb Mount Minaun or walk along its cliffs. Even further off the beaten path is Belmullet in the northwest corner of County Mayo. Westport also boasts a great selection of traditional pubs; among them Matt Molloy’s of the Chieftains.

You will be staying in the lovely Glenderan B&B while in Westport. Dermot and Ann O’Flaherty would like to invite you to their tastefully decorated Bed and Breakfast accommodation situated in Westport County Mayo in a nice quiet area just 600 meters from Westport harbor and 1.5 km from Westport town center where at night the only sound you'll hear is the rustling of the leaves in the wind or maybe the soft murmur of rain falling on the slate roof or in the morning the joyful sounds of birds and bees as they go about their business.

Day 19 & 20: Boyne Valley

The Boyne Valley, located on the each coast of Ireland in County Meath, contains the largest and most decorated megalithic sites in all of Ireland and has been described as “the largest and most important expression of prehistoric megalithic art in Europe.” The large megalithic sites were built over 5000 years ago between 3800 and 3200 BC, built before both Stonehenge in England and the pyramids in Egypt. Within a three square mile radius in the Boyne Valley are grouped more than 30 prehistoric monuments including the great passage toms and their satellite structures, standing stones, barrows and other enclosures. The great sites of the Boyne Valley include Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, Loughcrew, Fourknocks and the Hill of Tara. Neolithic communities built these sites over earlier sacred spots and it is suspected that they were used for a combination of different purposes, including use as burial tombs, sacred temples and astronomical observatories. The nearby towns of Slane or Navan make ideal bases from which to explore this area.

While in Boyne Valley, you will be staying at the Athlumney Manor in Navan. Athlumney Manor Bed & Breakfast accommodation is a superb, spacious and architecturally designed house, in Athlumney in Navan, in the heart of county Meath, Ireland. Run by Pat and Pauline Boylan, Athlumney Manor Bed & Breakfast Accommodation offers a homely, friendly and relaxed atmosphere. We pride ourselves on the personal service and attention we offer to all our guests.

While in Boyne Valley, the Boylans recommend you visit Trim Castle. Trim Castle was built around 1172 and the building was completed with the central tower in the 1220s. The three acre enclosure is dominated by a 25 meter high stone keep and is mounted on a Norman motte.

Day 21: Depart from Dublin Airport

Other Trip Information
 20 nights/21 day “Ancient Ireland” tour via Authentic Ireland
Breakfast, Rental Car & All Fees is included
Rental car to be picked up when you leave Dublin and dropped off at Dublin Airport

·         Passport Cost: $135.00
·         Roundtrip Airfare to Dublin from Jacksonville (via
with one-stop: $800.00
·         3 Day Bus Pass To Use Within Dublin: $34.00
·         Cost of Ancient Ireland Tour: $2,695.00 per person/$5,540.00 total
·         Estimated Costs for Food (other than Bfast): $
·         Estimated GPS/Cell Phone Rental: $
·         Cost of Car Drop Off Fee at Airport: $35.00
·         Estimated Gas Cost ($4.50/gallon): $
·         Estimated Spending Money: $
·         Emergency Money: $

Whew, this one took a while.... I am still working with the travel agent to come up with an itenerary, as these dates are not set in stone AND since the cost went up for drivers under the age of 25 (by only 6 months next summer!!), I am also looking at what I can cut off the trip to lower the cost. We will call this itenerary a work in progress..... If you have any suggestions or comments.... feel free to comment (ESPECIALLY YOU MONICA)!!