Day 1: Discover Dublin
Arrive in Dublin and after check in at your hotel enjoy a tour of the city with your driver-guide. The attractions included can be completely tailored to meet individual interests.
*Alternatively, if Dublin was not a must, we could fly the clients directly into Belfast.
Dublin is one of Europe’s oldest cities. As well as retaining its historical and cultural charms, Dublin offers trendy bars, elegant restaurants and stylish, cosmopolitan shops and hotels. There’s never been a better time to visit Dublin! Dublin ranks more than ever among the top tourist destinations in Europe, and this vibrant city hums with a palpable sense that it is creating a new cultural heritage. With a wealth of attractions, many within walking distance of each other, Ireland’s largest city provides a sense of history, culture, music and a bustle that is truly unique.
Trinity College’s Old Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition is a “must see” on the itinerary of all visitors to Dublin. Located in the heart of Dublin City, a walk across the cobbled stones of Trinity College Dublin will bring visitors back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed. The Book of Kells is a 9th-century gospel manuscript famous throughout the world. Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland, founded in 1592 right in the heart of the city. As well as housing the Book of Kells and the Long Room library (which has featured in movies such as Harry Potter and Star Wars), life beyond the front arch is a bona fide centre of learning for Irish students.
Saint Patrick's Cathedral
Saint Patrick's Cathedral has been at the heart of Dublin and Ireland's history and culture for over 800 years. For centuries it was the largest enclosed space on the island and it remains the largest Cathedral in the country. It has been visited by some of Irish history's most influential individuals from Cromwell, William of Orange and King James I, to Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. It is the final resting place for one of Ireland's most famous men, Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's travels and Dean (head) of the Cathedral. It has witnessed the birth of the expression "to chance your arm" within its walls.
It was the very first school in Ireland, the Cathedral Choir School. The Cathedral was the location of the first performance of Handel's Messiah in 1742. The interior of the building is adorned with stunning engravings, beautifully tiled floors and striking stained glass. It's often used as a venue for concerts and graduations. It is today the National Cathedral for the Church of Ireland, and a place of worship.
From the founding of the first Celtic settlement in the 1st century A.D. to every Presidential inauguration since the foundation of the State, the site has stood witness to some of the most pivotal events in the Ireland’s history. The grounds of the site are free to explore, as is the Chapel Royal, the Chester Beatty Library, the Garda Museum and the Revenue Museum. The State Apartments are among the most prestigious State rooms in the country and are open for guided tours. This prestigious city centre site plays host to state-of-the-art conference and dining facilities as well. Each area has its own distinctive character and can be hired as individual units for a variety of purposes.
The GPO (General Post Office)
Dublin’s GPO is indelibly associated with the 1916 Rising and the events that led to the creation of an independent Irish state. The stern grandeur of its façade, Irish flag flying proudly aloft, is an image that evokes a justifiable sense of heroism and nationhood. In the course of its long history, the GPO has witnessed much more than the events of Easter Week. The foundation stone was laid by Lord Whitworth on the 12th August 1814 with £60 spent on entertainment for the occasion. The architect was Francis Johnston whose considerable abilities place him in the first rank of Irish architects. In its GPO Dublin gained a building that was, in the words of one contemporary, “commodious, well arranged… and highly ornamental to the city.”
A New Visitor Centre ‘Witness History’ at the GPO in Dublin is due to open by March 2016, on time to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 rising. The tour is an audio visual tour lasting approximately 1.5 hours with the option for Guided and Self-Guided Tours.
Croke Park Tour and GAA Museum
Croke Park has been at the heart of Irish sporting life for over a hundred years. Boasting a capacity for 82,300 people, the stadium is the home of Gaelic Games and the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). ‘Croker’ has been synonymous with a significant contribution to Irish history and culture as well being a beacon, carrying the light of traditional Irish heritage. You can also opt to climb to the top of the stadium, 17 stories up on the Skyline tour and get a bird’s eye view of the stadium and the surrounding Dublin City.
Experience Gaelic Games (normally 3 hours- can also include a musical element with bodhráns and dance)
‘Experience Gaelic Games’ is all about participation, regardless of age, gender or skill level. The fun is to see how well you can master a new sport.
Experience Gaelic Games offers you a chance to engage in something that is uniquely Irish and embedded in our culture and day to day living. Gaelic football and hurling are exceptionally skilful games and your experienced tutors will provide you with the basic knowledge. The Experience is suitable for all ages and abilities. All you need is a pair of flat shoes, a curiosity and a willingness to have fun.
The Guinness Storehouse
The highlight of a trip to Dublin is a visit to the home of the 'black stuff'. Arthur Guinness founded the family business in 1759 at St. James's Gate. The Storehouse, impressively built in 1904 as a fermentation plant, is now an interactive museum on several floors, detailing how four simple ingredients are blended to create the famous stout. Finally, pull yourself up to the almighty Gravity Bar on the 7th floor for the most scenic complimentary pint in Dublin. The 360 degree windows afford a wonderful view.
Overnight in Dublin at the 5 Star Westbury Hotel
The Westbury Hotel 5 Star
With possibly the best address in Dublin, this 5 star hotel offers a superb stay in the heart of the city. After recent redevelopments the hotel has raised the bar in terms of luxury and style. Guest rooms offer comfort, relaxed tones and good space. This hotel provides easy access to theatres, entertainment and the many cultural and heritage attractions in Dublin city centre. The hotel has a calm, elegant atmosphere with charming staff and a reputation for excellent cuisine and service. Enjoy time out in the lobby with picture perfect views onto Dublin’s bustling Grafton Street.
Day 2: Moving North
Today start your journey north to begin discovering Northern Ireland and Game of Thrones!
Your quest begins in Tollymore Forest Park in County Down. Just a beautiful park? Far from it. How could we forget the scene with the three Night’s Watch men riding into the Haunted Forest and falling foul of a dreaded White Walker? With plenty of rich woodland, hidden caves and gothic-style bridges and gates, Tollymore is an appropriately dramatic start to your Westeros adventure.
The forests, mountains and moorlands around Northern Ireland transformed into the scenic backdrops for Game of Thrones most memorable moments. It was here that Brienne clashed with the Hound, Baelish and Sansa passed the Bloody Gate and Jamie made his one-handed escape. Tollymore Forest Park, County Down, made its mark as the Haunted Forest, where the White Walkers began their march into the realm of men. These 600 hectares hold ancient redwoods as well as Gothic stone arches – the remnants of an 18th century estate. The ‘bastard of Bolton’ hunted Theon here, and it's where the Starks discover the direwolves. Listen carefully; you might still hear their howls.
The fantastical fun doesn’t stop here– next is 800-year old Inch Abbey, to the north east, the location of some of the show's most compelling moments.
Located on the north bank of the Quoile River, Inch Abbey was founded by John de Courcy in atonement for his destruction of Erenagah Abbey. The buildings are mainly from the 12th and 13th centuries while it is believed the church is older than that at Grey Abbey which was built about 1193.
It was here that Catelyn Stark crossed over a bridge to The Twins to negotiate a treaty with the cowardly Freys. The Quoile River was used to depict the Riverlands area – home of the Tullys – and the Red Fork. Inch Abbey’s surrounds, too, were used to shoot Hoster Tully’s funeral. In the same neck-of-the-woods, Arya and The Hound ride horseback towards the Red Fork. Of course, the 12th century ruins of Inch Abbey make for a fascinating visit despite all the fantastical bloodshed.
Next, we creep west and to the shores of Strangford Lough. Castle Ward in County Down was used to depict the home of House Stark: Winterfell. This 18th century National Trust property was transformed for the scene when
Robert Baratheon and his court arrive in Winterfell. It’s also where Robb Stark’s army was forced to make camp enroute to The Twins. An epic spot!
Castle Ward’s historic farmyard is the location of Winterfell, the backdrop for the series pilot and much of season one. It’s also where you will find the Whispering Wood and key scenes including Robb Stark’s Camp, the Baelor battle and when Brienne confronts the Stark men. Experience Game of Thrones® for yourself through ClearSky Adventure at Castle Ward! A replica of the ‘Winterfell Archery Range’ has been masterfully recreated in the courtyard in the very same spot that the filming took place, transporting you into the world of Westeros. Dress up in character costume, step into the movie set and stand exactly where 'Jon Snow', 'Robb & Bran Stark' stood. If archery isn’t your thing, why not see the filming locations from a boat ride in Strangford Lough? Or take a cycle about the estate? At ‘Winterfell’ you’re spoilt for choice!
Continue north now to overnight in Belfast City.
Overnight in Belfast at the 5 Star Merchant Hotel
The Merchant Hotel, Belfast 5 Star
The Merchant Hotel is located in the former headquarters of Ulster Bank. The original building, built in the 19th century, is Victorian in style, opulent, and offers extreme luxury. The Great Room Restaurant is located in the Great Hall and don’t miss out on sipping a cocktail in the glittering cocktail bar! The hotel has 26 rooms including 5 suites and caters to small groups looking for an intimate and boutique Northern Ireland experience including private dining options.
Day 3: Belfast City
Think all the action takes place in real-world locations? Not so. Titanic Studios, one of Europe’s largest film studios, is used to create countless interiors for Game of Thrones, such as the Throne Room and the Sept of Baelor. Set in the historic heart of Belfast and the birthplace of the Titanic, these hallowed halls have witnessed more backstabbing – both literal and figurative – than you could swing a mace at.
It’s not possible to get inside the studios… but you’ll soon see that Belfast has much to offer with a history as interesting and sometimes as tragic as Game of Thrones itself.
City break or longer stay, Belfast offers the buzz and vibrancy of a capital city whilst being a gateway to the rural retreat of Northern Ireland. At the head of Belfast Lough, the city is compact and easy to get around. Belfast is teeming with a multitude of stylish bars, gourmet restaurants, trendy clubs and some great shopping. Visitors can enjoy traditional Irish music in a local pub or dance the night away to the latest vibes - the choice is yours! Also, the city's many parks, gardens and galleries offer a perfect haven to relax.
We can tailor this day to match clients’ interests. Below are some of our suggestions.
Crumlin Road Gaol and McConnell’s Distillery
The Crumlin Road Gaol dates back to 1845 and closed its doors as a working prison in 1996. After extensive renovations the gaol has re- opened as a visitor attraction and conference centre. Today you can take a guided tour of the prison and hear about the history of the site from when women and children were held within its walls through to the political segregation of republican and loyalist prisoners and learn about why the decision was taken to close the prison. During the tour of the gaol you will be taken by your tour guide to visit the underground tunnel that used to connect the gaol to the Crumlin Road Courthouse, you will get a chance to sit in the Governor's chair, view all the wings from the circle and of course pay a visit to the condemned mans cell before seeing the execution cell where the majority of the 17 men were hanged.
Distilled at Crumlin Road…
The famous jail now home to Belfast’s only whiskey distillery. As first distillery in the city in 85 years, the Belfast Distillery Company is leading the renaissance of Belfast’s whiskey heritage. It is the largest independently owned distillery in Northern Ireland, distilling high quality malt whiskey in the heart of this resurgent city. The distillery itself is located in a historic Belfast landmark; the Crumlin Road Jail, occupying the infamous A-Wing. A setting well suited to a company which seeks to build on Belfast’s great whiskey making tradition, breathing new
life into renowned former brand; McConnell’s, which was founded in Belfast in 1776, not far from its new home. Under the mantle of the McConnell’s brand the distillery will ultimately produce a range of single malts and a unique Irish poteen alongside its premium blends.
Titanic Belfast is the world's largest Titanic visitor experience. Located in the heart of Belfast, Northern Ireland, on the very slipways where she was built, Titanic Belfast® extends over nine galleries, with multiple dimensions to the exhibition, drawing together special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way; from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise. The journey goes beyond the aftermath of the sinking, to the discovery of the wreck and continues into the present day with a live undersea exploration centre.
Belfast Black Taxi Tour
This world famous tour will take you on an unforgettable cultural, political and educational experience. Travel along the well documented Shankill Road with one of our impartial local Guides who will explain the intriguingly vibrant wall murals and why a peace line has divided two communities for many years. Visit Belfast City Hall, Queen's University, Albert Memorial Clock, Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast Castle and Stormont.
Stormont Parliament Buildings
Parliament Buildings is home to the Northern Ireland Assembly, the legislative body for Northern Ireland established under the Belfast Agreement 1998 (Good Friday Agreement). Built in 1921, it was officially opened in 1932 by the then Prince of Wales. Take a tour and have good look around the ‘House on the Hill’ where your MLAs debate important issues, or walk around the beautiful grounds of Stormont Estate. Tours can also be customized for those with hearing or sight impairments. Events staff have been trained by RNIB, Action on Hearing Loss and Autism NI to assist guests’ needs as required. There are also tea rooms and a small gift shop on site.
Overnight 2 in Belfast at The Merchant Hotel.
Day 4: Coastal Hopping
Today depart on another Game of Thrones themed adventure of the North East Coast.
The Causeway Coastal Route
Northern Ireland has over 200 kilometers of diverse coastline and beachfront in care of the National Trust, making it an ideal destination for a scenic coastal drive. The route from Belfast North to the Giant’s Causeway is not one to disappoint! A route of outstanding natural beauty, this was one of the chief coastlines filmed during the famous HBO series Game of Thrones.
Leaving Belfast and its Titanic footprint behind, set your sights further north. Cairncastle is your destination and we’re right back to the very first episode. It was here that Ned Stark took his long-sword Ice and struck off the head of a Night’s Watch deserter, as John, Bran, Rob and Theon looked on. Heading west from Cairncastle, the Shillanavogy Valley is your next stop. This was where the ferocious Dothraki hoard set up camp, and the verdant, green valley was seamlessly transformed into the swaying grasslands of Vaes Dothrak.
After enjoying some of the Game of Thrones scenery, next pop into Glenarm to visit the Jewelers who made some of Game of Thrones most iconic pieces!
This is a family run goldsmith who for nearly forty years have grown a great reputation in Ireland; producing strong contemporary design with the highest standard of craftsmanship.
All the collections and rings by Steenson’s are designed and handcrafted in their Glenarm workshop, along the famous Causeway Coast Route. This workshop is an ÉCONOMUSÉE were visitors are welcome to watch the goldsmiths at work.
They have worked on numerous pieces for Game of Thrones, a series which any fan will know, is filmed extensively in Northern Ireland and in particular the Antrim coast has featured often as 'The North'. Just one of the many pieces they’ve designed and made is Joffery’s ‘golden’ crown, made in sections that were painstakingly hand cut out of 5mm sheet brass.
Head north east towards Antrim’s stunning coastline: the Cushendun Caves are calling.
Cushendall and Cushendun Caves
Cushendall village is the meeting point of three glens: Glenann, Glenballylemon and Glencorp. In this picturesque village, preserved Georgian houses line the four streets, and the Curfew Tower is still a centrepiece. Cushendall is a perfect place to walk along the beach, ramble around the glens, sit by the river or explore both stone-aged monuments and its more recent historical, sword-producing, past. Views of Scotland add the final touch to this wonderful place.
Cushendun Caves were formed over 400 million of years of extreme weather conditions. Find them just beyond the beautiful coastal village of Cushenden, walking down next to the Cave House. Davos Seaworth acted against his better judgment when he escorted Lady Melisandre on her quest to assassinate Renly Baratheon. The Cushendun Caves were used for the unforgettable scene where Melisandre gave birth to the monstrous “shadow baby” that was Renly’s undoing.
After a day on the coast it’s time for a drop of ‘The Water of Life’, or in other words, one of Ireland’s best loved whiskeys!
Whiskey making at Bushmills draws on centuries-old distilling history, including the first license to distil whiskey, granted for the county of Antrim in 1608.
The passion for the whiskey-making and in-house expertise in all stages of the whiskey production process is the critical factors in the quality and complexity of the Bushmills’ family of whiskeys.
The County Antrim village of Bushmills has a long and illustrious history of whiskey production. The first license to distil whiskey was granted by King James I, and the Irish spirit soon became a favorite among the revelers of British King James's court. In 1784, the Bushmills distillery became an officially registered company.
Overnight in the Bushmills Inn Hotel
Bushmills Inn Hotel 4 Star
This luxury boutique 4 star hotel is ideal for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy true Irish hospitality. Roaring peat fires, nooks and crannies and a secret library set the tone. In the bar, still lit by gas light, try a glass of malt from the hotel’s private cask and make sure to sample some of the finest North Antrim produce in the AA Rosette restaurant. This multi-award-winning hotel & restaurant is located beside the world’s oldest fully operational distillery and has been outstandingly successful in recreating its origins as an old Coaching Inn and Mill House. The 41 sumptuous guest rooms and suites, many with views extending over the River Bush are beautifully appointed. Whether you wish to linger by the fire, enjoy afternoon tea on the garden courtyard, partake in water sports, hike in unspoilt countryside or play golf on some of Ireland’s finest courses Bushmills Inn is the ideal location.
Day 5: The Causeway Coast
Today you’ll visit much more iconic Game of Thrones as well as Northern Ireland sites.
The Dark Hedges
This beautiful avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century. It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their home, Gracehill House. Two centuries later, the trees remain a magnificent sight and have become known as the Dark Hedges. They are one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland, painted by hundreds of visiting artists and is a favorite location for wedding photographs. The road is reputedly haunted by a spectral ‘Grey Lady’ who appears at dusk among the trees. She silently glides along the roadside and disappears as she passes the last beech tree.
Of the Dark Hedges, world-renowned photographer Jim Zuckerman writes,
"One of the most beautiful roads I’ve ever seen is this country lane in Northern Ireland. It's called Dark Hedges, and I include it in my photo tour to Ireland. All of the people in my groups get amazing pictures here. The serpentine trees form a tunnel that is spectacular at any time of the day, but I find it particularly intriguing and mysterious just before dark".
Ballintoy Harbour can be discovered in the picturesque village of Ballintoy. Known as a ‘raised beach’, it is located alongside the B15 coast road, 17 miles north-east of Coleraine and five miles west of Ballycastle. The small fishing harbour can be found at the end of a small narrow steep road down Knocksaughey Hill, which passes by the entrance to Larrybane and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The village itself, which is just one kilometer from the harbor, has a charming array of small shops, two churches, including the quaint white Ballintoy Parish Church on the hill above the harbor, as well as tourist accommodation, restaurants, commercial and social facilities. For those looking to capture a true sense of Irish rural life, it is an ideal stop over whilst touring the coastal route. It has been used as a filming location in HBO's epic series Game of Thrones. This stunning harbor location has been used for exterior Pyke shots and as the Iron Islands.
This picturesque coastal nook is where Theon Greyjoy arrives back in the Iron Islands and where he later admires his ship, the Sea Bitch. This is also where he first meets his sister Yara. ++++++++++
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Spanning a chasm some eighty feet deep is the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Its construction once consisted of a single rope hand rail and widely spaced slats which fishermen would traverse with salmon caught off the island. However, since the demise of salmon fishing along the north coast it is no longer used by fishermen and the single handrail has been replaced by two. The current caged bridge was installed by the National Trust during Easter of 2000 as a further safety measure. Once you reach Carrick Island, the reward is seeing the diverse birdlife and an uninterrupted view across to Rathlin Island and Scotland. There is only one way off the island - back across the swinging bridge! Don't look down!
The Giant’s Causeway
Marvel at the 40,000 basalt stone columns left by volcanic eruptions over 60 million years ago. The Giant’s Causeway is Northern Ireland’s most famous landmark and a World Heritage Site. It takes its name from the legends of Finn MacCool and is renowned for its scenic beauty. There is a state-of-the-art Visitor Centre which unlocks the mystery and stories of the landscape, and offers a unique glimpse into this amazing place. Explore the upgraded walking trails and enjoy spectacular coastal scenery accompanied by an outdoor audio-guide available in a range of languages or join in an hourly guided tour.
Dunluce Castle – great photo opportunity!
This late-medieval and 17th-century castle, one of our heritage gems, is dramatically sited, on a headland dropping sheer into the sea on the north Antrim Coast. Both from the sea below and on site, the castle is quite spectacular. Its outline provides an iconic view of this part of the Causeway Coastal Route. One of the Must See views along the designated tourist drive it is frequently quoted as being one of Ireland’s most romantic castle locations.
Optional add-on: Royal Portrush Golf Club
Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland is the only golf club outside of Great Britain which has hosted The Open Championship, the oldest of golf's major championships. It is considered a highly testing course, with a particularly scenic setting.
The Dunluce Links course is rated number 4 of "The 100 greatest courses in the British Isles", Golf World 11/96. It was ranked number 12 in the world in Golf Magazine's biennial rankings of the Top 100 Courses in the World, often considered the gold standard of course rankings. Additionally Golf Digest rank it as the third best course outside the United States.
Overnight 2 in the Bushmills Inn Hotel
Day 6: The Walled City
Today we’re journeying west to the famous walled city of Derry-Londonderry! En route, get a glimpse of even more of Northern Ireland’s spectacular scenery.
Mussendon Temple and Downhill Demesne
There cannot be a more wild and dramatic headland in Northern Ireland than Downhill Estate. With fabulous views that stretch over the whole of the North Coast of Ireland and open windswept cliff top walks, it is not surprising that the estate is part of the Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a well-known icon.
Mussenden Temple is located in the beautiful surroundings of Downhill Demesne near Castlerock in County Londonderry. The temple was built in 1785 and forms part of the estate of Frederick Augustus Hervey, Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol (or the Earl Bishop). The temple was built as a summer library and its architecture was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, near Rome. It is dedicated to the memory of Hervey's cousin Frideswide Mussenden. It perches dramatically on a 120 ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean on the north-western coast of Northern Ireland, offering spectacular views westwards over Downhill Strand towards Magilligan Point and County Donegal and to the east Castlerock beach towards Portstewart, Portrush and Fair Head. Downhill Strand in County Derry-Londonderry is famous for its seven-mile stretch of golden sands. With the iconic Mussenden Temple in the background, Downhill was used for the scene where Lady Melisandre burned the seven gods of Westeros in sacrifice to R’hllor.
Optional Extra: Derry to Coleraine Train Journey
Michael Palin described the train journey between Derry and Coleraine as “one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the world”. So why not sit back, relax and enjoy the views. Whether the day starts in Derry or Coleraine, there’s plenty to do at each destination. Travelling in comfort, avoiding the hassle of traffic and parking and getting plenty of time to view the scenery visitors can enjoy the history, heritage, stunning scenery as well as plenty of great restaurants, pubs and shops on this fun-filled day-trip. Stops include Benone Strand (the railway track runs alongside, giving spectacular views of one of the most
unspoilt beaches in Ireland). It then passes the maritime cliffs at Downhill and the impressive Binevenagh Mountain. On to Castlerock which is an ideal stopping place for a beach picnic or exploration of the village and nearby National Trust properties.
There are many great places to visit in Derry City! Below are some of our top suggestions.
The Walled City of Derry
The rich cultural and architectural heritage of this ancient city is reflected in its three names: Derry, from old Irish Doire, a reference to the oak grove where Saint Columba founded a monastery around 546 AD, Londonderry, the name granted during the seventeenth century Plantation of Ulster, and The Walled City, a modern nomenclature reflecting its status as one of the best preserved walled cities in Europe. Today you can stroll along the walls and explore some of the many intriguing sights; Saint Columb’s Anglican Cathedral, the beautiful Guildhall and the Craft Village.
Across the city is Saint Eugene’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, dating from 1873. Derry also has the Harbour, Tower and Workhouse Museums and has a host of many atmospheric pubs throughout the old town. Derry was the UK's inaugural City of Culture for 2013.
Martin McCrossan City Tours
City Tours is a company with a difference. Based in the heart of the historic city of Derry, this innovative tourism venture, owned by local man Martin McCrossan, puts choice, quality and service at the center of its activities. The tour has been described by many as possibly the Best Value Walking Tour on the Island of Ireland, with over fifty natural and built attractions in the region, such as Derry’s Walls, The Bogside, The Peoples Gallery (Murals) The Bloody Sunday Story, The History of the Apprentice Boys, The Marching Season Traditions. The walking tour has been listed by many as one of the best experiences they have had on their travels anywhere.
The Neo Gothic Guildhall
The Guildhall was originally built in 1887. Bombed twice in 1972, the building was refurbished and reopened in 1977. Fashioned in neo gothic style it is one of the most striking buildings in the northwest. Housed in the Guildhall are some of the finest examples of stain-glass windows in the whole of Great Britain. The magnificent concert organ, one of the finest in Europe, is situated in the main hall Decorated with Drumfrese sandstone, marble, oak paneling and ornate ceilings, the Guildhall is the premier tourist attraction in Derry.
Tower Museum Derry
The award winning Museum is located within the city’s historic walls at Union Hall Place. Permanent exhibitions at the museum include The Story of Derry exhibition and An Armada Shipwreck – La Trinidad Valencera. Throughout the year the museum also plays host to a range of other temporary exhibitions.
The Story of Derry charts the development of the city from its early geological beginnings to the present day, using a range of display techniques such as audio-visuals and interactive.
The Armada exhibition tells the story of La Trinidad Valencera, one of the largest ships in the Armada Fleet, which sank off the Donegal Coast in 1588 and was discovered by the City of Derry Sub-Aqua club in 1971. The exhibition features many of the artifacts recovered from the sunken ship on loan from the Ulster Museum.”
Overnight in Derry in City Hotel Derry for a city centre feel or the Beech Hill House Hotel for a more countryside experience.
The City Hotel, Derry
The City Hotel stands impressively on the banks of the River Foyle in the heart of Derry city centre. With spectacular views of the river on one side and the famous Guildhall on the other, the hotel is just a stroll away from the restaurants, bars and shops in the city centre. The hotel is perfectly positioned for sightseeing breaks in Derry City.
Beech Hill Country House Hotel
Beech Hill Country House Hotel has had an interesting life, no less than being the base for The United States Marines during WW2. Now, it is a luxury boutique hotel with a huge food reputation as good food has always played a leading role in Beech Hill’s story. Beech Hill’s Ardmore Restaurant Derry has been voted ‘Best Hotel Restaurant in County Londonderry’ as well as featuring in Georgina Campbell’s Good Food Guide, John and Sally McKenna’s Best in Ireland Bridgestone Guide and is a member of North West Organics. At home and abroad it has long been renowned for its imaginative and superbly presented dishes, all fashioned from local produce. Rooms and suites are beautifully furnished and contain everything you would expect to find in a hotel of this high standard.
Day 7: Departures
Here is where things can alter somewhat. There are various options which may suit depending on the client:
Return direct to Dublin for an afternoon flight
Return to Belfast for a return flight from there
Fly from Derry to London and take your connection flight from there
Continue your trip for a day or two more including possibilities such as Malin Head, Slieve League Cliffs, Lough Eske Castle, Beleek Pottery, Lough Erne Resort, Ashford Castle… with options to depart from Dublin or from Shannon.