After many requests from our regular customers, I am happy to offer this new tour which includes the best of Belfast and Northern Ireland. We see outstanding natural beauty as we travel along the Antrim Coast, visit the incredible formations at the Giant’s Causeway, and visit the wonderful Mountains of Mourne. Delve into history at the Queen’s royal residence at Hillsborough, the award-winning Titanic Belfast and the many famous streets and monuments of Belfast.
Day 1 After being picked up from your door, you join our coach and we make our way northwards to the Carlisle area for our overnight stay.
Day 2 Leaving our hotel after breakfast, we cross the border at Gretna Green and have a stop at the famous Blacksmith’s Shop where so many marriages have begun. We continue west across Dumfries and Galloway to Cairnryan to catch our midafternoon ferry which brings us into Belfast at 6pm. We transfer to our hotel for a five-night stay.
Day 3 A day of wonderful scenery as we explore the Antrim Coast, which has been rated as one of the top five road trips worldwide, and offers delightful views across the Glens of Antrim and down to the Irish Sea. At midday we visit the mystical Giant’s Causeway, whose café serves some of the best scones in Ireland!
Day 4 We have a morning guided tour of Belfast by open-top-coach and on foot, exploring this vibrant, modern capital with a fascinating past. This is an excellent introduction to the city’s Titanic, Cathedral, Queens and Gaeltacht (traditional) Quarters. Following free time for lunch in the centre, we visit Titanic Belfast where we relive the entire Titanic story from her birth in Belfast to her eventual discovery on the seabed.
Day 5 We have an invitation today to take morning tea at Hillsborough Castle, the Queen’s personal and ceremonial home in Northern Ireland, set in beautiful grounds south of Belfast. We have a guided tour which includes the elegant State Rooms, majestic Throne Room and graceful Drawing Room. After visiting the pretty village of Hillsborough, we return to Belfast for free time to visit one of the many city sights including the Botanical Gardens, Queen’s University and the Waterfront Hall.
Day 6 A beautiful day travelling through the Mountains of Mourne and South Down, which enjoys a long association with St Patrick. We stop at the Visitor’s Centre in Downpatrick to discover more about the life of Ireland’s patron saint. We follow the pretty coastline through Ardglass to Newcastle, a popular seaside resort in the shadow of Slieve Donard. The shoreline meanders through Kilkeel to Rostrevor, where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea. We travel inland towards Hilltown and Banbridge, and then return to our hotel.
Day 7 Leaving Belfast after breakfast, we head south via Lisburn and Newry to Dublin. There are many fascinating highlights you might like to enjoy in the ‘Fair City’, including Trinity College, Christ Church Cathedral, Customs House, Phoenix Park and the Guinness Storehouse. The main centres for retail therapy are O’Connell and Henry Streets, north of the Liffey, or walk across the Ha’penny Bridge and on through the fashionable Temple Bar area to Grafton Street. After all that exploring, enjoy an overnight stay just south of the city centre.
Day 8 An early start is needed to take our morning ferry from Dublin to Holyhead, and breakfast will be taken on board. Once we arrive in England, we travel via the motorways to the local area, making suitable comfort stops along the way, and arriving in the evening to meet our taxis.
Stormont Hotel HHHH Our four-star hotel boasts an unequalled location overlooking Belfast’s Royal Mile and gardens, in a leafy suburban setting just minutes away from the centre. There is a comfortable lounge and 24-hour room service. Bedrooms are tastefully decorated and are equipped with TV, WiFi, telephone, ironing facilities, hairdryer and hospitality tray. The hotel has a lift. www.hastingshotels.com