The full itinerary for this tour is shown here. Day 4 (below) is one part of this tour. Accommodation is provided in 4* Hotels – Days 1, 2 and 6 in Dublin. Days 3, 4 and 5 at the stunning Hodson Bay Hotel overlooking Lough Rey, with extensive dining and leisure facilities.
Day 1 – Depart Holyhead by Ferry (afternoon sailing)
Day 2 – Dublin
Day 3 – The Atlantic Coast
Day 4 – The Midlands
Day 5 – Tour of The Wicklow Mountains, a visit to Wicklow’s Historic Gaol
Day 6 – Cork
Day 7 – Dublin/Afternoon Departure
Ireland Explorer (Day 4 – The Midlands Sample)
We will start our tour today literally outside the Hotel for an exclusive Viking Ship expedition to Athlone, where your coach will meet you for the rest of the day. Please be ready to depart at 9am.
The Viking Ships have been sailing around our coasts since 795. The River Shannon is the main artery through the country and we know the Vikings arrived by river in Clonmacnois in 842. Clonmacnois is 90 minutes(one way) from Athlone by river and is the perfect way to approach this famous monastic site. The Lough Ree Cruise(approx 75 minutes) normally goes upstream to the Hodson Bay and returns. Why don’t you board the Viking Ship which departs from the Quay at Athlone Castle daily to Lough Ree the ‘Lake of the Kings’ and with bookings to Clonmacnois.
After your Viking Ship experience we will make our way to Dartfield for lunch, with time to explore the museum.
The Historic Horse Museum and Irish Heritage Centre are filled with exhibits that will fascinate visitors of every age. Colourful graphic panels display information about the evolution of the Irish horse, its use through history and how the different horse breeds developed. There are exhibits of historic farm machinery and carriages which will give visitors an insight into the vital role played by the Irish horse throughout Irish history. Amongst the historic carriages is a brougham which once belonged to Lillie Langry.
After lunch we will leave Dartfield and head north for the Lough Key Experience.
Discover how this fascinating landscape has been shaped; from underground to up amongst the treetops, ‘Irelands only Tree Canopy Walk, a truly unique experience immersing you in the history, flora and fauna that make Lough Key so unique.
This is a self guided tour so therefore there is no time limit on your journey through time…… The beauty of this is that you can spend as much or little time as you want on this magical journey.
On this journey you’ll discover how humans have shaped this landscape over thousands of years; you’ll be introduced to a way of life in Rockingham House that is now long gone and you’ll find out about the wildlife that thrives in these forests and on the lake. The ‘Lough Key Experience’ is an engaging audio trail of the Park’s history, flora arid fauna through the 19th century underground tunnels, to the top of the refurbished 5-storey Moylurg viewing tower and along a contemporary Tree Canopy Walk, the first of its kind in Ireland, This 300m long creation of timber and steel gently rises 9m above the woodland floor and offers an engaging ‘birds eye’ view of nature as it meanders through the treetops offering panoramic views of the shimmering island studded lake.
Options for Today:
We will be spending 3 hours at Lough Key. This will provide more than enough time for a 2 hour Boda Borg experience. (NB – tickets may have to be reserved in advance).
The innovative, Weather Independent Boda Borg is a Swedish concept unique to Ireland and is challenging for both adults and children. Once you enter the two-storey Boda Borg only teamwork, ingenuity, trial and error and skills you probably didn’t know you have will allow you to progress through its 47 rooms! It contains fun-filled activities, imaginative puzzles and enjoyable tasks but no instructions. Every adventure starts in your own mind… new paths are explored… together… with curiosity, laughter and excitement.
Go on………. Take the challenge!
We will return to the Hotel for 6pm, and tables have been booked for dinner at 8pm , allowing you plenty of time to relax, and to make use of the leisure facilities at the hotel.