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      Ireland - Two Capitals & A "Wee County"
Ireland - Two Capitals & A "Wee County"

A tale of two capital cities – Dublin and Belfast – combine with a country house stay in Ireland’s affectionately named ‘Wee County’. County Louth, the smallest county in the country, is tucked away in the north east right on the border with Northern Ireland. Your base is the delightful Ballymascanlon House Hotel, just outside Dundalk, ideally located half way between Dublin and Belfast. A day in each capital, both very different in style and character, and a drive around the Cooley Peninsula to the magical village of Carlingford overlooked by the Morne Mountains – a wonderful Irish gem of a holiday!

      Ballymascanlon House Hotel

Ballymascanlon House Hotel
Set in acres of beautiful parkland between a stunning backdrop of mountain scenery and forest views, this 4* family run hotel is based around an impressive Victorian house with has been sympathetically extended to accommodate 90 comfortable bedrooms with all mod cons including tea / coffee making. Breakfast and dinner are served in the elegant dining room and there is a large bar. The leisure centre has an indoor pool, sauna and steam and the golf course is a major attraction. There is a lift.

      Your Itinerary

Day 1 - After joining your luxury coach, journey westwards to Wales with ample stops for refreshments before arriving at your overnight hotel in North Wales where an evening meal is included. Dinner, bed & breakfast.

Day 2 - An early start today as you head to Holyhead for the morning crossing to Dublin. Arrive in Ireland around mid-day and drive north to the incredible Newgrange, the prehistoric passage tomb in the Boyne Valley which is over 5,000 years old. Older than the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge, monumental Newgrange dates back to c.3,200BC and the large mound is approximately 80m in diameter. Entrance to the exhibition and Newgrange itself are included (NB a shuttle bus operates from the Visitor Centre to the actual site. The chamber is not wheelchair accessible and the passage is low and narrow). The exhibition at the Visitor Centre includes a partial full-scale replica of the chamber at Newgrange. Continue to Ballymascanlon to check in for your 4 night stay at Ballymascanlon House with a welcome drink on arrival. Dinner, bed & breakfast.

Day 3 - 5 At leisure in Ballymascanlon with three included excursions.

The hotel is set in 130 acres of beautiful parkland and there's plenty to do here - from exploring the lovely parkland to a round of golf to a swim in the indoor pool. The amazing 4000-year-old Proleek Stone within the grounds never fails to amaze visitors. Scholars and scientists alike are still puzzled as to how the ancient inhabitants manage to raise a forty-six-ton capstone on such seemly fragile supports. The stop for the public bus service into Dundalk is a short walk from the hotel.

Belfast for the Day
Head into Belfast today. Remarkably transformed into a hip and happening city, Belfast is one of the easiest cities to navigate as it is split into quarters- the Titanic, the Cathedral, Queen's and the Gaeltacht quarters. Your driver may be able to offer you an optional guided city tour to see the sights including the Queen's University, the Waterfront Hall and the Falls or Shankill Roads where politically inspired murals can be seen. Close to City Hall you might like to visit the Crown Bar opposite the Grand Opera House, the only pub owned by the National Trust. Enjoy Belfast's thriving, cosmopolitan scene with its many bars and restaurants. A visit to Titanic Belfast is included as it is a 'must see' on any visit to the city. It is located right beside the historic site of this world-famous ship's construction.

Dublin for the Day
Enjoy a day in Dublin to explore Ireland's intimate little capital with its affable mix of heritage and hedonism. A chance to explore at leisure its Georgian squares with impressive townhouses, bustling Grafton Street, St Stephen's Green, Trinity College with its glorious Book of Kells and the famous Ha'Penny Bridge over the Liffey. No visit is complete without experiencing Dubliners at their most convivial in one of the city's many pubs, perhaps in lively Temple Bar. Your driver may be able to offer you an optional guided city tour.

Carlingford & The Cooley Peninsula (half day - may operate with a local coach)
Bound by Carlingford Lough and Dundalk Bay, the Cooley Peninsula may be petit but it is 60 square miles of pure scenic delight - mountain ranges, flat fertile plains, wide valleys, forests and long beaches. Full of character, Carlingford is one of the best preserved medieval villages in Ireland. Its setting is stunning on the shores of Carlingford Lough with the beautiful Cooley Mountains behind. Discover the legends and history with a local guide on an included walking tour through the narrow streets and maybe try the famous local oysters.

Day 6 - Today you leave behind the Wee County as you head north towards Belfast for the mid-afternoon ferry. Stop beforehand at Rowallane Gardens (entrance included), one of Northern Ireland's most beautiful gardens, created in the mid-1860s by the Reverend John Moore. There are spectacular displays of shrubs and an outstanding walled garden. Cross from Belfast to Cairnryan this evening and head to your last overnight stop in Northern England. Dinner, bed & breakfast.

Day 7 - Head home today with ample stops for refreshments. Continue back to your local joining points arriving back mid/late evening.

Departure DateTour RefHotelBrochure PriceWeb PriceDaysSingle SupptAvailable 
Sun 10-Jun-2018BBR0610 1Ballymascanlon House Hotel£649.00  £629  7£70.00 10+
Sun 15-Jul-2018BBR0715 1Ballymascanlon House Hotel£659.00  £639  7£70.00 10+
Sun 26-Aug-2018BBR0826 1Ballymascanlon House Hotel£659.00  £639  7£70.00 10+
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