A journey through Ireland by train on the Belmond Grand Hibernian reveals the history and legends of Ireland through her rolling countrysides and port towns. See off-the-beaten-path sites, explore the famous places, and meet local people who will bring this region of northern Europe to life through storytelling and tours.
Suggested journey at a glance: 9 days/8 nights including four nights aboard the Belmond Grand Hibernian, and overnights in Dublin and Belfast
This suggested itinerary is just one of many ways to see Ireland on your own customized Ker & Downey journey. Our designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you; contact us to get started planning, and read on to see one example of what’s possible on our Ireland by Train journey.
Begin in Dublin, Ireland’s capital city and one of the world’s top cities as listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. It’s at the center of Irish culture past and present, and a historical and contemporary center for education, the arts, and industry. Its history is told in the architecture of the city. At Dublin Castle, you’ll find a mix of structures—Anglo-Norman and Georgian architecture remains, and even evidence of Viking conquest.
In Dublin, meet up with a Trinity College historian who will bring the streets and landmarks to life with his stories and knowledge. Finish the day dining in a local pub, a vital part of the culture of Dublin.
Belmond Grand Hibernian
In Dublin, board the Belmond Grand Hibernian, the first luxury train to travel across Ireland. With just 40 guests, explore Cork, Killarney, Galway, and Westport as you travel aboard the iconic train. Watch the Irish countryside unfold from large windows in your cabin, or head to the Observation car to mingle with fellow travelers and listen to live music or storytellers. Meals of artisan cheese, smoked fish, champagne, and oysters are served in the dining carriages, smartly decorated in tweeds and Celtic motifs.
Excursions take you to the country’s historical cities, gardens, and castles to dig deeper into the history and culture of Ireland. After disembarking in Cork, take a walking tour with a local historian in the nearby maritime town of Cobh. It was from here that millions of emigrants departed for North America between 1848 and 1950, and it was the final port of call for the RMS Titanic before it set out across the Atlantic. You can also take an exclusive tour of the world-famous Jameson Distillery and partake in a rare whiskey tasting.
In Killarney, head out in a traditional jaunting cart to 15th-century Ross Castle on the shores of Lough Leane, where you’ll take a scenic boat trip. There are a number of things to do in Galway, including a farm visit with a sheepdog display, visiting Dunguaire Castle, exploring the majestic Cliffs of Moher, or take a walking tour of Galway and visit the shops and pubs. The choice is yours.
Continue your exploration of Ireland by train with a visit to the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life in Westport, set on the ground of the Turlough Park House. Get an in-depth look at the rural lifestyles of the Irish people in the 19th and 20th centuries. Visit Westport House, a home of rich interiors that dates back 350 years, with beautiful grounds offering views of Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick, waterfalls, and ancient oaks.
You’ll disembark the Belmond Grand Hibernian in Dublin before heading north with a local guide to Belfast. En route, visit the medieval town of Carlingford and hike in the hills of the Cooley Peninsula, an area steeped in Irish mythology and a protected leprechaun habitat.
In Belfast, explore some of the city’s most famous sites in a traditional black cab, and the Titanic Quarter where you will gain insight into the creation of the ill-fated liner and explore the shipyards. Take a boat out for a stunning perspective of the coastline, see the famous rope bridge, romantic castle ruins, and the UNESCO World Heritage site the Giant’s Causeway.