We journey into Wales, with suitable stops en route, arriving at the Ivy Bush Royal Hotel, Carmarthen for our two night stay.
We make our way to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. The gardens are both a visitor attraction and a centre for research and conservation, and it features the world’s largest single span glasshouse. There will be time to discover the highlights which include three lakes, a Japanese garden and a bog garden, along with a double walled garden and a tropical house. Return to our hotel for dinner and live musical entertainment.
An early breakfast today prior to our visit to Picton Castle, which has been owned by the same family since the 13th century. It is truly a unique property being half castle and half fortified manor house, and is surrounded by stunning gardens. We have a guided tour of the castle, and time to enjoy the gardens and galleries, before continuing to Fishguard to board our ferry for Ireland. We make our way to Enniscorthy and the Treacys Hotel, our base for the next three nights.
We travel to medieval Kilkenny where we will spend our day. Kilkenny is a medieval city acclaimed internationally as a centre for craft and design. The city is characterised by beautifully restored buildings and is small and compact enough to explore on foot. In the afternoon we visit the Smithwick’s Experience, located in the Medieval Mile. Learn about Ireland’s oldest ale, brewed since 1710 and stroll through the centuries in the interactive tour, followed by a tasting, before returning to our hotel.
We head for Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford, where we visit the new House of Waterford Crystal, in the city centre. This is a fascinating
attraction and a must-see when visiting Waterford. Time to explore independently, before boarding our coach for the transfer to the Waterford and Suir Valley Railway. Experience the beauty of the Suir Valley from a period carriage and take in the wonderful panoramic views along the 8.5 km journey from Kilmeaden to Gracedieu Junction.
This morning we visit the beautiful Powerscourt Gardens in County Wicklow – one of the most beautiful gardens in Ireland, before continuing to Dublin Port and boarding our ferry to Holyhead. We arrive at the Celtic Royal Hotel Caernarfon with time to settle in before dinner.
We travel through spectacular scenery of the Snowdonia National Park to the seaside town of Porthmadog where we board the train on the Ffestiniog Railway. Sit back, relax and enjoy the 13 mile journey with dramatic views as the track climbs 700 feet above sea level to the slate quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Our coach will meet us there and we continue to Betws-y-Coed for free time before returning to our hotel for dinner.
We leave our hotel after breakfast to commence our homeward journey.
Passports are not required for entry to Ireland, however ferry companies request that passengers carry some form of photographic identification. The following forms of ID are acceptable: Valid Passport; valid photographic driving licence; or Senior Citizen Card.
The currency in Southern Ireland is the Euro.
Porterage is included throughout