Experience a giant adventure on Trafalgar’s “Ireland’s Legendary North” tour. Start off your journey in lively Dublin, before travelling north and immersing yourself in the maritime heritage of Belfast, home of the Titanic. Explore the spectacular coastline and the mystical Giant’s Causeway, take a trip around the fascinating Walled City of Derry and take in the picturesque scenery of the Fermanagh Lakelands. Your journey also takes you over to Ireland’s Atlantic seaboard, where you visit Achill Island and vibrant culture of Galway before returning to Dublin.
Embrace the giant spirit of this magical place with some of its best experiences on Trafalgar’s “Ireland’s Legendary North” tour.
1. Explore the lively streets of Dublin
There are endless things to do in the ‘Fair City’ and you’ll love ducking down the cobbled streets and Georgian squares to discover all the treasures. Marvel at the impressive St. Patrick’s Cathedral or the ancient Book of Kells in Trinity College. Watch the street performers on Grafton Street, relax in Phoenix Park, and get a dose of literary magic at the Oscar Wilde House. When you join Trafalgar’s Local Specialists, you’ll even discover the places that inspired the likes of W.B. Yeats and James Joyce. In the evening, head to the vibrant Temple Bar area to soak up the ‘craic’, visit a traditional Irish pub, or even catch some live traditional Celtic music.
2. Visit the famous Guinness Storehouse
You can’t leave Dublin without visiting the Guinness Storehouse. It’s one of the most iconic experiences in the North of Ireland and we’ll take you there to see how the beloved ‘Black Stuff’ is created. You’ll trace the history of the world’s most famous stout and even learn how to pull the perfect pint. Then, take in the stunning views of Dublin from the Gravity Bar as you kick back with your very own chilled pint of Guinness. Cheers!
RELATED CONTENT: 13 Irish customs you’ll only find in The Emerald Isle
3. Discover the real story of the Titanic in Belfast
Northern Ireland’s vibrant capital of Belfast is full of incredible sights, and you can’t miss the Titanic Experience. Set on the former shipyard where the RMS Titanic was built, it’s here you’ll learn the real story of the doomed ship that sunk in the North Atlantic’s frozen waters almost 11 decades ago. You’ll get to walk the decks, explore the shipyard, travel the ocean, and uncover the legends of the Titanic and Belfast’s turbulent history.
RELATED CONTENT: Your essential travel guide to Belfast: everything you need to know
4. Marvel at the Giant’s Causeway
You’ll walk in the footsteps of giants when you visit this mysterious natural icon of Northern Ireland. With around 40,000 hexagonal basalt rock columns shooting out of the sea (some are almost 12 metres!), the UNESCO listed Giant’s Causeway is one of the most surreal natural phenomenons in the world.
While legend says the Causeway was created after a fight between two giants – the Irish Finn McCool and the Scottish Benandonner – scientists say it was formed around six million years ago by basaltic lava flowing through the earth. Whatever you believe, your visit to the Giant’s Causeway will be an incredible experience and will help to conserve this precious natural treasure.
RELATED CONTENT: How it was formed, and other fascinating Giant’s Causeway facts
5. Walk the 17th-century walls of Derry-Londonderry
This buzzing city is an unmissable stop on any Northern Ireland travel adventure. It’s packed with history, starting with the 17th-century Derry Walls where you’ll discover bastions, canons and watchtowers. Learn about the 17th-century Siege of Derry at St. Columb’s Cathedral, soak up the exhibits and city views from the Tower Museum, or explore the neighbourhood of Bogside to see the moving murals and learn about the riots of the 1960s. In the evening, head to a traditional pub where you can rub shoulders with the friendly locals and enjoy a hearty Northern Irish meal.
6. Discover the story of Irish emigration at the Ulster American Folk Park
The Ulster American Folk Park is an incredible open-air museum in Omagh that tells the story of Irish emigration. You’ll discover what it was like for the brave emigrants who sailed across the Atlantic in search of a new life in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. There are more than 30 restored buildings to explore, including farmhouses and shops. Walk down the lively main street, board the Brig Union ship, and discover traditional crafts like wool spinning, forge work and woodcraft. You can even wander the herb garden to learn about old herbal remedies, and be sure to taste the traditional Irish and pioneer American foods like freshly baked soda bread and pumpkin pie. Delicious!
7. Enjoy the Game of Thrones Archery Experience
GoT fans are in for a treat with this unique experience. You’ll have the chance to visit the Game of Thrones’ archery film set in the courtyard of Winterfell Castle, where the show was filmed. Tour the movie set, dress up in character costumes, meet Winterfell’s Master-at-Arms, and enjoy the thrill of firing arrows at White Walkers. After all that action, there’s nothing better than kicking back with a specially brewed Winterfell Ale – in the places where Jon Snow and Robb Stark stood!
8. Explore the beautiful Achill Island
Want to get immersed in the spectacular scenery of the north of Ireland? Head to Achill Island off County Mayo, where you’ll find a wonderland that is part tropical paradise and part wild Atlantic island. With lush green hills and jagged cliffs huddling around the golden sandy beaches and shimmering blue waters, Achill Island offers everything from hiking to kayaking and surfing. There’s even a dose of history, with ancient forts and tombs and the Deserted Village. Whether you meet the sheep perched on the hillsides, indulge in fresh Atlantic seafood, or dive into the ocean, Achill Island is sure to be one incredible soul-stirring experience.
9. Enjoy an exclusive Be My Guest experience at the 18th-century Westport House
History buffs will adore their visit to Westport House, the stately 18th-century home with a fascinating past. It was built, owned and lived in by the Browne family for over 300 years until 2017. They are direct descendants of the formidable 16th-century Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley, and the house was actually built on the foundations of one of Grace O’Malley’s former castles. There’s even still a part of her original castle that can be viewed by visitors today, along with the rest of the fascinating, original rooms and grounds. When you travel with Trafalgar, you’ll have the chance to meet the current owners, the Hughes family, over dinner and learn all about the history of this incredible house.
10. Discover the capital of culture, Galway
Want a cultural hit? You’ll find it in Galway City, the European Capital of Culture for 2020. You can’t miss this incredible harbour city, where medieval streets are lined with boutique stores, colourful pubs pulse with live Irish folk music, and the Galway Bay offers up tasty oysters. Be sure to explore the hub of the city, the 18th-century Eyre Square, and wander the lanes of the Latin Quarter, dotted with art galleries, cafes and even remains of the ancient city walls.
RELATED CONTENT: Ireland: Your guide to the Emerald Isle
11. See the talented pottery craftsman of Belleek
Love pottery? You can’t miss visiting Belleek, a quaint village that’s home to one of the oldest working potteries in the world. Established in 1857, the Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre has been producing fine china for centuries, and today produces more than 100,000 pieces every year. Each piece passes through 16 pairs of hands, and you’ll get to tour the pottery and see the master craftsmen at work. After your tour, don’t forget to visit the tearoom, where you’ll be served on fine Belleek tableware as you look out over the gorgeous Lough Erne.
You can enjoy all of these experiences and more on Trafalgar’s ‘Ireland’s Legendary North’ tour. Visit our website for more details.