Guide to the Island of Ireland for UK Groups

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Guide to

e Island of Ireland for UK Groups A Beau Business Media Publication

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United across the new ontier Whether it’s into Larne om the north or into Dun Laoire om the south, the common travel area agreement means the island of Ireland is open to visitors om Great Britain once again. For those fortunate enough already to call Northern Ireland home, then Ulster is yours to explore in a day trip of delight, with three counties as a bonus across the open border. Ireland is an island of divergent idylls. Experience the contrasts of cosmopolitan Belfast and Dublin, to the wild mountains of Donegal, and all the way to the Atlantic surf of Bantry Bay. For some it may be a long way to Tipperary, for others a Galway Girl may be just down the road, and still more may have grown up a Belfast Child. Whatever is in your heart when you smell the Wild Mountain yme, set foot in Ireland, and a measure of melody awaits. Sporting travelers will be familiar with the four provinces of Ireland.

e success of Munster, Connaught, Leinster and Ulster in the world of rugby union makes the quartet well known already. From touchline to try line, each province has a team of attractions fit to play in the competition for visitors. So pick up the ball and avoid the scrum with this useful guide to group travel on the Island of Ireland. Just a word on everyone’s least favourite pandemic. Generally, there are no restrictions nor special measures required om travel between the United Kingdom and Ireland. e governments in London and Dublin have lied restrictions, so visiting should be a breeze. ere are some health recommendations made by both governments, on which you can take a view. You’ll find the latest advice at www.Gov.UK, and search for ‘travel advice Ireland’. ree million British people make a visit to Ireland each year. Let your group be among those finding their trip the most rewarding. Simon

Front cover pictures and page 3 Tourism Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland Shutterstock (lobser and mussels)

Written by Simon Walton Sales Hugh Cairns, Brett Kirby Production: Laura Collins Design: Alexina Whittaker Beau Business Media Group Ltd Publishing House, Windrush, Ash Lane, Birmingham, B48 7TS Tel: 0121 445 6961 e-mail: This is a controlled circulation publication and freely available to qualifying applicants. Care is taken to ensure that the information contained within the magazine is accurate. However, the publisher cannot accept liability for errors or omissions, no matter how they arise. Readers are advised to get facts and statements confirmed by suppliers when making enquiries. The opinions of the author are not necessarily those as the publisher. All rights are reserved. No reproduction of any part of this magazine may be carried out without the consent of the publisher being obtained in the first instance.


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Contents 6

ULSTER is beautiful region, is within an hour of Belfast, with stunning shorelines nestled between the sparkling waters of the Irish Sea and the spectacular Strangford Lough.


CONNAUGHT In the mouth of Galway Bay, and easily visible from the mainland's iconic Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands are very much a world apart.


LEINSTER Visit the tower of Glendalough, admire the wild beauty of the Wicklow Mountains, and explore the medieval city of Kilkenny


DUBLIN With Phoenix Park, Temple Bar, the Castle, the Spire and Christ Church Cathedral there's so much to see in Dublin it may leave your head in a spin.


MUNSTER Furtherest west, furtherest south. Munster is the first part of Ireland you'll see on the way in, and the last part you'll see on the way out but we're not sailing away, just yet. Let's explore.


BEYOND THE TREES AVONDALE Is an exciting new world class visitor destination in Ireland's Ancient East following a €16 million redevelopment project


Tourism Ireland

Tourism Ireland

Tourism Ireland

Tourism Ireland

Tourism Northern Ireland Brian Morrison

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Ulster and Beyond ere’s been a special offer on for over a century now, and it’s not the sofa sale at DFS. Visit Ulster to see one country, get to see another one for free. Split between Northern Ireland’s six counties, and Ireland’s three, the province runs on miles per hour in Coleraine and Cookstown, and goes over to kph in Donegal and Monaghan. Whether it’s imperial in the old empire, or metric in the new republic, it doesn’t really matter - the Guinness is still served in pints and is every bit as refreshing, regardless. 🔆Spotlight on Ards and North Down Visitors arriving in Belfast harbour - either by ship or by air - have north and west attractions readily signposted. Head east though, for an undiscovered country just waiting to welcome visitors by the score. Shored up between Belfast and Strangford, there’s the land lough’ed peninsula of Ards and North Down. Places you’ve always wanted to visit but always puzzled over the map to find, are right here, on the eastern doorstep of Belfast. Revel in the historic panoramas of the Ulster Folk Musuem, or take in the natural panorama from Windmill Hill

Viewpoint. It’s all yours to enjoy.

best of Ards and North Down’s food and drink. More details at

e warm welcome goes without saying, and extends into the wealth of traditional, modern, historic and family attractions. From water lovers, to nature lovers, explorers, creatives and wanderers, there is a remarkable portfolio to explore. When all that’s said and done, the range of gourmet experiences will leave you struggling to board the coach aerwards. A pride of award-winning eateries seem sure to suit all tastes. Just try and limit yourself you’ll fail.

🔆Spotlight on Mid and East Antrim In uncharted areas cartographers used to write: “here be dragons”. Little did we know, that when it cones to Antrim, they were right. Northern Ireland’s Game of rones country has far more to it than an epic drama series - but let’s face it, having a multi-million pound global hit filmed in your back yard is hardly a bummer when it comes to bringing in the visitors. Daenerys Targaryen might be a bit feisty, even for the Derry Girls, but her taste in pets can’t be questioned. Not if you want to avoid being barbecued that is.

Take the Walled Gardens of Bangor Castle for example, the subject of a popular guided tour. Enjoy the exquisitely kept grounds of the castle, which is actually a baronial mansion, was once a friary and now the offices of the local authority.

Ancient castles, timeless history, spectacular mountains and valleys, picturesque old harbours, towering cliffs and beautiful and unspoilt countryside where unspeakable acts of brutality were filmed on a daily basis (including the obligatory screen killing of Sean Bean) help make Mid and East Antrim the ideal family visit - especially for fans of napalm-breathing dragons, and exceptionally fiery ways to dispatch your enemies.

en there are the summer markets of the Ards and North Down. Famous throughout Ulster, the markets in the latter half of June celebrate the first feast of summer with authentic food and drink experiences. Come and visit unique venues, filled with local produce. Many events are free (some ticketed) and all of them showcase the very 6

Seriously though, when the producers of Game of rones were scouring the planet for the ideal backdrop for a medieval fantasy series, it’s a surprise they didn’t just book a trip to Antrim and be done with it. It would have saved all that soul-searching and globe trotting. Dramatic cliffs give way to beautiful valleys, sprinkled with medieval castles, just right for an epoch-spanning tale of family feuding, shame walking and dragon training. Mix that with picturesque old harbours and an endlessly surprising countryside. You could be heading for a countryside lunch stop, with the added delight of a magical incantation or a fullblooded savage sword battle. Enough though about last orders at Bushmills. Alternately, you might just settle for a quiet cuppa and high tea. We’re sure Sean would have preferred that. Take a popular drive around the coast, where the hills and glens of Antrim meet the spectacular Causeway Coast. e land still bears the mark of centuries of real-life. How closely do those conflicts between warring clans mirror those between the Houses of Stark and Lannister and their rivals for the Iron rone. Well, they probably didn’t have dragon mistresses back

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Travel along the world famous Causeway Coastal Route and discover a land shaped by sea and stone. Visit top attractions along the way such as The Gobbins Cliff Path, Carrickfergus Castle and Slemish Mountain. Travel on a path less known and uncover hidden gems along the route for a truly unforgettable and unique experience.

The Gobbins Cliff Path

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Derry/Londonderry sits astride the River Foyle, looking west to the hills of its republican neighbour. A walk along the Derry Walls gives a great insight into the intriguing and intertwining Irish past. Protestant Apprentice Boys, who sought allegiance with the Dutch King William of Orange, from a country where Spanish Catholics pledged papal allegiance to Rome, who held sway over the King of England, who himself happened to be a Frenchspeaking Stuart Scot who was campaigning in Ulster at the time, and had the gates slammed in his face as he approached those very Derry Walls, and had his comeuppance at the Battle of the Boyne, which is near modern Drogheda and is currently in another country, even though it’s the same island and was once considered part of England. ere you are. Easy. Yet some say Irish politics is complicated. Sweep round the Antrim coast, for visits to Bushmills Distillery, the Giants Causeway, and Carrick-a-

e dramatic Donegal landscape - part of Ulster but not part of Northern Ireland just to emphasise the entangled heritage of Ireland’s two nations on one island - includes the enchanting Glenveagh National Park and Castle. Donegal and Lough Foyle were the last landfall of the German Atlantic U-Boat fleet, where a dozen boats were scuttled at the end of the Second World War. Canny Derrysiders made a packet salvaging them.

Located midway between Dublin and Belfast, Carlingford Lough Ferry connects the dramatic Cooley Peninsula on the northern edge of Ireland’s ancient east coast, with the majestic Mountains of Mourne, the southernmost gateway to Northern Ireland.

🔆Spotlight on the scenic ferries of Foyle and Carlingford Definitely not scuttled, and a different way to see the parts of Ireland other tours cannot reach. Nothing to do with overpriced understrength continental lagers, this is all about a refreshing way to sail around some of the iconic loughs of Ireland. Both sail from ports near Ulster, with one visiting Connaught, the other visiting Leinster.

Discover the myths and legends of the iconic Carlingford Lough and explore the scenic route between Dublin and Belfast with a journey onboard Carlingford Lough Ferry. e company offer a range of specialist cruises throughout the summer. Typical cruises last two hours - but you’ll swear it was shorter - time flies when you’re enjoying yourselves. Search &

Get your group on board with the Lough Foyle Ferry. ere are a multitude of day trip experiences, beaches and activities, all within minutes of the terminal at Greencastle on the Donegal side of the lough. Stroove beach, just a mile out of port, is a perfect spot for seaside

Belfast in all her Victorian splendour If you take a sightseeing bus tour, it will be apparent from

any top deck seat. ere’s so much contrast between old and new, the history and the hope for the future of Belfast. It’s hard to choose and you’ll always leave something out. However, if you can drag yourself away from the brilliant selection of really atmospheric Belfast pubs, there are plenty of things to do on any visit to Belfast. Rustle up a fleet of them for larger groups and get yourselves on a Belfast Black Cab Taxi Tour. Just five passengers per cab but the tour gives you an in-depth look into the 'Troubles'. You’ll also get the best insiders’ guide to Belfast while you’re lording it around the streets. Get your organiser on the case early to get enough cabs rounded up. Historians and culture vultures will find plenty of both on a visit to Crumlin Road Gaol is was still an active HMP just twenty-five years ago, so there are lots of ghosts still walking the corridors. In fact, if you’re at all in touch with the paranormal, they say this is one of the most haunted places in the British Isles. If you have limited time, or if you want to get yourself orientated right from the start, the city’s bus tour routes cover all the main attractions and many of the city’s best places of interest. Even if you’re not one of the world’s elite athletes (Ultra Running World Championships and the Women’s Rugby World Cup have both been hosted in Belfast) you could still give yourself a sporting chance of seeing round the city’s

I l d

Derry and Donegal: like a Facebook status, it’s complicated…

relaxation. Further on is the stunning Kinnego Bay, home to the Armada ship La Trinidad Valencera. Only 20 minutes drive will take you to both the “Small Beach” and “Big Beach” only 50 yards from Culdaff village, very popular in summer with a host of activities that both kids and adults will enjoy. Less than 40 minutes’ drive and you’ll be amazed by the sandy Pollan Beach located in Ballyliffin and the beautiful Doagh Island. e historic Doagh Famine Village is a must-see, telling tales of how Irish ancestors survived the harshest times. Being completely covered it’s perfect for rainy day visits. Find out more at


Go back further, and you’ll find yourself exploring a country shaped by elemental forces over eons. Immerse yourself in a culture shaped by millennia of history (and a cuppa). Find out more at

Rede ropebridge. Keen Game of rones fans will recognise the village of Ballintoy, though walks of shame are not mandatory. Stare out at Rathlin Island and Scotland from Ballycastle and Cushendall, or stop at the still waters of Lough Neagh before heading for Belfast.



then and not many folk were given a helmet of molten gold to see them off. You’re more likely to get a piping hot cuppa to warm your tonsils.

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Strangford Lough

Discover this beautiful region, all within an hour of Belfast. Bring your group to journey along our stunning shorelines nestled between the sparkling waters of the Irish Sea and spectacular Strangford Lough. Bangor Donaghadee

Holywood Belfast




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With a great range of accommodation options from budget to 5-star luxury with spa facilities, we can help you plan an itinerary focused on relaxing and enjoy the warmest of welcomes in Ards and North Down. Ards and North Down is home to some of Northern Ireland’s top attractions. Step into life as it was a hundred years ago in Holywood at the Ulster Folk Museum, where passionate craft makers in authentic town and country dwellings demonstrate traditional skills. At the Ulster Transport Museum enjoy one of Europe’s most comprehensive transport collections. Visit Northern Ireland’s only aquarium and seal rehabilitation centre, Exploris, Portaferry. Get up close to Ireland’s largest collection of native and exotic waterbirds, bats and migrant birds at Castle Espie Wetland Centre, Comber or spend the day at Pickie Funpark, Bangor to enjoy traditional seaside favourites the ‘Pickie Puffer’ and giant pedal swans.

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If a shopping sprint is what you’re aer, there’s a modern landmark on the Belfast skyline. e Victoria Square shopping centre increased retail space in central Belfast by a third when it opened. You might even find a new pair of running shoes. Visit Touring Belfast’s pubs is an industry in itself. If you’ve time for just one, make for the beautifully ornate

exploring Queens University, visiting the fragrant Botanic Gardens, where you’ll also find the imposing Ulster Museum building

National Trust-owned Crown Liquor Saloon on Great Victoria Street, which dates back to 1826. It is the ultimate Irish-themed bar, the real deal. e high gothic interior is lit by oldfashioned gas lamps and wooden-doored booths line the right hand side of the bar. It’s nearby the city’s theatre and the Europa Hotel. e pub is now managed as part of the Nicholson’s brand, with all the respect the twocenturies old establishment deserves

🔆Spotlight on Hillsborough Castle e late Georgian mansion, just south of Belfast, was built in the 1770s by Wills Hill, first Marquis of Downshire and was later remodelled in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, it is a working royal palace functioning as the official residence of the Royal Family when in Northern Ireland, and has been the home of the Secretary of State since the 1970s. A group tour of the house will guide you through the elegant State Rooms, still in use today, including the majestic rone Room and graceful Drawing Room.

If you’ve never taken a group to the city before, you’ll be surprised by the diversity of Belfast's attractions. Having thrown off its Victorian industrial reputation, Belfast can be enjoyed for her historical, architectural and cultural delights. Enjoy visiting Clonard Monastery,

Visitors can wander through 98 acres of beautiful gardens, developed from the 1760s onwards, offering a contrast of ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways, and trimmed lawns. Look out for the statue of Ossian outside the main entrance, the Lady Alice Temple, the Quaker Burial ground and an Ice House. Pre-booked groups of 20 or more are welcomed year round hillsborough-castle

In uncharted areas cartographers used to write: “here be dragons”. Little did we know, that when it comes to Antrim, they were right. Northern Ireland’s Game of rones country has far more to it than an epic drama series

complete podium of sights. From the government seat at Stormont to e Peace Wall; to the mighty cranes of Harland and Wolff, to the Titanic Dock, where the great liner was launched ( With so much in the city itself, you could confine yourself within the boundaries and easily do a marathon sightseeing session.

Just 30 minutes from Belfast

Just one hour from Dublin & Belfast

Departing Magilian Point NI - Greencastle, Co Donegal, ROI Multiple Sailings Daily

Departing Greencastle, Co. Down NI - Greenore, Co.Louth, ROI Multiple Sailings Daily & 12

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In the mouth of Galway Bay, and easily visible from the mainland’s iconic Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands are very much a world apart. In the category of ‘trip of a lifetime’ the Aran Islands also afford a welcome like long lost family.

Americas in 1492. There’s an impressive art collection too, and everything including the intricate mosaics on the church’s stations of the cross was designed by Irish artists

Make that journey over the water (and you can tick off the open Atlantic if you do) and the music from Tí Joe Watty’s will greet you even before you step off the ferry. It’s always mixed with good food, good drink, and great craic. Kilronan Village, which is blessed with the presence of TJ’s, is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike. Even when the sun isn’t shining on the gardens, there’s the promise of a warm open fire to go with your Guinness or Irish Coffee. Take in the seal colony and the scenery and be assured of catching the boat home you’re only ten minutes form the pier. However, don’t rush your traditional dinner of locally caught lobster, crab, and mussels. Don’t worry the verdant Aran islands provide plenty for the vegetarian palette too

The nearby festival town of Westport, in neighbouring County Mayo, brings yet more music and activity to lively days and nights. There are various activities during the day, including street fairs and a popular Heritage Day. Settled for the past 5000 years, the inhabitants have been making merry ever since. Check out everything from the Clew Bay Archeological Trail to the festivals planned for the summer at Drive through the spectacular Connemara scenery, for an enchanting 40 minutes from Westport, to arrive at Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden ( There’s a special welcome for group organisers, but, no matter what the purpose of your visit, or the size of your party, experience the estate in all its glory for as long as your mood takes. Built as a baronial castle in 1867, Kylemore Abbey and the surrounding mountains and lakes are steeped in history. In equal measure, there’s tragedy, romance, royal visits and engineering innovation on the site, perched between the waters of the lake and the rocky hills behind.

Festival time brings out Galway’s 80000 inhabitants for a summer of arts, crafts, eats and drinks. The rainbow of waterfront buildings add to the warmth of welcome, great food from the sea, and a delight in the Irish passion for horse racing - of which there’s plenty in Galway.

Tourism Ireland

700-year old St. Nicholas Collegiate Church is Galway’s most important monument and the country’s largest mediaeval parish church. Local lore suggests that Christopher Columbus prayed here before sailing for the

Kylemore became an abbey and home to a community of Benedictine Nuns in 1920, and has become an Irish icon of spirituality and education. For your group’s secular needs, there’s satisfying


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Ireland catering on site and ample parking. You’ll find more on this and the surrounding area at Catering for everything from family reunions (family is a very important aspect of Irish life) to golfing holidays, the hotel is at the heart of a raft of attractions, ranging from picnic cruising on the River Moy to the traditional Foxford Woollen Mills, and the nearby Knock Shrine of religious pilgrimage. If that’s not temptation enough, the owners promise to bake their own scones for your arrival It’s a beautiful world The wonder of west Ireland, Connaught’s Connemara scenery, Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden, and compact but not humble Galway City, where summer is a byword for festivals. If time is short, then St. Nicholas Collegiate Church is Galway’s most important monument and don’t miss the huge octagonal dome of Galway’s Catholic Cathedral with its coffered Italianate ceiling and stained glass windows were designed by Irish artists ( Stop to shop - if you can - at Brown Thomas, an idiosyncratic Irish family department store 🔆Spotlight on Knock Shrine

on 100 acres of beautiful grounds and gardens dotted with sculptures that describe Christian heritage. Take some time out for quiet prayer, to light a candle, or attend one of the daily masses or ceremonies in one of five churches, including the iconic Knock Basilica and the Apparition Chapel. Take the opportunity for tranquillity, meditation and to listen to the word of God in The Prayer Centre. Children can join in a variety of activities at the HUB, a bright and welcoming environment for young people to meet new friends and explore their faith. During your visit, uncover the rich and fascinating history of the Shrine with a visit to the award-winning Knock Museum. Rest awhile at Café Le Cheile, and browse The Bookshop to find a range of books and gifts. Explore with a selfguided audio tour of the Shrine grounds, and leave the Shrine feeling renewed and enriched.

paper. The land is the inspiration for WB, who often hiked to the table top summit of Ben Bulben in County Sligo (for the avoidance of doubt: it’s not compulsory to hike to the top of Ben Bulben). For a less energetic vantage point, take an ocean voyage to the remote Aran Islands - very much a part of the Wild Atlantic Way - a poetic construct by the lyrically minded tourism authorities that threads together a series of highways and byways that will take more than a single visit to traverse. Indoors, Hawk’s Well Theatre in Sligo plays host to both touring professional and local amateur drama. All the world is staged within this 340-seat auditorium for the performing arts. The attractive bar and foyer host a year-round programme of exhibitions Sligo is steeped in heritage and culture. Visit Ballindoon Abbey, Ballymote Castle, Carrowkeel, the megalithic cemetery of Carrowmore the largest in Ireland - and Creevykeel Court Tomb which is just impressively big without holding any records. The county is a playground of ancient sites and coastal scenery, right on the edge of the county town.

Sligo. Think of the picture postcard west of Ireland, and you’re thinking of towns and country, coasts and cliffs, farms and byways, all of them in Connaught. Think like that, and you’re in the good company of many of Ireland’s most impressive literary figures.

As the shopping capital of the North West, you’ll find top fashion boutiques, local craft shops and gourmet food, purveyed in charming streets that epitomise the blend of old and new. There’s a way marked walking trail from Stephens Street and throughout the town. Don’t

There’s Yeats’ County. In County Mayo, is an international place of prayer and pilgrimage dating back to August 1879, when fifteen people from the village witnessed an apparition. Today, the Shrine is situated

Alright - it’s just an aphorism - it’s not actually a county. Take a tour around though, and you’ll soon see the sort of inspiration that will have you reaching to commit words to 16

miss Sligo Abbey, a Dominican friary dating from the mid thirteenth century, known for its tomb carvings and preserved cloisters. It’s the source of the Legend of the Silver Bell, which only the pure of heart can hear. If you want to pretend, say you heard a slightly shrill and hurried peeling. If you’ve never seen a Nobel Medal for Literature, head for the Sligo County Museum, where WB Yeats and the local dowager, Countess Markievicz, take centre stage. The Yeats Memorial Building at Hyde Bridge is home to the Sligo Art Gallery, just one of the town's many exhibition spaces. Ireland’s other great cultural pursuit is well catered for within the city. Sligo Races hosts meetings frequently, throughout spring, summer and autumn. The course is located just off the centre of the town at Cleveragh Road. Not surprisingly, Yeats also lends his name to festivals and events in the town. There’s a whole host of other celebrations throughout the year - some of them not even connected with Yeats.

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Knock ShrineininCo.Co. Mayo is one Knock Shrine Mayo is one of of the most unique places on the island of most unique places on the islandof Ireland. Ireland. withand a rich and fascinating history. with a rich fascinating history.

Visit and explore.... For over 140 years, people have been welcomed to Knock Shrine from all four corners of the world. The Shrine offers a peaceful, contemplative space in which to pray and reflect. Whether you are coming to Knock as a seasoned pilgrim or a stranger to this place, you will find a unique and prayerful place with a completely unique and fascinating history.

Visit the Award-Winning Museum The Museum at Knock Shrine is the perfect place to begin your day. Here, visitors can gain an insight into the fascinating story of Knock within the wider context of our rich Christian heritage. The extensive collection includes a replica thatched cottage and a replica of Knock village as it was in 1879 in incredible detail. Knock Museum is open daily and offering free admission to all throughout 2022.

sculpture and art, the spirit is lifted by beautiful pieces created by human hands. The most recent installation is a representation of The Last Supper inspired by the Celtic tradition which can be seen in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the Basilica.

The Apparition Mosaic The Apparition mosaic at Knock Basilica is a truly magnificent representation of the evening of the 21st of August 1879. The vivid richness of over 1.5 million individual pieces of coloured glass combines in unison to give us a sense of the wonder and awe that the people of the village must have felt as they gazed at the heavenly vision before them. The mosaic is based on an artistic representation of the Apparition by renowned Irish illustrator, PJ Lynch and was crafted by Travisanutto Mosaics in Italy.

Explore beautiful, sacred grounds Discover Sacred Artworks The wonder of Creation can be glimpsed through the talent of an artist. This is apparent in the wide and varied collection of artwork at Knock Shrine. Working in a range of specialties, from glasswork to

As you enter the grounds, you will notice the vastness of the space, stunning gardens and many meandering pathways to explore. Listen to the gentle rustle of leaves, birdsong, breathe in the fresh air and let yourself relax in the beautiful

setting. The grounds are dotted with many interesting sculptures, historic monuments, statues, and ecclesiastic artworks.

Resources to Enrich and Inspire The Bookshop in the grounds of the Shrine is a wonderful place to while away the time. Here you will find an extensive range of spiritual books and resources as well as the latest contemporary titles. Books can be requested online with international delivery available.

Prayer and Contemplation The Apparition Chapel at the heart of the Shrine, offers a quiet, peaceful space for prayer and contemplation. You can also attend Mass which takes place daily at Knock Shrine. Adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation are also available daily in the Chapel of Reconciliation.

Group Visits Bring your group to Knock Shrine and enjoy a day immersed in the peace and tranquility of this sacred place. Groups are welcome at Knock Museum where they can avail of a self-guided Audio Tour of the Museum and Shrine grounds. Private Mass can also be arranged for groups. Booking essential.

Contact Knock Shrine T. +353 (0) 94 93 88100 | E. | W.

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Leinster Malahide Castle & Gardens Malahide Castle was home to the Talbot family for nearly 800 years and with a history dating back to 1185, there are plenty of stories to be told. Enjoy a guided tour of Dublin’s most loved medieval castle just 10 minutes from Dublin Airport and 13km from Dublin City centre. See the splendor of Lord Milo Talbot’s walled botanical garden, e Butterfly House and West Lawn. Take a break and breath of fresh air on Avoca’s café terrace overlooking the walled garden, or engage in some retail therapy in the Museum Shop in the visitor centre For more visit www. 🔆 Spotlight on Newbridge House & Farm

Newbridge House & Farm is an 18th Century hidden gem located in Donabate, North County Dublin, just 10

minutes from Dublin Airport. Nestled on 350 acres, Newbridge House was built back in 1736 by the Archbishop of Dublin, Charles Cobbe, as his country residence. Knowledgeable and passionate tour guides are on hand to bring the story of the Cobbe family to life for visitors, showcasing some of the finest examples of Georgian period architecture. e house and the 30-acre working farm are open daily for tours.

Drogheda on the Boyne without encountering an icon of Ireland, past, present or future. Whether you cross the above the old port on the Victorian viaduct, as passenger on the Enterprise expresses that run between Dublin and Belfast; or cross on the sleek new road bridge, that offers a strategic view of the famous Battle of the Boyne www.battleo For the town of Drogheda itself (, enter via the former barracks building gate, and down Millmount, detouring past the acclaimed Highlanes Gallery (, and over the old, much lower Shop Street bridge through the town. Be directed then to the luxurious D Hotel, where balconied rooms offer equally impressive views of the Viaduct

Newbridge Farm has an interactive and educational discovery trail through the farm and various rare breeds of animals. Meander through the walled garden and orchard and then back to the cobbled stone courtyard for some retail therapy. For more information visit

Scotch Hall Shopping is the hotel’s next-door neighbour. Dismiss thoughts of expensive shopping. Even though the strength of the

Around Drogheda and the Boyne It’s not possible to enter 18

euro has never been far from the financial headlines, you’ll find city centre shops with out of town prices. Out of town all together, Newgrange is not far. Ireland’s most celebrated prehistoric site - a monument to surpass Stonehenge - is the centrepiece of the 2016 focus on Ireland’s Ancient East. Although Newgrange will endure for another thousand years without doubt. e World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne is the largest and one of the most important Megalithic sites in Europe. e futuristic visitor centre is the embarkation point for shuttles to the site itself - a huge grass-topped white stone mound, dating to the Neolithic period e whole complex is situated around a wide bend in the River Boyne, the watercourse that flows through both the land and the history of Ireland. 🔆Spotlight on Newbridge Silverware Now in their ninth decade (their centenary will be in 2034) Newbridge Silverware has grown to be an icon of Ireland. ey are synonymous with designing and craing quality jewellery, homeware and giware. e

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Get away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin’s centre and come to a more relaxed location.

Only 10 mins from Dublin Airport

Visit Dublin’s Best-Kept Secret

As a family day out you can’t get much better than Newbridge House and Farm. Step into an 18th century rambling Georgian mansion that has been impeccably restored. Experience the opulence and grandeur of the rooms, then through ambient audio and interpretative graphics learn about life in the Servants Quarters. Explore the 35 acre working farm, engage with the animals, traverse the woodland parklands, check out the playground and café and grab an ice cream, sit back and take it all in... so many memories waiting to be made! Visit

Discover 800 Years of History

Irelands only Model Railway Museum

Only 10 mins

Only 10 mins

from Dublin Airport

from Dublin Airport

Come to the picturesque village of Malahide for your next family day out and visit one of Ireland’s oldest castles, its beautiful botanical gardens and let the kids explore 250 acres of lush parkland. Malahide is bursting with things to do for the whole family. Go visit the exotic Butter y House, meander through the magical Fairy Trail and lose yourself in the West Lawn. Pack a picnic from the Avoca Foodhall. Let’s start making memories again. Visit

If you fancy a short detour from the castle take a stroll to Ireland’s only model railway. Step back in time and explore one of the world’s most unique model railway collections. Housed in a beautifully restored Casino cottage and located in the village you will be blown away by the workmanship and exquisite collection. If you have time indulge in one of the many award winning bars and restaurants in Malahide. Dart and bus routes to Dublin city centre. Visit

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company has become a fixture of County Kildare. With a reputation for design and crasmanship that’s all on display for visitors to see, there is hardly a home in the length and breadth of Ireland that doesn’t give pride of place to a Newbridge piece.

of love. Step back in time and explore one of the world’s most unique model railway collections. Housed in the beautifully restored Casino cottage and located in the idyllic seaside village of Malahide and within easy walking distance of Malahide Castle.

Roll up to the spacious coach park and prepare to be engaged by the unique history of crasmanship, experience and design. Don’t undersell your visit. ere is far more to Newbridge than jewellery. Sure, it’s a bling-tastic visit, but so much of the work from the cra house is intended for the cutting edge of modern living. ese days you can of course find Newbridge Silverware shops all over Ireland - but this is the real deal.

e Cyril Fry Collection offers a closeup look at the exquisite workmanship of his hand-craed models. All hand painted and considered the most elaborate in Ireland. Delve into the interactive display, marvel at the models and gasp at the wonder of the Irish International Railway & Tramway System. For more information visit

🔆 Spotlight on e Casino Model Railway Museum It was, until a couple of years ago, the Fry Model Railway. en, in 2020, aer a move to a new site, the Casino Model Railway Museum was born in the centre of Malahide. e curious name derives from the location - in a refurbished cottage called Casino, in central Malahide. e railway and collection was moved from its previous home in Malahide Castle in 2010. e collection originated from the work of Cyril Fry who had created the charming collection to run on his layout at his cottage in Churchtown, Dublin.

🔆 Spotlight on Kildare Village Enjoy a great day out! Kildare Village is home to over 100 brands from the world's most exciting designers. Discover open-air shopping and the finest eateries. Virtual Shopping, and Shop & Collect services are also available. Village is the perfect luxury shopping destination, just an hour from Dublin. You'll find it difficult to resist temptation with 100 boutiques from the world's most exciting designers including Louise Kennedy, Armani, Mulberry and many more.

Ireland’s only model railway is a labour of love. Step back in time and explore one of the world’s most unique model railway collections.

at’s not all. Upstairs, an exhibition hall features manikins and memorabilia from the glamour of Hollywood, all adorned in Newbridge authentic jewels. Called the Museum of Style Icons, or MOSI, it’s one of the most popular parts of the Newbridge operation. e Museum houses fashion collections and artefacts which once belonged to some of the greatest style icons of modern times such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Grace, Princess Diana, the Beatles and many more. Aer that, you’ll probably find your freshly blinged crew in the award-winning Carleton restaurant for some delicious food.

Incidentally, the equally visitable Malahide Castle is well worth making the short stroll. Parts of the building date back to the twelh century, and it’s all just nine miles (14 km) north of central Dublin. e remained of the original estate - a mere 260 acres - form the Malahide Demesne Regional Park.

Ireland’s only model railway is a labour 20

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An unforgettable shopping experience in Ireland Located just an hour from Dublin and easily accessed via the M7, luxury open-air shopping destination Kildare Village is an unmissable destination for coach groups. Home to more than 100 boutiques of the world’s most desirable brands, guests can enjoy a relaxing day of open-air shopping with remarkable savings, exceptional hospitality and a superb selection of restaurants and cafés. Set in the beating heart of horse-racing country, the Village is perfectly situated for routes to important tourist destinations in the region including Cork, Limerick and Galway. We’re delighted to offer coach tour operators the following services at Kildare Village: • Complimentary coach parking • VIP Passes, which entitle your guests to an additional 10% saving on the Village price • Additional incentives for regular coach bookings* If you’re interested in organising coach tours to Kildare Village, we’d love to hear from you. Find out more at or contact us on +353 45 520 501 or email

© Kildare Village 2022 07/22

English Riviera BID Company

Tourism Ireland

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Dublin Dublin is a capital attraction With Phoenix Park, Temple Bar, the Castle, the Spire and Christ Church Cathedral there’s so much to see in Dublin it may leave your head in a spin. Although the most likely head spinning sensation is to be at the Gravity Bar in the Guinness Storehouse ( Walkable from the centre, it’s one of Dublin’s most iconic attractions, where visitors can sample the historic black stout and learn about the traditional brewing process. Enjoy a sample while enjoying fantastic panoramas above Dublin’s rooftops. Whether it be a walk down broad O’Connell Street or shopping in Grafton Street stores or Moore Street markets, there are plenty of things to see. The annual Royal Dublin Show is a scrum, but so is a Six Nations international at the Aviva Stadium or a professional fixture at the RDS Arena in the southern suburb of Ballsbridge. There’s the National Gallery of Ireland on Merrion Square which, like all the city centre attractions, can be reached by the tram service or a pleasant stroll. From the impressive glass frontage of the Dublin

Conference Centre, the quaysides of the lower Liffey lead to the bohemian Temple Bar district; the spiritual Trinity College University quadrant for a look at the Book of Kells; or cross the Ha’penny Bridge to peruse the shops and meet up again under the cloud piercing Spire, a needle of steel that defines the very centre of Dublin’s fair city.

crowds when he visitsed in 2019. Try to fit in St Patrick’s Cathedral; and the National Gallery – complete with Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ”. For relaxation, try a walk along the Grand Canal – popular with Dubliners and not well known to tourists. If time is short, the Red Luas (tram line) parallels the canal between Suir Road and Blackhorse stops.

Just west of the centre, Kilmainham is home to the modern Hilton Hotel, overlooking the less comfortable Kilmainham Gaol, scene of the executions of the rebel leaders in 1916 and a place of pilgrimage for the Irish people. The rather more regal buildings and grounds of the National Gallery of Modern Art are a sanctuary of contemporary works, and, to the north, lies the vast welcoming expanse of Phoenix Park. Dublin Zoo is just one major attraction within its ten-mile perimeter. The park also hosts presidential residences, a mediaeval castle - which now forms part of the park’s visitor centre - and a herd of fallow deer.

Heading south from the city, brings you into some iconically Irish scenery rolling hills and swathes of green. Nestled among them, in the foothills of the Wicklow mountains, around fifteen miles south of Dublin city centre, lie the gardens of Powerscourt Estate at the end of a mile-long beech boulevard. The Palladian style mansion, having seen tragedy when it was left as a mere shell after the fire in 1974, now lends itself to many other uses. It is now home to the renowned Avoca Terrace Café, Tara’s Palace a dolls’ house built to one-twelfth scale, The Avoca Craft Shops and an audio visual history of the Estate. The magnificent 47-acre gardens boast some of the grandest views in Ireland

In 1979, over one million people attended mass, celebrated by Pope John Paul II, the biggest assembly in the history of the Irish nation. The current pontiff, Pope Francis, also drew similar

If you want another excuse to


take a trip on Dublin’s DART train services, head for Greystones. This is on the line that runs south from Dublin and takes in some amazing coastal scenery enroute. Highlights include the stretch between Dalkey and Killiney and between Bray and Greystones as the train hugs the cliffs. If your visit is from mid-July to early August be sure to stop off at Bray to catch their Summerfest. Based on the beach there are many great events including fun fairs, food markets an airshow and open air concert which are well worth a break in your group itinerary. Dublin Bears Witness On O’Connell Street, the GPO Museum (GPO Witness History Visitor Centre), stamps its mark on the turbulent birth of a nation. Almost everyone will have a notion of the pivotal 1916 Easter Uprising, and the central part played by this very building. The historical connections embodied by the bulletmarked Georgian columns, tell a story of their own. The Visitor Centre has received The Micheletti Award at the European Museum Academy Awards. This prestigious award is the European prize for innovative museums in the

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world of contemporary history, industry and science. Visitors can explore the story of modern Irish history from the late 1800’s to 2016 with particular emphasis on the 1916 Easter Rising. History is brought to life through electronic touch screens, video, audio visual booths, sound and authentic artefacts. The GPO building, originally dating back to 1818, was the communications hub of Ireland and headquarters of the men and women who took part in the 1916 Easter Rising. The Easter Rising set in motion an unstoppable chain of events which would ultimately lead to the creation of the Irish Republic. The visitor centre also features the Thomas F. Meagher Foundation Exhibition - the first ever permanent exhibition on the Irish Flag. This new addition to the visitor experience was unveiled recently to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the first flying of the Irish Tricolour in 1848 by Thomas F. Meagher who fought in the American Civil war and was also acting governor of Montana. Of course, it’s all very peaceful now, and you can immerse yourself in the historic atmosphere with a relaxing visit to the café and browse the gift shop. The iconic venue is even available for private functions and events The Centre is open daily, with a few closures for public holidays. For full details check


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Munster Furtherest west, furtherest south. Munster is the first part of Ireland you’ll see on the way in, and the last part you’ll see on the way out but we’re not sailing away, just yet. Let’s explore. Waterford is probably the best-known county in the south, and has plenty to recommend it. A guided walking tour is an ideal way to find out the history of the oldest city in Ireland. Top of your list must be the Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre, home of the famous crystal. Although some production is now undertaken elsewhere, the factory, design and visitor centres are all still very much in the traditional home of the world-famous glassware www.

Elsewhere in Waterford there are the Museum of Treasures, the Kite Design Centre, and the Bishops Palace. Try a trip on the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway (, a historic way to take in the panoramic views of the river, rolling farmland and mountains. Don’t leave out Congreve Gardens, reputedly the best in Ireland. For an unusual transport mode, the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum has the world’s only full size B314 replica flying boat www. Cork: Ireland’s festival city ere’s certainly a party atmosphere in Cork, and, as an out of season adventure, October is particularly good. ere’s both a film festival and a jazz festival, and the nearby Kinsale Food Festival fills the first weekend of the month.

Head to the West Clare Railway which re-opened in 2010 Take a short ride behind an original steam locomotive. Aerwards, take the ferry across the Shannon Estuary to Listowel to experience the unusual recreation of the Lartigue Monorail train which first opened in 1888

Out in Cork Bay, connected by rail and road, the large town of Cobh is as important to Irish history as any. It was the departure point for two and a half


million of the six million Irish people who emigrated to North America in the hundred years until 1950. e town has been called Queenstown, during the reign of Victoria and, it was under that name, that Cobh became the last port of call for the RMS Titanic, as she set out across the Atlantic on her ill-fated maiden voyage. Stroll briefly over to Limerick in September. Ireland's oldest city hosts the country's premier food event, the Waterford Harvest Festival. Enjoy tastings, markets, cookery, artisan workshops, food tours and cra villages, among the entertainment. Waterford is known for its wonderful cheeses and unique 'Blaa' bread. e festival is set against the backdrop of a city

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Munster is the biggest home of Gaelic Games - at least, it’s the home of the biggest stadia devoted to the uniquely Irish sports of hurling and Gaelic football. Don’t underestimate the appeal of these codes attendance at a finals or representative match is an astonishing experience of rivalry on a countrywide scale. Take urles, a pleasant little town of around 8000 souls, with an imposing catholic cathedral. urles is also home to the Gaelic Games Association’s founding headquarters at Semple Stadium, which regularly hosts crowds of 53,000. In fact, there’s a seat for every man, woman and child in Ireland at a Gaelic Games Association venue

🔆 Spotlight on the Gleneagle Group hotels and venues From modest beginnings as a small country-house hotel opened in 1957, e Gleneagle in Kilarney, the flagship hotel of e Gleneagle Group, has flourished into one of Ireland’s largest and most popular hotels. e original walls still stand at the heart of complex. Although the company has more properties now, the Gleneagle Group is still a family run affair. It’s now under the guardianship of the third generation of O’Donoghues, sixty years on. Nice to know there’s more than half a century of experience behind them. Find out more at

the tables of a Ballymena bar is your thing, that’s no problem. If you’d rather just rest your head on a pillow of Irish linen, then that’s ok too.

Whatever you want, wherever you want, just say Ireland.

• • • •

When all is said and done and there is plenty to say among the friendly conversationists of Ireland the greenest and pleasantest land has much to offer. If dancing the night away on

Tourism Ireland

steeped in 1100 years of history, which is about how long it’ll be before you have to eat again www.

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Beyond the Trees Avondale Is an exciting new world class visitor destination in Ireland's Ancient East following a €16 million redevelopment project by Coillte in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and EAK Ireland.

magnificent architectural tower standing 38m above the forest will reveal panoramic 360-degree views over the Wicklow Mountains, the Avonmore River, and the Vale of Avoca. To complete this innovative experience, both adults and children will have the option to continue the adventure and whizz their way back

From here, visitors can enjoy a complimentary self-guided visit to the Coillte Pavilion where they will learn all about the evolution of 30

forestry in Ireland along with Coillte's work throughout the past, the present and the plans for the future. Visitors will also explore the themes of forestry for climate, for nature, for wood and for people and how the sector can contribute to our sustainable future and climate action. From the Walled Gardens there is access to the Treetop Walk, the stimulating sensory garden and an abundance of forest walking trails. Visit the website for more information www. Viewing Tower. Here the magnificent architectural tower standing 38m above the forest will reveal panoramic 360degree views over the Wicklow Mountains, the Avonmore River, and the Vale of Avoca.

Beyond the Trees Avondale in County Wicklow will include immersive experiences for all generations to enjoy. e longest Treetop Walk in Ireland & the UK, at 1.4km it will bring visitors on an adventure through and above the trees, their journey culminating at the impressive Viewing Tower. Here the

down the tower via the gigantic 90m spiral slide. Both self-guided and guided tour options will be available for advance bookings. 'At Home with the Parnell's', features a newly imagined guided tour of the historic 18th century Avondale House that will celebrate the heritage of the Parnell family. It will encompass the life and times of Charles Stewart Parnell, and the formidable women in his family including his mother, Delia, and his sisters, Fanny & Anna, who were co-founders of the Ladies Land League in 1881. Guided tours will be available to book in advance. Visitors will arrive to a warm welcome at the new state-ofthe-art Visitors Centre, with ease of access to the Seed Café where the creative food offerings will be craed through the seasons by the dedicated culinary team from high quality, local Wicklow ingredients. e view from the Seed Café will extend out onto the picturesque Walled Garden, including an adventurous children’s playground conveniently located beside the outdoor dining terrace.

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Beyond the Trees Avondale, COUNTY wicklow Ireland’s exciting new visitor destination located in Avondale Forest Park, Wicklow

NEW for 2022 Explore the Treetop Walk, enjoy panoramic 360° views at the spectacular 38m high Viewing Tower and discover ‘At home with the Parnell’s’ with a local tour guide at Avondale House.

rates available • Minimum 15 persons per group • Accessible to all generations • Group entry for 1 tour guide and 1 driver per group • Ample coach parking • Complimentary • Viewing Tower slide optional @ €2 pp • U6’s must be accompanied on the slide


0404 46111

Café | Walled Garden | Forest Trails | Picnic Area | Water Station | Coillte Pavilion

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Visit our free museum housing a memorable collection of couture design, artefacts and fashion items that once belonged to some of the greatest style icons of modern times including Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe & many others. Immerse yourself in Hollywood glamour. Free admission.

Browse through the complete range of much loved Irish designed products in our stylish showroom. Here you will find all of the collections on offer from our jewellery and giftware to homeware and tableware. Tax free shopping for eligible customers from outside of the EU.

A crusty homemade doorstop sandwich with a bowl of chunky soup, or a treat of artisan coffee and our in-house baked cake? This award winning café features freshly prepared local food with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or a sumptuous afternoon tea in a relaxed, stylish and friendly ambience.

Newbridge Silverware, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland.

Visitor Centre

Only 40 minutes from Dublin. Junction 10/12 on the M7. Open 7 days a week. Free coach and car parking. Groups welcome. Online booking available.