10 Night Irish Castles and Manors Platinum Tour

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

Bunratty Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhun Raithe, meaning Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty) is a large tower house in County Clare, Ireland. It lies in the centre of Bunratty village (Irish: Bun Ráite), by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis, near Shannon Town and its airport. The name Bunratty, Bun Raite (or possibly, Bun na Raite) in Irish, means the 'bottom' or end of the 'Ratty' river. This river, alongside the castle, flows into the nearby Shannon estuary. From the top of the castle, one can look over to the estuary and the airport. Bunratty Castle is now a very popular tourist attraction. The interior has been furnished by Lord Gort with tapestries and artifacts from various eras in the castle's history. Some of the sights include the 'great hall', dungeons an...read more

Burren

Burren

The Burren is a unique karst-landscape region in northwest County Clare, in Ireland and one of the largest Karst landscapes in Europe. The region measures approximately 250 square kilometres and is enclosed roughly within the circle comprised by the villages Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna, It is bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay on the west and north respectively. Strictly speaking the territory of the Burren or barony of Burren only contains the villages of Lisdoonvarna, Ballyvaughan, Fanore, Craggagh, New Quay/Burrin, Bealaclugga (Bellharbour) and Carron. The definite article (making it "the Burren") has only been added to the name in the last few decades, possibly by academics, as it had always been called Boireann in Irish and Burren i...read more

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin is the elder of the city's two mediæval cathedrals, the other being St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is officially claimed as the seat (cathedra) of both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin. In practice it has been the cathedral of only the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, since the Irish Reformation. Though nominally claimed as his cathedral, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin uses a church elsewhere, St Mary's in Malborough Street in Dublin, as his pro-cathedral (acting cathedral). Christ Church Cathedral is located in the former heart of mediaeval Dublin, next to Wood Quay, at the end of Dame Street . However a major dual carriage-way building scheme around it separated it from the original mediaeval str...read more

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher (Irish: Aillte an Mhothair, lit. cliffs of the ruin, also known as the Cliffs of Coher from the Irish: Mhothair) are located in the parish of Liscannor at the south-western edge of The Burren area near Doolin, which is located in County Clare, Ireland. The cliffs rise 120 meters (394 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and reach their maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O'Brien's Tower, eight kilometres away. The cliffs boast one of Ireland's most spectacular views. On a clear day the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay, as are the valleys and hills of Connemara. O'Brien's Tower is a round stone tower at the approximate midpoint of the cliffs. It was built by Sir Cornelius O'Brien, a descendant of Ireland's High King Brian Boru, in 18...read more

Doolin

Doolin

A small fishing village, also known as Fisherstreet, on a sandy bay some 3km from Aill na Searrach, the northern end of the Cliffs of Moher. Doolin is world-famous for its wealth of Irish folk music and in recent years has been attracting crowds to spontaneous sessions and festivals or 'fleadhanna' of Irish and international music. Lots of music pubs and restaurants. Overlooked by Doonagore Castle, an unusual circular tower within a walled bawn enclosure, which has been restored as a residence. Nearer the sea, Iron Age burial mounds dot the surrounding landscape. One of Doolin's claims to fame is that it is the main setting for the PlayStation 3 game Folklore. According to the game's storyline, the Netherworld, the world of the dead is a realm that can only be accessed from one place ...read more

Dublin

Dublin

Dublin is both the largest city and capital of Ireland. It is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin Region. Founded as a Viking settlement, the city has been Ireland's primary city for most of the island's history since medieval times. Today, it is an economic, administrative and cultural centre for the island of Ireland and has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city. The city has a world-famous literary history, having produced many prominent literary figures, including Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. Other influential writers and playwrights from Dublin include Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker. It is ar...read more

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath) off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, is a major Irish governmental complex, formerly the fortified seat of British rule in Ireland until 1922. Most of the complex dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland. The Castle served as the seat of English, then later British government of Ireland under the Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541), the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800), and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1800–1922). Upon establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, the complex was ceremonially handed over to the newly formed Provisional Government led by Michael Collins. Dublin Castle fulfilled a number of r...read more

Dublinia

Dublinia

Dublinia Museum in Ireland is a heritage centre located in the heart of the medieval city of Dublin, Irelands capital city. There are three exciting exhibitions in Dublinia and a must see for any Vacation in Ireland. Viking Dublin takes the visitor back to life in the city in Viking times. See what life was like onboard a Viking warship, visit a Viking house and take a trip down a Viking street. Investigate burial customs explore the Viking legacy and much more. Our Medieval Dublin exhibition includes a busy medieval market, a rich merchant’s house, and a noisy medieval street. Find out about death and disease and see what Medieval Dublin looked like with a fascinating scale model of the town. History Hunters brings our exhibitions full circle and shows the visitor how we know about ...read more

Dunbrody Famine Ship

Dunbrody Famine Ship

The Dunbrody is a full-scale reconstruction of a 19th Century Famine ship, and authentic replica of the Three Masted Barque built in Quebec in 1845 for the Graves family of New Ross. Board the Dunbrody and walk in the footsteps of a group of Irish famine emigrants on their journey of hope across the Atlantic Ocean. Go below deck and enter the confined spaces, which would be home for passengers and crew for the 45-day voyage. Descend into the cargo hold where the exhibition describes the endurance, struggle and triumph over adversity of those 19th Century emigrants as epitomised by the story of the most famous emigrant sons of New Ross, President John F. Kennedy. These passengers were people desperate to escape the famine conditions in Ireland at the time and conditions for steer...read more

Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse

The Guinness Storehouse is located in the heart of the St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, and is, according to the Guiness Storehouse Web site, Ireland’s No. 1 international visitor attraction. Since opening in November 2000, Guinness Storehouse has attracted over 4 million visitors from every corner of the globe. The Storehouse is laid out over seven floors surrounding a glass atrium taking the shape of a pint of Guinness. On the ground floor the massive exhibit introduces you to the four ingredients; water, barley, hops and yeast, all of which combine together to make a pint of Guinness. Visitors are also introduced to the fifth and vital ingredient, Arthur Guinness himself. As the visitor moves up through the building, they next encounter an exhibition on the history of...read more

Hook Lighthouse Centre

Hook Lighthouse Centre

The Hook Lighthouse (also know as Hook Head Lighthouse) is situated at the tip of the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford, in Ireland, is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world. Operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, the Irish Lighthouse Authority, the Hook marks the eastern entrance to Waterford Harbour History The existing tower dates from the twelfth century, though tradition states that Dubhan, a missionary to the Wexford area, established some sort of beacon as early as the 5th century. The exact circumstance of the initial construction on the present structure are the subject of some controversy. It had been thought that the tower was constructed in 1172 by Raymond LeGros as part of his conquests in Ireland, both to establish the lighthouse and to serve as a fortre...read more

Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol (Irish: Príosún Chill Mhaighneann) is a former prison, located in Kilmainham in Dublin, which is now a museum. It has been run since the mid-1980s by the Office of Public Works (O.P.W.), an Irish Government agency. Kilmainham Gaol has played an important part in Irish history, as many leaders of Irish rebellions were imprisoned and some executed in the jail. The jail has also been used as a set for several films. When it was first built in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol was called the 'New Gaol' to distinguish it from the old jail it was intended to replace - a noisome dungeon, just a few hundred metres from the present site. It was officially called the County of Dublin Gaol, and was originally run by the Grand Jury for County Dublin. Over the 140 years it se...read more

Trinity College & Book of Kells

Trinity College & Book of Kells

Trinity is located in the centre of Dublin, Ireland, on College Green opposite the former Irish Houses of Parliament (now a branch of the Bank of Ireland). The campus occupies 190,000m² (47 acres), with many buildings, both old and new, ranged around large courts (known as "squares") and two playing fields. The Library of Trinity College is a copyright library for Ireland and the United Kingdom, containing over 4.5 million books and significant quantities of maps, manuscripts and music. The Library of Trinity College is the largest research library in Ireland. As a result of its historic standing, Trinity is a legal deposit library (as per Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003) for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and has a similar standing in Irish law....read more

Trinity College Dublin & Book of Kells

Trinity College Dublin & Book of Kells

Known as one of the oldest and most famous universities in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin is located in the centre of our capital city, Dublin, Ireland, on College Green opposite the former Irish Houses of Parliament (now a branch of the Bank of Ireland). The College was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 and among its famous graduates are Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift. The campus occupies 190,000m² (47 acres), with many buildings, both old and new, ranged around large courts (known as "squares") and two playing fields. The Library of Trinity College is a copyright library for Ireland and the United Kingdom, containing over 4.5 million books and significant quantities of maps, manuscripts and music....read more

Waterford Crystal Centre

Waterford Crystal Centre

The iconic House of Waterford Crystal in the heart of Waterford city, comprises of a brand new manufacturing facility, visitor centre and retail outlet. Visitors can enjoy all aspects of the manufacturing process through the factory tour and learn about both historical and contemporary production techniques through direct interaction with the craftsmen and the audiovisual materials. The manufacturing facility contains a brand new continuous melt tank furnace that has been tailor-made to Waterford Crystal’s specifications, and produces two tonnes of molten crystal every day, which produces 45,000 high-end crystal pieces per year. It uses leading edge technology to deliver molten crystal of the highest quality for skilled master blowers to hand-shape and hand-blow into Water...read more

Aras an Uachtarain

Aras an Uachtarain

The original house was designed by park ranger and amateur architect, Nathaniel Clements in the mid eighteenth century. It was bought by the administration of the British Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to become his summer residence in the 1780s. His official residence was in the Viceregal Apartments in Dublin Castle. The house in the park later became the Viceregal Lodge, the "out of season" residence of the Lord Lieutenant (also known as the Viceroy), where he lived for most of the year from the 1820s onwards. During the Social Season (January to St. Patrick's Day in March) he lived in state in Dublin Castle. The house was left empty for some years, until the office of President of Ireland was created in 1937. In 1938, the first President, Douglas Hyde lived there temporarily while...read more

Chester Beatty Library

Chester Beatty Library

The Chester Beatty Library was established in Dublin in 1950 to house the collections of mining magnate, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty. The present library, on the grounds of Dublin Castle, opened on February 7th 2000, the 125th anniversary of Sir Alfred's birth and was named European Museum of the Year in 2002. The Library's exhibitions open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. The rich collection from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe offers visitors a visual feast. The Library's collections are displayed in two collections: "Sacred Traditions" and "Artistic Traditions". Both displays exhibit manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and some decorative arts from the Islamic, East Asian and Wes...read more

Dublin Writers Museum

Dublin Writers Museum

The Irish literary tradition is one of the most illustrious in the world, famous for four Nobel prize winners and for many other writers of international renown.  In 1991 the Dublin Writers Museum was opened to house a history and celebration of literary Dublin. Situated in a magnificent eighteenth century mansion in the north city centre, the collection features the lives and works of Dublin’s literary celebrities over the past three hundred years.  Swift and Sheridan, Shaw and Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett are among those presented through their books, letters, portraits and personal items. The splendidly restored Georgian house is a pleasure in itself with its sumptuous plasterwork and decorative stained glass windows. The museum holds exhibitions, readings and lunchti...read more

Hook Lighthouse Visitor Centre

Hook Lighthouse Visitor Centre

The Hook Lighthouse (also know as Hook Head Lighthouse) is situated at the tip of the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford, in Ireland, is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world. Operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, the Irish Lighthouse Authority, the Hook marks the eastern entrance to Waterford Harbour History The existing tower dates from the twelfth century, though tradition states that Dubhan, a missionary to the Wexford area, established some sort of beacon as early as the 5th century. The exact circumstance of the initial construction on the present structure are the subject of some controversy. It had been thought that the tower was constructed in 1172 by Raymond LeGros as part of his conquests in Ireland, both to establish the lighthouse and to serve as a fortre...read more

House of Waterford Crystal

House of Waterford Crystal

The iconic House of Waterford Crystal in the heart of Waterford city, comprises of a brand new manufacturing facility, visitor centre and retail outlet. Visitors can enjoy all aspects of the manufacturing process through the factory tour and learn about both historical and contemporary production techniques through direct interaction with the craftsmen and the audiovisual materials. The manufacturing facility contains a brand new continuous melt tank furnace that has been tailor-made to Waterford Crystal’s specifications, and produces two tonnes of molten crystal every day, which produces 45,000 high-end crystal pieces per year. It uses leading edge technology to deliver molten crystal of the highest quality for skilled master blowers to hand-shape and hand-blow into Waterford Crysta...read more

James Joyce Centre

James Joyce Centre

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish expatriate writer, widely considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He is best known for his landmark novel Ulysses (1922) and its controversial successor Finnegans Wake (1939), as well as the short story collection Dubliners (1914) and the semi-autobiographical novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). Although he spent most of his adult life outside Ireland, Joyce's psychological and fictional universe is firmly rooted in his native Dublin, the city which provides the settings and much of the subject matter for all his fiction. In particular, his tempestuous early relationship with the Irish Roman Catholic Church is reflected through a similar inner conflict i...read more

James Joyce Tower and Museum

James Joyce Tower and Museum

Joyce’s brief stay here inspired the opening of his great novel Ulysses, whose first chapter is set in this very tower.  The gun platform with its panoramic view, and the living room inside the tower, are much as he described them in his book.  Ulysses is a giant work of the imagination, both epic and hilarious, which immortalised Dublin and established Joyce as one of the greatest writers of the age. Joyce’s relationship with Ireland and the church and his unrelenting dedication to his art make his own life as enthralling as his books.  The museum’s collection includes letters, photographs, first and rate editions and personal possessions of Joyce, as well as items associated with the Dublin of Ulysses. The Joyce Tower is one of a series of Martello Towers...read more

National Gallery

National Gallery

The National Gallery of Ireland (Irish: Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann) houses the Irish national collection of Irish and European art. It is located in the centre of Dublin with one entrance on Merrion Square, beside Leinster House, and another on Clare Street. It was founded in 1854 and opened its doors ten years later. The Gallery has an extensive, representative collection of Irish painting and is also notable for its Italian Baroque and Dutch masters painting. Entry to the gallery is free. The Gallery was unlucky not to have been founded around an existing collection, but through diligent and skilful purchase, by the time it opened it had 125 paintings, in 1866 an annual purchase grant was established and by 1891 space was already limited. In 18...read more

National Museum of Ireland

National Museum of Ireland

Collins Barracks could be said to be the National Museum of Ireland's largest artifact, having had a unique history all of its own in another life. It now completes the picture for the National Museum in Dublin and joins the two already famous buildings in the possession of the Museum. Collins Barracks has been completely renovated and restored to become the National Museum of Decorative Arts and History - charting Ireland's economic, social, political and military progress through the ages. Artifacts on display range from silver, ceramic and glassware pieces to weaponry, furniture, examples of folk life and costume. All of these are displayed with imagination in innovative and contemporary galleries, which entice you to go further, look harder and examine more closely. ...read more

Shaw Birthplace Museum

Shaw Birthplace Museum

‘Author of many plays’ is the simple accolade to George Bernard Shaw on the plaque outside his birthplace.  His Victorian home and early life mirrors this simplicity. The first home of the Shaw family and the renowned playwright at 33 Synge Street has been restored to its Victorian elegance and charm, and has the appearance that the family has just gone out for the afternoon. The neat terraced house is as much a celebration of Victorian Dublin domestic life as of the early years of one of Dublin’s Nobel prize-winners for literature: full of the nostalgia and the atmosphere of another time.It was in this house, opened to the public in 1993, that Shaw began to gather the store of characters that would later populate his books, from the drawing-room where Mrs Shaw held ...read more