Autumn Tours of Ireland’s Ancient East with Irish Ferries27 set 2017
Myths, monastic ruins and medieval castles: the south-east corner of Ireland is packed with history and there’s no better way to discover it all than on a self-drive tour with Irish Ferries.
The company’s Holidays team advises and books tailor-made touring holidays. For example a seven-night holiday, staying in welcoming four-star hotels , with ‘the full Irish’ breakfast each morning, and including return ferry crossings for a car costs £499 per person this autumn, when two people share a double room and travel together.
Sail into Dublin on the Ulysses’ afternoon cruise and overnight just south of the city at the turreted Fitzpatricks Castle hotel on the hill above fashionable Killiney.
On day two, drive through the scenic Wicklow Mountains to Glendalough. Here, in a beautiful valley and lakeside setting are the remains of a monastic city, founded in the 6th century by St Kevin. It’s a magical spot. From here it’s a short drive to the next hotel: superb Brook Lodge at Macreddin which boasts Ireland’s first certified organic restaurant.
On day three, it’s time to discover medieval Kilkenny, which not only has an ancient castle, an abbey and a cathedral, but is home to Ireland’s oldest beer: Smithwicks. A couple of nights at the contemporary Pembroke Hotel, just behind the castle, provides a break from driving, since the location is so central.
On day five, head south to Waterford City, where the elegant Athenaeum House Hotel offers a warm welcome and riverside location for two nights. Waterford was founded by the Vikings and its treasures are on show at the Medieval Museum, while other ancient sites include the round Reginald’s Tower.
For the final night in Ireland, head to Wexford Town for a good nights’ sleep at the Talbot Hotel, before catching the Isle of Inishmore’s morning sailing from Rosslare to Pembroke.
08717 300 400, www.irishferries.com/holidays
Calls cost 13p per minute plus network extras