Excursion One - Belfast & Titanic Experience
We enjoy a guided coach tour of Northern Ireland’s vibrant capital. Belfast is now a thriving, modern city with a fascinating and sometimes turbulent history. It was also a key player in the Industrial Revolution, being the centre for the Irish linen and tobacco industries.
Belfast is still home to Harland & Wolff, the shipbuilders that built the Titanic, so it’s fitting that we visit the fantastic Titanic Experience that opened in 2012 to mark the centenary of the liner’s doomed maiden voyage.
Excursion Two - Antrim Castle Gardens & Giant’s Causeway
The 400-year-old Antrim Castle Gardens are a historical gem not to be missed and we enjoy a guided tour around this magnificent setting. Highlights include the Yew Tree Pond, the Large Parterre and Her Ladyship’s Pleasure Garden. The refurbished Clotworthy House, set in the heart of the gardens, provides us with a story of the Massereene family and how their lives are intertwined with the history of the gardens.
We then head to the Giant’s Causeway, so-named for the enormous basalt columns produced by volcanic eruptions some sixty million years ago, and now a designated World Heritage Site. Interactive displays, exhibitions and audio guides in the state-of-the-art visitor centre unveil the stories and science that surround this natural phenomenon.
Excursion Three - Castle Ward, Mount Stewart House and Garden & Strangford Lough
We join a guided tour of Castle Ward, an eccentric 18th-century house that features a curious mixture of architectural styles. Set in 820 picturesque acres of demesne with superb views over Strangford Lough, the estate also has a stable yard that houses a tea room and second-hand bookshop.
The magnificent Mount Stewart House and Garden is our next stop. The recently restored family home offers a wealth of treasures while the wonderfully atmospheric garden has a distinct Mediterranean feel thanks to the exceptionally mild climate of nearby Strangford Lough, where we take to the water for a short ferry ride across the Lough (subject to availability). The shores of the Lough were used as a film location for the smash hit television series Game of Thrones.
Excursion Four - Dublin
Leaving Belfast, we cross the border to enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Dublin, the Republic’s wonderful capital. Just some of the sights here include the historic Temple Bar area and Trinity College, the oldest university in Ireland set in 40 acres of cobbled squares, gardens and parks. We also have the opportunity to enjoy an optional guided city tour (£10pp).
Please note: The excursion order may change.