Southern Ireland – Bantry Bay & the Bearer Pensinsula

Staying at The Maritime Hotel

6 DAYS | 22nd August 2021

Ireland’s natural landscapes are undeniably beautiful; mist-shrouded mountains, rolling green hills, trout-filled streams, and the stunning Atlantic coastline form the backdrop to a rich and ancient cultural heritage, as well as the home to a warm-hearted people. Come and immerse yourself in this location-packed and insightful tour of Ireland’s wonders!

West Cork is a little piece of paradise, the warm waters and mild winds of the Gulf stream have bathed Ireland’s south west for centuries. The landscape contains semi tropical plants and palm trees, with mountain streams flowing down to an intricate coastline. Bantry lies at its centre, blessed with a magnificent natural harbour and our base for the tour.

The Maritime Hotel is situated on the quayside; comfortable yet contemporary, it offers the ultimate in luxury accommodation with modern facilities that include a choice of places to wine and dine. Boasting a fabulously appointed leisure centre with indoor pool, all the bedrooms have a plasma TV, luxury toiletries, WiFi and courtesy tea tray.

We depart Macclesfield calling for coffee enroute to Holyhead where we catch the early afternoon ferry to Dublin. We then head south to Portlaoise where we arrive in time for dinner and make our overnight stop at The Midlands Park Hotel, a modern establishment with all the usual facilities.

After breakfast we continue our journey south calling at the pretty town of Kilkenny where we visit the famous Castle. Founded soon after the Norman conquest of Ireland by the Knight Richard de Clare, it played a part in both Oliver Cromwell’s re-conquest of Ireland in 1650 and was besieged during the Civil War in 1922. After lunch we continue to Bantry Bay and our hotel.

Today we head to Baltimore in County Cork to take the 40 minute ferry to Cape Clear Island, Ireland’s southern-most inhabited island. The journey offers splendid views and the chance to see passing seals and dolphins in these wildlife-rich waters. On arrival on the island we enjoy a minibus tour, taking in the rich history and sites of interest, before we begin our return ferry back to the stunning fishing village of Baltimore, where we make our lunch stop. We then venture to the Skibbereen Heritage Centre and Famine Exhibition for a guided tour.

Our excursion today takes us on a scenic drive along the Atlantic Coast, through the rugged and spectacular Beara Peninsula, Ireland’s best kept secret. Starting at the town of Kenmare, historic and colourful villages feature in abundance, we call eventually at Molly Gallivan’s Cottage and Farm for a guided tour and morning coffee. We then make our way to Castletownbere for our lunch stop. Healy Pass is next offering spectacular views of Kenmare Bay to the north and Bantry Bay to the south, after which we make our way back to the hotel.

This morning we take the short walk to visit Bantry House and Garden, a family home for the past 300 years. After free time to explore the house and stunning formal gardens we have then organized morning coffee in the tea rooms before we return to the resort of Bantry with the remainder of the day at leisure.

After breakfast we take the route north calling for coffee en-route to Dublin Port for our ferry back to Holyhead. Taking the quickest route home and aim to arrive in the Macclesfield area late evening.

Tour includes: Luxury coach travel throughout, 5 nights dinner bed and breakfast, return ferry crossing. Entrance to Kilkenny Castle, boat trip and Guided tour of Cape Island, Skibereen Heritage centre and Molly Gallivans, Entrance to Bantry house with morning coffee.

£898.00 per person sharing twin/double
£187.00 single room supplement
£51.00 insurance per person, inc. IPT

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