2022 - Celtic Connections
Can’t decide between Scotland, Ireland or Wales? Then why not enjoy a taste of all three in this exciting new multi-centre holiday. Come and celebrate all things Celtic on this fabulous 8-day touring experience which embraces dramatic scenery, rich heritage, cultural secrets, contrasting landscapes and epic history of the Ayrshire Coast, Ireland and North Wales.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1 - Head northwards for the big drive to Scotland with suitable stops for lunch and refreshments. Arrive at your hotel in Stranraer this evening for your 2-night stay, ready for your first evening meal together. DBB
Day 2 – Galloway Showcase – Experience the very best of wonderful Galloway. The day starts with a visit to Logan Botanic Gardens, Scotland’s most exotic garden. Due to the location’s almost subtropical climate, Logan is a paradise for plant treasures form South and Central America, Southern Africa and Australasia. walk through groves of eucalyptus and palm trees or stand in the shade of awesome giant rhubarb-like gunnera. Onwards to Kitchen Coos & Ewes at High Airyolland Farm for a unique guided experience of Highland Cows (Coos) and sheep in their natural environment. Tour the farm in a purpose-built passenger trailer before enjoying a delicious cream tea. Then it’s back to Stranraer.
Day 3 – Carrickfergus – A short drive this morning takes you to Cairnryan to board the ferry over to Belfast. With just over 2 hours on board, you’ll have time for a spot of lunch before arriving in Northern Ireland. Head along the northern shore of Belfast Lough to Carrickfergus, your base for the next 3 nights. Welcome drink on arrival at the hotel. DBB. This afternoon you may like to explore the old town centre with its attractive 18th century houses and parts of the original 17th century city walls. The impressive Norman castle, besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French, is one of the best-preserved medieval structures in Ireland (entrance not included – approx. £6 in 2021).
Day 4 - The Spectacular Antrim Coast & Giant’s Causeway - Take a scenic drive along the Antrim Coast Road passing through the spectacular scenery centred around The Glens of Antrim. The Glens are an area of outstanding natural beauty and are a major tourist attraction in north Antrim. Much of this area has been used in filming the TV series ‘The Game of Thrones’. Follow the coast road, through Larne, Carnlough, Cushendall and onto the National Trust village of Cushendun. A highlight today is the mighty Giant’s Causeway, created by volcanic activity. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Giant's Causeway is a magnificent, mysterious geological formation on the North East coast of Co Antrim steeped in myth and legend. There is a shuttle bus service from the visitor centre down to the shore for those who do not wish to walk (small fee applies).
Day 5 – Belfast (may operate with a local coach). Enjoy a guided tour of cosmopolitan Belfast’s sights including the Queen’s University and the Waterfront Hall, with the opportunity to visit the Falls or Shankill Roads where politically inspired murals can be seen. You may want to pop into the Crown Bar opposite the Grand Opera House, the only pub owned by the National Trust. A visit is included to Titanic Experience as it is a "must see" on any tour of Belfast. It is located in the heart of the city, right beside the historic site of this world-famous ship's construction. A city full of heart, Belfast is one of the easiest cities to navigate as it is split into quarters – The Titanic Quarter, The Cathedral Quarter, Queen’s Quarter and The Gaeltacht Quarter.
Day 6 – Malahide Castle & Mold – Bid farewell to Northern Ireland as you head south into the Republic with a stop in the handsome seaside town of Malahide with its bustling marina, pleasant promenade and plenty of cafes and shops. It is also well known for its 800-year-old castle, one of the oldest in Ireland. Entrance to the Castle and Gardens is included with a brief guided tour before you continue on to Dublin to take the afternoon ferry across the Irish Sea to Holyhead in North Wales. Arrive in Mold for your 2-night stay with late dinner on arrival.
Day 7 - Llangollen Rail & Sail - Explore the picturesque town of Llangollen with the River Dee running through its heart. The riverside walk, heading west from the 14th-century bridge, has been a popular promenading spot since Victorian times. Experience the peace and tranquillity of an included horse-drawn canal boat trip along the Llangollen Canal, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Day 8 - After breakfast, return homewards, arriving back at your local joining points early to mid-evening.Back to top
NORTH WEST CASTLE HOTEL, STRANRAER – 2 nights
The 19th century 3* North West Castle Hotel is a fine country house hotel, located across the road from the shores of Loch Ryan, just a 10-minute walk to the centre of Stranraer. Once the home of the Scottish Explorer, Sir John Ross, the hotel makes an excellent base for exploring the beautiful local area. All 72 spacious, homely bedrooms are equipped with TV, hairdryer and tea / coffee making facilities. The grand dining rooms offers views across the loch and the wood-panelled bar has plenty of comfortable seating. Leisure facilities include an indoor swimming pool, sauna and gym. There is a lift.
BELFAST LOUGHSHORE HOTEL, CARRICKFERGUS – 3 nights
This modern 3* hotel is located in Carrickfergus on the Antrim Coast just a short drive from Belfast City Centre. There is lift access to the 68 guestrooms, each of which is tastefully decorated. There is a welcoming bar / lobby area with comfortable seating and a mezzanine lounge as well as a restaurant. The hotel is approximately a mile from Carrickfergus centre, Castle and Marina.
BEAUFORT PARK HOTEL, MOLD – 2 nights
This independently run 3* hotel offers a warm welcome, friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere. It is set in the village of New Brighton just 2 miles from the historic market town of Mold. All 105 well appointed bedrooms are traditional in style and equipped with TV, hairdryer and tea / coffee making facilities. There is no lift but the hotel does have some ground floor rooms. There is an informal restaurant for relaxed dining plus a cosy bar and a comfortable lounge. Back to top