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    IrelandIreland holidays

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    IrelandIreland holidays
  • *
    IrelandIreland holidays
  • *
    IrelandIreland holidays

"There are no strangers here, only friends that have not yet met."

W.B. Yeats

A warm welcome awaits you on the Emerald Isle, where romantic landscapes filled with geological gems will sweep you off your feet

Find yourself laughing with the locals in a thatch-roofed tavern in County Cork, hit the shopping streets and sights on a day-trip to Dublin, taking in the famous Dublin Castle and Kilmainham Gaol, or marvel at the epic vistas of the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim. Many people go their whole lives without making the short hop across the Irish Sea to experience the charms of this charismatic island. But seeing that we are such close neighbours, we think it's only polite that we pop by and share a 'craic' and a Guinness or two… and all the better if accompanied by a traditional Irish ditty, or even a River Dance – slainte!

Culture and history

Ireland has a rich legacy of celebrated literature and famous writers include James Joyce, Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, WB Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. It seems the Irish are a talented bunch in more than just writing though: notable actors include Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole, Michael Gambon, Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Kenneth Branagh, Dervla Kirwan, Daniel Day-Lewis and Colin Farrell. Then of course are their musicians and bands – U2, Thin Lizzy, The Corrs, The Pogues, The  ubliners, Westlife and The Undertones to name but a few. This passion for music runs through the veins of most islanders, and traditional folk music and dance is commonplace in many Irish pubs. Sport is very popular too, the most popular being Gaelic football, hurling, rugby union and hockey.

From the hunter-gatherers of the Mesolithic era, and the Iron Age when the Celtic language is believed to have first made its debut, to the introduction of Christianity by St Patrick in 432 AD and various Viking raids, Ireland has a rich early history. Later the Normans arrived, then in 1536 Henry VIII decided to conquer Ireland. Fast-forward to the 1800s, when the country formed a union with Great Britain, and again to just after the First World War which saw the Irish War of Independence. During this time the Government of Ireland Act 1920 resulted in separating'northern' and 'southern' Ireland. A year later, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed. This gave 'northern' Ireland the chance to stay with the United Kingdom rather than be part of the Irish Free State – and events following this are familiar to us all.

Things to do

For a real insight into the history, myths and legends of Ireland, join one of our escorted holidays and visit the diverse cities of Cork, Limerick and Dublin. Overlook Kinsale Harbour from your hotel, nose around Bantry House, visit Bunratty Castle or explore the Bay of Galway. Spend time getting to know the characterful town of Ennis in County Clare, visit the craggy Cliffs of Moher or wander the lonely hilltops of Wicklow Mountain National Park. You could also cruise the Irish coast, join a special interest tour of UK castles or just stop off to kiss the Blarney Stone en route to Iceland or Canada via cruise ship.

Southern Ireland

Encompassing the majority of the island, the south is home to many stunning national parks, as well as a whole host of towns and villages packed full of characters (many of whom you’re likely to meet at the local pub). The wild and rugged Ring of Kerry offers dramatic scenery, as does Connemara in County Galway and the mountains and lakes of Donegal.

Northern Ireland

No less beautiful than the South, Northern Ireland's countryside is unspoilt and dramatic, from its coastline around the Giant's Causeway to the Glens of Antrim and the Mourne Mountains. For city sights you can't beat the grand buildings and buzzing nightlife of Belfast and for excellent museums head to Derry.

Flight time

It takes just over an hour to fly from London to Dublin.



Passports and visas

It’s a good idea to carry a photocopy of your passport.

Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports and visas.


Try your tongue with a few Gaelic phrases…
Hello – dia dhuit
Goodbye – slan
Please – Le do thoil
Thank you – go raibh maith agat
Cheers – slainte
I don’t understand – ni thuigim
Where is the toilet? – ca bhfuil an leithreas


Ireland follows the same time zone as the UK.


Mains voltage is 220 volts AC (50 cycles). Electrical plugs in Ireland are the same three-pin flat sockets as used in the UK.




You won’t be expected to offer tips in Ireland but do keep an eye on bills in restaurants, as some will include service and some won’t. In that case, a 10-15% gratuity is appropriate.


The weather in Ireland is rather unpredictable but rarely extreme. The average temperature is a mild 10 ºC which reaches 18-20 ºC in July and August, when there are 18 hours of daylight. It has been known to rain in Ireland, on occasion, but showers are generally short. For best results wear layers and carry a brolly.


As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad.

Population and size

Around 4.5 million people live in Ireland, around the same number as live in New Zealand.
You could fit Ireland into the UK three-and-a-half times.


Ireland was the first country in the world to implement a smoking ban (in 2004) and it is prohibited in all public places. Police have the power to issue on-the-spot fines to transgressors.