Ireland’s east evokes images of lush landscapes, elegant cities and idyllic towns spanning centuries of history. Dotted with grand Palladian properties, gorgeously situated distilleries, and innumerable collections of fine art, an exploration of the east of this island reveals some of the best of Ireland’s culture and heritage. The key cities offer a variety of attractions that allow you to get to the heart of Irish history: Belfast is rich with Victorian architecture, historic ship building heritage and art galleries, whereas Dublin hoards more ancient treasures within its vibrant streets.
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Learn the complete story of the world’s most famous ship, RMS Titanic. This insightful and memorable experience is based in the historic shipyard where the Titanic was built, and tells the ship’s tale from its conception to its tragic demise.
The Ulster Museum is located within Belfast’s Botanic Gardens, and houses a rich collection of treasures. Exploring art, history and natural science, the museum tells the human story of the north of Ireland, from ancient times up until the present day.
Explore the Parliament Buildings, home to the Northern Ireland Assembly, on a guided tour. These beautiful buildings on the Stormont Estate were opened in 1932. Designed by Arnold Thornley in a Greek Classical style, careful symmetry and symbolism is incorporated into the elegant architecture of the building.
Dublin University’s Trinity College is widely considered to be the most prestigious university in Ireland, and was founded by Elizabeth I. With an extensive history stretching back over 400 years, a tour here takes in the ancient buildings and traditions, and explores the beautiful college’s four major squares.
Founded in the 19th century, Ireland’s National Gallery in the heart of Dublin holds an impressive collection of over 12,000 works of European art. Strongly representing Irish painting, it also has notable exhibitions of the Dutch masters and the Italian Baroque.
This fascinating collection of manuscripts, prints and rare books draws from the great cultures and religions of the world. Collated in the 20th century by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, it was bequeathed to the Irish State on his death. The stunning amalgamation of treasures in this museum stretches back to around 2,700 BC, and is displayed within an 18th century clock tower in the grounds of Dublin Castle.
Carlingford is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Ireland, full of whitewashed houses, Celtic heritage, cafés and boutiques. Located on the beautiful Cooley Peninsula, there are picturesque views of the Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Lough at every turn.
Steeped in history, this ancient estate produces Shortcross Gin in its copper stills. Although gin production here is a modern venture located in a contemporary glasshouse, the estate's house was built in the 17th century and it presents a perfect marriage of old and new.
Blessingbourne is an historic country house and estate, built in the 18th century in an Elizabethan style. Bursting with character and filled with Arts and Crafts features, the manor is complemented by beautiful grounds and backed by mature trees. The estate also hosts the fascinating Carriage and Costume Museum, which is packed with historic paraphernalia and shares the stories of those who have lived in the house throughout the centuries.
Hand picked destinations
Ireland’s County Kildare is a flat and fertile region that stretches west of Dublin. Dotted with elegant Georgian mansions which are rich with remarkable collections of artwork, it is also known as horse country: the verdant pastures are home to high quality herds raised for breeding around the world.
A warm welcome awaits those visiting Belfast. The city has undergone an enormous transformation in recent years, shaking off its troubled past and becoming a vibrant and interesting place to visit.
Ireland’s hidden heartlands offer much more than just outstanding rural tranquillity and a wonderfully relaxed pace of life. Amongst the rolling hills, flourishing countryside and dewy lakes are charming Irish towns and a superb selection of museums, mansions and monasteries which combine in an enchanting mix of the ancient and the mythological.
Counties Galway & Mayo form the heart of west coast Ireland, and running through them is a section of the Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland’s spectacular coastal route. The romantic Connemara Peninsula is known for its looming mountains, vast lakes, windswept islands, rugged with cliffs, and the dramatic Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only glacially formed fjord.