Traveling to Ireland this fall was a dream come true. It was an opportunity to mark an item off my bucket list and spend some quality time with my brother who was living overseas at the time. We had a limited time in Ireland and a limited budget. Ultimately, we opted to book a 3 day/2 night Irish Rail Tour. The Irish Rail Tours package allowed us to see the maximize our time and minimize our budget. We were spending 5 days/4 nights in Ireland, booking the Irish Rail Tour allowed us a time to explore Ireland on our own in addition to time on the tour.
The Irish Rail Tours package we selected included breakfast every morning of our tour, hotel accommodations, ground transportation, and all attraction fees.
Irish Rail Tours: Cliffs of Moher
We arrived at the Heuston Rail Station in Dublin before dawn to start the first day of our journey. I had reached Dublin the morning before, and we’d opted to stay at a hotel within walking distance from the train station.
The train station was bitterly cold, and we arrived before the coffee shops opened. But, after a brief wait, we met the Irish Rail Tours guide and boarded our train towards Limerick. On the first stretch of our journey, we enjoyed breakfast aboard the train.
When we arrived in Limerick, we transferred quickly from the train to a coach tour. The city of Limerick was chartered in 1197AD and is older than London. As we crossed the River Shannon, we were able to view King John’s castle. Several well known Irish folks hail from Limerick including Frank McCourt (author of Angela’s Ashes), and the pop group the Cranberries. We enjoyed a city tour of Limerick on board the coach.
After our brief city tour of Limerick, we headed towards Bunratty Castle. Bunratty Castle was completed in 1425 and has been painstakingly restored to its original glory. We were able to view the ballrooms and residential quarters of Bunratty Castle and climb to the top of the castle towers for a phenomenal view of the region.
The castle grounds include a folk part that provides visitors a glimpse of what rural life looked like for castle residents. The cottages on the castle grounds were dismantled from various locations in the region and relocated to their present positions. We enjoyed a late morning tea at The Tea Room on the castle grounds.
Irish Rail Tours perfectly plans out excursions, and while our trip to Bunratty Castle was short, it was sufficient. I would have like to have spent more time in the folk village. After our visit to Bunratty Castle, we boarded the coach to head to our next destination… the famous Cliffs of Moher.
- Amanda is a native of Richmond, VA. She enjoys writing, blogging, traveling, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.