Winter Shopping and Cultural Tour

This is a must for the Ladies and as with all our tours we can customize it to suit any group, and to include all of the cities and towns recommended or just some. We can include the theatre and the spa hotels, book all the tickets and treatments, reserve all hotels and even recommend the best restaurants to dine in.

This is a tour designed by the ladies of our family who are very discerning, well traveled women, who enjoy the best things in life and wish to show all our guest what a truly wonderful place Ireland is, not just for it natural beauty but for its cutting edge fashion, its Michelin star restaurants, award winning spas, its variety of theatre, ballet, drama and music and its continental winter markets and festivals.

Day 1
Your chauffeur/guide will pick you up at the airport and you will be brought to The Merrion hotel in Dublin’s city centre. After you have checked in and refreshed you will be brought to the main shopping area of Dublin, Grafton Street, where you will have lunch in the upmarket restaurant in Brown Thomas. This houses all of the world’s best designer brands, including Ireland’s very own cutting edge fashion designers.

Grafton Street and the surrounding area is filled with small boutiques, coffee shops, art galleries, restaurants, Irish design centres which include handcrafted Irish jewellery, pottery and glass.

After spending the afternoon shopping, you will return to your hotel and the Tethra spa at the Merrion. We will have arranged relaxing treatments for you and you can spend the afternoon being treated by their professional staff.

The evening will be a treat, with dinner at the Michelin star French Restaurant Patrick Guilband, at the Merrion before a night at the Gaiety Theatre. There are several shows to choose from including , The Judas Kiss, The Nutcracker, Murder on the Nile, to name but a few.

Day 2
After a relaxing night’s sleep and a full Irish breakfast, your chauffeur/guide will be waiting for you at a time of your choice to take you to Belfast.

Belfast has so much to offer and you would start by visiting the spectacular newly opened Titanic museum.

There is great shopping in Belfast, notably the new Victoria Square centre. The hotel we recommend is the 5 star Merchant Hotel, which is centrally located and has a state of the art spa, should some of the party wish to avail of the facilities. The Grand opera house has a wonderful choice of shows, from The Calendar Girls, Ballet, Drama and Dance.

The Merchant has wonderful dining facilities, and includes Belfast’s only authentic Jazz bar.

Day 3
At a time of your choice, your chauffeur will be waiting to take you on tour along the North Antrim coast to visit the Giants Causeway and the oldest whiskey distillery in the world, Bushmills. You can tour the distillery if you wish and stop for lunch at the Bushmills Inn, which is highly recommended.

Your driver would then drive you to Donegal, where you would check in to your hotel, The Solis Lough Eske.

The spa here won the best service award 2011 and if you have not had the chance to use the spa in Dublin or Belfast, then Donegal is a must.

Day 4
Donegal is famous for its Irish Tweed and after a good night’s rest and a delicious Irish breakfast your chauffeur/guide will take you to visit Studio Donegal in Kilcar. After touring the studio and seeing the exhibition you would then travel to Fermanagh to the Belleek China, Aynsley fine bone china and Galway Crystal visitors centre. There we can arrange a tour of the factory or you may just wish to browse and have a coffee.

After all the shopping is complete the cultural part of the day begins, driving along the breathtakingly beautiful coastline through Yeats Country and on to the Ceide fields, Achill Island and Clew Bay before the biggest treat of all, Ashford Castle. You would overnight at the castle and take full advantage of it spectacular setting. Ashford has been voted one of the best hotels in Europe and has won awards for Best chef and has been recommended by Georgina Campell , Golfers guide and Time and leisure for its very high standards.

It also has a 5 star spa should you wish to pamper yourself and if anyone in the group is interested in a game of Golf, this beautiful 9 hole 2996 yards par 35 parkland course, provides the perfect environment for golfers of all ages to hone their skills. The course was designed by the renowned Irish golf architect, Eddie Hackett and was created with imaginative integration of natural features and hazards, ensuring a marvellous contribution to the tough par 3’s, exciting par 4’s and formidable par 5.

You may even wish to spend a second night here and visit the nearby Cong where the famous film, The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O Hara was filmed. There are tours and walks of the surrounding areas.

Day 5
Having enjoyed all that Ashford has to offer you chauffeur would be waiting to take you to Galway.

The city holds a continental Christmas market and there are beautiful shops and boutiques filled with local handcrafted jewellery, cloths designed by award winning Irish designers, can once again be found in Brown Thomas.

We recommend staying at the 4 star, Park house hotel which is right in the centre of the city.

In the evening there is a selection of Traditional Irish pubs that have musical sessions, including Taffes Bar, Tigh Coili , An Pucan and Monroes Tavern.

The food at the hotel is excellent however if you do wish to venture out for dinner there is a wonderful choice for even the most discerning palate. I can recommend and reserve a table for you.

Day 6
In the morning you would travel through the Burren and enjoy the beauty of its roughed landscape before visiting the Burren Smoke house in north Co Clare.

You can then if you wish visit the famous Cliffs of Moher, before travelling by ferry into The Kingdom of Kerry.

On this day if you wish we would tour the Dingle peninsula. With is colourful houses, each painted in bright colours, its charm and beauty is well worth appreciating.

Kenmare is a jewel when it comes to boutiques, craft shops, jewellery, antiques and art galleries. We would also take you to see Lorge Chocolatier and Kenmare lace and design centre.

We recommend staying at the World class 5 star Europe hotel. It has a spa that is second to none in our opinion and the view overlooking the lake, whether from the heated outdoor pool or the restaurant and bedrooms is simply breathtaking.

While is Kerry we want you to experience the cultural side of Ireland and of course its beauty.

Day 7
At a time that is convenient to you your chauffeur /guide will be waiting to take you on what is quiet simply some of the most beautiful sights in Ireland. The gap of Dunloe, The Ring of Kerry and the Bearla peninsula, not to mention Muckross house and Killarney national park. Your driver will know the very best places to tour and stop for lunch.

You could if you wish stay a second night here as there is so much to see and realistically it will be difficult to see everything in one day. The choice is of course yours.

Day 8
Cork has been voted European Capital of Culture and no Shopping and Cultural tour of Ireland would be complete without a visit to” The real Capital “as it is fondly called by the locals. We would recommend staying at the Hayfield Manor hotel in cork city centre.

As with all the hotels we recommend, it has a 5 star spa. The Cork opera house always has a variety of shows, whether it is Drama, Theatre, and Orchestra or if you are here in November the Cork Film festival will be in full swing.

Jacobs on the Mall is a firm favourite when it comes to dining or if you like vegetarian food, then Cafe Paradiso is an excellent option.

The English market is a must when in Cork, filled with fish markets, olives, breads, meat stalls and when The Queen of England was in Ireland in 2011 she made special stop to visit the market. Brown Thomas has a wonderful store in the main street. There is a huge variety of top class boutiques and the day can be spent shopping and perhaps in the afternoon you could take a tour of the Jameson distillery in Middleton before travelling on to the Historical seaside town of Ardmore where Saint Declan, who first brought Christianity to Ireland, is buried and then visit Lismore Castle, where the Duke of Devonshire still resides for part of the year.

After a full day of touring and shopping you would arrive in Ireland’s historical oldest city, Waterford and stay in the Grandville hotel right in the city centre.

Day 9
Waterford is world famous for its Crystal and you can visit the beautiful showrooms at the House of Waterford Crystal and we can book a factory tour should you wish. Over Christmas in Waterford there is so much to see and do, whether you wish to join Waterford’s Concert Orchestra as they perform, “The Snowman” or visit Waterford’s Theatre Royal and enjoy an evening listening to Christmas Crooners, featuring Christmas favourites of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra or stroll through the city’s centre taking in the atmosphere at the Christmas market, the choice is yours. We recommend 2 nights in Waterford as there is so much to see.

Day 10
Your car and driver will be waiting to take you back to Dublin, touring the medieval town of Kilkenny en route. Once again Kilkenny is wonderful for shopping and offers a great variety of Irish crafts, Art, handcrafted Jewellery and lrish linen. Kilkenny is a great finale for anyone who loves shopping and appreciates all the very best Ireland has to offer.

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