Private Driver Tours of Ireland’s Ancient East

Private Driver Tours of Dublin, Kildare & Wicklow

Dublin is the buzzing capital city of Ireland, full of the best bars, shops and tourist attractions the country has to offer.

The most popular of these has to be the Guinness Storehouse. Located in the heart of the city, take a guided tour to see for yourself how the black stuff comes to be. Most importantly, taste it for yourself at the source up in the Gravity Bar where you can get a 360-degree view of Dublin’s skyline.

If that isn’t your tipple then why not try the Jameson Whiskey Experience in Bow Street. Open since 1780, this is the birthplace of the country’s most famous whiskey. It now hosts a visitor experience including a distillery tour, a whiskey blending class, cocktail class, cask drawing experience and of course, a whiskey tasting at the end.

While you’re in the area, a stop at the National Museum would be a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Home to collections of Irish antiquities and artwork. If history is your thing, a stop into Trinity College is a must. This historical building, still a renowned university, houses the ancient Book of Kells designed by monks and completed in the 9th century. The iconic Old Library is also worth the visit while you’re there to see The Long Room, home to over 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books.

Exploring Ireland’s more recent history, a trip to Kilmainham Gaol offers a glimpse into Ireland’s troubled past. This prison opened in 1796 and was where famine victims guilty of petty street crimes were held. In later years, it was used to house political prisoners including the leaders of the 1916 Rising. Fourteen of these prisoners were executed in the stone breakers yard on the prison grounds. The tours led by guides here offer a remarkable insight into the lives and times of the prisoners held here through the centuries.

Dublin was originally a Viking settlement and the Dublinia Viking Experience Museum offers a look into this layer of the city’s history. Visit the fun and interactive heritage centre in Christchurch to learn more about the Viking ancestors who founded Dublin and of the city during Medieval times.

Nearby, you’ll find the stunning Christ Church Cathedral, one of Dublin’s most celebrated churches. Founded in 1030 and still used as a place of worship for the Church of Ireland denomination, this is a stunning example of medieval and Victorian architecture. Well worth the trip during the guided tour of the church and the ringing of the famous bells.

Another fascinating church to visit is St Patrick’s Cathedral, the country’s tallest and largest church. Built between 1220 and 1260, this is another fascinating example of a medieval church building. Today, there are guided tours of the church and the choir there is world famous.

Venturing outside of the city, the east of Ireland has much to offer. Powerscourt Estate, House and Gardens are a particular gem just south of Dublin in the county of Wicklow. The grounds are comprised of 47 acres of manicured garden and meandering walkways making it the perfect destination to while away an afternoon. The House offers the best in Irish design and gifts with clothing, furniture and Irish handcrafted jewellery and homewares all available to purchase. The Avoca Terrace Cafe provides a relaxing haven to enjoy a delicious lunch while taking in the panoramic views of the gardens and the nearby Sugarloaf Mountain. Powerscourt Waterfall is just 6 km away and is Ireland’s tallest waterfall at 121m (398ft) based in the foothills of the Wicklow mountains.

Staying in County Wicklow, Ireland East’s answer to the lakes of Killarney can be found at Glendalough. The stunning glacial lake and monastery sit in the valley of the Wicklow Mountains. Often called the valley of two lakes, this is where St Kevin settled and founded his monastery in the 6th century. This monastic city and the nearby interactive centre are well worth a visit to learn the history of the site but also for the breathtaking views of the Upper Lake and the surrounding woodland.

The drive around the Wicklow mountains is spectacular. One particular highlight on the way is the famous Sally Gap, a winding route through blanket bog and looking out over Glencree valley, Lough Tay, Kippure Mountain and Glenmacnass Waterfall.

Moving inland, the Irish National Stud located in Kildare is a great attraction. The Japanese Gardens here offer tranquility and peace to visitors. Created between 1906 and 1910, the garden was designed carefully to symbolise and reflect on the Life of Man by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and his son Minoru.

Kildare is also where you’ll find the home of Newbridge Silverware. The factory tour offers insight into the craftsmanship of the silverware and jewellery and you can buy your own Newbridge silverware in the gift shop.

A trip to Ireland’s Ancient East would not be finished without visiting the spectacular Newgrange in the Boyne Valley of County Meath. This UNESCO World Heritage site is over 5000 years old and is a fascinating place to see during your trip. Built by Stone Age farmers, it comprises of a long passageway leading to a chamber with three alcoves. Each Winter Solstice at sunrise, the sun aligns with the chamber inside at the end of the 19 metre long passage. Newgrange is surrounded by 97 large kerbstones, each engraved with ancient art. It truly is an unforgettable place to visit during your trip to the East.

Why not get planning your tailor-made trip to Ireland’s Ancient East today? Contact Tom from VIP Chauffeur today.

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