"Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea" was written by well-known Irish composer & artist Percy French back in 1896, so we are following in famous footsteps by exploring this area during the TR Ireland tour in 2017. We will be based at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa on Newcastle's seafront. This magnificent hotel stands in six acres of immaculate private grounds. A golden strand of beach borders one side while the mighty Royal County Down Golf Links frames the other. This lovingly maintained Victorian hotel is now home to one of Europe's finest resort Spas. As well as driving through the mountains, we will be exploring the loughs of Carlingford and Strangford as well as the Ards peninsula, with its combination of natural beauty and hidden heritage.
Tuesday 26th September
Depart from Holyhead for Dublin at 08:55hrs. After arriving in Dublin at midday, we head North towards the town of Newry. From Newry, with our first views of the Mourne Mountains in sight, we head East to the seaside town of Newcastle & our hotel overlooking the sea. An informal welcome buffet has been arranged in the hotel grounds for the evening.
Wednesday 27th September
A circular road run has been arranged to take you through the spectacular Mountains of Mourne. The route takes in the Silent Valley, the Tollymore Forest Park & the pretty villages of Annalong, Rostrevor and Kilkeel alongside Carlingford Lough. There will be opportunities to get out of the car and explore the granite tors on foot, as well as plenty of scenic roads with views of the mountains and the sea beyond.
Thursday 28th September
Today's road run takes us around the Strangford Lough and along the Ards peninsula. The lough is the largest sea inlet in the British Isles and is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. As well as migrating birds and sea mammals the lough is also home to ruined castles, monasteries and stately homes, such as Mount Stewart house and gardens which is now looked after by the National Trust. We return to the hotel via the town of Downpatrick where it is possible to visit the cathedral and learn more about St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
Friday 29th September
This could be a day to relax & enjoy the hotel's facilities including the impressive spa. Others may choose to take a walk along the beach or climb some of the mountains. It is also possible to play a round of golf on one of the excellent courses in the area. For those wishing to drive some more, you may like to visit Belfast's historic Titanic quarter which is well worth a visit.
Saturday 30th September
Hillsborough Castle is the home of the Royal Family when they are visiting this part of the world. We are fortunate enough to have been invited to park in the parade ground at the castle, whilst we visit Hillsborough. It will be possible to tour the royal residence from 11am (entrance fees apply) after the Royal Bugler sounds the opening of the building. As well as the house, you will also be able to visit the beautiful gardens. The historic town of Hillsborough is also worth exploring, with many pubs and restaurants offering Sunday lunch. The lakes and forest are also within walking distance for those that wish to see more. Cars must leave the parade ground by 2pm. A group dinner has been arranged in the Chandelier room at the hotel in the evening. We will be gathering at 7pm before sitting down for dinner at 7:30pm.
Sunday 1st October
After breakfast we leave Newcastle and return back to Dublin in time to catch the 15:10hrs service back to Holyhead. The tour ends as we dock in Holyhead around 18:30hrs.
- Return cruise ferry crossings from Holyhead to Dublin Port with Stena Line
- Hotel accommodation for 5 nights in a double or twin room with golf club view at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, on a bed & breakfast basis.
- Use of the hotel's facilities including swimming pool and gymnasium
- Tuesday evening welcome buffet at the Percy French Inn within the hotel grounds
- Saturday night tour dinner in the Chandelier suite
- Whole tour escorted by Mick & Linda Forey from the TR Register
- Suggested road runs, route guides and rally boards
What's not included:
- Entrance to points of interest and car parking away from the hotel
- Other meals not stated above
- Spa treatments at the hotel & golf green fees (bookable by the hotel in advance)
- Personal Travel Insurance & European Motoring Assistance
Sea view room upgrades, additional nights and alternatives sea crossings are available. Please call Travel Destinations to discuss your requirements.
£675.00 per person (based on 2 people in a car sharing a double or twin room)
Call Travel Destinations on 0844 873 0203 to book. For TR Register member only.