Ireland holiday by train

An eight day holiday around Ireland, travelling without a car, but taking in Belfast, Dublin and Galway, as well as the magnificent Aran Islands.
Dublin Guinness Storehouse Walking tour Dublin Galway Inis Mór Belfast Cathedral Quarter Titanic Quarter
£1195To£1450 excluding flights
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9 Days
Ireland, Northern Ireland
Tailor made
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Based on 2 sharing a double/ twin on a B&B basis.
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Description of Ireland holiday by train

A nine day Ireland holiday, by train plus one ferry journey, following our carefully crafted itinerary, that enables you to sit back, relax and enjoy three of Ireland’s finest cities as well as its world famous Aran Islands. Train travel in Ireland is very straightforward, and this holiday starts in Dublin, where you will stay in the heart of the fine Georgian city. Enjoy a guided walk around Dublin, taking in some of its most famous sites including Trinity College University, which is also home to the ancient Book of Kells. The Guinness Storehouse is one of the city’s most popular sites where not only will you get fantastic views of the city, but also sample Ireland’s most popular export. The walking tour will take in many of the city’s historic sites, such as the General Post Office, where there is now a museum to commemorate the 1916 Rising which took place on this site.

From Dublin to Galway

Take a direct train to Galway, where you will stay in a boutique hotel in the lively city centre. Because Galway is a city to enjoy the famous Irish ‘craic’, with traditional music emanating from every bar, fine seafood in cafes and restaurants (Galway is famous for its oysters, and the Oyster Festival in September is wonderful time to be here), as well as galleries, markets and boutique shops to enjoy. Make the most of the city’s waterfront walks, cycling routes or even river kayaking if you like. Stay in this hotel for three nights.

Heading out to the Aran Islands

From Galway take a ferry out to the island of Inis Mór for a day trip to the Aran Island that is famous for the magnificent ancient Dún Aonghasa, a semi-circular stone fort located on 90m high cliffs, but also for its Gaeltacht, which refers to its Irish speaking culture and traditions. Walk or cycle around this island that is covered with myriad stone walls, tiny rural homesteads and ancient hedgerow lined lanes. It is a very special place and one that you will vow to come back to for longer. After returning to the mainland, you will be transported to the Cliffs of Moher, where you will have time at leisurely to soak up the remarkable scenery.

Discover Galway

On your final full day in Galway, you will enjoy a real treat – a guided walk, boat trip around the bay and a deliciously fresh seafood lunch, all in the company of a hand-selected expert local guide.

From Galway to Belfast

Taking a train to Dublin and then changing trains to Belfast, you will stay in a locally owned bed and breakfast just ten minutes’ walk from the centre of Northern Ireland’s capital. A welcoming and easily accessible city to wander around, highlights that we recommend include the historic Cathedral Quarter, with St Anne's Cathedral at its heart. This was, traditionally, the wealthy merchants’ hub of the city and, in contrast sits the Titanic Quarter, so called because the shipyards where the notorious ship was built, have now been restored to a state of the art visitor centre. We have included entry to the first-class Titanic Visitor Experience in this holiday, so you can discover the history of this most tragic voyage.

One more important cultural experience in Belfast is the Black Taxi tour, which we include as part of your itinerary. Led by taxi drivers who lived through the years of conflict in this city, your expert guide will share stories of these dark times, a moving and enlightening way to get to grips with Northern Ireland’s recent history.


Price information

£1195To£1450 excluding flights
Convert currency:
Based on 2 sharing a double/ twin on a B&B basis.
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Travel guides

Europe railway
“The first time I took a train instead of flying, I was travelling from Italy to France,” says Scott Batchelor from our partner Euroventure. “I rememb...
Northern Ireland
It is impossible not to mention borders and politics when writing a Northern Ireland travel guide, but we aim to play with those concepts a little. Wh...

Holiday information

Travel flight free
Travelling to Ireland flight-free has never been easier, thanks to the number of ferry routes existing between the Emerald Isle and mainland Britain. The most convenient route for this rail tour would be from Holyhead in North Wales to Dublin. Holyhead is well-connected by the mainline rail network. There is also an overnight service from Liverpool, or you can travel from Cainryan in Southwest Scotland to Belfast and from there connect by express train to Dublin.
Dietary requirements:
We can cater for vegetarian and vegan diets.


4 Reviews of Ireland holiday by train

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 28 Jun 2022 by

Visit to Galway and Aran islands, plus the trip to Giant's Causeway on the Antrim coast. Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Jul 2019 by

We enjoyed the walking tour of Dublin and the black taxi tour of Belfast because we learned so much from the knowledgeable guides. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Apr 2019 by

The overwhelming beauty of grassy green hills blocked into rectangles by stone walls capturing white fluffy sheep and the stunning quantity of stone works were the most memorable parts of our holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2017 by

Traveling by bike on Inis Mór. No real plans on the island. We just biked around and stopped at anything we found interesting. Great relaxing day. Read full review

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


We are continually increasing our range of public transport holidays for those who actively choose low-carbon transport. "Explore Ireland by Train" is a unique touring holiday for car-free visitors. We grapple with the timetables of connecting trains, and add in walking and taxi tours and day trips to make sure you get the most from your visit. Not having a car in tow can transform your experience, both of cities and especially on an island – exploring on foot helps you to properly engage with the environment and experience the place at a more appropriate, slower pace. There are few vehicles on the Aran Islands in any case, and no car ferries! The Aran islands themselves are a very unusual environment, due to isolation from the mainland over many years. This is still officially a "Gaeltacht" or Irish-speaking area.

We design our public transport holidays by imaginatively joining together the routes and options so that you can still experience the highlights of the country whilst respecting the environment.

We carefully choose business partners who match our values, preferring to work with smaller, family-run businesses committed to the long term sustainability of the environment and the local economy.


For us, true sustainability means promoting and helping to maintain a way of life, where the economic benefit from tourism can make a genuine difference. That’s why we work almost exclusively with local, family-run businesses, not with large corporate organisations. We build close and lasting relationships with our business partners, based on mutual trust and an unerring commitment to customer satisfaction. We carefully select these partners to ensure that they share our values of sustainable and responsible travel.

When we decided to add Ireland to the company's range of holidays, we set out to take an "all Ireland" approach, offering both North and South and encouraging visitors to explore the whole island, regardless of the border. One of the company founders, Robert Kidd, grew up in Belfast during "the troubles". As part of this particular holiday, we encourage you to get to know Robert's city as it is today, without overlooking the past. Belfast has changed dramatically in recent years, and welcomes travellers from all over the world with open arms. We include a black taxi tour to enable you to see the further-flung corners and gain insight into the history, culture and politics directly from a local. Tourism is vital in providing economic stability and ensuring that peace prevails throughout the local community.

All of our holiday packs include "Robert's Recommendations", our specific tips on places to visit, places to eat and places to shop locally, all of which have been researched by us, and many of which are off-the-beaten track.

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