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

Description of Ireland holiday by train

An eight 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 two 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.

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, we also recommend 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.

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.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700


Departure information

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

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Ireland holiday by train


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.

1 Reviews of Ireland holiday by train

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

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.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go to some of the local pubs, like Garavn's in Galway. Sit at the bar, and have a chat with some of the locals. Much of Ireland has rapidly changed in the lest 10-
15 years, and a great way to understand that is to hear how from the locals.

Belfast has some of the best restaurants I've ever been to at such a reasonable price. Both the Barking Dog and the Ginger house do not disappoint.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Where we went was heavily depends on tourism as it's industry. By going to independent tours in Belfast) or visiting local shops (like the sweater market on Inis Mór) we were supporting the people of the area.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


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