Telephone: +44 (0) 1592 752990
Fax: +44 (0) 1592 331680
Toll Free: 1-888 678 1567 USA/Canada

Armagh City Northern Ireland

Ireland's Christian Heritage


  • Dublin
  • Dublin
  • St.Patrick's Grave Downpatrick
  • St.Patrick's Statue
  • Glendalough Co.Wicklow
  • Wicklow Mountains
  • Rock of Cashel Co.Tipperary
  • Kilkenny Castle

Interested in Ireland’s rich Christian heritage, this wonderful tour offers you the ability to choose what you want to see and we’ll arrange the rest.

A slave becoming a saint; monastic cities and hilltop castles turned cathedrals: Ireland’s Christian heritage isn’t just a thing of beauty; it’s a thing of wonder. On this tour, we weave an ancient path from gilded tombs in Dublin, through Ireland’s ecclesiastical capital, Armagh, and on to a pint-sized island with its own patron saint. We stop off at a Connemara Abbey, get medieval in Kilkenny and visit the castle complex that became a hilltop haven of worship. Expect verdant valleys, ‘Ireland’s Last Supper’, gothic gargoyles and riverside reverence.

This tour begins in Dublin City, accessed by Dublin Airport and Dublin or Dun Laoghaire ports. Should you wish to end the tour in Northern Ireland, international access is found at Belfast’s two airports, while tours ending in the west may leave from Shannon or Cork airports.

For further information and bookings please contact us:
E-mail:  lesley@best-of-scotland.co.uk
Tel:  +44 (0)1592 752990
Fax: +44 (0)1592 331680
Toll Free:  1-888 678 1567 USA/Canada


This wonderful tour offers you the ability to choose what you want to see and we’ll arrange the rest.A slave becoming a saint; monastic cities and hilltop castles turned cathedrals: Ireland’s Christian heritage isn’t just a thing of beauty; it’s a thing of wonder. On this tour, we weave an ancient path from gilded tomes in Dublin, through Ireland’s ecclesiastical capital, Armagh, and on to a pint-sized island with its own patron saint. We stop off at a Connemara Abbey, get medieval in Kilkenny and visit the castle complex that became a hilltop haven of worship. Expect verdant valleys, ‘Ireland’s Last Supper’, gothic gargoyles and riverside reverence.

This tour begins in Dublin City, accessed by Dublin Airport and Dublin or Dun Laoghaire ports. Should you wish to end the tour in Northern Ireland, international access is found at Belfast’s two airports, while tours ending in the west may leave from Shannon or Cork airports.

On this tour you will visit the following places:

Dublin City
Since the 19th Century, the Book of Kells has called the cloistered surrounds of Trinity College its home. Encompassing the four gospels, this vellum manuscript is arguably the most intricately decorated book in existence. With mind-bogglingly beautiful gilded imagery and an utterly rare level of intricacy, the tome is the legacy of 6th Century monks. Christchurch and St Patrick’s cathedral, too, are stunning places of worship featuring crypts, resplendent stained-glass windows and a link to Gulliver’s Travels author, Jonathan Swift. Overnight in Dublin.

Downpatrick (St Patrick’s Trail)
Close to the very lake, Strangford Lough, where St Patrick arrived on his return to Ireland, Downpatrick represents a new beginning, but it also represents the end. It is in the shadow of Down Cathedral that you will find what is reputedly the final resting place of Ireland’s patron saint. Marked by a suitably austere and modest slab of granite stone, hewn from the nearby Mourne Mountains. Keep in mind that you’re on the St Patrick’s Trail here and Downpatrick is also host to the remarkable St Patrick Centre – a keyhole view into the life of a saint. Overnight in the area.

Armagh City
Today, we explore Ireland’s ‘Ecclesiastical capital’. From the top of two of Armagh’s hills the city is anchored by two cathedrals, both bearing the name of Ireland’s religious standard bearer: St Patrick. The Roman Catholic Cathedral is a mass of French Gothic sky scraping spires, while its Anglican brother features enigmatic gargoyles, original medieval pillars. Group tours for both cathedrals must be arranged with the relevant parties in advance. Overnight in the area.

Devenish Island, Lough Erne County Fermanagh
After your morning cathedral visits, it’s onto Lough Erne. You wouldn’t expect an island two kilometres long to have its own patron saint, but Devenish does. The original monastery was founded on this slice of Lough Erne serenity by Saint Molaise in the 6th Century and today is accessed by the HM Kestral of Erne Tours. St Molaise’s house (a small church) and the round tower stretch back to the 1100s while the pretty hilltop Augustinian priory dates from the mid-15th to early 16th Centuries. Overnight in Enniskillen.

Clonmacnoise
And so to your next waterside wonder: Clonmacnoise. The location here is heavenly in itself, drawing in vast expanses of greenery fed and nourished by a wide and snaking Shannon River. St Ciaran founded the site here back in the 6th Century and today it is an oasis of Celtic symbolism, with high crosses, a cathedral and a stunning seven churches to be explored. Two conical round towers finish the scene while the visitor centre matches any of its kind. Overnight in the area.

St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick City
This hulking Anglican stunner, St Mary’s Cathedral, was built on a former Viking meeting place in 1168. Today, you won’t find Vikings, but you will find the only full collection of misericords (wooden shelves designed to make lengthy periods of prayer more comfortable) in Ireland. This cathedral has seen a thing or two, including its use a stable during the Cromwellian campaign, while two cannon balls attest to the siege at the hands of Williamte forces in 1691. While you’re stepping back in time, drop into the newly restored King John’s castle for an interactive history lesson you won’t forget. Overnight here.

Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary
After your overnight in Limerick, it’s on to the Rock of Cashel. Originally built as a hilltop fortress, the Rock of Cashel was eventually handed to the Church in Ireland by the King of Munster in the 12th Century. From its hilly spot in Tipperary’s Golden Vale, the site boats a 700-year-old cruciform cathedral, a Viking styled sarcophagus and some of the finest high crosses on the island. Within the dark of Cormac’s Chapel, experts are wrestling wall paintings back from the hands of time. This artwork has been described as Ireland’s Last Supper. Cahir Castle, too, is close by and commands a regal position over the River Suir. Overnight in the area.

Glendalough, County Wicklow
When St Kevin sought surrounds for meditation and isolation, he could hardly have chosen anywhere more remote and beautiful than Glendalough in County Wicklow. Nestled in one of the Wicklow Mountain’s verdant valleys, the ‘Monastic City’ here boasts a round tower, a priests’ house and not only St Kevin’s Church, but St Kevin’s bed, too. Meaning ‘Glen of the Two Lakes’ in Irish, the allure of the landscape here does not stop at the stone architecture – the lakes are two beauty spots sent from heaven itself. The town of Laragh is a charmer and well worth a stop for a toasted sandwich in one of the local village pubs. Overnight in the area.

Black Abbey, Kilkenny City
Overnight in Tipperary before discovering Kilkenny’s medieval heritage, with city’s hulking castle at its core, is a treat. Black Abbey is a large chunk of the city’s medieval story and well worth a stop for its Mayers of Munich stained-glass windows alone. Reportedly founded more than 200 years before Columbus discovered America, the Abbey, with its 15th Century alabaster sculpture of the holy trinity, represents an entire history within its walls. Turned into a court by Henry the VIII and partly destroyed by Cromwell’s forces in 1650 the serenity experienced here today was hard won. Overnight in the area.

We will custom build this tour to suit your needs and budget.

All hotels will be 3 star or above.

Best of Scotland Holidays offer a variety of tours including Tours of Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales, Whisky Trails, Honeymoon Packages, Castle and Garden Tours, Island Hoping, Walking Holidays and much more - something to suit everyone!



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