Here is a diary entry from October 2022 by Graham, one of our lovely coach drivers.
We set off early on Thursday morning and headed west into North Wales, where we made our first stop in Conwy. I dropped the group off at the Castle and gave them enough time to explore the town and get refreshments. Conway is a beautiful town on the banks of the river Conwy, famous for the Castle and the Smallest House in Great Britain.
Then it was over the Brittania Bridge on to the Isle of Anglesey to catch the afternoon Ferry from Holyhead to Dublin. The sea crossing was quite calm and everyone enjoyed our mini cruise across the Irish Sea aboard the Irish Ferry "Ulysses".
On arrival in Dublin we breezed through customs and headed to our hotel, which was just off O'Connell Street, in the heart of the city centre. I managed to find a Coach parking space close to the hotel which was quite lucky as parking can be difficult in Dublin.
We all checked in successfully and then had free time to explore Dublin, until 2.30pm the next day. Dublin is an amazing city, full of interesting places to visit with live music and Irish hospitality everywhere. A pint of Guinness was a very welcome refreshment in the hotel that evening.
After exploring Dublin Friday morning, everyone boarded the coach at 2.30pm and we headed south towards Cork, which would be our base for the next 3 nights. We made a short stop at a Circle K service station enroute and arrived at our hotel in Ballincollig just in time for dinner.
On Saturday morning we visited Blarney Castle and Gardens and some of us kissed💋 the "Blarney Stone" at the top of the castle, to receive the "Gift of the Gab", which is a famous Irish Legend, dating back to Elizabeth 1. We also visited Blarney Village and Blarney Woollen Mills.
In the afternoon we visited Cobh Harbour, which is where Titanic sailed from on its ill fated last voyage. It was a lovely, warm sunny day today, so everyone enjoyed being outside on the Promenade and visiting the Titanic Experience Museum, the stunning Cathedral and the Cobh Heritage Centre.
On Sunday the wind and rain came as we drove further south to Killarney on the "Ring of Kerry". Firstly we visited Muckross House and then Ross Castle on Loch Leane, before spending the afternoon in the town centre, where we had the opportunity to take a "Jaunting Car" ride but it was very wet and windy today so the Jaunting Cars (Pony and Trap) rides weren't very appealing. My fuel tank was getting low today, so I took the opportunity to fill the coach up with diesel and ad-blue at Circle K, in Ballincollig, before dinner.
On Monday we headed back north to Kilkenny and much better weather. We spent the day here visiting the Castle, Cathedral and Town Centre and even had a ride on the Road Train to see all the sights along the famous Medieval Mile. Mid afternoon we headed further north to our last hotel, which was in Portlaoise.
Early Tuesday morning I loaded up the coach for the last time and we made a final stop at the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens in Kildare on our way back to Dublin and our ferry back home.
We explored the interesting Japanese Gardens and had a guided tour of the Stud Farm and learnt how the horse racing industry operates. We also met several famous race horses (now retired) who were enjoying the freedom to roam in the lush Irish meadows.
We were booked on the 13.50 Dublin Swift Catermaran from Dublin to Holyhead so had to be at the Port for 12.20 ready to check in.
We got there just in time and enjoyed the much faster crossing back to England in the sunshine.
We made one final comfort stop at Chester Services on our return journey back home. All in all another successful coach trip completed by me (Graham) and Bullocks Coaches of Cheadle.