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Board a train at Heuston Station and leave the city behind as you head south-west to the loveliest region in Ireland.
Detrain at Killarney and climb onto a comfortable coach for the next stage of your journey. The Ring of Kerry tour – an essential part of any visit to Ireland – circles the magnificent MacGillycuddy Reeks and runs through its many passes and valleys along the shores of Dingle Bay and Kenmare Bay.
Highlights of the tour include Ireland's highest mountain Carrantuohill, Moll's Gap, Lady’s View and the world-famous Lakes of Killarney as well as picturesque villages and the oakwoods of Killarney's magnificent National Park.
During the coach tour there will be plenty of photo stops so you can capture precious memories of this delightful day out.
Daily except SundayDuration
Approx 15 hoursStart time
Check-in: 0640h (6:40am)
Train departs: 0700h (7:00am)
Duration: Approx 15 hours
Check-in is at Heuston Station, Dublin, beside the customer service desk. The tour operator’s representatives (wearing yellow jackets) will be present to check you in and show you to your reserved seats on the train
Heuston Station, Dublin
To join your exciting Ring of Kerry Rail and Road Tour, you should make your way to Heuston Station, Dublin by 0640h (6:40am). The tour operator’s representatives (wearing yellow jackets) will be waiting for you beside the customer service desk. They will check you in and show you to your reserved seats on the train. A dedicated host will be available on the train to assist you and may also act as a guide on sightseeing tours.
Your departure station, Dublin Heuston, was opened in 1844 as the headquarters of the Great Southern & Western Railway and is now the official principal station of Iarnród Éireann – Ireland’s national railway company. As your train departs, you will travel in a south westerly direction, passing some of Dublin’s western suburbs – and will soon be travelling through the lush fertile countryside of County Kildare. The train goes through the town of Newbridge, which marks the northern boundary of the Curragh of Kildare.
The Curragh (pronounced ‘curra’) is famous for its racecourse, home of the Irish Derby, and there are many stud farms in the vicinity. At this time of the morning, you are likely to see some of Ireland's finest bloodstock being exercised. The Curragh is also the headquarters of the Irish army and their buildings can be seen in the distance (on the left-hand side facing the direction of travel – the 'down' side). At the southern edge of the Curragh is the county town of Kildare.
The train now rushes through Monasterevan, an old transport convergence, where the River Barrow, the Grand Canal, the main road to the south and the railway all meet. You then enter Laois (or Queen’s County as it was known before Independence), and pass through the small town of Portarlington, where the (present) main line to the west diverges.
As we approach Portlaoise (Pronounced Port-Leesh-eh), the train's first stop since leaving Dublin, the sharp-eye will see Ireland’s only maximum security prison on the ‘down side’. On the opposite side are the Slieve Bloom Mountains. You will sweep on through the midlands before reaching the border of County Tipperary and the towns of Templemore - home of the Garda Síochána training college - and Thurles - home of the Gaelic Athletic Association.
You will pause briefly at Limerick Junction, an Irish railway crossroads, which is of course near Limerick, but is very close to Tipperary town and is home to a famous racecourse.
The train now passes through the Golden Vale, with the Galtee Mountains rising on the down side. This area is home to the Irish dairy industry and, as you glide by, the best of dairy herds can be seen. We pass through the creamery towns of Knocklong, Charleville and Buttevant, before reaching Mallow at 0918h (9:18am) – the junction station for the Kerry line.
On arrival at Mallow you will change trains for your onward journey to Killarney at 0920h (9:20am) arriving at 1029h (10:29am) for your tour of the Ring of Kerry.
Leaving Mallow, the route takes you along the valley of the River Blackwater, in the shadow of the Boggeragh Mountains. You pass through the north Cork villages of Banteer and Millstreet, the latter having its moment of fame in 1993 when it was the venue for the Eurovision Song Contest. County Kerry (the Kingdom) is entered near the village of Rathmore. The lush and dramatic Kerry scenery is now coming into view and on the down side are twin peaks known as 'The Paps' - the reasoning behind this should be apparent!
On arrival at Killarney, please make your way promptly to the exit/entrance of the station, where the Killarney representative of the tour company will be waiting for you. Be sure to hold your yellow travel pack so that he or she can identify you easily.
There are plenty of stops along the Ring of Kerry for morning tea, lunch and photographs. Ireland’s highest mountains are located in Kerry and Carrauntouhil – which can be seen en route –is the highest, standing at 1041 metres.
The Ring of Kerry tour circles the magnificent MacGillycuddy Reeks and runs through its many passes and valleys along the shores of Dingle Bay and Kenmare Bay.
You will pass quaint villages such as Glenbeigh, Waterville and Sneem and return via Lady’s View, the famous Lakes of Killarney and Killarney's National Park. At the end of the coach tour you will be brought to the railway station at Killarney.
The return train from Killarney to Dublin is at 1750h (5:50pm) and you should be at the station 10 minutes beforehand. On arrival at Mallow, you will change to the Intercity service to Dublin, which departs from the adjacent platform.
This is a guaranteed connection, so don't worry if your train from Killarney is a little late arriving in Mallow.
The train arrives back in Dublin at 2115h (9:15pm) and your tour ends at Heuston Station where the trip began.
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details.
Luggage/ personal effects are carried at owner's risk. Please ensure that you do not leave anything on the train and/or coach on disembarking. The tour operator cannot be held responsible for any objects left on trains and/or coaches and we ask that you check seats and luggage racks before leaving.
Please observe instructions regarding times by your host and ensure that you use the ladies & gents facilities on the train before arrival at Killarney to ensure a swift transfer from the train to the bus
The worse part about the trip was a VERY loud family with middle school children. It would have been nice if the driver or guide would have instructed them to be courtesy of...ethan williams, United States, 26/Mar/2014
The Ring of Kerry was a very impressive tour, it was well worth the money. The trains were running behind in trying to get us out to meet the bus, however, the staff was able to...KELSEY GRITTEN, Canada, 06/Nov/2013
Enjoyed the rail/road tour and found this tour had plenty of time at each stop to allow us to explore the area...Jan Rigo, Australia, 01/Nov/2013