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Custom Luxury Family Vacations: Ireland
The grandparents of a large family decided to get everybody together for a heritage trip to Ireland. Our Luxury Custom Travel consultant chartered a jet and provided an expedition leader and a photographer to accompany them to ensure each detail was taken care of—and each memory captured. This itinerary could inspire your own family’s custom journey.
Departing on a Private Jet
As they boarded their private jet, each guest found a personalized goodie bag on his or her seat. Dinner had been chosen in advance so that all family members had exactly what they wanted. This was followed by a dessert cart with ample choices to please every taste.
Turndown service was provided while pjs were donned and Grandpa borrowed the microphone to tell everyone about his father who had left Donegal, Ireland, as young man to try to make his fortune in America. As the kids drifted off, nightcaps were delivered and even the adults got some sleep before breakfast was served and the jet glided down the runway in Dublin.
Dublin and Finn Lough
After clearing customs, the group was met by their TCS World Travel expedition leader and introduced to their Irish guides. One of the guides gave an review of some Gaelic words, and then a stop was made at Finn Lough where the group disembarked to find a 4th of July picnic all arranged—complete with a traditional BBQ and lawn games.
When they arrived to Lough Eske Castle, their luggage had already been taken to their rooms, so the group had an easy check-in and time to relax before a welcome dinner in the private Oak Boardroom. After dinner, they all embarked on a tour of the castle along with spooky ghost stories to delight the kids.
Lough Key Forest Park
En route to Lough Eske Castle from Dublin, make a stop at this 865-acre park, which offers something for every age, from zip lines and Segways to electric bikes and boats.
Reserve the elegant Oak Boardroom for a romantic, private dinner for two beside the cozy fireplace.
The family spent the next few days tracing their family history in the Donegal region, partaking in adventures at the castle and relaxing with spa treatments.
One morning after breakfast, the group visited Glenveagh National Park and Castle accompanied by a local historian. They ventured into Donegal town to discover that the genealogist we hired had uncovered information Grandpa had never seen. Copies of all of the historic records were presented to each family member in a bound book.
On another morning the group sailed to the dramatic Slieve League Cliffs by private boat accompanied by dolphins. They enjoyed a picnic lunch on the cliffs while their local historian shared fantastic legends of the area.
Hiking with a Naturalist Guide
With your private guide by your side, hike to the summit of Slieve League Mountain for awe-inspiring views across the countryside.
The Art of Tying Flies
Learn to tie flies from an expert and take your carefully crafted masterpieces for a test run on a fishing expedition at dusk with the fly-tying master himself.
The family departed for Northern Ireland, visiting Derry where they met a local historian and took a walking tour around the 17th-century walls. They enjoyed a private dinner on the beach at Harry’s Shack, the shining star of Northern Ireland’s food scene. The intrepid group walked the rope bridge (opened exclusively for them) between the sea cliffs and the little island of Carrick-a-Rede.
The next day they toured the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a geologist guide and local historian. Afterwards they took a ferry to Rathlin Island to see the puffin colony and enjoy a picnic lunch. In the evening, many of the adults attended a tasting of Irish whiskey led by an Irish whiskey connoisseur.
Irish Soda Bread Making
Learn the art of making authentic Irish soda bread in the home of a local. While your loaves are baking, have tea in the garden and learn more about the daily life of your hostess. Your visit culminates with a light lunch featuring your freshly made soda bread.
The Old Bushmills Distillery
Visit Ireland's oldest working whiskey distillery, granted a royal license to distill in 1608. Discover how Bushmills Whiskey is crafted and enjoy a guided tasting.
The family visited the gorgeous estate of Ballyfin where they were greeted by bagpipers. Over the next few days, the group enjoyed horse cart rides, picnics, fishing and kayaking. In Dublin, they took a private tour of the Kilmainham Gaol led by the genealogist from Donegal. They also made a visit to the Glasnevin Cemetery where they discovered more family ties.
On their last day, we arranged a family competition with archery, sheep herding and other games. After the five-course dinner, we brought in local musicians and a troupe of dancers to entertain in a traditional Irish cèilidh. The group enjoyed brunch the next day before bidding farewell to their guides as they boarded their private jet for the flight home.
Experience the beauty and elegance of majestic birds of prey during a falconry demonstration and hands-on experience using trained Harris hawks, peregrines, eagle owls and more.
Hiking the Boglands
Discover the area’s rich environmental heritage with walks through the boglands of West Offaly with an opportunity to visit the environmental sculpture park and the wetlands of Lough Boora.