Not only is train travel one of the easiest ways to get around in Ireland, but the views are absolutely incredible and you’ll get a perspective of the land that just isn’t possible by car or on foot.
It’s recommended that everyone experiences an Irish train tour at least once in their lifetime. From the epic coastline of Dublin to the lush countryside seen from Derry to Coleraine, many railway journeys have made history.
Our luxury train tours provide a comfortable and stylish way to explore the Emerald Isle, taking you through the mystical mountains, past glistening lakes and iconic rivers, all with five star food and service on board. A train tour is also a wonderful way to move between major whiskey destinations, delighting your palate with the nation’s finest whisky varieties with all the luxuries you need on board. With multiple stops along the way, you can hop off for insightful distillery tours and tasting experiences before hopping back on, sitting back and enjoying the views until your next destination.
Embark on an unforgettable adventure winding through the Irish landscape and discovering the loughs and legends that make this isle in the North Atlantic so great.
If you’re interested in seeing Ireland by train, there are so many routes to explore. Some of Ireland’s classic train journeys are Londonderry to Coleraine with access to the Causeway Coastal Route and Giant’s Causeway, Downpatrick to Inch Abbey on a fabulous vintage trail, Cobh to Cork with sweeping views over the Belvelley channel, and of course the famous route along Dublin and the east coast on the Belmond Grand Hibernian.
The Belmond Grand Hibernian is one of the most luxurious train tour experiences, featuring refined restaurant cars serving up the best of Ireland’s artisan cuisine and creature comforts to make your journey relaxing and enjoyable. This train journey rolls by a pretty patchwork of soft greens, and offers passengers access to some of the best attractions. These include Blarney Castle in County Cork to Titanic Belfast.
You can also enjoy a whiskey tour in the chic and cosmopolitan city of Galway, a cultural gem that attracts the most discerning travelers to its center. Although Dublin is more famous, Galway has always held the crown of being the cultural capital of Ireland. Not only is it home to the Galway Whiskey Trail, but it’s a foodie paradise, with a mix of fine dining and Michelin star restaurants as well as some more laidback venues.
Aboard the Belmond Grand Hibernian, Ireland’s most exclusive luxury train, there are double, twin and interconnecting cabins available for couples or families. It’s also available for private charter if you’re looking for a more intimate dining and wine and whiskey tasting experience with your group. You can choose from 2, 4 or 6 night journeys, and there are a number of routes to choose from. The ‘Grand Tour of Ireland’ goes southbound through dramatic landscapes to explore regal castles and captivating towns. The ‘Legends and Loughs’ experience takes you from Dublin to Cork, Calway and Westport for a gourmet discovery and plenty of history. And the ‘Taste of Ireland’ goes up the east coast to beautiful Belfast with breathtaking views and a sumptuous afternoon tea.
Wine onboard is excellent, with a carefully curated menu of fine wines and specialty local wines, and the table d'hôte food service will give you a perfect crash course on Irish gastronomy.
Some of the best destinations to explore by train include Dublin, Cork, Calway, Westport, Waterford, Kilkenny and Belfast. Dublin is a popular starting point for many visitors and the city is a great spot for whiskey tours or even wine tasting. Home to Dublin Castle and many other top attractions, it’s a great base for your Irish holiday. With a number of Michelin star restaurants as well as a whole host of fine dining spots to uncover during your time here, Dublin is a foodie heaven.
If you stop off in Cork, take a guided walking tour along the river and visit the world famous Jameson Distillery. Whiskey fans will also fall in love with Belfast and the north coast area, where there are historic distilleries such as Bushmills.
There is simply no good or bad time to enjoy a train adventure in Ireland. The summer lends itself to great weather and longer hours of sunshine, but rainy springtime promises lush greenery and flowers in full bloom. While autumn weather can be a little chillier, the gorgeous golden hues of the landscape will win over hearts.
The summer tends to be very busy as many of Ireland’s top towns are popular tourist destinations. To avoid the summer rush, travel in April, May and June, or the backend of summer as well as September and October.
Bear in mind that the Belmond Grand Hibernian train runs from April to October, so winter travel on this particular train isn’t possible.
Wine Paths is passionate about creating unforgettable food and gastronomy holidays for clients, and Ireland is one of the destinations we specialize in. Find out more about exploring the Emerald Isle on a luxury train, or let us help you design a bespoke trip with whiskey tasting, distillery tours and more.
Q: Will overnight trains come with a steward service?
All train experiences differ but the Belmond offers a 24 hour steward service to make your trip as comfortable and convenient as possible.
Q: What meals are served on board?
For overnight trains, such as the Belmond, a fixed menu will be served to guests. You can expect things like a full Irish breakfast, two course lunches and up to four courses for dinner. There may also be cheeseboards with excellent wine pairing, as well as complimentary teas and coffees.
Q: What other activities can be arranged?
With our train experiences, there may be private tour experiences and other activities available.