NORTHERN IRELAND WHISKEY TRAIL
A full day trail departing from and returning to Dublin. We visit three working distilleries and you discover all the highlights of Northern Ireland along the way.
Full day, fully escorted touring of Northern Ireland, predominantly through County Down. Luxury transport included with driver/guide and lively conversation throughout.
Essential Ireland along the way:
MORNING TIME RAIL JOURNEY
This morning we take you by rail from the capital of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin to the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast. Your whiskey expert Host will meet you off the train at Belfast Central Station and we hit the road for Echlinville Distillery, the first newly licensed whiskey distillery in Northern Ireland in over 125 years.
We start with tea/coffee and freshly baked scones in the 19th century Echlinville Manor House. That’s followed by a walk through the facility which is a proper bona fide ‘field to glass’ distillery, All the barley is grown onsite and wait until you take in the aromas at their warehouse where their whiskeys are maturing – wow! Back to the manor house for two samples of their flagship whiskeys. If you’re lucky on the day, the Head Distillers might give you a quick tour of their private collection of army tanks!
Once we say our goodbyes at Echlinville, we have a short journey by road to a ferryport where we take a quick ferry from Portaferry to Strangford and 15 minutes driving on the other side will see us arrive at Downpatrick, which has strong ties to our patron saint – Patrick (he is said to be buried on the grounds of the town’s cathedral). Free time in The St Patrick Centre to browse / have lunch.
We head for the little village of Crossgar next, home to Rademon Distillery – Home of Shortcross gin & Single Malt Whiskey. At The San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Shortcross Gin received a Gold Medal for ‘setting the standard for its category’. We’ll have a quick introduction to the gin process from Head Distiller at Rademon, David Boyd-Armstrong, and he will tell you all about his plans for his whiskey range coming soon. The tour ends in the tastings bar for a gin tasting. This is a really special experience. We’re back in our transport in the late afternoon and we’re Dublin bound.
We pass the pretty village of Hillsborough, which boasts the imposing Hillsborough Castle – home to the Queen of England, when she is in Northern Ireland.
SLANE CASTLE ESTATE & DISTILLERY
We leave the Dublin – Belfast road temporarily and travel deep into the Boyne Valley, home to one of the largest megalithic sites in Europe. Mel Gibson shot some of the scenes for his movie Braveheart, back in 1994, in the Boyne Valley. Slane Castle is set in the middle of a 1,500 acre estate within the valley and has been the family home of the Conyngham family since the 18th century. The present owner of the castle is Henry Conyngham, The 8th Marquess Conyngham. His eldest son is Alex, Earl of Mount Charles. The father and son duo have recently built a distillery on the estate, right next to the castle, and they have launched their own brand of whiskey – the delicious Slane Irish Whiskey.
Discover the story of the Conyngham family through the ages, and why they built a state of the art distillery within the historical walls. We have a whiskey tasting of Slane Irish Whiskey in one of the very stylish tasting rooms. Time for shopping or stroll over to the castle for a photo!
enjoy the breath-taking views out to sea
We will soon have you back in Dublin (arrive back in the city at approx 6.30pm/7pm)
NORTHERN IRELAND WHISKEY TRAIL