Friday, August 29, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: County Cork Coastline

County Cork, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Out at the very edge of Europe, the Wild Atlantic Way stretches 1500 miles alond Ireland's western seaboard. From Malin Head in Co Donegal to Kinsale in Co Cork, through regions like Connemara, Galway Bay and Kerry, it's the longest defined coastal drive in the world!

Start planning your Ireland vacation with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: Cabra Castle

Cabra Castle

Kingscourt, Co. Cavan : IRELAND : Phone 042-966-7030

Cabra Castle Hotel boasts a proud history dating as far back as 1760...It's long history lends a mature, cultured air to the Castle which can be felt by one and all as they stroll along the Castle's magnificent hallways and stairwells.

Learn more about this Castle Hotel in Ireland

Friday, August 22, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: Benbulben

Benbulben, County Sligo, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Benbulben is a large rock formation in County Sligo, Ireland. It is part of the Dartry Mountains, in an area sometimes called "Yeats Country".

Travel the Wild Atlantic Way with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: Bewleys Hotel Ballsbridge, Dublin

Bewleys Hotel Ballsbridge

Merrion Road : Dublin 4, Co. Dublin : IRELAND : Phone 353 01 668 1111

Welcome to Bewley’s Hotel Ballsbridge. This Dublin 4 hotel benefits from being located next door to the RDS. Bewley’s Hotel Ballsbridge is in the heart of the business and embassy district. The beauty of this hotel is that it’s like no other hotel in Dublin City. Its original features are striking and give it a unique charm. Bewley’s Hotel Ballsbridge once stood as a Masonic School but now stands as one of the best hotels in Ballsbridge.

Check out this Dublin Hotel

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

View From the Top - the London Eye

The London Eye only opened in 1999, but has quickly become the UK's most popular paid tourist attraction, with over 3.5 million visitors every year!

The London Eye (aka the Millennium Wheel) stands on the south bank of the River Thames. It is a giant ferris wheel, offering travelers to London unbelievable views of the city. When erected over 15 years ago, it was the world's tallest Ferris wheel. Since, it was been surpassed by the Star of Nanchang, the Singapore Flyer and High Roller. It also offered the highest public viewing point in London, until The Shard opened to the public in 2013. From the top, travelers to London can see around 25 miles, as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day!

The London Eye was designed by architects Frank Anatole, Nic Bailey, Steve Chilton, Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrowhawk, and the husband-and-wife team of Julia Barfield and David Marks. It took seven years and the skills of hundreds of people from five countries to make the London Eye a reality.

The London Eye has 32 sealed and air-conditioned ovoidal passenger capsules, that each hold up to 25 people. The wheel rotates at a slow rate of 10 inches per second, which is slow enough to allow passengers to walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level without stopping the rotation. The wheel is stopped, however, to allow disabled and elderly passengers on and off safely. One revolution takes about 30 minutes.

The nearest London Underground station is Waterloo, although Charing Cross, Embankment, and Westminster are also within easy walking distance, making this London attraction easily accessible.

Start planning your London vacation with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Monday, August 18, 2014

Vacation Spotlight: Twin City Delight

Enjoy the best of Dublin and Galway, without renting a car! 
Transfer on arrival to your pre-booked Dublin hotel - and enjoy the Capital City with an included Dublin Hop-on, Hop-off Bus voucher. Then hop over to Galway, with a bus transfer included, where you will enjoy 2-nights, plus a tour of the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. Transfer back to Dublin for your last night.
  • Arrival Transfer via AirLink*, with optional upgrade available to private transfer
  • 5 nights accommodations at the following hotels or similar
  • Breakfast daily (continental in Galway), except morning of arrival
  • Dublin Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour - valid for 48-hours
  • Galway Express Shuttle Service from Dublin at 7:00 am (arrive Galway at 10:00 am)**
  • Cliffs of Moher and Burren Day tour
  • Galway Express Shuttle Service from Galway at 6:30 pm (arrive Dublin at 9:00 pm)***
  • Departure Transfer via AirLink*, with optional upgrade available to private transfer
*AirLink offers 12 convenient stops in Dublin. Passengers will need to make their own way from the stop(s) to their pre-booked hotel.On departure, clients would make their way to one of the AirLink locations for return to the hotel. One may wish to upgrade to optional private transfer that will bring you directly to the hotel and collect you directly there as well.
**Galway Express arrives in Galway at the Galway Coach Station. Passengers will need to make their own way from the coach station to the hotel.
***Galway Express arrives in Dublin City Center. Passengers will need to make their own way from this location to the hotel.

Book this Ireland Vacation Package

Friday, August 15, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: Ireland’s Gaeltacht

Ireland’s Gaeltacht, Wild Atlantic Way, County Galway, Ireland

From its rugged coastline to its inland mountains and lakes, Ireland’s Gaeltacht, where the Irish language can still be heard, offers the opportunity for a very different holiday experience.

Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: Parknasilla Hotel, County Kerry

Parknasilla Hotel

Parknasilla : Sneem, Co. Kerry : IRELAND : Phone 064-667-5600

Immerse yourself in The Parknasilla Resort & Spa, a hideaway from the bustle of real life. Be greeted at the warm reception by an open fire and a smiling receptionist. Revel in the sanctuary of one of our spacious rooms with awe inspiring views of Kenmare Bay and the Kerry Mountains.

Rediscover the joy of good food and great service with a delicious breakfast and gourmet dinner in our Pygmalion Restaurant. Enjoy an aperitif or a night cap next to the piano and real fire in the Doolittle Bar in this exquisite Kerry Hotel.

Get active and explore the 500 acre land at Parknasilla Resort & Spa with a splash in the sea, energetic walk, leisurely bike ride or a round of golf. Then rest and refresh in the warmth of our serene spa, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the expanse of the sea.

Check out this County Kerry Hotel in Ireland

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

150 Year Old British Icon - Big Ben

The British icon Big Ben has stood in the Houses of Parliament for over a 150 years.

Few people know that the tower "Big Ben" is just a nickname for the tower and up until 2012, it had no official name. The origin of the nickname Big Ben is the subject of some debate. The nickname was applied first to the Great Bell; but later came to indicate the entire tower. Some people believe that the name "Big Ben" may have been named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the installation of the Great Bell. Others believe Big Ben was named after boxing's English Heavyweight Champion Benjamin Caunt. Either way, in 2012, the tower was officially known as the Elizabeth Tower, to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

The current tower, which stands at the north end of the Houses of Parliament, was completed in 1859, with the Great Bell's strikes heard for the time on July 11. But long before Big Ben's construction, several towers have stood in its place dating back to 1289. The Palace of Westminster was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1834 and plans for the construction of Big Ben began.

Over the years, Big Ben has been silenced for repairs and replacements. But the most interesting silencing of Big Ben was due to WWII. From 1939 until April 1945, the clock dials were unlit to comply with blackout regulations during the Second World War. The clock dials were re-illuminated when the wartime blackout regulations were lifted.

Big Ben has become one of the most prominent symbols of the United Kingdom and is often in the establishing shot of films set in London, making it a prominent part of pop culture. The tower holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and is the third-tallest free-standing clock tower.

Today, travelers to England are not able to tour the inside of Big Ben. But there are several vantage points that give a great view of the famous Big Ben. Check it out from ground level as you step out of the Westminster Tube Station, from the Westminster bridge or from the London Eye for a fabulous view.
Travel to London with Celtic Tours World Vacations!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Vacation Spotlight: Dublin, London and North Wales

Experience the best of Dublin, London and North Wales.
This 6 night independent vacation pairs 2 nights in Dublin with 2 nights in London, and finishes with 2 nights in Wales. This package comes complete with 2 day car rental in Wales and breakfast daily.

Your Dublin, London and North Wales Tour Highlights:

  • 2 Nights in Dublin
  • 2 Nights in London
  • 2 Nights in North Wales 
  • Breakfast daily
  • 2 Day Car Rental  (Upgraded car available).

*Note: Hotels are on a request basis at time of booking. Alternate hotels may be used as needed. London hotel is based on mid-range 3 or 4* hotel in central London. It will be advised at time of booking.

**Please note that air from Dublin to London is not included in the package cost and is additional.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters, Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

The Three Sisters are a group of three peaks at the northwestern end of the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland, situated just to the north of the village of Baile an Fheirtéaraigh.

Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: Best Western Plus Academy Plaza Hotel, Dublin

Best Western Plus Academy Plaza Hotel

10-14 Findlater Place, off O'Connell St. : Dublin 1, Co. Dublin : IRELAND : Phone 01-878-0666

The Best Western Plus Academy Plaza Hotel has an exceptional location as a Dublin City Centre Hotel.

For the leisure guest, whatever your interest – shopping, sightseeing or culture, we have it all on our doorstep!

Learn more about this Dublin Hotel

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Things to See and Do in the Lake District, England

 Arguably one of the most beautiful parts in all of Great Britain, the Lake District offers a retreat from the hustle-bustle of the cities. The Lake District is a scenic five hour drive from London and makes a great stopping point when traveling to Glasgow. Stay here for a night or two to soak in the sheer natural beauty of the region, or stay for a week to relax and enjoy everything that the Lake District has to offer.

With such a wealth of natural riches, it's hardly surprising that the Lake District is one of England's favorite places for enjoying the great outdoors, but there is so much more to this region than fine views. It is also packed with history and culture. Here are just a few of the sites that travelers to England can enjoy when visiting the Lake District:

Blackwell Arts & Crafts House
Enjoy a lovingly crafted day out at one of the most enchanting historic houses in the Lake District. When you visit you are invited to relax and immerse yourself in all the beauty and craftsmanship of Blackwell. We encourage you to sit and soak up the atmosphere in Blackwell’s fireplace inglenooks, which have fine examples of tiles by Arts & Crafts designer William de Morgan. The inviting window seats offer stunning views of the surrounding Lake District scenery. You can appreciate the house as it was originally intended, without roped-off areas.

Lakeland Motor Museum
The fascinating Lakeland Motor Museum nestles in the picturesque Leven Valley, at Backbarrow, close to the southern tip of Lake Windermere. A diverse and unique road transport collection of some 30,000 exhibits assembled over a period of almost 50 years is thoughtfully displayed alongside many non-motoring additions, in fully DDA compliant state-of-the-art premises with a beautiful riverside setting.

Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
Reputedly the most beautiful train journey in England, this 15-inch, narrow gauge railway carries passengers along seven miles of scenic track, from the old Roman Port of Ravenglass along the Eskdale Valley to Eskdale during a 40-minute ride.

Theatre by the Lake
Cumbria's only year-round producing theatre, described by The Independent as "the most beautifully located and friendly theatre in Britain."

Holehird Gardens - Lakeland Horticultural Society
The 17 acre hillside gardens at Holehird include a great variety of planting - specimen trees and shrubs, extensive rock and heather gardens, a walled garden, alpine houses and herbaceous borders.

Muncaster Castle
Visit this early 13th-century castle to view a large number of historic artifacts collected by the Pennington family over the centuries, and walk along the miles of woodland paths that wind through this scenic estate.

Honister Slate Mine
Honister Slate Mine is a unique award winning experience, England's last remaining working slate mine.

Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre
A large collection of birds of prey - hawks, eagles, vultures, owls, falcons and buzzards. Flying demonstrations daily from 2 pm to 4pm. Visitors get the opportunity to fly a bird at the display. On site vintage tea room and local crafts.

Wordsworth Museum & Dove Cottage
Dove Cottage was the home of William Wordsworth during his most productive and inspired years. He arrived in 1799, looking for a haven, where he could settle down and fulfil his dream of living a simple life, surrounded by nature and able to concentrate on his writing.

The museum is beside Dove Cottage, which is where William Wordsworth, the poet who wrote, "I wandered lonely as a cloud" (Daffodil poem) lived while he produced his best work. It has a permanent display which shows his life history through pictures, maps, manuscripts and letters. There are paintings and sculptures as well as some of his personal possessions and a social history about the area in the 1800s.

Hill Top House, Beatrix Potter's Farmhouse
Located in England's historic Lake District, this working farm owned by Beatrix Potter was the setting for her delightful and popular series of animal tales.

Castlerigg Stone Circle
Dating from about 3000 BC, this is one of the first stone circles built in Britain, which is perched atop a high moor with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape

Long Meg and Her Daughters
Dating from the Bronze Age, this is England's third largest stone circle that consists of a huge ring (the Daughters) of more than 60 stones and Long Meg, a 12-foot-high block of red sandstone.

Rydal Mount and Gardens
Rydal Mount, the last family home of William Wordsworth from 1813 until his death in 1850, now belongs to the direct descendants of the Poet and remains a lived-in family home. The dining room, part of the old Tudor cottage, with its original flagged floor and oak beams, contrasts pleasingly with the larger proportions of the drawing room and library, added in 1750. The house contains works of art, furniture, manuscripts and many of the Poet's books and personal possessions, reflecting his life here. Wordsworth was a keen landscape gardener and the four acre garden remains very much as he designed it, consisting of fell-side terraces, lawns, rock pools and a 9th century Norse mound. There are rare shrubs and, in season, the daffodils, bluebells and rhododendrons produce a spectacular display

Beatrix Potter Gallery
This gallery displays original watercolours and manuscripts by the author.

Hutton in the Forest
Today Hutton-in-the-Forest reflects centuries of history and change. A house of six periods between the mid 14th and the mid 19th centuries, Hutton is a rich illustration of the development of the country house in the North of England.

Hawkshead Grammar School
The museum in the Old Grammar School building in the village of Hawkshead, Cumbria, houses a unique collection of historic artifacts relating to the ancient School, some of which date back to the sixteenth century.

Furness Abbey
The impressive remains of an abbey founded by Stephen, later King of England, including much of the east end and west tower of the church, the ornately decorated chapter house and the cloister buildings.

Holker Hall & Gardens
Holker Hall is the home of Lord and Lady Cavendish who welcome visitors of all ages to one of the best-loved stately homes in Britain.

Cumberland Pencil Museum
Perfect all weather attraction for all the family. Discover Keswick's industrial heritage, be amazed at the World's Longest Coloured Pencil, artist demonstrations and workshops are held throughout the year. A full range of Derwent Fine Art pencils are available in the Museum shop, along with Sketchers Coffee shop serving light lunches and afternoon teas.

Wordsworth House and Garden
This 18th-century Georgian town house was the birthplace and childhood residence of the English poet William Wordsworth.

The Dock Museum
Built in an historic graving dock, the museum is home to a wealth of objects and information on the social and industrial history of the Furness area.

The former home of artist and writer John Ruskin is perched high above Coniston Water.

The Quaker Tapestry Exhibition Centre
The Quaker Tapestry came into being as a result of a chance remark made by an eleven-year-old boy attending the children's class of a small Quaker Meeting in the South West of England in 1981. His teacher, to whom the remark was made, was Anne Wynn-Wilson, an accomplished embroiderer. She had the vision of a number of large tapestry panels telling something of the Quaker story and beliefs. In 1982 she mounted an exhibition of work in progress and her ideas and determination aroused an enthusiastic response from many Friends. Designers came forward, embroidery groups were formed, and training workshops were arranged.

The World of Beatrix Potter
The Lake District’s natural beauty and abundant wildlife inspired Beatrix Potter to write her much-loved stories. As you step in to the World of Beatrix Potter™ Attraction you too can explore this wonderful landscape as all 23 of the magical tales are brought to life, recreating sights, sounds and aromas in 3D displays.  There’s chance to meet your favourite characters Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tiggywinkle and Mr. Tod, not forgetting the most famous character of all, Peter Rabbit!

Travel to the Lake District. Start planning your vacation to England

Monday, August 4, 2014

Vacation Spotlight: Irish Castles and Manors

Irish Castles and Manors Self-Drive Vacation
Treat your family like royalty on this fabulous self-drive vacation. Stay in Irish castles  and manor homes the entire time! This relaxed-paced, luxury package includes Kilkenny, Limerick and Dublin.

Your IrishCastles Self-Drive Vacation Includes: 

  • 2-nights accommodations at 5* Lyrath Estate     
  • 2-nights accommodations at 5* Adare Manor     
  • 2-nights accommdations at 4* Clontarf Castle  
  • Breakfast daily (except morning of arrival)
  • Automatic Car Rental (Economy) - including CDW - Upgrade to larger cars available (Note: Three people traveling together must avail of upgrade to larger car to accommodate). Car rental is based on pick up and drop off in Dublin.
  • Hotel and car taxes included
  • Portfolio of travel documents

Friday, August 1, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Antrim, Northern Ireland

A short coastal footpath leads to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. On the way, there are wonderful vantage points to stop and take in the natural beauty. The geology, flora and fauna have won Carrick-a-Rede recognition as an area of special scientific interest. Fulmars, kittywakes, guillemots and razorbills breed on the islands close to the rope bridge.

Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

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