Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
A Day in St Patrick's Country
Local Sightseeing, All
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Approximately 8 Hours
Depart Belfast by motor coach for a one-hour drive, passing through the city of Downpatrick -- burial site of the patron saint and medieval capital of County Down.
At the Saint Patrick Centre, enjoy an interactive experience that shares the fascinating story of Ireland's patron saint. An excellent 20-minute audio-visual presentation takes you across Ireland with some stunning 180-degree aerial photography on a virtual helicopter ride.
Head to Down Cathedral, which stands a fortified hill that has been continuously occupied since Neolithic times. Hear the fascinating tale of the origins of the building and its history through the ages. Outside, you will visit St Patrick's gravesite.
Take advantage of some free time in central Downpatrick to explore independently and purchase lunch at a typical Irish pub or one of the many cafés (at your own expense).
Travel to nearby Saul -- the first ecclesiastical site in Ireland. The monastery here was restored around AD 1140. You'll visit the church, which is surrounded by gentle countryside with views across to Strangford Lough.
The two-hour drive back to Belfast includes a short ferry crossing to Portaferry at the southern end of the Ards Peninsula. This is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, acknowledged as one of the most important conservation sites in Europe. You will travel alongside the banks of Lough Strangford and admire views of the countryside and farm villages before reaching Greyabbey, founded in 1193 by the daughter of Godred, Norse King of the Island of Man.
Available only on select sailings. Lunch is not included. You will have time to purchase lunch at your own expense during the tour. Tour may not operate on Sundays.