Our Ireland and UK Trip of a Lifetime!
Sep 20 - Oct 3, 2023
Where to begin? It all started with the amazing Team at KimKim from our initial contact in September '22. They heard our desires and were very capable in making our travel as fluid as it was! With some brief back and forth, the itinerary was set. I would be remiss if I did not inject the great attention to detail the KimKim Team provided and the several last minute changes that we asked for while on travel. There were a couple of cancellations not of our doing and the Team quickly notified us and we were able to adjust on the fly! We first arrived in Dublin, Ireland which was not what we thought, but opened our eyes to European big city life. The EPIC Immigration Museum really is a place to visit to get a deep understanding of the Potato Famine of the 1840's and how it really formed how the US was shaped by 1.5-2 million immigrants. Our trip took us via our rental car to Waterford to see the Waterford Crystal company and yes, we bought a fabulous piece of crystal. Then on to Cork with a stop at the KilKenny Castle. Our first experience with a castle and it did not disappoint! Maranatha Country House is where we stayed and it is a wonderful B&B and gracious hosts. Our next stop was in Limerick and while there we visited the Muckross House and Gardens. Such a peaceful location to walk the grounds and feel like you are in the 17th century again. From Limerick, we travelled to Galway and possibly to main reason to visit Ireland. Family connection into the Clan O' Flarerty brought us to the Aughnanure Castle which was the 16th century homestead of our family. Let me take the time to speak about the most amazing B&B we stayed in at Galway, the Cnoc Suain. It is located on a 200 acre private land and we stayed in a three room cottage that was built in 1691 yet modernized. We WILL be back to the Cnoc Suain on our next trip. Plan on zero internet nor cell reception, such a peaceful time. While there, we ventured to the Kylemore Abbey and it surely did not disappoint. Magnificent ground and history, plan of 2 - 3 hours. From Galway, we flew to London via Shannon Airport (easiest airport to navigate). We had a private transfer from the airport (Stansted) to The Sanctuary House Hotel ideally located to see the major sites in London and Westminster. We saw the Changing of the Guard and our walking tour guide (Paul) with Fun London Tours made it a grand time! We had another walking tour scheduled but the tour was cancelled and KimKim Team, at our request refunded that cost. We then free lanced the rest of the day, which we did on several occasions. We chose to adjust our one full day in London and take the train to Brighton on the south coast. The KimKim Team quickly handled our request and we spent a wonderful day in Brighton on the English Channel. We took a Thames River cruise and were able to see some of the sights of London/Westminster that many do not see. Seeing Westminster Abbey and Big Ben from the river was breathtaking! Our next day, we had scheduled a train trip from London to Edinburgh Scotland. The countryside and coastline of the UK is filled with such splendor. We were scheduled to take a trip to the Loch Ness and Highlands area but chose not to due to the pace we had been on predicated a day of free lancing in Edinburgh which we spent many hours walking the Royal Mile which is the main street between the Edinburgh Castle and the Holyrood Palace. The KimKim Team worked on a satisfactory refund of this day. The Royal Mile has the majority of retail and restaurants that most tourist see. While in Edinburgh, we stayed in a 16th century low class and middle class building that was converted into a small hotel that had the best morning breakfast ever! Ollie, the owner was the best! I definitely cannot omit that our trip to St. Andrews through the Kingdom of Fife, the bread basket of Scotland was just beautiful. What will I say about being at the Old Course at St. Andrews, I am still speechless. We have been to Jerusalem and now the Home of Golf, maybe my life is complete! Sadly, we had to fly home, but if you are ever in Edinburgh and need a private transfer (private car and driver) please ask for and use Stephen Dunn that owns the Ecoss EV Travel, he was super!
If you are considering KimKim as a source for your travels, well I am limited to only 5 stars and they are worthy of many, many more. Thank you, the Team at KimKim for making our trip so memorable!
The location was perfect for exploring Dublin on foot. Overall, a very good hotel!
This was the favorite hotel of the trip. The historic stone cottage, built in 1691, was charming and the owner and his daughter were incredibly welcoming.
The location was ideal, close to key landmarks like Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace. A good overall stay.
This was the standout accommodation. Interaction with the owner, Ollie, was delightful and the breakfast was excellent.
A very pleasant stay. The hostess was incredibly hospitable and engaging, which really made it a great experience!
Stephen Dunn provided the best service. On time and very professional. A joy to be around when in a new area.