A few weeks ago, I wrote about one of my favourite self-drive trips through the Republic of Ireland. Since this getaway is very laidback, allowing travellers to explore the country’s impressive cultural and natural gems at their own pace, I frequently recommend it to my clients.
When it comes to disabled access, holidays spent driving through Ireland easily accommodate every physical ability, and have become so popular that many of my clients have wanted to return. If seeing more historic cities and dramatic landscapes strikes your fancy, receive inspiration for a second road trip from our team’s itinerary.
Begin in Belfast
Start your holiday on a high note by flying into Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. Discovering this city’s extensive history, which dates all the way back to the Bronze Age, is ideal for culture enthusiasts, who can explore everything from the history of the Titanic Belfast to the gorgeous Saint Anne’s Cathedral. The Titanic Belfast is fully accessible to handicapped travellers and also has wheelchairs and mobility scooters available for rent, and the cathedral’s entrances are equipped with ramps, an accessible toilet, a lift and wheelchair-friendly seating areas. Along with these highlights, the rest of the city’s major attractions are equally progressive in terms of disabled access. Holidays in Ireland are certainly enriched with a visit to Belfast!
On to Derry
Derry (otherwise known as Londonderry) is the only Irish metropolis whose city walls still stand, and is a 90-minute drive away from Belfast. Along with its scenic setting along the River Foyle, Derry was deemed the first UK City of Culture in 2013, and has hosted a wide range of culturally rewarding events and festivals since then. Perhaps you’ll even be able to attend one during your visit.
In addition to immersing themselves in the local culture, our clients have enjoyed taking a tour around the one-kilometre perimeter of the city walls, which offer breathtaking views of the surrounding sights. If this tour sounds like your cup of tea, my team and I can book you a place in the blink of an eye. All you have to do is bring your camera and enthusiasm!
Drive to Donegal
Nature lovers, this next one’s for you. About an hour’s drive from Derry across the border in the Republic of Ireland, you’ll come across Donegal, whose rugged landscapes have caused many jaws to drop in awe. Along with receiving a stunning view of the imposing Sliabh Liag Cliffs on the county’s south west coastline, it’s well worth poking around the town, where the restaurants, pubs and flat, wide public areas are perfect for letting loose.
Go On to Galway
Crank up your radio and make the three-hour journey from Donegal to Galway, taking plenty of breaks along the way. While you may feel a bit tired after the drive, your exhaustion will dissolve into thin air when you lay eyes on this picturesque city. While Galway is not quite as forward-thinking as many other places when it comes to disabled access, holidays in Ireland wouldn’t be complete without uncovering this city’s historic charm. One major benefit is that the art galleries, boutiques, vibrant pubs (often with live folk music!) and lovely harbour area all lie in close proximity to each other, making it easy to venture from one highlight to the next.
If you’re feeling adventurous, we always recommend visiting the nearby Aran Islands and Connemara Peninsula, whose natural beauty and archaeological artefacts are sure to wow you. We regularly arrange accessible trips to these destinations for our clients, and would be more than happy to do the same for you
Finish in Dublin
Of course, it’d be a shame to visit Ireland without seeing its capital of Dublin. This show-stopping city is a perfect final stop for your road trip, thanks to its world-famous attractions and progressive stance towards disabled access. Holidays that we’ve organised in the past usually include a stop in Dublin, offering an accessible minibus, taxi or outdoor tours and a peek into the inner workings of the Guinness Storehouse, which is entirely wheelchair-friendly. And why not conclude your sightseeing with a stop at a historic pub, where you can soak up the local social scene?
When you’ve travelled to your heart’s content, we advise driving back to Belfast for your return flight. Alternatively, we can arrange for you to fly back from Dublin, but this tends to be more expensive. For further information regarding logistics and our favourite road trip itineraries, don’t hesitate to give us a ring. When it comes to disabled access, holidays spent driving through Ireland couldn’t be easier – especially after you’ve picked our brains about our bespoke trips.