War of the Three Kings in Ireland
The Williamite-Jacobite War, 1688-1691In the late 17th century three kings battled for control of Ireland. The war between James II and William III, supported by Louis XIV, the Sun King, (1688-1691) would lead to more than 200 years of British and Protestant dominance over Ireland. Our four-night history holiday in Ireland explores the key battlegrounds and uncovers the dramatic, devastating stories of Boyne, Athlone, Aughrim and Limerick.
The expert leading your tourBarry Hilton is passionate about researching and writing on the wars of King William III with particular focus on the campaigns in Ireland between 1688 and 1691. He has walked many of the battlefields and been allowed access to the original padlocks and keys of the Gates of Derry, and to artefacts belonging to the hero Adam Murray.
He has published guides to both Jacobite and Williamite armies at Derry, the Boyne, Cork and Aughrim, plus various pieces on lesser known battles of the period. He is part of a wider group of researchers, historians and authors working on a better understanding of this defining period in British and Irish history.
Highlights of your Ireland history holiday
- Visit key locations from the Battle of the Boyne including Oldbridge House, Mellifont Abbey, Donore and Duleek.
- Explore Athlone and Aughrim, sites of incredible battles during the war.
- Learn about the Jacobites last stand at Limerick.
Please note that due to COVID restrictions outside of our control, the places we visit on any tour may change. If this happens, we will replace with an appropriate alternative.
From our base in Athlone, our expert guide takes you to a new destination every day.
This tour costs from £1,299 per person, based on two sharing if you are taking part in the tours, and from £1,099pp if you are not taking part in the tour.
There is no single supplement for individuals staying in single rooms, and a small extra charge for individuals in twin or double rooms.
Places are limited, book today with a fully refundable 5% deposit.
Included in your holiday
- Pick up and drop off from Dublin airport and centre
- Expert guide
- Tour manager
- Luxury hotel accommodation
- Executive minibus travel to all sites, with space so you can always have a spare seat next to you
- Entry to all attractions
- Breakfast and dinner each day
This tour has dates in 2021 and 2022. Departures are available on 13 September 2021 (book here), 23 May 2022 (book here) and 12 September 2022 (book here).
Numbers are limited, reserve your place with a low 5% deposit and enjoy the full flexibility of our COVID guarantee.
AccommodationYou'll be spending much of your time exploring sights and attractions with your tour expert, so when you return to your hotel we know how important it is to be somewhere you can relax and refresh in comfort.
For this tour, you'll be staying in a luxury hotel in Athlone. You'll have everything you need for a comfortable night's sleep with rooms that are ensuite and facilities including a TV, radio and complimentary wifi.
The hotel has an indoor pool and leisure centre which are free for guests to use. There's also a superb thermal spa that is a beacon of serenity and calm, with expertly trained therapists delivering exceptional wet and dry treatments (extra charge applies).
You'll also enjoy a delicious range of dining options, a healthy juice bar and a delicious afternoon tea package.
Your booking includes:
- Ensuite room with tea & coffee facilities and wifi.
- Breakfast and dinner.
- Entry to the gym and indoor pool (swimming hat required).
There are extra charges for:
- Treatments at the spa, with a huge choice of individual treatments and packages available. Details available on request.
- All food and drink outside of breakfast and dinner.
For transfers between all tour destinations we use large 17-22 seater executive minibuses so that the seat beside you can be empty.
Transfers during your tour
Transfers will be a luxury experience and your minibus will have comfortable reclining seats with safety belts, a fully operational air-conditioning system, an on-board refrigerator and a fully functioning toilet maintained throughout your journey.
Our drivers are friendly, smart, professional and punctual. so you are always in safe hands.
Solo travellers welcomeOur tours are perfect for solo travellers who want to expand their knowledge and understanding of a subject, and prefer the choice of being as solitary or social as you like. Each tour is a journey of an independent mind – fellow travellers will be intelligent, well-read, knowledgeable and like-minded people, and a mutual interest in a particular topic can lead to life-long friendships.
Read more about our welcome for solo travellers here.
We know that specialist tours can be less fun for partners, so our tours include a lower rate if you want to come with a friend or loved one who’d like to enjoy the hotel facilities, breakfast and dinner, and explore the local area without taking part in the history tours.
Options for non-touring partners
For this tour, your hotel has a gym and indoor pool with free entry for guests, and there is a thermal spa with a huge range of treatments available at an extra cost (paid locally). There's a selection of restaurants for lunch, plus a juice bar and delicious afternoon tea package.
Locally, there is a lakeside resort with kayaking and pedal boats, and you'll be staying close to one of Ireland's prettiest golf courses. If you'd like to stretch your legs and explore there are beautiful walking trails in all directions.
We also offer a complimentary daily transfer service to a local town or attraction, plus evening activities that all members of the group are welcome to enjoy.
We meet guests at Dublin Airport or in Dublin centre and transport them to the hotel in Athlone. After check-in, guests taking part in the history tours will come to an introductory talk with our guide for the break, Barry Hilton. In the evening you'll have the chance to meet and chat to your fellow guests over drinks and supper at the hotel.
Our tour begins with a short journey to the river Boyne, where we’ll uncover details of the famous battle that marked a turning point in the War of Three Kings. We’ll go to Oldbridge House with its superb visitor centre and walk along the river to see the crossing points used by both armies. The tour moves on to Mellifont Abbey, where William of Orange was headquartered through the battle, and then on to Donore and Duleek, where more of the fighting played out.
Our day starts with a visit to Athlone and its castle, which were twice besieged by the Williamite army and saw the heaviest bombardment in Irish history. We then move to Aughrim, site of the decisive battle in the war where more than 7000 soldiers met their end.
We drive to Limerick to explore the place where the Jacobites made a determined stand, visiting key locations including Limerick Castle and the Shannon River, before heading to the Treaty Stone, where the brutal war was finally concluded.
Guests have a free morning to explore Athlone or enjoy the facilities of the hotel, before we take them back to Dublin centre and Dublin airport in the afternoon.