‘Once on board the train you meet in the lounge car for complimentary drinks. After a briefing from the train manager, you are taken to your cabin by one of the staff who explains the layout of your room. There are 14 staff in total for a maximum guest capacity of 40. I have to say the waitstaff and barmen along with the train manager, do a fantastic job and nothing is too much trouble,’ says Lyons. ‘Pulling out of Dublin on the 230km trip to Cork, a High Tea is served and on arrival they take you to the historic Jameson’s Irish Whiskey factory, the largest in Ireland. Dinner is smart casual, and the meals superb, accompanied by wine matching and high end champagne and spirits for those inclined.’
He says day two starts early – leaving the train for a private tour of Blarney Castle, avoiding queues to kiss the Blarney Stone. ‘Back to the train for lunch then in the afternoon a tour of Killarney, a town with a large National Park which is home to wild deer, badgers, foxes and more. Here you join ‘jaunting cars’ for a 45 minute drive through town then into the park. The ‘craic’ from the Jarvey was delightful as he interspersed snippets of local history with a stream of colourful one-liners. At the end of the ride you arrive at Ross Castle and embark on an hour long private cruise, complete with champagne, on the lake back to Killarney. Next up – Galway and the Clis of Moher’. CLICK HERE to follow Lyons’ journey on the five day Legends & Loughs itinerary.