Unforgettable Day Trip to Ireland from London: What You Can Do in Less than 24 Hours

Updated On: November 10, 2023

Day Trip to Ireland from London

Are you ready to experience the wonders of Ireland? Taking a day trip to Ireland from London can be one of the most memorable journeys of your life. From its picturesque landscapes to its delightful culture and history, you have a billion reasons to visit the Emerald Isle. So, if you’re looking for a sign to book a trip now and have some quality time with friends or family, this is it!

Day Trip to Ireland From London 2
Ireland is a destination full of history, culture, and adventure.

This article will explore how to get to Ireland from London and what you can do during your day trip. With genuine tips from experienced bloggers and tourists, you will have all the information you need for an unforgettable vacation!

Day Trip to Ireland from London
Ireland’s coasts are stunning natural oasises.

Why You Should Spend a Day Trip to Ireland from London

What is the best country to travel to right now from London? Ireland, Of course! ūüôā Ireland’s travel statistics show that tourism is booming in the country. The Emerald Isle is full of adventure, history, culture, and life!

Many first-time visitors think it might be impossible to make it to Ireland from London and see everything in just one day. But it is, in fact, possible! A day trip to Ireland from London is perfect if you’re eager to chase beautiful landscapes, try new restaurants and snap photos wherever you go.

Dublin is one of the best city destinations in Europe. Here’s a sneak peek at what awaits you in Ireland’s capital city:

Take a tour of Dublin, one of the most vibrant cities in Europe! Visit iconic landmarks such as Trinity College or the Guinness Storehouse. Get to know Ireland’s unique culture by sampling traditional dishes like Irish stew or soda bread.

Admire the stunning views of The Burren and Cliffs of Moher on a scenic drive along the Wild Atlantic Way. Then, enjoy local music at an Irish pub in Galway City, where you can experience true Irish hospitality.

Explore fascinating countryside and castles! Oh my gosh… When you come here to Ireland and drive down and explore lanes, you can even stay in a castle to immerse yourself in the fullest historical ambience. 

But one of the best things you can get from this place is the tourism infrastructure. That’s what makes Ireland a pleasant destination. So, if you don’t want to drive, you can get a train, or you can book a bus trip which will take you everywhere. Ireland is a place that is easy to explore and get around.¬†

Day Trip to Ireland from London
Castles in Ireland are bursting with history.

What about food and drinks? Let me tell you that Ireland is going through a foodie revolution where you can find fantastic food throughout the country, from traditional bakery delights to the finest international cousins. 

Think about why you will find an Irish pub wherever you go! Of course, there is absolutely a good reason why Irish cuisine is so popular. But if you want our recommendation, we can start with drool-inducing seafood, oysters, and salmon. 

And, of course, take advantage of your full Irish breakfast. Then you can head to a pub, not just for a drink but for the culture and mind-blowing atmosphere. Even Irish beer tastes like a completely different beer‚ÄĒ forget what you’ve tried before. It’s just like it was brewed in heaven and given straight to you!

Indeed, everything in Ireland is bound to ensure that you enjoy your time. Upscale destinations embracing history and comfort are the experience you will find there.

Need to know more?

Alright, the people! The Irish are the most fun and outgoing people you’d love to spend time with. People from that country are kind and willing to share information about the irresistible attractions in Ireland you shouldn’t miss and the top things to do. They will also teach you new words you might have never heard before.

So, whether you visit a castle, take a stroll, or hit a pub, you will have a great time with the locals However, there is nothing around it: you can only see so many things in one day. But no worries, we have you covered and will help you plan a dream itinerary when preparing for a day trip to Ireland from London.

How to Get to Ireland from London

So, we’ve already answered the question, “Can I do a day trip to Ireland from London?” We know that it is possible – and a popular way to spend a long weekend! However, to get from the city of London to Dublin, Ireland, you need to travel 288 miles.

Day Trip to Ireland from London
There are many great parks throughout Ireland.

The UK and Ireland are not connected by any land, which makes travelling from one to the other a little more tricky. Because of this, a day trip to Ireland from London will typically include a ferry journey across the Irish Sea. Alternatively, you can fly from London to Dublin; the flight takes around an hour and a half. 

Taking the ferry is the most popular choice for tourists visiting from England or other parts of the UK. Every day, four ferries leave from Holyhead in Wales, United Kingdom, bound for Dublin. Ferries allow tourists to bring their cars with them across the water; the journey takes around 2 hours each way. 

If 2 hours is too long onboard a ferry, or if you want a more luxurious mode of transportation, flying is another great option. Normal and budget airlines provide short, direct flights to Dublin from all over the UK. Flights start around £40, but prices can fluctuate depending on the airports, airlines, and time of year.

What is the Cheapest Way to Travel from London to Ireland?

The least expensive way to travel from London to Ireland is by taking a ferry and then transferring onto a bus. However, this is not an ideal method of travel for anyone taking a day trip to Ireland from London. Although this option can cost as low as £17, it also takes 12 hours to complete the journey!

If you’re looking to spend more time in Dublin, then this is absolutely a reasonable option. For example, you can make the journey from London to Ireland by bus if you want to leave at 6:00 pm and arrive by early morning.

First, the bus will leave England and take you to Holyhead, where the ferry will take you across the Irish Sea to Ireland. After you arrive, you have two options: disembark at the Dublin port, or if you want to complete your bus journey, stay onboard until you arrive at Bus√°ras station.

Can I Drive to Ireland from London?

Although Ireland and England are separated by water, you can definitely still bring your car to the Emerald Isle! Simply drive down to Holyhead from London and then take the ferry to Dublin; you can park your car onboard! Just be aware that the drive will take just under 7 hours from England’s capital to the port in Wales.

Pro Tip: if you plan to rent a car in Dublin, make sure that you book ahead and that your car or travel insurance contract allows you to do so.

Best Views in London

How to Get to Ireland from London by Train

If you want to take a day trip from London to Ireland but don’t want to drive or fly, taking the train is a great option. Travelling to the ferry port in Holyhead, Wales, from London, England, usually takes just over 4 hours. This means that going by train is better done in either the early morning or the night before.

If your journey’s starting point is London, you can catch the train at London Euston Station and get off at the station in Holyhead. The base rate for this train ride is ¬£84. Luckily, the train station in Holyhead is in the same location as the ferry port!

Don’t Forget: Make sure to purchase your ferry tickets in advance of your day trip to Ireland. They typically cost ¬£30, but the price can vary depending on the season.

The Ideal Travel Method for a Day Trip to Ireland from London

So, with all of these options, what is the best way to travel to Ireland from London for a day trip? The answer will change depending on your personal preferences. To choose what’s best for you, think about the pricing, how long you want to travel, and if you can stay an additional night in Dublin.

When is the Best Time to Visit Dublin?

Ireland is known for its mild climate, making any time of year a great time to visit the Emerald Isle! However, some seasons are warmer or rainier than others, so make sure you know what weather to expect on your day trip from London.

From crisp autumn days to sunny summer evenings, here’s all you need to know about choosing the best time for your visit.¬†

What is the Best Month for a Day Trip to Ireland from London?

The most popular time of year for tourism in Ireland is from June through August. These are typically the warmest months of the year and are packed with events and festivals. You can bask in the warm sun and enjoy fun summer vibes whenever you go.

St Patrick’s Cathedral

On the other hand, summer is the most expensive season for hotels and flights in Ireland. Additionally, almost all attractions, events, and beaches will be crowded on warm days.

During the months of September, October, and November, temperatures in Ireland remain relatively warm. This makes autumn the perfect season for sightseeing and exploring all that Dublin offers‚ÄĒfrom historical sites like St Patrick’s Cathedral or Kilmainham Gaol to unique attractions like Christ Church Cathedral or Temple Bar District.

At this time of year, you can experience moderate temperatures with fewer crowds and reasonable prices. 

What About the Holiday Season?

A day trip from London to Ireland during the winter months will be full of festive joy, but make sure to bring your heaviest coat!¬†Although the Irish weather is typically mild, it can get very cold at the very end or beginning of the year. This is especially true when there’s snowfall and anywhere near the water.

If you can bundle up and stay warm, however, Dublin is a great Christmas destination! All around the city, there are markets, decorations, and pubs and restaurants with inviting atmospheres. People in Dublin are very friendly, and you will certainly feel the holiday cheer.

Do I Need a Visa to Visit Ireland?

Whether or not you need a visa to visit Ireland will depend on what country your passport is from. If you hold a passport from the UK, a country in the European Union, or Switzerland, you book your holiday and come to Ireland right now.

Otherwise, you will most likely need a visa for your trip. Make sure to check out the visa requirements for your country based on the duration of your trip and type of stay. There are some countries that do not require a visa to visit Ireland; American passport holders do not require any additional paperwork currently but will need to get an ETIAS starting in 2024.

Day Trip to Ireland from London
People travelling from London to Ireland do not need a visa.

What Can I Do During a Day Trip in Ireland?

Although Ireland isn’t as big of a country as other destinations around the world, there is no shortage of attractions on the Emerald Isle! From historical sites to natural wonders and museums to traditional Irish pubs, you will have no problem filling your day.

Ireland’s abundance of tourist attractions makes it very important to plan your itinerary wisely. Before you set off on your day trip to Ireland from London, plan ahead and decide what you’d like to see and do. With proper planning, you can spend your day between mind-blowing attractions, sightseeing, relaxing at hidden gems, and absorbing the city breaks.

Travel Tip: You can buy a Dublin Pass, which will give you access to the hop-on, hop-off bus on your day trip. The pass will help you save money and visit many attractions without waiting for buses or worrying about ticket vendors. The best part is that it comes with a travel guide to lead you through the best places and activities you can do in Ireland. 

Enjoy an Irish Breakfast

The best way to start off your day trip in Ireland is by getting breakfast at a nice restaurant or cafe in the city. Thankfully, the capital city of Dublin has no shortage of these and can please you with the finest setting and comfort food.

No trip from London to Dublin would be complete without having a fluffy scone with your morning meal. Keoghs Cafe in Dublin features warm, fresh scones that are perfect with butter or jam. If you want to try something more traditional, Beanhive Coffe is the place to go! It is one of Dublin’s top-ranked restaurants for a full Irish breakfast‚ÄĒ you’re going to enjoy each bite.¬†

Day Trip to Ireland from London
Dublin is a popular destination during the summer.

Take a Stroll Around Dublin 

Looking for the best way to experience Ireland’s history and its culture? Take a stroll around Dublin! You can explore its stunning cobblestoned streets, historical monuments, and impressive art galleries all while on a day trip. Dublin is alive with charm and character, making it a hot tourist destination for all travellers.¬†

Exploring on foot allows visitors to absorb all the details of Ireland’s capital city in a relaxing atmosphere.¬†For a more in-depth experience, you can join one of the group tours organised by a local agent to learn additional information, hear stories, and make sure you have hit all unmissable places.

Travel Tip: If there is one place to visit in Dublin, it has to be the Cliffs of Moher on the Wild Atlantic Way. Nothing compares to spending the day at this natural wonder. Just make sure that the weather is appropriate and not too windy or rainy!

Check Out Dublin’s Historic Sites

During a day trip to Ireland from London, tourists have the opportunity to visit Dublin and discover some of Ireland’s most iconic historical sites. The capital city has a rich and storied past that is waiting to be uncovered, either on your own or with a tour.

Trinity College Dublin

One of the most popular historical attractions in Dublin is Trinity College. Trinity College hosts one of the most prestigious campuses in Europe, as well as one of the most beautiful campus libraries in the world. Everywhere you turn on campus, you’re met with awe-inspiring architecture that showcases the history of this magical city.¬†

After exploring around the campus, the Long Room Library is the perfect area to visit. This library at Trinity College features marble busts over 200 years old. If you’re a bookworm, the library is even more spectacular; it houses books dating back to the old ages! There are so many textbooks, novels, and other literary works that they stack up to the ceiling.¬†

Another historic library located in Ireland’s iconic capital city is the National Library of Ireland. This establishment was founded in 1877 and is dedicated to collecting and preserving texts that record the history, culture, and evolution of life in Ireland.

Within the library’s walls are massive collections of historical books, music, and more. Works from prominent Irish authors, musicians, and historical figures are displayed here. It is the perfect stop for any book lovers during a day trip to Ireland.

National Library of Ireland

Take Some Time to Relax and Unwind

Although a day trip to Ireland from London is full of history, culture, and adventure, it can also be incredibly exhausting. If you need a break from the attractions, make sure to allocate some time to visit St Stephen’s Green. This is not a typical public park; instead, it’s a gateway between historic landmarks and pubs, rewarding you with shady spots to unwind. It is a historic green area that dates back to 1880. ¬†

Buy a Few Fancy Souvenirs

St Stephen’s Green is also an impressive spot for anyone craving some retail therapy. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre and O’Connell Street are lined with stores that will cater to everyone’s desires, from global chains to unique shops, and especially cafes to grab a bite to eat!

This is also a great location for admiring cultural street art and colourful architecture. This area of the city often hosts festivals and is home to many different displays of public art. Even the surrounding buildings are themselves could be considered artwork!

O’Connell Street in Dublin, Ireland

Go Out for a Delicious Lunch in Dublin

After exploring some of the best that Ireland has to offer, you’re sure to work up a bit of an appetite. So, what can you eat for lunch? If you want something light, Brick Alley Cafe will be the right place for you; they’re known for their delicious bagels and sandwiches.¬†

Want to explore a gastropub or more transitional restaurant? If so, The Church on Mary Street is a must-visit restaurant. The building itself is stunning, and the setting is almost unbeatable; the only thing better is the food! If you can only try one dish on the menu, we recommend the Irish stew!

If you have been planning and researching for your day trip to Ireland for a while, you’ve probably heard of the Creative Quarter.

Why is it called the Creative Quarter? Because creativity is a big deal here! Located South of Temple Bar, the quarter is well-designed for sheer indulgence and luxury. It is packed with quirky shops, designer boutiques, and antique stores, all surrounded by a beautiful, Instagram-able setting. 

As you wander around the Creative Quarter, take time to admire the glorious architecture. If you are able to, stop in and have a drink from McDaids, one of the oldest pubs in Ireland. It is a favourite spot for many Irish talents, from poets and writers to musicians!

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A day trip from Ireland to London is a great experience.

Leaving Dublin, Ireland, to Return to London

After a full day of exploring the wonderful countryside and cities of Ireland, it’ll be time to head back to London. We recommend booking your return travel at the same time as when you purchased tickets for your journey to Ireland, whether that’s by bus, train, ferry, plane, or a combination.

Make sure to arrive at the port, train station, bus stop, or airport on time in order to get home safely. However, if you do miss the last trip back to England, Dublin will have many hotels and accommodations for you to choose from!

A Day Trip to Ireland From London is Full of Adventure!

Ireland has so much history, beauty, and culture to explore. The comes alive with parks, museums, and restaurants filled with the sounds and smells of the perfect European holiday. A day trip to Ireland from London is a fantastic getaway for a solo traveller, group of friends, or family to make lasting memories.

If you’re taking a holiday in Ireland, check out our blog on spending 24 Hours in Dublin: Experience the Best of the Irish Capital.

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