For my first ever trip to Ireland for St Paddy's Day I wanted it to be brilliant!
I had heard from a lot of friends that the accommodation and packages for stays in Dublin could be super expensive so I started to look for alternatives. Stoke Travel had a package deal that included accommodation in Kilkenny, transfers to and from Dublin for the main parade, a night of beer drinking in Kilkenny, a tour of the Kilkenny Brewery and a traditional lunch at the oldest tavern in Kilkenny!
The value for money was brilliant. Travelling with Stoke I felt that I was getting much more of a party atmosphere and a great group rather than just paying for the accommodation and busses. We all met at the hostel and quickly began to get to know each other. The guide was happy to buy us Guiness and Irish cream liqueur to facilitate the party!
The hostel was quite basic but to be fair we only really used our rooms for sleeping. the rest of the time we were either in the common area or kitchen or exploring Kilkenny. It's a really cool medieval town with a river running through the middle of the town and a castle too.
Our visit to Dublin for the parade was quite good. We had a drop off/ pickup point and then we were free to explore Dublin and watch the parade by ourselves or stick with the guide. It was nice to have freedom to explore with the option of joining the group again if we wanted. The parade was incredible (if a bit long) and after we got our bus back to Kilkenny the party still had not stopped! The next day we went to the Kilkenny Brewery which was great fun and clearly had a lot of money spent on it to make it very interactive and appealing to people taking part in the tour.
Overall I had a brilliant time in Kilkenny/Dublin over the St Paddy's weekend. I would definitely reccomend it to anyone who is curious about checking out St Paddy's Day but doesn't want to spend a fortune on accommodation in Dublin. The only downside would be that only a couple of meals were covered in the price and I ended up spending a bit more money than planned on breakfast and dinners on some nights. The trip was great fun and the party lasted from the moment I arrived until the moment I left. I am still in contact with some of the people that I had met on that trip and maybe we will all go again next year!!