Friday, 27 April 2018

Visiting Ireland

(Here's Our Top Tips)

Use Time Wisely

1. There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important things. While Ireland is a relatively small country,  one of the biggest mistakes people make when planning their trip is underestimating how long it takes to travel around the country.
So choose the things you really would love to see and don't pack your itinerary to the top. There is something magical about exploring Ireland with a Driver/Guide and finding those hidden gems.

The Weather 

2.This lush green land is a result of lots of rain. Embrace this! The good news is it doesn’t have much in the way of extremes either way.  So the best way to be prepared is to bring lots of light layers, a good light rain coat, comfortable shoes and sunglasses to enjoy all the exploring.

Great Craic!

3.Ireland is famous for its Céad Míle Fáilte (100,000  welcomes), most Irish people love to talk with visitors. There is humour is almost everything you hear so relax, chat and listen you may find you make lots of friends.

The ‘Wrong’ Side Of The Road

4.We drive on the left-hand side of the road, Ireland is largely a rural country and rural traffic is our norm. Expect slow tractors, cows or sheep around every corner from March to October. Ireland is notorious for its long winding roads with breath taking scenery. So hire us at Butlers, sit back, relax and enjoy this beautiful country.

Never say No to a Cuppa

5. Go on, go on, go on! Sure a cuppa tea is good for you. We are a nation of tea drinkers and we believe we are expert tea makers. We believe all of life's woes can be remedied over a nice cup of tea.

Money Matters

6. We use the Euro in the Republic of Ireland and Sterling pounds in the North of Ireland.Travellers cheques/checks are not very convenient in Ireland as it can be hard to cash them so probably best to avoid them. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATM/cash machines are common place.

Please note that $100.00 bills may not be accepted in many places including the banks.

We don’t all speak in Irish 

7. While most will have a "Cúpla focal" (a couple of words) it’s not necessary to be fluent in Irish before you arrive. English is our main language, not many people regularly speak in Irish in Ireland unless you’re wandering around in the Gaeltacht areas which may be well worth a visit. 


8. We have it all from luxury B&B's to 5 Star Hotels. A great tip from one of our guests is to stay in a B&B to experience Irish life and then book into a hotel on another stop on your tour to experience the excellent Irish Hotel hospitality also. 

Pack Your Smile 

9. We are but a small island with a big reputation! We have breathtaking landscapes, friendly people and steeped in fascinating history and folklore. One thing is certain you will not be disappointed!

Tá súil againn a fheiceann tú go luath!

Thursday, 5 April 2018

 Cóbh, Co. Cork.

(Top Ten Interesting Facts) 

 2.5 Million Emigrated From Cobh.  

1. If you are of Irish descent, then there is a good chance that your ancestors left Ireland through the beautiful town of Cóbh (formerly Queenstown). Cóbh was the departure point for over 2.5 million of the six million Irish people who emigrated to America between 1848 and 1950. 

First Person Processed Through Ellis Island.

2. Annie Moore was the first immigrant to the United States to pass through the Ellis Island facility in New York Harbour. She departed from Cóbh accompanied by her brothers Phillip and Anthony, aboard the steamship Nevada on the 1st of January 1892.

Picture credit Ireland's content pool. 

2nd Largest Naturally Protected Harbour.

3. Cóbh is situated on Great Island in Cork Harbour, the second largest natural harbour in the world second only to Sydney Harbour.

A stunning view of Cork Harbour from The Promenade in Cóbh . Picture taken by Sarah Butler .  

Jack Doyle Was Born In Cóbh. 

4. Jack Doyle was know as a boxer, singer, actor, lover and a drinker. Jack was born on the 31st of August 1,913 in Cóbh. He knocked out Clarke Gable in a fight over actress Carole Lombard and he married the beautiful actress Movita, but it ended, like that of so many prizefighters of his time, in poverty.

Jack Doyle and his wife Movita

1st Steam Ship Transatlantic Crossing.

5. The paddle steamer ‘Sirius’ became the first ever ship to cross the Atlantic from this Harbour to New York without the aid of sail in 1838. Sirius left Cork from Cóbh, on 4 April and arrived in New York after a voyage of 18 days, 4 hours and 22 minutes .

St Coleman's Cathedral Took 47 Years To Complete.

6. Construction began in 1867 and was not completed until almost half a century later due to increases in costs and revisions of the original plans. The cathedral was finally consecrated in 1915.

Picture credit Ireland's content pool.

You've Heard Of U-Boats But Have You Heard Of Q-Ships? 

7In World War 1 the local dock yard on Hauwlbowline converted merchant ships into decoy vessels. These so-called Q-ships were designed to act as bait for the German submarine commanders. A Q-ship would appear to be an easy target, but it actually carried hidden arms. A typical Q-ship might resemble a Tramp steamer sailing in an area where a U-boat was reported to be. A Q-ship hoped to encourage the U-boat captain to make a surface attack. This was one of the closest kept secrets of WW1.

Picture of a typical U boat.

Cóbh People Supported 100's Of Lusitania Victims.  

8. 1,198 people perished on the 7th of May 1915 when the Lusitania was sunk off the Cork coast by a torpedo fired by a German U-boat. The people of Cóbh witnessed first-hand the trauma and heartbreak as the dead, injured and bereaved were brought to Cóbh and a makeshift morgue was set in up in the Voyager Pub in Casement square. Of the 289 bodies that were recovered, 169 were buried in the Old Church Cemetery just outside the town in 3 mass graves and 20 individual plots.

The coffins being taken up Harbour Hill, Cóbh .Picture Credit to John O'Flynn of Cobh Tour and Spike Island.

Cóbh Is The Most Populated Island in Ireland.

9. Cóbh or the Island the town Cóbh is on (Great Island) is by far the most populated island in Ireland. It is 5 times more populated than the 2nd largest Achill.

Picture credit Ireland's content pool.

Titanic's last port of Call.

10. The ill fated RMS Titanic undertook her first and only voyage in April 1912. The Titanic was the biggest and most luxurious liner of it's time as well as being deemed to be one of the safest ships afloat. Cóbh was her last port of call.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Driver-Less Bus Tours Of Ireland

Butlers Tours Launch The First Ever Driver-Less Bus Tour of Ireland.

Save Money !

Our tour guides can now handle 4 tours of Ireland at one time from our futuristic HQ.


When Nature Calls!

In keeping with our ethos of making every tour tailor made to our customers requirements we are taking it to the next level.

Kevin Butler himself developed an App for your smart phone to communicate privately with your guide in HQ.

This is perfect if you find yourself caught off guard when nature calls or you fancy relaxing with cup a tea and scone in a local artisan Irish Coffee shop.

Self Cleaning Buses!

You get to clean them yourself.

Just to enhance the authentic experience, we will supply your group with top quality Irish made cleaning supplies and a check list for cleaning the coach after the tour daily. 

Related image

Disaster Plan.

As ever at Butlers Tours we always put safety first so we have produced a brief "How to drive a Bus" video.

So if your Driver-Less bus loses wi-fi connection with HQ and you find you need to manage the winding roads of Ireland yourself. 

No problem!! Just look a our "How to" video in our app and take control.


Book now to experience your exciting tour.

Happy 1st of April 😄

From all at Butlers.        

Thursday, 15 March 2018

St. Patrick's Day (10 Facts )

St. Patrick's day celebrations.

1. St. Patrick wasn't Irish.

Patrick's parents were Roman citizens living in Scotland or Wales.

2. There were never any snakes in Ireland to banish!

Ireland never had any snakes!

It is believed snakes refer to pagan religious beliefs and practices.

3. March 17th is the day St. Patrick died

17th March 2015.Armagh Youth Forum dansers

4. St. Patrick's Day was an alcohol free holiday.

In Irish law from 1903 to 1970, St. Patrick's Day was declared a day of religious observance.

Which meant all pubs were closed for the day.

This law was overturned in 1970, when St. Patrick's Day was reclassified as a national holiday.

5. St Patrick's colour was actually blue not green.

In fact most of the country, including its flag, were represented by blue.

In 1798 the colour green became officially associated with the day.

St Patrick's Day Fun.

6.The shamrock is not the symbol of Ireland.

The Harp is!!

The shamrock is the national flower of Ireland.

7. The 1st St Patrick's Parade was in America.

The first recorded St Patrick’s Day celebration was in New York in 1762.

8. St Patrick's Day is celebrated in Space.

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in countries across the globe, and even in lower orbit.

It’s been marked several times on NASA’s International Space Station.


9. Don't pinch me!

The tradition in America is to pinch anyone who isn't wearing green on St. Patrick's Day.

Legend has it that wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns.......who pinch anyone they see!

10.Happy Maewyn Day.

St Patrick's given name was Maewyn Succat.

We could be celebrating “Maewyn Day” instead of “St Patrick’s Day” if his name was not changed when he was ordained as a priest.

One Bonus fact!!

11.Did he even use a Shamrock?

Although it’s widely believed that Saint Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to describe the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, there’s no written mention of this until as late as the 1600's.

 Happy St Patrick's Day from all at Butlers.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

When is the best time to visit Ireland weather wise?

  • When is our weather most favourable for touring?
  • What are the average temperatures?
  • And what clothes should you bring?

Ok let's talk about the weather in Ireland!

Irish people just love to talk about the weather. It has got to be our favourite national pastime (being obsessive on the subject would be a fair accusation). I suppose our ever contrasting climate does give us oodles to converse about.

The good news is ...?

The good news is that we have a moderate climate with no extremes. Our winters are not too cold and our summers are not too hot.

However be warned that we can experience all 4 seasons in one afternoon on occasion.

Rest assured though that the old saying holds true "If you don't like the weather now, just wait a few minutes"

Although we spend a lot of time bemoaning our weather, Irish people in general are an incredibly optimistic bunch as we never have an umbrella and we rarely dress appropriately for any season.

What do Irish people do on a sunny day?

It's a common sight on a beautiful sunny summers day to see milk white Paddys and Patricias stripped off to the bare minimum getting as much exposure to the blazing sun as humanly possible. (Think pig on a spit!)

After all, this nice weather could very well just be a "once off" and it could be raining tomorrow so one feels it is almost his/her patriotic duty to make the very most of it. 

Sun cream - what's that? 

The conversation later that evening while cooling off by skulling back pints of "The Black Stuff" in the local pub would be centered around on what a great colour was got by all that day.

The following day off course, mother nature would expose hungover lobsters galore. Lesson learnt? Not at all - "shure wasn't it all great craic after all - can't wait for next year!"

Time for the facts.

Although amusing to the informed tourist, the above information is not going to help you very much with your visit to Ireland so here is my best advice based on my very own personal experience:

The best weather is from May to September peaking in July but April and October are still viable options. 


December to February are the coldest months with average temperatures of 3° to 8°C. (37.4° to 46.4°F)

Record low temperatures of -18°C (-0.4°F) have been recorded back in January 1979

March and April can be somewhat pleasant with an average 4
° to 12°C (39.2° to 53.6°F)

May to September are our warmest months with an average of 6° to 19°C (42.8° to 66.2°F) peaking in July. It's not unusual to reach the mid 20's and sometimes even to record temperatures in the low 30's

October is not too bad at 6
° to 13°C (42.8° to 55.4°F) but November starts to get cooler again heading into averages of 4° to 10°C (39.2° to 50°F)

We also get a whopping 18 hours of daylight during our peak summertime with days getting bright around 5am and getting dark around 11pm.

My advice

Even with our best weather the evenings can be cool so you will need to bring a sweater (or a Jumper as we call it). Always bring a light raincoat that you can pack away easily. A foldable umbrella can be handy anytime of the year (personally I prefer a baseball cap which is good for sun and rain). Of course do bring your shorts as you will get plenty of opportunity to wear them too.

November to February can be a bit on the coolish/damp/misty side and the days are quite short. Our shortest day is about 8 hours.

These months see a significant decrease in tourist numbers for perhaps those very reasons but if you like to get away from the crowds and get a lot more bang for your buck then I recommend going for it!

Ireland is genuinely the most beautifully enchanting country in the whole world all year round no matter what the weather. 

And of course the Irish people are the same no matter what time of the year you travel so you can always expect a warm welcome when you arrive.

So when are you coming......

I am always happy to answer any questions about your visit to Ireland - Leave a comment below.