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“Great day”

Butlers Bus Tours of Ireland
Ranked #2 of 46 Tours in Cork
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Bus Tours, Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: We specialise in providing bus tours of Ireland for private groups large or small who wish to enjoy their own custom tailor made flexible tour of Ireland complete with their own personal experienced driver/guide.
Reviewed 7 September 2017 via mobile

Our group of four booked a tour to Blarney Castle and Cork for our cruise ship visit to Cobh. Unfortunately our friends had an emergency and cancelled the cruise at the last minute. My husband and I were very surprised when Paddy picked us up at the pier in a 17 passenger bus. Needless to say, we had lots of room! Paddy took us immediately to Blarney Castle where we kissed the stone and toured the spectacular gardens. We also visited some interesting sites in Cork and Cobh. Paddy was an outstanding guide who also told us stories that put a human face on our knowledge of Irish history. We had a wonderful day!

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank Debra26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"office staff"
in 22 reviews
"driver john"
in 16 reviews
"always on time"
in 16 reviews
"blarney castle"
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"golf trip"
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"bus company"
in 8 reviews
"private tour"
in 28 reviews
"day tour"
in 37 reviews
"dublin airport"
in 7 reviews
"his knowledge"
in 25 reviews
"excellent driver"
in 12 reviews
"cruise ship"
in 25 reviews
"beautiful country"
in 8 reviews
"the entire trip"
in 6 reviews
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in 8 reviews
"irish songs"
in 6 reviews
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Reviewed 7 September 2017 via mobile

Sean was great to deal with. Price was very reasonable and Sean was an excellent driver, nothing was too much trouble. Highly recommended.

Date of experience: October 2016
Thank Traveller1892
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2017

I organised a private shore excursion for some people on our cruise arriving in Cobh, Ireland.

I had contacted Butlers via email months before our cruise, paid in full etc after we had settled on a 9 hour itinerary from Cobh to go to Youghal, then the Jamison Whiskey Factory at Middleton for lunch and tastings (for those who wanted to taste) then the Blarney Castle. I had emailed the Youghal tourist information centre and arranged a time to visit at 9am - we were to disembark the ship at 8am in order to make our appointed time at Youghal.

However we found out the night before we were to dock at Cobh that all passengers had to go through immigration on board and that there could be hold ups.

I contacted Butlers and asked if we could reverse the itinerary as we had a walking tour booked in Youghal and would not make it in time if we were held up. Butlers agreed it would be best so we changed the Blarney Castle to our first stop and Youghal to our last stop. Youghal Tourist information centre also agreed to slot us in at 3pm, not 9am.

Luckily for us, immigration was quite quick and we made it off the ship at 8am - our original time to be off the ship - but kept our revised itinerary.

We had a lovely driver named Nial and away we went to Blarney Castle passing through some lovely green and pretty countryside.

After about 50 mins we arrived at the Castle just on opening time – yay … hardly anyone there … so off we walked along a pathway with gorgeous gardens either side – lots of pretty flowers of all colours, shapes and sizes. Part of the castle ruins were shrouded in white – undergoing repairs or renovation I guess.

Luckily for us – no queues – the advantage of being early and Princess pushing back the start time of their tours due to the Immigration procedures.

Nial told us we would have 2 ½ hours here - I thought it would be less but didn't question it because he knew the roads better than me and the timing to get other places on our tour.

The time went by quite quickly and we were glad we changed the itinerary and arrived early - no problem at all getting up to see the Blarney Stone …

We walked around the grounds and with half an hour to spare, headed over to the Blarney Woollen Mills which had some beautiful rugs (at a price), lots of Aran sweaters and clothes not to mention Waterford Crystal and some tacky souvenirs for sure.

Before getting on the bus, Nial told me that he had made changes to our itinerary ! He brought the time forward for our walking tour in Youghal from 3pm to 2pm and had contacted the Jamison Whiskey Factory and basically put the kybosh on that … then I had to break the news to the group – all apart from one couple were OK with the changes … I felt bad for them but there was nothing I could do.

We motored on to a place called Kileagh – pronounced “killer” – and had lunch in lovely restaurant attached to a pub called “the old thatch”.

I asked Nial if we could stop at the Jamison Whiskey Factory on the way back as a couple of people were very disappointed to miss it. He said that we had to be back at the dock by 5pm and there would not be time.

Given that the terms and conditions of this tour allowed us to go beyond the 9 hours we had paid for providing we paid extra for time beyond the initial 9 hours, I'm not sure why the bus had to be back at the dock by 5 pm ... that was news to me !

So I asked if there was another place we could stop for a Whiskey tasting and he said there was a bar at the restaurant and they could taste whatever they liked there....not quite the same as visiting a Whiskey factory in my opinion.

We both had Seafood Chowder which was really delicious with home made bread and followed it with an Irish Coffee for me and a Bailey’s coffee for him … that Irish Coffee took my breath away it was so strong ! I drank most of it and left the rest for him to drink !

Back on the bus at 1.45 and we were on our way to Youghal for our walking tour.

We made it to the tourist information centre to pay our 10 euro fee just in time and then straight up for our tour at the Clock Tower.

The Tower was initially a prison, completely overcrowded and unsanitary. Prisoners were also hanged here. Eventually caretakers for running the clocks lived in the tower, the last family moved out in the 1950s as the tower was cold and unsuitable for “modern day” living.

Some went up to the top of the tower, however I made my way down the four storeys and waited for the rest of the people to come down before the Youghal Town Crier walked us up to the St Mary’s Collegiate Church stopping at a couple of places in the main street to tell us about various places. I wasn't aware that we would be escorted to the Church by the Town Crier ... I hadn't booked him so I don't know how that came about.

St Mary’s church dates back to the 12th Century and has a roof that has been certified as such.

Additions have been made to the church over the centuries and hidden treasures have been discovered such as vaults which were only discovered when part of the floor collapsed.

The Baptisimal Font dates back to the 1300’s and is still in use today.

The Church is an Anglican Church however recently the Catholic Church had a religious service in the Church.

We had very limited time in this amazing church and town and had to be back on the bus by 4pm to be back to the port by 5pm ….

Overall, everyone was happy with what we saw but disappointed that the tour was changed around to suit the bus company rather than the paying passengers especially given that the tour times and places had been discussed and agreed to in various emails months beforehand.

Date of experience: July 2017
1  Thank DougoOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ian B, Owner at Butlers Bus Tours of Ireland, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2017

I am delighted you had a great tour with Niall and packed in so much to your short cruise ship visit to Cobh/Cork. No doubt Niall's experienced amendments ensured maximum enjoyment on such a tight schedule.
It is possible to add last minute additional hours to your 9 hour booking but of course this will depend on the availability of both the bus and driver/guide at that time.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2017

I have been dealing with Butlers for more or less the last 4 years organizing excursions around Cork for International students. The service provided by both the office staff when making bookings and the coach drivers when on trips was first class.
Always very friendly, helpful and accommodating while the coaches were always very clean and well kept.
I would highly recommend Butlers when

Date of experience: September 2017
Thank Sonny K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 September 2017

We recently used Butler’s Tours for a private tour for 4 couples while our cruise ship made a stop in Cork. Planning the tour with Liz, Ciara and the office staff was professional and efficient. When we arrived in Cork, Steve, our driver and guide was there to get us on our way. The bus was clean and comfortable with plenty of room for all of us. Our first stop was Blarney Castle and its beautiful gardens. We then headed to Kinsale, with a stop at Charlesfort to see the ruins and the views of Kinsale across the water. After a stop in Kinsale, where we had a fantastic lunch at The White House, Steve headed back to Cork. We stopped at the Old Church Cemetery, where victims of the Lusitania ship were buried, and at the Cork Cathedral so we could get a peek inside this beautiful church. All throughout the day, Steve was a wealth of information and great suggestions, and paced our stops well. We thoroughly enjoyed our day and tour with Butler’s.

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank OBwan49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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