Sail Rail to Ireland
SailRail is a unique initiative that offers all-inclusive tickets for combined ferry and train travel between Britain and Ireland. It enables you to buy a ticket from any British train station to several ports in Wales and Scotland and then the onward ferry travel to Ireland. For example, a combined train and ferry ticket one-way via Holyhead from Newcastle to Dublin Port costs from £36, London to Dublin from £38 and Manchester to Dublin from £33.
SailRail tickets can be used for ferry journeys across the Irish Sea via Stranraer (Southeast Scotland), Holyhead (North Wales) and Fishguard (Southwest Wales) on either Irish Ferries or Stena Line services.
The service is an excellent way to travel without flying or driving. You can buy tickets online at the Raileasy website or at any National Rail station in England, Scotland or Wales. Prices work out very reasonably, such as the London-Dublin route which costs from £38 one way.
If you're travelling from Ireland, Raileasy is currently only able to post to addresses in the UK so tickets for journeys departing from Belfast, Dublin or any other Irish station will need to be collected from a UK station with ticket on departure facilities before the date of travel or sent to a UK address by post. Alternatively, you can buy SailRail tickets from a number of Irish stations, including: Athlone, Ballina, Claremorris, Dublin Connolly, Dundalk, Drogheda, Ennis, Galway, Longford, Mallow, Cork, Tralee, Killarney, Waterford, Limerick, Limerick Junction, Sligo, Thurles, Tullamore and Westport.
Sail Rail Holyhead to Dublin
Virgin Trains and Arriva Trains Wales connect services from Scotland, the North-West, Midlands and London. Holyhead train station is a two minute walk from the port which is serviced by both Irish Ferries and Stena Line. Irish Ferries offers four daily crossings, some of which use the catamaran which cuts the crossing time down from 3hrs 15mins to 2hrs, although this service is more prone to cancellation. Stena Line offers a single crossing each day with a crossing time of 3hrs 15mins. Stena Line and Irish Ferries arrive at different ports in Dublin but they both make use of the onward shuttle service to Dublin Central bus station (Busaras), a short walk from Connolly station. If you are heading to Heuston station, it costs €1.50 on the LUAS tram from Connolly.
Sail Rail Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire
Dun Laoghaire is 11km from Dublin (for info on getting to the port, see 'Holyhead-Dublin'). This crossing is serviced by Stena Line twice daily and takes just 1hr 40mins. On arrival in Dun Laoghaire, it's just a two minute walk to Dun Laoghaire train station which is serviced by the DART service to Dublin and south-eastern Railways.
[The Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire crossing is also used to travel to Cork. Tickets, for example, cost from £41 via train from Birmingham)].
Combined Rail and Sail Ticket Price to Dun Laoghaire via Holyhead: From London - £30.50; from Birmingham - £28.50; from Manchester £40.
Sail Rail Fishguard to Rosslare
First Great Western and Arriva Trains Wales connect services around London, Oxford, Bristol and South Wales to Fishguard Harbour, a short walk from Fishguard train station. The Stena Line crossing takes 3hr 30mins and sails twice a day. On arrival at Rosslare, the Rosslare Europort offers train connections out west to Limerick and Cork.
Bikes can be taken on board Irish Ferries and Stena Line ships for £5 with no need for reservation, check their websites to find out more.
Combined Rail and Sail Ticket Price to Rosslare via Fishguard: From London - £32; from Bristol - £28; from Manchester - £32.
For more information and to purchase the combined rail and ferry tickets, go to the RailEasy website.
For more information on travelling to Ireland by ferry, see our comprehensive guide to: How to Travel to Ireland without Flying.