Yes flying is quicker but for those who like mildly heroic journeys involving ground-level scenery, trains and ferries then the SailRail option, highlighted on the The Man in Seat 61‘s website might be of interest if you’re heading to David Arnold’s concert in Dublin next Thursday 22 January at the National Concert Hall.
The entire journey from London to Holyhead (train) then ferry (with Irish Ferries) to Dublin then back again (with Stena Line ferries) to Holyhead then London via Chester costs £80.50 (tickets 2x£39 + £2.50 booking fee).
“You can buy cheap SailRail tickets between any rail station in Britain and any rail station in Ireland, covering train travel to the port, ferry to Ireland & onward trains in Ireland, all on one ticket.” From: How to travel by train & ferry from London to Dublin & Ireland
Online booking form: http://www.raileasy.co.uk/booking-process/ibeui/html/
(I found my tickets by selecting Irish Ferries on outward journey and Stena Line on return)
Phone: 0906 2000 500 (costs £1.02/min from BT landlines)
Now to find a hotel that’s near-ish to both the ferry ports and the National Concert Hall!
This is an unofficial website.
Example journey from London to Dublin
Outward journey £39 with reserved seats on train
London Euston (depart, train) 9.10am
Holyhead (arrive): 12.50
Holyhead (depart, ferry): 14.20
Dublin Port – Irish Ferries (arrive): 17:25
Return journey £39 with reserved seats on both trains
Dublin Port – Stena ferries* (depart, ferry): 8.20am
Holyhead (arrive): 11.50am
Holyhead (depart, train): 12:32
Chester (arrive): 14:15
Chester (depart): 14:35
London Euston (arrive): 16:39
*near (but not identical to) the Irish Ferries port
Other example fares given on the Man in Seat 61’s page for Ireland include
• London to Dublin from £39
• London to Cork, Limerick, Galway from £60.50
• Manchester or Liverpool to Dublin £34
• York, Leeds, Birmingham to Dublin £37