2014 – Irish Treasures Tour, 25 Sept. to 08 Oct.
Cead Mile Failte!
Come join us for a unique tour of this Emerald Isle – Land of a Hundred Thousand Welcomes. What follows is an outline of our travels: many additional visits to mills, craftspeople and special sights have been planned for you. The following is just a brief outline of the many excursions we’ll make.
Irish Treasures Tour – Itinerary
Wednesday, 24 September –
Board your overseas flights from your homes in the U.S. and/or Canada to arrive in Dublin the following day.
Thursday, 25 September –
Our Dublin hotel is centrally-located and overlooks St. Stephen’s Green. You’ll find it’s within easy walking distance of the shops on Grafton Street, Trinity College and the National Museum. The rooms are comfortable, with en suite facilities and free Wifi. There will be time for you to have a rest or take a walk before we meet for a reception before dinner.
Evening dinner is at the hotel.
Friday, 26 September –
In the morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we’ll meet our Blue Badge guide for a walking tour of the central part of this attractive and historic city. There is much to see, such as Trinity College, where the Book of Kells is on display. Frequently referred to as ‘The most beautiful book in the world’, this lavishly illustrated manuscript, decorated by monks, dates from the 9th century and is a marvel of Early Christian art.
There are a number of museums and galleries that you can visit without charge. One such institution is the National Museum of Ireland, with its many masterpieces, a Caravaggio and a stunning Bronze Age gold collar.
Take a walk through St. Stephen’s Green Park and pass by the Georgian squares, famous for their architecture and painted doors.
There is a small, but well-stocked yarn shop in central Dublin. It’s called ‘This is Knit’ and it is located in the restored Powerscourt Townhouse Centre on William Street.
There are many potential activities for your evenings while you’re in Dublin, which are all close by:
- Abbey Theatre (also known as the National Theatre of Ireland);
- Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, led by two actors who impersonate and quote well-known Irish authors;
- National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland;
- Visit the lively Temple Bar area, with its galleries, music and theatres. (This is known as the Bohemian area of Dublin);
- Traditional music and pub visits.
Dinner is on your own. There are many excellent restaurants and pubs close to our hotel. Your tour escort will be happy to give you suggestions.
Saturday, 27 September –
After breakfast at the hotel, our coach will meet us again for a half-day panoramic tour of the surrounding area. We’ll visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn the story of this famous brew. Before leaving, we’ll enjoy a pint of the ‘black stuff’.
We’ll also go out to Kilmainham Gaol for a haunting tour of one of Europe’s largest unoccupied gaols (jails to North Americans).
Before returning to central Dublin, we’ll visit nearby Blackrock and Winnie’s Wool Wagon.
Sunday, 28 September –
After breakfast at the hotel, we take our leave from Dublin and travel south and west, stopping along the way at Kildare and Kilkenny, with a side trip to see the New Ros Tapestry, before we arrive at the country house hotel of Ballymaloe, member of Ireland’s prestigious Blue Book Collection.
This special place is tucked away in the countryside, yet very close to the coast and just twenty miles from historic Cork. You will find a warm welcome and outstanding food, as the family also operate the renowned Cookery School.
Dinner this evening is served by the family, as this is a night off for the kitchen staff.
Monday, 29 September –
After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, we’ll be met by Carol Feller, well known Irish knitwear designer, teacher and author. Carol has a project in mind for us and your self-selected Irish yarn (included in the tour price) will be waiting so that you can get started knitting.
We’ll tour in the afternoon to nearby Cobh and Kinsale. Cobh (pronounced Cove and formerly known as Queenstown) was the last port of call for the ‘HMS Titanic’ before she set off across the Atlantic and the tragic encounter with an iceberg. Kinsale is justifiably known as the ‘gourmet town in County Cork’. We’ll also visit the historic centre of Cork, another gourmet hub, especially famous for its seafood and exceptional cheeses. You will see the array of local products at the English Market. Cork was also the refuge of Huguenots and we’ll drive through their former quarter.
We’ll have our dinner at a small, local pub. Included in tour price.
Tuesday, 30 September –
After breakfast, Carol will meet us again and you can enjoy knitting while hearing about the Irish textile scene.
Our dinner this evening will be at Ballymaloe, and another opportunity to enjoy their outstanding cuisine.
Wednesday, 01 October –
After breakfast, we’ll take our leave from Ballymaloe. We’ll stop in Kenmare, for free time and the home of Kenmare Lace. Then Muckross House,with its beautiful gardens and weavers.
Our hotel for the next two nights is the Mustard Seed, another Blue Book property. This country house property is surrounded by seven acres of gardens, forests and orchards, yet is very close to Limerick and the picturesque little village of Adare.
The property is known for its outstanding food and dinner this evening will be a treat.
Thursday, 02 October –
After breakfast, we’ll have a relaxing morning at the Mustard Seed.
Our touring for today is along part of the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’, an area which extends from the Old Head of Kinsale on the southern Celtic Sea, along Ireland’s western Atlantic Ocean coast to Londonderry in Northern Ireland. (This breath-taking coastal route is known as Sli an Atlantaigh Fhiain in the Irish.) Our chance to experience the pounding surf will be while we travel around Kerry’s Dingle Peninsula. There will be many opportunities for photographs.
Friday, 03 October –
This morning after breakfast, we leave the Mustard Seed and head north through Ennis to Galway. On our way, arrangements have been made to visit famous basketmaker, Joe Hogan at his home/studio near rural Clonbur for a demonstration. As a treat, his wife will serve us tea, coffee and homemade scones.
Our hotel for the next two nights is just outside Galway, Ireland’s ‘Capital of the West’. This is an opportunity to use the facilities of the leisure club with its large swimming pool and spa facilities on the property.
Saturday, 04 October –
Today we’ll do some local sightseeing in Galway, starting with a visit to the lively Saturday market. This is a special experience as the market had been held in the same location in Church Lane for centuries. There is a bounty of fresh produce and crafts.
We’ll also wander through the medieval quarter of Galway and visit Ann O’Maille’s shop where Irish sweaters and yarn are sold. It was this store which supplied the knitwear for the movie ‘The Quiet Man’, which starred Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne.
Sunday, 05 October –
There is much to see and we’ll have an early departure after breakfast for our next hotel in Donegal. En route, we’ll travel due north through County Mayo to Castlebar, stopping for a visit to the interesting National Museum of Ireland’s Country Life.
We’ll then travel the short distance to Foxford Mills, one of the last working mills in Ireland. Foxford was founded in 1892 by an Irish Sister of Charity and has had a sometimes difficult history through the years, especially a devastating fire in 1908. Foxford produces fine quality woven products and is a source of important employment for the people of the region.
Our destination this afternoon is another outstanding hotel near Sligo where we will spend the next two nights.
Monday, 06 October –
This will be a full day of touring in the town of Donegal and the surrounding area. Another chance for you to see what an active centre it is for weaving, knitting and talented craftspeople.
Our last evening at our five-star hotel, known for its facilities, service, cuisine and general ambience. We’ll share memories of our Irish travels at a special reception before dinner.
Tuesday, 07 October –
Our last full day in Ireland. We’ll take our leave from our hotel and travel back to the Dublin area, making several interesting stops along the way.
Our last hotel is near to Dublin’s international airport.
Dinner is on your own this evening.
Wednesday, 08 October –
Depending on the times of your homebound flights, you’ll be close to the airport for an easy departure.
Safe trip home!
Contact Joyce James for More Information:
Joyce James Tours
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