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Tours

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Ireland

Ireland has a turbulent and often troubled history, giving each hill, lough and pile of stones a story. On tour we encounter prehistoric Kings, beautiful Celtic art, Viking raiders and English invaders… Along the way we experience ancient traditions and relax with the locals at typical singing pubs.

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Tour Description

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Follow Viking, early Christian, and Iron Age Celtic civilizations on this all-encompassing trip around the Emerald Isle
  • Gaze upon the lavishly decorated Book of Kells in the hallowed surroundings of Trinity College library in Dublin

  • See the beehive huts, grave slabs, crosses and early churches to be found in the impressive glacial valley of Glendalough
  • Enjoy a foot-tapping evening of rousing traditional Irish music and dance in the historic port town of Kinsale


Meals: All breakfasts, 12 lunches & 4 dinners

LED BY

Sep 2017
Prof. Charles Doherty

Sep 2018
Prof. Charles Doherty

2017 ITINERARY

September 6 & 7: DUBLIN
We arrive on Thursday and meet with Professor Doherty for dinner.
Hotel: Westbury Hotel, Dublin.

September 8: DUBLIN
We spend our first morning in the National Museum, home to the largest collection of Bronze Age gold in the world. We also stop at Trinity College to see the beautifully decorated Book of Kells and visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Hotel: Westbury Hotel, Dublin.

September 9: NEWGRANGE
We visit the magnificent prehistoric sites of Newgrange and Knowth. It is believed that the megalithic passage tomb of Newgrange, which boasts a white quartz facade, would have taken a workforce of three hundred some twenty years to complete. We also visit the Hill of Tara, one of the most important royal sites of early Ireland.
Hotel: Westbury Hotel, Dublin.

September 10: GLENDALOUGH
We travel south to Glendalough, a 6th century monastic settlement set in a lovely glaciated valley. Continuing south we stop at Old Kilkullen to view the remains of an Iron Age hill-fort. Lastly, at Browne’s Hill, we find a dolmen with a capstone that is said to weigh 100 tons.
Hotel: River Court Hotel, Kilkenny.

September 11: KILKENNY
We begin at the imposing Jerpoint Abbey, renowned for the 15th-century cloister and unique carvings in the sculptured cloister arcade. Our next stop is the famous Cathedral, the Rock of Cashel, once seat of the Kings of Munster.
Hotel: Actons Hotel, Kinsale

September 12: KINSALE
We begin the day with some free time in Kilkenny. Afterwards, we depart for Charles Fort, a massive star-shaped fort built in 1677. We continue to Tralee to visit the Bonane Heritage Park. We find a variety of archaeological remains from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages here. This evening we will attend an Irish music and dance show.
Hotel: Dromhall Hotel, Killarney.

September 13: KERRY
Some of the finest coastal scenery in Ireland is found in West Kerry, on the Dingle Peninsula. Our first stop will be the Iron Age Dunbeg Fort, an impressive example of a promontory fort. We examine the 9th-century corbel built Oratory of Gallarus. Finally, we visit Blasket Heritage Center, which tells the fascinating story of this remote island.
Hotel: Dromhall Hotel, Killarney.

September 14: GALWAY
Today begins at Clonmacnoise Monastery, the burial place of the Kings of Connaught and Tara. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven 10th-13th century churches, two round towers and Western Europe’s largest collection of Early Christian grave slabs.
Hotel: Galway.

September 15: GALWAY
This morning we sail to the Aran Island of Inishmore, where we visit the island’s spectacular sites beginning at Dun Aenghus, a dramatic dry-stone fort. Our next visit is to Na Seacht d’Teampaill Seven Churches complex.
Hotel: Galway.

September 16: SLIGO
We spend a day at well-preserved Ceide Fields, Europe’s largest Neolithic land enclosure. Recent excavations have revealed Stone Age pottery and a well used primitive plough. Professor Seamus Caufield, the site archaeologist, will be our guide, offering us a privileged introduction to the site.
Hotel: Riverside Hotel, Sligo.

September 17: SLIGO
We begin at Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, the largest megalithic cemetery in Ireland; the oldest grave dates from 3200 BCE. We continue to Drumcliff and take a literary break to visit W.B. Yeats’s grave en route to Creevykeel, where we see one of the finest Court Cairns in Ireland. Free afternoon to explore Sligo.
Hotel: Riverside Hotel, Sligo.

September 18: BELFAST
This morning we drive to Derry, one of the finest intact examples of a walled town in Europe. We examine these seventeenth century fortifications before continuing to the reconstructed circular stone fort Grianan of Aileach on our way to Belfast.
Hotel: Europa Hotel, Belfast.

September 19: BELFAST
We tour Belfast, viewing the leaning Albert Memorial Clock Tower and Opera House. We venture a few miles out of Belfast to see our last prehistoric monument of the tour, Giant’s Ring, an impressive earthwork, 600 feet in diameter, with a megalithic chamber thought to date to 3000 BC.
Hotel: Europa Hotel, Belfast.

September 20: DUBLIN
Our last day brings us back to Dublin, with time for an afternoon at leisure. You may like to explore its great galleries, green parks or even the old Guinness factory! We enjoy our farewell dinner at one of the city’s fine restaurants.
Hotel: Westbury Hotel, Dublin.

September 21:
We transfer to Dublin airport.

MAP

Ireland 

Additional Information

Calendar Year

2017

Reservation Form

Accommodation

Accommodation

Westbury Hotel, DublinWestbury
This stunning hotel has been designed to the highest standards, furnished with a neutral and calming interior the hotel boasts the highest quality custom-woven wool carpets and mohair covered chairs. After a stay in the beautifully appointed rooms wake up to a full Irish breakfast. This hotel has it all truly covered, from the high service standards and welcoming staff down to the aromatherapy toiletries.

 

 

River Court Hotel, Kilkennykilkenny-rivercourt-hotel-2

Overlooking the city’s 12th-century castle, you’ll be treated like a Noble as you stay in this stunning medieval city overlooking the stunning Rive Nore. On the private courtyard, unwind with the hotel’s al-fresco dining experience, you’ll be sat beside the gently flowing river, where the castle towers down above you. The large rooms are newly renovated and stylishly decorated with all the amenities you need, including luxury bed linen and mattresses, you can request your complimentary daily newspaper to read over breakfast in bed. 

 

 

Actons Hotel, Kinsaleactons-hotel-kinsale-2

The picturesque town not only boasts a colorful historical harbour but, to your delights, also argued to be the Gourmet Capital of Ireland! You’ll be awakened by the tinkling of yacht masts as the hotel looks out across the harbour. The boutique style hotel is only a short walk to the town centre, but also boasts a pool and gardens to unwind in. As a founding member of Kinsale Good Food Circle, breakfast is highly anticipated and doesn’t disappoint.

 

 

Dromhall Hotel, KillarneyDromhall-2

This grand hotel is family owned and prides itself on first class service and comfort. Surround by the Ross Castle and Killarney National Park, the hotel is set in acers of natural beauty.  The swimming pool, sauna, and steam room make the perfect place to relax after a long day of exploring. Keeping with tradition the hotel still uses old fashioned keys, just ask at the reception desk for the story behind the keys!

 

 

Riverside Hotel, SligoRiverside-hotel-2

Another picturesque hotel perched on the edge of Garavougue River. The bar and lounge with its traditional ambiance is a great place to recline with a drink as you think about the day’s adventure… and you may even experience one of the hotel’s live music nights with traditional Irish live music. The neutral rooms, with a clean and crisp feel, are airy and equipped with an en-suite, flat screen TV, tea & coffee making facilities and complimentary WiFi so you can keep up sending all those holiday snaps home!

 

 

Europa Hotel, Belfasteuropa-room-9

In the heart of Belfast, step into the grand foyer of this contemporary hotel known to indulge Prime Ministers, Presidents, and celebrities on their visit to Belfast. Enjoy the evening in the Piano lounge before a good night’s rest in the stunning stylish bedrooms, all equipped with bathrooms made from high-spec glass and chrome, flat screen TVs and top-of-the-line bedding and towels. The hotel has a rich history too, so don’t miss the photos leading up the spiral staircase to the piano bar.