Bridie's first summer tour!
Wild & Wooly Ireland
August 11-24, 2017
$3350 (14/days, 12/nights - 4/star hotels)
If you are an educator or a student, THIS is the tour you've been waiting for!
For the first time ever, Bridie's Wild & Wooly Tour of Ireland will sojourn
across the natural beauty of Ireland in a summer month--August!
Day 1 / August 11 / Friday
USA-Dublin. Depart from USA for overnight flight to Shannon
Day 2 / August 12 / Saturday
Dublin-Kilkenny. Morning arrival at Dublin Airport where after clearing customs we meet our Professional Irish Driver Guide. We drive through Dublin and head south. En route we stop for breakfast (on own not included). We first travel to Naas, home of The Irish National Stud Farm where many of the world’s racing horses are bred. We continue to the Medieval City of Kilkenny, where we enjoy an optional visit The Kilkenny Castle which has been completely refurbished in recent years. The impressive Victorian building was erected in the mid-19th century when it served as a home to the Hackett family. Overnight Kilkenny Rivercourt. (Dinner on own)l.
Day 3 / August 13 / Sunday
Kilkenny. Today you are free to explore this quaint Medieval town on your own. There is Kilkenny Castle, Smithwicks Brewery, Kilkenny Desgn Center (handmade goodies) gardens, churches,and the Medieval Mile of shops!
Overnight Kilkenny Rivercourt. (Dinner on own)
Day 4 / August 14 / Monday
Kilkenny-Cashel-Cork. After breakfast we depart Kilkenny. We then visit the Rock of Cashel, with its well preserved ecclesiastical remains, is one of Ireland's most spectacular landmarks, rising above the surrounding plain and dominating the land route southward. The large Cathedral, ancient round tower and the very early Romanesque Cormac's Chapel perched on a dramatic outcrop of rock, were silent witnesses to many of the stirring events of Irish History; St. Patrick converted the local King Aenghus, here in the 5th century; Brian Boru was crowned King of Ireland on this spot in the early 11th Century. It is onto Cork. Overnight River Lee Hotel, Cork (Dinner on own)
Rock of Cashel (above), Cork City (right)
Day 5 / August 15 / Tuesday
Cork-Cobh-Blarney-Cobh After breakfast we travel to Cobh, the departure port of emigration from Ireland during the Great Famine of the mid 1800’s. It is onto Blarney Castle with its famous kissing stone and fabulous woolen mills. Overnight River Lee Hotel (Dinner on own)
Day 6 / August 16 / Wednesday
Cork. This morning we travel to Shanagarry and Ballymaloe House. Ballymaloe House and Gardens are nestled in a 400-acre estate that dates back to the early 1800’s in the rural setting of Shanagarry. A delicious lunch is included here. We visit The Shell House and Ballymaloe Garden.
As you enter the border garden through the gate, a straight grass path leads towards the Shell House. At the far end of the herbaceous border is a deceptively simple little building with a slate roof and gothic windows. When you enter it will take a moment for your eyes to adjust to the light, you then begin to realize that the exterior was indeed a deceptive, careful ploy. The walls, window sills and ceiling are encrusted with a myriad of shells. In the center of the pebble studded floor is a circular pool of shallow clear water. This extraordinarily beautiful Shell house was Darina Allen’s idea, a surprise present for her husband Tim. Overnight River Lee Hotel Cork. (Dinner on own)
Day 7 / August 17 / Thursday
West Cork--Killarney. After breakfast we depart Cork and travel along the breathtaking coast of Ireland, some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. We travel south via picturesque Kinsale for Clonakilty where castles dot the shores of the bay and The Catholic Church is a fine example of gothic architecture. Next stop is Skibbereen. Skibbereen is rightly known as the capital of West Cork. It is the "hub" from which the many "sparkling jewels" of the area can be reached. Bantry sits at the head of one of Ireland’s most beautiful bays with a harbor that reaches right into the town center. We then head to Glengarriff. Located in the sheltered harbor of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay, in Southwest Ireland, Garnish Island is a small island of 37 acres known to horticulturists and lovers of trees and shrubs all around the world as an island garden of great beauty. Its sheltered position nurtures luxuriant Mediterranean flowers such as fuchsia and arbutus. It is then on to Kenmare. Known as Ceann Mara (Head of The Sea) by the ancients. Our journey makes its way back to vibrant Killarney. Overnight Killarney Avenue Hotel (Dinner on own)
Blasket Island Center, Dingle
Day 8 / August 18 / Friday
Dingle. After breakfast we depart for the Dingle Peninsula. The journey begins with some of the most magnificent scenery in all of Ireland. The little town of Dingle is straight out of a story book. The fishing boats in the harbor and tiny brightly painted pubs portray a time that has continued to stand still. The population of 1500 people and only 52 pubs are ready to welcome you this afternoon. Worth the wait is the native seafood chowder served up at lunch time with freshly baked brown bread. We continue on to Slea Head. Along the way, we will see bee hive style huts, originally inhabited by 12th century monks, which overlook the rugged Blasket Islands. The awe inspiring beauty of this particular area is unmatched. There is no other landscape in western Europe with the density and variety of archaeological monuments as found on the Dingle Peninsula.
We visit the Blasket Center. The Blasket Centre tells the story of island life (as does the stained glass above) subsistence fishing and farming, traditional life including modes of work and transport, home life, housing and entertainment. Free time this afternoon in Dingle. Dinner and overnight at The Killarney Avenue Hotel.
(Below scenery from the Dingle Peninsula and the village of Dingle.)
Day 9 / August 19 / Saturday
Killarney Free Day. Overnight Killarney Avenue Hotel. (Dinner on own) (below Lakes of Killarney)
Day 10 / August 20 / Sunday
Killarney-Limerick. We continue north into County Clare for a tour of the Burren (Bhoireann). It is home to rare alpine plants, delicate wonders that grow in the thin soil and crevices - gentians, orchids and maidenhair ferns amongst others. The survival of both alpine and Mediterranean plants in this unusual habitat continues to arouse and to delight its visitors. The Burren contains dozens of megalithic tombs, Celtic crosses and a ruined Cistercian Abbey dating from the 12th century, Corcomroe. You can find villages abandoned since famine times and green roads on which you can walk for miles without ever seeing a car. We visit Poulnabrone Dolman (below) in County Clare. Dinner and overnight Strand Limerick.
Day 11 / August 21 / Monday
Limerick-Dublin. After breakfast we depart Limerick and travel through the Irish Midlands to Dublin for a visit to the workshop of Barry Doyle Design Jewellery. Next we enjoy a visit to The National Museum of Ireland (below). This museum has a strong emphasis on Irish Art, culture and natural history. The rest of the afternoon is free. Overnight Dublin Camden Court Hotel
Day 12 / August 22 / Tuesday
Dublin. Enjoy your day in Dublin. This evening we enjoy a dinner at The Irish House Party a truly unique experience in Dublin. The show was something of a revolt by Irish musicians against the cheesy and the twee. It is traditional Irish music and Irish dancing at its very best, performed by All Ireland champion musicians, dancers and entertaining presenters. Overnight Dublin at the Camden Court Hotel. Dinner at Irish House Party with transfers. Overnight Camden Court Hotel (Dinner on own)
Day 13 / August 23 / Wednesday
Dublin (On Own). I would suggest a Hop On Hop Off Dublin Bus Pass. You will be sure to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral where writer Jonathan Swift gave his sermons, The G.P.O. on O’Connell Street scene of the 1916 Easter Uprising where the bullet holes still remain to this day. Drive through famous Phoenix Park where the Pope said Mass in late 70’s and finally Trinity College to view the 8th century manuscripts, The Book of Kells, still preserved as they were when the Monks produced them all those centuries ago. Why not visit Guinness Storehouse for a peek at the makings of this world famous brew. Make sure to visit Dublin’s oldest Pub this afternoon, The Brazen Head. You might enjoy a Literary Pub Crawl this evening after dinner. Overnight Dublin at the Camden Court Hotel. Dinner is on own.
Day 14 / August 24 / Thursday
Dublin Airport. We are privately transferred this morning to nearby Dublin Airport for our flight home.
Wild & Wooly Ireland 2017
14 days / 12 nights
$3350/ per person, double occupancy
Air: to be determined, current estimate $1400
Professional Irish Driver Guide with deluxe vehicle
Private Transfer on Day 2 and 14 to and from the airport
Accommodations for 12 Nights– 4/star hotels
Welcome drink on first night in Ireland
Full Irish Breakfast Daily (except day of arrival)
Lunch Ballymaloe House
Hotel Dinners: 1 Killarney Ave, 1 Limerick Strand
Dinner and entertainment at Dublin House Party (farewell dinner)
Admissions & Visits to:
Irish National Stud Farm
Horse Racing Museum
Rock of Cashel
Blasket Island Centre
Cliffs of Moher
Fully escorted sightseeing
Porterage of one suitcase per person (plus one carry-on bag)
Hotel tips and taxes (Except to Driver/Guide)
Optional Sightseeing suggested in itinerary