Let's Travel: Ireland

Ireland 2013

Join us as we journey to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland!

A great trip for singles, couples or families with something to do for everyone. Like all of our programs in the "Let's Travel" series, we will be hosting a number of pre-departure informational classes. These are open to the community whether you plan to take the trip or just learn for the future!

DRAFT ITINERARY for Spring, 2023

DAY 1: WELCOME TO IRELAND

Arrive at Dublin Airport. Meet with your English-speaking guide and driver and transfer to Northern Ireland.

On arrival in Belfast enjoy a panoramic city tour. A guided city tour is an excellent way to discover Belfast City.  The tour will take in the leaning Albert Memorial Clocktower (Irelands answer to the Tower of Pisa) and the Opera House, which is one of Belfast’s great landmarks. Your tour will pass by the City Hall, the Opera house, The Crown Bar (dates from 1885), Queens University and the Botanic Gardens.  Some tours will take in a visit to the Harland and Wolfe Shipyard, where the Titanic was built and launched in 1912.  A visit to the Shankill and Falls road will be of interest as it will give the visitor an indication of how life was in Belfast during the troubles.

Continue to your hotel and check in *May not be possible until 15h00.

Enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Belfast or area

DAY 2: TITANICBELFAST & HILLSBOROUGH CASTLE 

This morning visit Titanic Belfast. Located in the heart of Belfast, the Titanic Belfast recreates the story of the world’s most famous ship in an iconic, six floor building right beside the historic site of the original ship’s construction. Opened in April 2012 to coincide with the centenary of its launch, the self-guided journey begins on entering the building's giant atrium, where the visitor is surrounded by the four ‘ship’s hull’ shaped wings which house the Titanic Experience. As you journey through the nine large galleries of the interactive exhibition, you will uncover the true story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900's,through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and subsequent place in history.

This afternoon enjoy free time for lunch

Next visit Hillsborough Castle

Hillsborough Castle holds a unique place in the history of Northern Ireland. Since it was built in the 18th century the castle has gone from being a simple country house for the Hill family to becoming the official royal residence in Northern Ireland and the place where many of the formal and informal stages of the Peace Process happened.

Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Belfast or area

DAY 3: CAUSEWAYCOAST, GLENARM CASTLE & GIANTS CAUSEWAY

This morning depart your hotel for a journey along the Causeway Coast. Visit Glenarm Castle

Glenarm Castle and Estate has been the family home of the Earls of Antrim for over 400 years and is the setting of a glorious Walled Garden. Situated 40 minutes from Belfast, in one of the beautiful Glens of Antrim, Glenarm is a place of outstanding natural beauty and a superb example of built and rural heritage. Glenarm Castle is the home of Viscount and Viscountess Dunluce and their family.  The charming Tea Room, situated in the old Mushroom House, is open daily to garden visitors. Here visitors can relax and enjoy a delicious homemade cream tea or a light lunch, overlooking the kitchen garden. The gift shop, located within the Tea Room sells top quality Glenarm Castle merchandise, as well as gifts for the gardener. 

Next visit Giants Causeway

Encounter Northern Ireland’s favorite giant Finn McCool at the new Giants Causeway Visitor center on the North Antrim coast which opened in the summer of 2012. According to legend, Finn McCool created the Giants Causeway by building stepping stones to Scotland to challenge the Scottish giant Benandonner! The new Visitor centre explores the major themes of mythology, geology, landscape, ecology, culture and social history based on the UNESCO World Heritage site that consists of 40,000 basalt polygonal columns formed 60 million years ago after a volcanic eruption.  In 2015, Conde Nast Traveler magazine included hopping the stones of the Giant's Causeway as one of the '50 things to do in Europe before you die'.

Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Belfast or area

DAY 4 – DERRY

This morning depart Belfast and journey to Derry.

Enjoy a walking tour of the City Walls of Derry followed by some free time for lunch in Derry

Next visit Glenshane Farm with a sheep dog experience

Glenshane Country Farm is set high in the heart of the Sperrin Mountains. We are the 4th generation of family sheep farmers, offering our guests a hands on authentic experience of an Irish working farm. With over 250+ sheep on the farm enjoy our Sheepdogs at work with an option of sheering the wool while taking in the delights of the beautiful countryside. Our guests leave smiling with stories and memories to tell family and friends back home.

Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Belfast or area 

DAY 5:  BELFAST TO DUBLIN

This morning depart Belfast and journey to Dublin.

 Enjoy a bread making experience at Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen

Based in Comber, County Down on the shores of Strangford Lough, Tracey Jeffrey has a beautiful traditional cottage where she provides a traditional Irish bread making experience. The session starts with a traditional Irish Fruit Soda Cake, a sweet treat and delicious with lots of homemade Irish butter. While the Fruit Soda Cake is baking in the oven, guests will make some potato bread (or fudge as it is known locally). Fillings of scallions or cheese can be added to the potato mix. Soda bread will also be made, with various alternative ingredients, including treacle, currants, sultanas or cinnamon. Tray-bakes are a typical sweet treat from Northern Ireland, and are delicious served with tea or coffee. Guests will take home a bag filled with their handmade products and all of the recipes. .Guests will sample foods as varied as single estate whiskey to artisan dulse wheaten bread.

On arrival in Dublin enjoy a panoramic tour

Enjoy a panoramic tour of Dublin City. Here you will discover the north and southside of the River Liffey. This area offers great striking monuments such as the GPO (General Post Office) on the city main thoroughfare, O'Connell Street, or the Custom House along the quays, as well as the Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe. The south side appears more sophisticated with its vast Georgian squares, such as Merrion Square, where Oscar Wilde’s House can still be found (today owned by an American College), its colorful doors, along with Grafton Street and its quality shops. Not so far from St. Stephen’s Green, in Kildare St., you will see the house of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. This part of the city is also dominated by the students of Trinity College, where the famous book of Kells is permanently exhibited in its library. The university is facing the medieval district where Dublin Castle and the two Anglican Cathedrals can be found.

 Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Dublin or area

 DAY 6: EPIC& NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND

 This morning visit EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is a state-of-the-art interactive experience located in the beautiful vaults of the 1820 Custom House Quarter building in Dublin’s Docklands, the original departure point for so many of Ireland’s emigrants. It will inspire and guide you on a journey to discover the stories of Irish emigration around the world, from early times to the modern day. Over the centuries, some 10 million people have left the island of Ireland. At EPIC you can step through 20 themed galleries to find out why people left, see how they influenced the world they found, and experience the connection between their descendants and Ireland today. Immerse yourself in the stories of some of the most remarkable tales of sacrifice, endurance, adventure, and discovery the world has ever known. EPIC brings these amazing stories to life in a unique and spectacular way.

(PLEASE NOTE: *Trinity College and the Book of Kells is fully booked for groups for the remainder of 2022 and closed in 2023 so has not been included in this trip.)

 Next visit National Museum of Ireland

 Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Dublin or area

 DAY 7: KILKENNY

Today enjoy a day trip to Kilkenny.

Capital of County Kilkenny, the town of Kilkenny is often referred to as “the Marble City”. It is the most interesting and best preserved of the medieval Irish cities. It owes its immense charm to the various impressive historical monuments. A medieval city of 24,000 people it is characterized by many beautifully restored buildings and winding slipways ~ it is small and compact, yet full of fascinating historical buildings and contemporary shops, design galleries and restaurants. The ancient city of Kilkenny was named after a 6thcentury monk St Canice. A native of the area, St Canice built a monastic enclave on the site where today we find the beautifully restored 13th St Canices Cathedral. The town is dominated by 12th century Kilkenny Castle, built by the Normans on their arrival in this part of Ireland.

Visit Kilkenny Castle

One of the most instantly recognized buildings in Ireland, Kilkenny Castle has been an important site since it was built by the Anglo-Normans in the 12th century. The castle has been remodeled in Victorian times and set in extensive parklands which was the principal seat of the Butler family, Marquesses and Dukes of Ormonde. Due to major restoration works, the central block now includes a library, drawing room, and bedrooms decorated in 1830's splendor, as well as the beautiful Long Gallery. A suite of former servant's rooms is now the Butler Art Gallery, which mounts frequently changing exhibitions of contemporary art. The Parade Tower is the Castle's conference venue.

Enjoy some free time in Kilkenny 

Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Dublin or area

DAY 8 – WICKLOW& GLENDALOUGH 

Today enjoy Wicklow Day Tour

County Wicklow is known as “the Garden of Ireland” it is home to Powerscourt, Mount Usher and Russborough, to name a few of its many houses and gardens. This region features all the various types of scenery that makes Ireland so beautiful. The coastline is bordered by charming sea resorts such as Bray or Greystones. In the heart of its gentle and rounded hills are nestled Enniskerry and Avoca, both very picturesque villages. Discover its romantic and quiet beauty, the deserted mounts where nothing but heather grows, the small forests and the lush prairies illuminated by yellow gorse in spring.

Visit Glendalough. The Visitor Centre (OPW) carpark at the Glendalough site, beginning on Saturday 4th June next, at a weekend (Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays) charge €4 per car, €25 per bus and €15 for minibuses and camper vans. This charge is refundable to Visitors wishing to visit the Visitor Centre and Monastic site and the income will be used to offset the costs of traffic control and security measures which are necessary at these peak times.

Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Dublin or area

DAY 9:  FAREWELL

 Depart for Dublin Airport for your return flight home.

Mark this site for future updates including costs, pre-departure classes and registration information. Please contact wow.creativeartscenter@gmail.com with any questions!

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