Emerald Ireland -- A traveller's tales are incomplete until you've added an Irish story or two to your repertoire! This is a land of infinite charm and wonderful people. There is a relaxed air, a timelessness and a tranquillity that somehow suggest the country is not quite part of the twentieth century. Yet, in the major cities and cultural centres like Dublin and Cork you feel very much a part of modern Europe.
Irish tours are a delight featuring breathtaking scenery, the quaint villages of the interior and the picturesque harbours of the coastline, the great historic castles and religious houses, illustrations, old and new, of the strong Celtic culture and identity, the mind boggling pre-history, only now being discovered, and the glories of Dublin's fair city.
Contact us for even more itinerary suggestions!
Irish Literary Heritage: Sligo, Connemara, Galway, Cliffs of Moher -- coincides with Joyce's Bloomsday in Dublin
This is perhaps an ideal tour for those who really want to get off the beaten track on the discovery trail, using Ireland’s rich literary heritage as our guide. Not just for the literary minded, as there is much to offer visitors. For lovers of scenery, there are rolling downs, rugged seascapes, lakes and the lush, green countryside that is so representative of ‘The Emerald Isle.’ There’s a wealth of ancient sites, beautiful gardens, lively pubs and the welcome of the local people.
Join us to experience areas of inspiration for Ireland’s great novelists, poets and playwrights such as James Joyce, WB Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and JM Synge. These fun filled days will introduce you to a land of words, to a land of inspiration, to weavers of magic tales. Their words provide us the road map to explore the history and heritage of this rich land. And who knows, maybe, just maybe, some of the Celtic magic might just rub off!
Wales-Ireland: Coasts and Rivers
Sometimes called ‘The Celtic Fringe,’ the southeast coast of Ireland and the west coast of Wales have much to offer visitors. The areas share a beautiful, rugged coastline and amazing natural sites where we can explore the remains of the ancient peoples that settled here. There is a rich religious legacy to discover, both Celtic and Christian. Separated by the Irish Sea, each maintains its own unique culture and heritage. We can compare, contrast and enjoy the hospitality of the gracious local people. We’ll see waterfalls, rivers, national parks, glorious gardens, a fairy tale castle, and several lovely towns.
Jane Austen’s Family Heritage in Northern Ireland & Donegal
This tour is written for joining special tour leaders/guides, subject to availability. Tour Leaders Richard Mulholland, descendant of the Austen family, and Dr Sophia Hillan, author of "May, Lou & Cass, Jane Austen's Nieces in Ireland," on this special adventure into the cultural landscapes of Donegal and Northern Ireland.
Fans of Jane Austen might not immediately think of Ireland as a destination associated with her life or novels but all the elements are here, waiting for you to discover. Using the real life paths of three of Jane Austen’s beloved nieces, delve into the fascinating history of this area. 'Meet' three of Edward Austen Knight’s children, Marianne (May,) Cassandra (Cass) and Louisa (Lou.) See family homes, places connected to their husbands and children; explore lace, linen, knitting and tweed crafts, visit stately homes, a national park, lovely coastal villages, romantic country estates with sumptuous interiors, meander breathtaking countryside, local parish churches, picturesque harbours; see Belfast and iconic Giant's Causeway. Uncover what life was like in early 19th Century, both ‘upstairs and downstairs.’
As a special treat, again subject to availability, your tour can include a private "Regency style" luncheon at Ballyscullion Park hosted by driver/guide Richard, Jane Austen's seven times grand-nephew, and his wife Rosalind.
MORE ABOUT YOUR TOUR LEADER: “Belfast writer and academic Dr Sophia Hillan, formerly associate director of the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University, has researched the life and times of May, Lou and Cass, their relationship with their famous aunt, how they came to reside in Donegal and, most interestingly, the way their lives came to uncannily resonate with the plots & themes of Austen’s fiction…” Read Joanne Savage’s full article here: http://www.culturenorthernireland.org/article.aspx?art_id=4532
"This is a book that keeps on giving and one which I feel Jane Austen herself would have dearly loved to read." Maggie Lane, Jane Austen Society Newsletter (Oct 2012)
"May Lou and Cass, what a marvellous book. It's a wonderful addition to Jane Austen studies. I knew nothing of any of this and I am really grateful for being enlightened." - Patricia Craig
"An intriguing story, invitingly told." - Hermione Lee
Austen Only Book Review: http://austenonly.com/category/lou-and-cassjane-austens-nieces-in-ireland/
BUY YOUR COPY of “May, Lou & Cass” here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/may-lou-and-cass-sophia-hillan/1110785369?ean=9780856408687