Northern Ireland 2020
Day 1 – Saturday May 16th
The group will be picked up at Belfast City Airport and continue the one hour drive to the River Rhee Watermill on the Causeway Coast, which will be your home for the next seven days. We will have a leisurely lunch allowing you time to acclimatize to your new home and the Irish air. Following some rest from your night flights, we will have dinner and make preparation for the weeks activities, a presentation will be given by (unknown yet) on the spiritual history of Ireland and how you will come into contact with it during your stay. Rest, Relax and get ready for a fun filed exciting week
Day 2 – Sunday May 17th
After a traditional Irish Breakfast, we will travel to Donegal County and explore Donegal Castle.
Built by the O’Donnell chieftain in the 15th century, beside the River Eske, the Castle has extensive 17th century additions by Sir Basil Brooke. The Castle is furnished throughout and includes Persian rugs and French tapestries. Information panels chronicle the history of the Castle owners from the O’Donnell chieftains to the Brooke family. After the tour of the castle you will have time to explore Donegal town on your own and do a little shopping if so desired. The Diamond is the main square in Donegal Town. It forms the town centre with an extensive pedestrian area with seating and trees. We will meet for a traditional Carvery lunch at The Central Hotel in downtown Donegal. This is an Irish treat not to be missed while exploring Ireland. After lunch we will get on our sea legs and board a waterbus that will take us on a 75-minute tour exploring the history of the Donegal Bay area its Islands.
Day 3 – Monday May 18th
After breakfast we depart to the Atlantic way on our journey to The Giant’s Causeway. Is it a result of a volcanic fissure eruption or a battle between the Irish Giant Fin McCool and a Scottish Giant? Whichever one you choose to believe it is surely a sight not to be missed. The Coast road takes us through the Nine Glens of Antrim which offers wonderful views of mountains, valleys and rugged coastline. We stop by Carrick-a-rede rope bridge first erected by a salmon fisherman in 1755. On our way to The Causeway we stop at Dunluce castle, a ruin of a medieval castle first built by the Mac Quillan family in 1500. It is said to be haunted by many ghosts. Learn about the ghost of Mauve Roe who met her death escaping with her forbidden love in a row boat crashing against the rocks.
Day 4- Tuesday May 19th
After Breakfast, we will visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Nava’s Fort and St. Patrick’s Chair perched on the hillside of Altadava Glen. This chair, made of sandstone is believed to have healing properties. Local folk believe that if you sit on the chair and make a wish, it’ll come true within days. Grianan of Aileach or Granana Ailigh is a Cashel on Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal. This Cashel dates back to the third century. Archeologist believe it is a Neolithic sacred site or burial mound, a royal site where kings were crowned, rituals carried out as well as a protective structure. This site is known for its strange energy and way it affects electronics .
Day 5- Wednesday May 20th
After a late breakfast we depart to Glenveagh National Park to enjoy the drive soaking in the 40,873 acres of mountains, lakes, glens and woods. You may even see a herd of red deer. We come upon a Scottish-style castle surrounded by one of the finest gardens in Ireland, which contrasts with its rugged surroundings. We will tour this beautiful castle built in the years 1870 – 1873; the castle consists of a four-story rectangular keep. Access to the interior is by tour only. Learn how the owners met their sudden deaths; some believe this castle to be cursed. You will have time to explore on your own the gorgeous gardens and wildlife. After the tour we will attend a group Tea. We will return to our lovely accommodations and enjoy a leisurely evening.
Day 6- Thursday May 21st
After breakfast we step into our vans and take a trip back to the past. We arrive in Uster and the Ulster American Folk Park. Here we immerse ourselves in the stories of the brave emigrants who made the journey across the Atlantic to America hundreds of years ago. We will wander through the thatched cottages and log cabins and meet costumed characters who will show you traditional crafts, tell you a few stories and maybe even share a bit of their good food. We will board a full-scale emigrant ship to experience the conditions faced by many as they set sail for a new life in America. With 30 buildings and exhibits to explore and masses of things to do, the Ulster American Folk Park is a wonderfully unique experience.
Day 7- Friday May 22ed
After breakfast we will explore The Dark Hedges. (You will want to dress warmly in layers and bring your walking shoes today). Why are they called the dark hedges? One reason is because they are dark; the other explanation is a bit spookier. The hedges are said to be haunted by a spirit known as the Grey Lady, who wanders the avenue of trees, always disappearing at the last beech tree. We will finish the day with a visit to the Ballygally Castle Hotel– perhaps one of the most famous – which harbors the spirit of Isabel Shaw. Her ghostly figure can be seen wandering the corridors at night, knocking on guests’ doors. Room service? Or maybe not….
Day 8 – Saturday May 23ed
Following a continental breakfast we will return to the Belfast City Airport
Price $2399 per person*
Price includes accommodations, daily tours, all admissions, breakfast daily, some lunches and dinners (will post exact numbers soon), transportation to and from airport, guest speakers and a great time for everyone
* Airfare not included.
For questions and to book, call 503 366-0119