Day 1: Dublin Sightseeing

Begin your knitting tour of Ireland with a transfer to your hotel (for arrivals prior to 11am). At 2pm enjoy a panoramic guided tour of Dublin and take a guided tour through parts of Dublin Castle before stopping at the Constant Knitter where you will meet a local craftsperson for a demonstration and informal chat about their craft topic which will either be knitwear design or Irish Lace crochet depending on designer availability.  The remainder of the evening will be free for you to explore the city at your leisure before meeting back at the hotel for your welcome dinner. Overnight at the Academy Plaza Hotel Dublin (or similar), Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included.

Day 2: This is Knit Workshop & Travel to Aran Islands

This morning meet Lisa from ‘This is Knit’ for a workshop which includes an informative talk on the developments in the Irish Hand Knitting scene over the past ten years as well as a two hour ‘Moebius Knitting’ workshop following the ‘Glenties Cowl’ pattern, designed by Lisa Sisk. For this class you will be using Soft Donegal yarn from the mills of Studio Donegal in Kilcar. After your class board your touring coach and travel to Tullamore D.E.W. Heritage Centre where you will discover how Daniel E. Williams went from stable boy to distillery manager to creating the whiskey which still bears his initials today. There will be time for some refreshments before continuing to Rossaveal in County Galway for your ferry to Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran Islands. On arrival meet with Aran Island locals for an introduction to Aran life with special attention to history of Dun Aonghasa in preparation for your visit the next day. Dinner will be served at the hotel accompanied by your hosts and after, enjoy a quick traditional Irish dancing lesson or if your tired feet are not up to the task, you can watch the instructor display some simple steps! Overnight at the Aran Islands Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included.

Day 3: Another Day & Night on Inis Mor!

This morning, enjoy a Knitting Workshop where you will learn traditional methods and stitches the Aran Island way.  Then it’s off for a tour of Inis Mór with your local guide. The island has more than 50 different monuments of Christian and pre Christian history and you will pay a visit to the impressive fort of Dún Aonghasa. The fort consists of three terraced walls surrounding an inner enclosure containing a platform on the edge of a three hundred foot high cliff. The views from it are breathtakingly spectacular. On your tour you will also visit some of the local knitwear shops that are on the island and enjoy a delicious lunch at Teach Nan Phaidi.  Overnight at the Aran Islands Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included.

Day 4: Discovering Mayo & Sligo

Begin your day with the early ferry back to the mainland From there travel through Connemara to the town Foxford and the award winning Foxford Woollen Mills where your guided tour of the working mill will show master craftspeople at work on the pieces that Foxford are proud to deliver to customers all over the world. After lunch (included), enjoy a knitting workshop with Ciara Ní Reachtnín. During your time with Ciara you will learn how to make the Deirdre na nDólás (Deirdre of Sorrows) Shawl pattern, one of Ciara's own Celtic Mythology Designs. Techniques taught in this class will include constructing the garter tab, adding beads to your knitting, the unique cables and lace design of the main body of the shawl and attaching the beaded lace edge.  Finally travel the short distance to Rosses Point in Sligo where you will check into your hotel. Overnight at Yeat’s Country  Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included. 

Day 5: Travel to Donegal

Set off early, traveling along the Northwest coast to the Belleek Pottery Centre.   Here, a guided tour takes you through all aspects of pottery production which has been in operation since the 1800’s. Continue to Studio Donegal, a hand-weaving and clothing manufacturing business committed to preserving and promoting traditional Irish hand-weaving. Here you will see the process of hand-weaving from start to finish including the spinning, warping and weaving of the wool. Finally visit the Slieve League Cliffs, one of the highest cliffs in Europe to enjoy some amazing views.  After lunch (included) at the cliffs travel north to your hotel in Ballybofey and check in. Here you will have plenty of time to enjoy the hotel facilities including leisure centre or explore the town. Just a stone’s throw from the hotel, is McElhinneys one of the finest department stores in Ireland. Overnight at Kee’s Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included.

Day 6: Edel MacBride Workshop – And Optional Derry City Trip

Today travel the short distance to Knitfield, a studio owned and run by one of Ireland’s finest knitwear designers, Edel MacBride. Here meet Edel and her team and enjoy a core workshop including yarn pack, working the best of Irish moss, cable and Edel’s favourite Aran stitches.  After your class, there will be an optional trip to Derry where you can explore this compact city on your own. Stroll along its 17th century walls which had their 400th anniversary a short time ago and see the new Peace Bridge which curves impressively across the River Foyle. You may wish to pay a visit to the Tower Museum which tells the story of Derry though colourful and interesting exhibits or St. Columb's Cathedral which is the city's oldest and most historic building. Return to Donegal in time for dinner. Overnight at Kee’s Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included.

Day 7: The Causeway Coast

The Causeway Coast is rated as one of the top five road trips worldwide and when you experience it you will see why! The road meanders around a narrow strip of coastline between stunning sea views and majestic high cliffs. Visit the Giant’s Causeway where around 60 million years ago, three great lava flows were laid down, cooling the basaltic plateau that makes an interesting photo opportunity today!  On your journey you will also visit the remains of Dunluce Castle which is perched dramatically close to a headland that plunges directly Sea! Your day tour today ends in Belfast City where the remainder of the evening is free to check out the local bars and restaurants.  Overnight at Tara Lodge Hotel, Bed & Breakfast included.

Day 8: Belfast Sightseeing

Today is free for you to explore Belfast City on your own time. The city is easily accessible from your hotel and the hop on hop off bus is great for getting around. Titanic Belfast is one of Belfast’s newest and most popular museums, built on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard where the Titanic was originally constructed. Galleries reconstruct scenes from Belfast at the time of its construction, the launch, the maiden voyage, the sinking and the aftermath. This museum is extremely interactive, with technology bringing each period to life.  You might also want to pay a visit to the Ulster Museum; located in the Botanic Gardens the museum features collections of fine art, archaeology, ethnography, local history, industrial history, botany and geology. Admission to this museum is free.   Overnight at Tara Lodge Hotel, Bed & Breakfast included.

Day 9: The History of Linen & Spinning and Tapestry Workshop

Linen was an important industry in Ireland, particularly in the North of Ireland. So much so that its capital Belfast was fondly known as 'Linenopolis'! Today we will learn more about the linen industry in Northern Ireland by visiting two great locations; the Irish Linen Centre & Museum and the Thomas Ferguson Linen Factory. At the Linen Centre & Museum you will have the chance to explore Ireland’s industrial heritage in the Museum’s award-winning exhibition ‘Flax to Fabric’ and see live spinning and weaving demonstrations. On your guided tour of the Thomas Ferguson Linen Factory you will witness first hand all elements of Linen production from the design, weaving and hemming to the final finishing touches and ornamentation. Leaving Belfast we travel to the Monasterboice Inn for lunch (included), then to Drogheda to meet Aine Dunne a tapestry weaver and artist, resident and working from the Boyne Valley. With Aine and her team, you will enjoy a Spinning & Tapestry Workshop; here you will be introduced to hand spinning sheep’s wool by using a drop spindle and try your hand at weaving a sample piece on a four-sided tapestry frame loom. During your time with Aine you will gain insight into her designs, weaving  methods and work schedule.  Return to Dublin where this evening your final farewell dinner will be served in Dublin’s Nancy Hands Pub. Overnight at the Academy Plaza Hotel Dublin (or similar), Bed & Breakfast included.

Day 10: End of Tour

After your final Irish breakfast depart the hotel for Dublin airport arriving in time to complete check-in formalities and that last minute duty free shopping.