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9 Night Knitting & Craft Tour of Ireland
New Dates Added for 2014: 5th April 2014 & 31st October 2014
Knitting in Ireland has a long and fascinating history. Traditionally Irish mothers would have knitted warm woollen jumpers for their children to protect them from the harsh Irish winters of times passed, a tradition which is still alive in Ireland to this very day.
Knitting and other traditional crafts can be seen in Irish people’s homes as well as on an industrial level in Irish woollen factories and mills. This Irish knitting tour will help you experience craft in Ireland with an emphasis on knitting. Your tour will include a tour of Dublin City and tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show (October Departure Only) in the RDS concert hall. Here you will find hundreds of craft exhibitors selling specialist supplies that can’t be found in shops, galleries from leading artists and groups, plus hundreds of workshops to introduce you to lots of new craft subjects.
Your knitting tour of Ireland then continues to Galway where your exploits will include a knitting class with Anne Ó'Máille of Ó'Máille’s of Galway, a number of knitting factory tours, a traditional Irish basket making demonstration with legendary basket maker Joe Hogan and an unforgettable overnight trip to Inis Oírr (Inisheer) on the Aran Islands where you will be instructed by Aran Knitting enthusiast Una McDonagh. Continuing on your knitting tour of Ireland, will bring you onto Kerry, the most scenic part of Ireland, we introduce you to Carol Feller, popular Irish knitter and author of the new book Contemporary Irish Knits which is included in the workshop. On your Irish Tourism knitting tour there will also be ‘Non Craft’ visits including the magnificent Kylemore Abbey, Trinity College and the book of kells, Blarney Castle and The Cliffs of Moher and an unforgettable journey around the Ring of Kerry and since this tour has a good mix of general sightseeing and tours, we are pleased to offer a special ‘non-knitter’ price.
We've had a wonderful tour thanks largely to your meticulous planning and choice of accommodation. The hosts were all extremely helpful and friendly - and, by the way, they spoke highly of your organisation.
As requested, I have attached a few photos, some of my husband and me - we're becoming less photogenic as time goes by, so there aren't many! Also, something went wrong with our camera towards the end of the holiday, so I couldn't take any of Galway, which we loved.
One disappointment - not in your hands, but perhaps you communicate with them - was the information at the Kerry National Park Visitor Centre at Mucross. They don't sufficiently meet the requirements of walkers. As in our own Peak District National Park, I was expecting to see racks of maps, booklets and leaflets on suggested walks of all kinds. There was nothing of this kind and all the assistant could suggest was a limited number of low level walks. Well, we don't come to the lovely, mountainous landscape of Kerry to walk on a tarmac path round a lake! She did mention another car park higher up which we decided to go to out of curisosity and when we got there I saw a walker who seemed to know what she was doing, and she told me how to get up Torc Mountain. That turned out to be a highlight! When we went to the Visitor Centre a couple of days later, I spotted an insignificant, hand written description of how to get up Torc Mountain at the bottom of a notice board, but if it was there on our first visit, it hadn't been pointed out to me. Yes, I know, I must write to them myself!
On the last lap from Galway to Dublin, we felt that Newgrange might be a bit too much, so we called in at two places not far off route - Tullamore Heritage Centre, where a generous sample of Tullamore DEW, or Irish Mist are included in the admission price, and Trim, where we were in time for a very interesting guided tour of the castle.
Thank you again for a lovely first taste of Ireland. We hope to come back.
Hilary Whitemore, Derby, England