Tour Overview


Luxury Knitting Retreat in the Northwest of Ireland with Instructor Edel MacBride -

While our extended knitting tours are very popular, a lot of our previous customers said they would like to return to Ireland to simply relax and knit! So here it is, our Luxury Donegal Knitting Retreat. After your arrival at Dublin Airport we will visit the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre and This is Knit which is one of Dublin's premium yarn shops. The next day, head for Donegal on Ireland’s northwest coast and meet your host and much loved Donegal Knitwear designer, Edel MacBride. You will spend four days with Edel in the luxury Lough Eske Castle Hotel taking part in tailored knitting projects and informal workshops. Your hotel is also the perfect place to relax and unwind so you might like to take advantage of the beautiful rural setting it is built upon or indulge in a spa treatment. Originally built by the O'Donnells in 1474 and later re-construicted in the 1860s, the castle itself is steeped in history and tradition. Your itinerary will also include optional day tours for those who wish to visit local scenic sites and craft stores.

What's included

  • Transfers on arrival and departure by private coach (for arrivals prior to 10.30am on tour start date and departures on tour end date)
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary in a luxury coach with an experienced driver and accredited guide, entrance fees included if applicable.
  • Visits to: The GPO Museum, The Ulster American Folk Park, Slieve League Cliffs 
  • The company of your knitting host Edel MacBride for 4 days.
  • Accommodation in rooms with private facilities for 6  nights
  • Irish breakfast daily
  • 6 hotel table d’hote dinners
  • 3 lunches
  • Cheese & Wine Tasting Event at Lough Eske Castle Hotel
  • Afternoon Tea at Lough Eske Castle Hotel
  • Optional touring as described in the itinerary

Workshops/Knitting Activities Included in This Tour

  • Knitting workshops as described in the itinerary including yarn and patterns
  • Visit to This is Knit Yarn Store
  • Spinning & Dyeing Demonstration with Mary from Markree Woolcraft
  • Knitting with the locals at Glencolmcille Folk Village
  • Studio Donegal Weaving Demonstration
  • Visit to Rossan Knitwear and Swallows Studio
  • Visit to Carrickmacross Lace Gallery

Tour highlights

  • Dublin
  • Ulster American Folk Park
  • General Post Office
  • Glencolumbcille Folk Village
  • Slieve League

Overnights for this tour

  • Hyatt Centric Hotel (or similar), Dublin, 1 Night
  • Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal, 4 Nights
  • Hyatt Centric Hotel (or similar), Dublin, 1 Night

Accommodation options

  • Optional pre-night packages available should you wish to spend a night or two extra in Dublin before the tour starts. Please see pricing section for details.

Day 1 - Dublin Arrival, Dublin City Tour, The GPO Museum & This is Knit Yarn Store

Begin your luxury knitting retreat with a transfer to your accommodation (for arrivals prior to 10.30am).   Then we will visit the GPO Witness History Museum; located in one of Dublin’s most well-known buildings the museum conveys the story of the 1916 Rising in Dublin through special effects, soundscapes and stories from real Irish people. Also known as The Easter Rising, the 1916 Rising was an armed insurrection in Dublin during Easter Week, April 1916. Next stop is This is Knit yarn shop, a family run store that stocks high quality, natural fibre yarns. Return to your hotel where you will have time to relax or take a walk around Dublin City before your evening welcome dinner at the hotel. Overnight Hyatt Centric Hotel, Dublin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.

Day 2 - Swallow's Studio and Donegal

Set off early this morning and begin your journey to Donegal, stopping along the way at Swallow's Studio, home to resident hand weaver and designer, Liz Christy. Here, you will see Liz's unique creations which have been inspired by some of the artistic greats including Monet, Gaugain and Edward Hopper. Enjoy the Irish countryside as we continue our journey north towards the rural and rugged county of Donegal to meet with your host, one of Ireland's best knitters, Edel MacBride. You will spend the next few days with Edel and her team, so this evening is an informal get together and ‘get to know each other’ session with some informal knitting thrown in for good measure! Overnight Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.

Day 3 - Knitting Workshop with Edel MacBride – Spinning & Dyeing Demonstration with Markree Wool Craft

Today, take part in a workshop with Edel MacBride. The knitting project has been designed by Edel recently and there will be different options based on your proficiency or knitting style. For example, if its her latest cowl pattern, there will be a scarf and hat option with the same stitches and the option to use multiple colours. Having started to knit at the tender age of three, Edel's tricks of the trade are second none! She has developed speedier ways to cable and you will gain a great insight into her high end finishing techniques and tips. In the afternoon, enjoy a cheese and wine tasting event which will be followed by a spinning and dyeing demonstration with Mary from Markree Woolcraft. Here, learn about the traditional Irish spinning techniques on a Donegal Spinning Wheel along with the dyeing of yarns using hedgerow plants and lichens. Overnight Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.

Day 4 - Optional Donegal Craft Tour: Glencolmcille Region & Slieve League Cliffs

Today if you prefer to stay at your hotel you can do that or else join us for a tour of Western Donegal. We will visit the stunning Slieve League Cliffs, the highest and finest marine cliffs in Europe and the inspiration for Edel’s locally spun Sliabh Liag wool. We will pay a visit to Studio Donegal, a hand-weaving and clothing manufacturing business committed to preserving and promoting traditional Irish hand-weaving. Donegal Yarn’s soft Merino yarn is dyed and spun in the region and sold on site. Another stop will be Glencolmcille Folk Village and spend some time Knitting with The Locals. Knitting was an integral part of the income of families in Glencolmcille. Spinning, weaving and dying of wool also played a huge part in the lives and culture of the locals. Glencolmcille was very much a fishing community and the Aran sweater was both a necessity and second nature to the people. Finally, enjoy a short visit to Rossan Knitwear and see three generations of the McNellis family hand looming knitwear. The Rossan collection is produced at Glencolmcille Woollen Mill which looks out upon the end of the Celtic trail. Overnight Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal. Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.

Day 5 - Edel MacBride Workshop and Afternoon Tea

This morning, continue your workshop with Edel once again and take the opportunity to observe some of her amazing work with the group. This afternoon, enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea which will be followed by a brief tour of the castle. Spend the remainder of your afternoon at leisure before re-joining the group for dinner. Overnight Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal, Dinner Bed & Breakfast Included.

Day 6 - Ulster American Folk Park, Carrickmacross Lace and Dublin

This morning, check out of Lough Eske Castle Hotel and make the return journey back to Dublin. En route, visit the Ulster American Folk Park, a sprawling outdoor history park which explores the historical links between Ulster and America. Learn about the emigrants who sailed from Ulster to forge a new life across the Atlantic. The weaver's cottage might be of particular interest as here you can see an authentic handloom which was used in the past to weave tweed or linen. After lunch (included), travel onwards towards Carrickmacross Lace where you will see fine lace masterpieces which have been produced in the region for over two centuries. This traditional and enchanting lace design was made famous by its inclusion in the wedding dress of Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge. Finally for today, continue on to Dublin where there will be some free time before dinner. Overnight Hyatt Centric Hotel, Dublin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.




Day 7 - 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.

Route map


Tour Prices

  • Non-Knitter Partners & Friend

Do you have a partner or friend that doesn't knit? They are welcome to come along, ask our sales representatives about our non-knitter discount!

6 Night Northwest Ireland Luxury Knitting Retreat

Accommodation Type 8th October 2022
Per Person Sharing $3,760
Single Supplement $963


Pre Tour Arrangements (Optional/Additional): 

Package A

  • 2 x Pre-Nights at Hyatt Centric (or similar)
  • Arrival Transfer
  • 2 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Ticket
  • Per person sharing one room - €382
  • Supplement if single room is required - €254

Package B

  • 1 x Pre-Night at Hyatt Centric (or similar)
  • Arrival Transfer
  • 1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Ticket
  • Per person sharing one room - €237
  • Supplement if single room is required - €128

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