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Tour Overview

On this tour we will focus on the historic city and county of Kilkenny, the karst Burren region of Clare which includes the majestic Cliffs of Moher, the rugged and desolate Aran Islands, home to Aran knitting and spend some time in scenic Killarney in County Kerry. Your adventures will include a tour of Dublin where you will explore EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, one of Dublin’s newest attractions that focuses on the history of the Irish diaspora. The next day journey to Kilkenny and meet Helena Kelly Maye for an intensive knitting workshop.  Your tour of Kilkenny doesn’t finish there however as we will also visit Zwartables Ireland Sheep Farm and Cushendale Woollen Mill. As we journey to Killarney you will visit the iconic Rock of Cashel and the famous Blarney Castle & Woollen Mills store. In Kerry, enjoy another knitting workshop, this time with expert designer and teacher, Liz Spillane. Liz will teach you how to make your own fancy/textured yarns and a variety of methods to build texture and colour. Before you leave Kerry, we will discover the Lakes of Killarney, Molls Gap and the magnificent Dingle Peninsula, visiting Kerry Woollen Mills along the way. The final leg of your journey may be perhaps the most memorable, visiting the famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare and taking a day trip to the Aran Islands where we will enjoy a knitting workshop and island tour with Una McDonagh.

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
  • Accommodation in rooms with private facilities for 9 nights
  • Irish breakfast daily
  • 5 hotel table d’hote dinners
  • 4 lunches
  • 1 farewell meal in Dublin
  • Entrance to the following attractions:  Epic - The Irish Emigration Museum, Kilkenny Castle, Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, Cliffs of Moher and Tullamore D.E.W Heritage Centre
  • Dingle Peninsula Guided Tour

Workshops/Knitting Activities Included in This Tour

  • Knitting workshop with Helena Kelly Maye in Kilkenny
  • Yarn development & knitting workshop with Liz Spillane in Kerry
  • Aran knitting workshop on the Aran Islands with Una McDonagh
  • Zwartables Ireland sheep farm visit
  • Cushendale Woollen Mill tour
  • Kerry Woollen Mills tour
  • Visit This is Knit Yarn Store
  • Visit Irish Fibre Crafters
  • Important Note: Attractions, Workshops and Demonstrations May Change According to Availability and Scheduling 

Tour highlights

  • Aran Islands
  • Dingle Peninsula
  • Dublin
  • Killarney
  • Blarney Castle
  • Dingle
  • Killarney National Park
  • Kilkenny
  • Kilkenny Castle
  • Rock of Cashel

Overnights for this tour

  • Camden Court Hotel (or similar), Dublin, 1 Night
  • River Court Hotel (or similar), Kilkenny, 2 Nights 
  • Lake Hotel (or similar), Killarney, 3 Nights
  • Lahinch Golf & Leisure Hotel (or similar), Lahinch, 2 nights
  • Camden Court Hotel (or similar), Dublin, 1 Night
  • *Should you wish to upgrade to a lake view room in Killarney the supplement will be €90 for the 3 nights.

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 Sightseeing, Epic - The Irish Emigration Museum & This is Knit

Begin your knitting tour of Ireland with a transfer to your hotel (for arrivals prior to 10.30am on start day of tour). Firstly we visit Epic - The Irish Emigration Museum. One of Ireland’s newest museums, you can peruse twenty themed interactive exhibits and find out why people left Ireland, how they influenced the world and experience the connections that exist between their descendants and Ireland nowadays. If there is time we will also visit “This is Knit”, a popular family-owned yarn shop where the shelves are full of high quality, natural-fibre yarns, from the best Irish and international brands. Overnight Dublin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Basis

Day 2 - Travel to Kilkenny & Knitting Workshop with Helena Kelly Maye

Check out of your hotel and board your touring coach. Travel south to the compact city of Kilkenny. Long renowned as Ireland’s Medieval Capital, the city’s origins date back more than 1,500 years.  The name ‘Kilkenny’, from the Gaelic "Cill Ceannaigh", comes from a 6th century monk called Saint Canice. The city is full of beautifully restored buildings and enclosed slipways, it is small and compact enough to explore on foot, yet full of interesting old buildings, contemporary shops, design studios, galleries, cafés and restaurants. Arrive at your hotel and meet your knitting instructor Helena Kelly Maye. Helena's knitting techniques include the honeycomb, blackberry, diamond and cable stitching. She will also delve into some of the traditional Aran stitches and look at how these have evolved into new and modern stitches. Your workshop will continue after lunch where Helena will teach the design and sizing of your own Aran pattern. After your workshop, enjoy some free time before dinner. Overnight Kilkenny, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Basis

 

Day 3 - Craft in Kilkenny – Cushendale Mill & Zwartbles Ireland Farm

We start the day with a visit to Kilkenny Castle, a 12th century castle reconstructed in Victorian times and set in extensive parklands.The infamous Earl of Pembroke also known as Strongbow originally built a wooden castle on the grounds of Kilkenny Casle in 1172. Around 30 years later, the first stone castle was built. Three of the castle's original four towers survive today. We will also visit Kilkenny Design Centre which offers a fantastic selection of Irish handcrafted products including Celtic gifts, jewellery, knitwear, home & fashion accessories and contemporary design pieces.  The next part of our journey takes us beyond Kilkenny city to Zwartables Ireland Sheep Farm. Here we meet Suzanna and her family who breed and rear Zwartbles Sheep. Take a tour of the farm, meet the sheep and chat with the family who will tell you all about their unique yarn which you can buy direct from the farm if you wish. After lunch (included), your final stop for today is Cushendale Mill where products made on site are crafted using natural-fibre textiles made with mohair, Irish wool and merino lambswool. Enjoy a tour of the mill and see the spinning mule in action. You might even spot some of the wool from the sheep at Zwartables Ireland! Return to Kilkenny where the remainder of the day is free for you to do your own personal sightseeing or shopping. Dinner is not included tonight so that you can sample one of Kilkenny’s many fine restaurants. Overnight Kilkenny, Bed & Breakfast Basis

Day 4 - Rock of Cashel & Blarney Castle and Woollen Mills Store

Today we make our way to Killarney, a town that is set amidst sublime scenery. The first stop en route is the heritage town of Cashel. The Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary is one of Ireland's most significant and visited heritage sites. It is a collection of medieval ecclesiastical buildings set on an outcrop of limestone overlooking the Golden Vale. Continue to Cork and the village of Blarney where we will visit Blarney Castle and Woollen Mills Store. A famous Irish chieftain by the name of Cormac MacCarthy built Blarney Castle more than 600 years ago. The castle is now partly in ruins but there are some rooms and battlements that one can access. Once you climb the 125 steps to the top of the castle a local tradition says that if you kiss the Stone of Eloquence, better known as the Blarney Stone, you will be gifted for ever after with, ‘the gift of the gab’! Built in 1823, Blarney Woollen Mills was originally known as Mahoney’s Mills and provided valuable employment to the people of Blarney and nearby areas. Today Blarney Woollen Mills is Ireland’s largest gift & craft store. Continue to Killarney and check into your hotel where dinner will await you. Overnight Killarney, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Basis

Day 5 - Knitting Workshop with Liz Spillane & Kerry Sightseeing

This morning we travel to Kenmare to meet knitwear designer and textile artist, Liz Spillane.  Liz has more than 30 years’ experience teaching knitting classes and has even worked as a tutor in the fashion department in the Limerick School of Art & Design. Your workshop with Liz will include creating fancy/ textured yarns, using a single smooth yarn as a base and a variety of methods to build the texture and colour of the wool. The yarn is then knitted with standard knitting needles.  After the workshop we will travel to Kenmare for lunch (included) and afterwards you will have some time to explore Kenmare at your leisure. We return to Killarney via the mountain road to Moll’s Gap and Ladies View where you will be treated to unrivalled views of the Killarney Valley. With its three famous lakes and majestic mountain ranges, Killarney has been the inspiration of poets and painters over many centuries. The Killarney National Park is internationally celebrated both for its scenic beauty and scientific interest. Overnight Killarney, Bed & Breakfast Basis

Day 6 - Kerry Woollen Mills & Dingle

After breakfast, travel to Dingle, visiting Kerry Woollen Mills along the way. This 17th century establishment has been crafting fine fabrics and yarn from wool for over 300 years and on your tour you will see truly skilled craftspeople at work. Continue to Dingle and enjoy some time to explore the town at your leisure. Dingle town is characterised by colourful craft shops, traditional Irish pubs and quaint streets. Famous for its food and in particular its seafood with the annual food festival drawing thousands of visitors each year, you are sure to find a nice spot for lunch! The peninsula itself is home to an abundance of sandy beaches, craggy cliffs and mountainous terrain, including the 952m Mount Brandon which towers overhead. Return to Killarney where the remainder of the evening is free for personal sightseeing or shopping. Overnight Killarney, Bed & Breakfast Basis

Day 7 - Travel to Doolin via Adare & Cliffs of Moher

Board your coach again and travel to Adare in County Limerick. Often considered one of Ireland's prettiest and most picturesque villages, Adare is a haven for those wishing to escape and unwind! After some free time to explore the village and its pretty thatched craft shops and other attractions continue to Doolin where we visit the dramatic Cliffs of Moher! Without a doubt, one of Ireland’s most visited attractions, the cliffs run for about nine miles and rise about 390 feet above the Atlantic. From the various viewpoints it is possible to see the Aran Islands in Galway Bay, the Maumturks and Twelve Pins mountain ranges to the north in Connemara, and Loop Head to the south. After your visit there will be free time for you to explore the pretty village of Doolin. Doolin, the traditional music capital of Ireland, is a vibrant place full of atmosphere and home to some of the region’s best eateries and fantastic local craft shops. Overnight Lahinch, Dinner Bed & Breakfast Basis

Day 8 - Day trip to the Aran Islands

Depart your hotel in time to get the early morning ferry to Inis Oirr (Inisheer), one of the famed Aran Islands positioned in Galway Bay off the west coast of Ireland. On arrival you will be collected by your Aran Island knitting instructor Una McDonogh and taken to Café Una where you will be welcomed with refreshments. Next, enjoy a knitting workshop where you will learn traditional methods and stitches the way they are traditionally done on the Aran Islands!  In your class you will learn the Sharry Chain Link Stitch. The Sharry family, a collective of families on Inis Oirr have a long-lasting association with the sea and the women of the family celebrate that connection in their choice of stitches. Afterwards, take a guided tour of the Island.  There are many attractions to be found on Inisheer – an ancient castle, a shipwreck, a lighthouse and one of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches. This evening take the return ferry back to the mainland and return to your hotel. Overnight Lahinch, Dinner Bed & Breakfast Basis

Day 9 - Return to Dublin via Tullamore D.E.W. Heritage Centre & The Irish Fibre Crafters

Check out of your hotel and make your way back to Dublin. We will make a few stops en route, to break up the journey. Firstly, we will pay a visit to Irish Fibre Crafters for a carding, spinning & weaving demonstration. After your visit, continue onwards to Tullamore D.E.W. Heritage Centre where you will learn how Daniel E. Williams went from stable boy to distillery manager and to creating the whiskey which still bears his initials today. After sampling some of this fine Irish whiskey, continue to Dublin where the afternoon is free for your personal sightseeing or shopping. This evening meet back at the hotel and we will travel together to a local restaurant for a final farewell dinner in a local Dublin restaurant. Overnight Dublin, Dinner Bed & Breakfast Basis

Route map

 

Tour attractions

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!

9 Night Kerry, Kilkenny and Aran Islands Irish Knitting and Craft Tour

Accommodation Type 5th June 2022
Per Person Sharing $3,819
Single Supplement $918

Notes

Pre Tour Arrangements (Optional/Additional): 

Package A

  • 2 x Pre-Nights at Camden Court (or similar)
  • Arrival Transfer
  • 2 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Ticket
  • Per person sharing one room - €375
  • Supplement if single room is required - €125

Package B

  • 1 x Pre-Night at Camden Court (or similar)
  • Arrival Transfer
  • 1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Ticket
  • Per person sharing one room - €233
  • Supplement if single room is required - €68

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