2017 Departures: 22nd of April 2017, 8th June 2017 & 7th October 2017
Begin your knitting tour of Ireland in Dublin city where you will enjoy an informative tour of the city, stopping at Dublin Castle and the Constant Knitter where you will meet local crafts people for a short demonstration and informal chat. On your second day in Dublin you will meet Lisa Sisk for a knitting workshop following the Moebius Knitting technique. Next travel onwards to Galway where you will take a flight or Ferry to Inis Mor, the largest of the three Aran Islands. Here enjoy a knitting workshop, discovering the traditional Aran methods, a tour of the Island as well as some great traditional music and dance. Travelling to Sligo via the famous Foxford Woollen Mills, you will meet Ciara Ní Reachtnín for another workshop. After your class, stay overnight in Rosses Point in County Sligo, famous for its wonderful sea views and its long sandy beach.
The next day, the Northern part of your tour begins as you journey to Donegal on Ireland’s Northwest Coast. First stop is Studio Donegal, a hand-weaving and clothing manufacturing business committed to preserving and promoting the original hand-weaving skills passed down from one generation to the next. On the way to your hotel visit the amazing Slieve League Cliffs that offer some unforgettable views of Donegal’s rugged coastline. Next travel to Convoy for a workshop with Irish Designer Edel MacBride and enjoy some free time in the City of Derry, famous for its medieval walls. Stay overnight in Derry and the next day discover Ireland’s famous Causeway Coast, visiting the Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle. In Belfast there will be a free day for you to enjoy some shopping or independent sightseeing which could include Titanic Belfast which is fast becoming one of Ireland’s most famous museums. Before you return to Dublin for your final overnight visit Aine Dunne’s studio for a spinning & tapestry workshop, pay a visit to Irish Linen Centre and the Thomas Ferguson Linen Factory for a guided tour.
Non-Knitter Partners & Friends
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
Day 1: Dublin Sightseeing
Begin your knitting tour of Ireland with a transfer to your designated 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, which was the seat of government for many years and today it plays a leading role in political activities. Areas you will visit include the Chester Beatty Library which contains rare manuscripts, miniature paintings, and decorative arts and the Chapel Royal, the official chapel of the Household of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1814 until 1922. Next, stop at the Constant Knitter and 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 and enjoy 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 in Ireland 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 Donegal yarn from the mills of Studio Donegal in Kilcar. After your class board your coach and travel to the Ballinahown Craft Village outside Athlone for some refreshments before continuing to Rossaveel in County Galway for your flight or ferry to Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran Islands. On arrival meet with Aran Island local people for a meet and greet and 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 your 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 & 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 and popular 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 ft high cliff. The views from here are breathtakingly spectacular. On your tour you will also visit some of the local knitwear shops that are on the island and enjoy a sumptous lunch at Teach Nan Phaidi. Overnight at the Aran Islands Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 4: Discovering Mayo & Sligo
Begin your day with an early flight or ferry back to the mainland. From there travel through Connemara to Killary Sheep Farm, a traditional working mountain farm with approx 200 ewes and lambs roaming freely in the mountain overlooking Killary Fjord. Here see the sheepdogs at work herding sheep and learn more about local wool production. From Killary we travel further North 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 Ni Reachtnin 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 knitting, the unique cables and lace design of the main body of the shawl and attaching the beaded lace edge. Finally you will travel the short distance to Rosses Point in Sligo where you will check into your hotel where you will 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 famous 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 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 where you will 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 popular 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 – Derry City
Today travel the short distance to Knitfield, a studio owned and run by one of Ireland’s best 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, the popular Aran stitches. After your visit, travel onward to Derry where you will check into your hotel. The afternoon is free for you to explore Derry. Stroll along its 17th century walls which had their 400th anniversary a short time ago and see the 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 most historic building. Overnight at The Maldron Hotel, 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.