( See below for a more detailed Itinerary )
As your international flight descends upon Edinburgh you are moved by the incredible beauty of the countryside and architecture. You have now arrived at your destination. Welcome to Edinburgh Scotland! As you settle into your hotel you begin to realize that the next two weeks are going to be filled with sights, sounds and memories you will carry for a lifetime.
On Sunday you will enjoy leisure walks around Edinburgh and then we will all gather for our first group dinner together. On Monday we are touring Edinburgh Castle. We will also have the unique pleasure of watching a bagpipe demonstration along with instructions for us to learn to play! It'll be fun. There is also a guided tour of Edinburgh and then this is your first dinner on your own in the Edinburgh where you’ll easily find authentic Scottish local cuisine and nightlife entertainment.
The rest of your tour is packed with incredible destinations, sites, history and adventure that only Scotland / Ireland can offer. Some of these sites are the town of St. Andrews and famous St. Andrews Golf Course, hot air balloon rides, the town of Sterling and visiting the Wallace Monument. Enjoy a demonstration of Falconry also with instruction! On day 6 we leave Edinburgh, Scotland and fly into Dublin, Ireland for the second leg of your Scotland / Ireland adventure…
Tour differences displayed in bold
* If you are traveling alone on our Deluxe Tour a single supplement rate will apply of $955 to be added at checkout
* Book Today to Receive a $500 Per Person Discount on the Premium Luxury Tour
* If you are traveling alone on our Premium Luxury Tour a single supplement rate will apply of $1,655 to be added at checkout
* Air fair not included
A warm, welcoming and charming turret with its 16th-century façade style, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh gives guests opportunity to relax in modern comfort. The hotel is located at the capital's heart on the Royal Mile, offers a perfect home base for such must-see sites as the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. Scotland's National Museum, excellent shopping destinations, and the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre lie within walking distance.
When a full day out on the town experience is over, relax in an elegant, comfortable guest room and also enjoy top amenities – free high speed and wireless internet. Additionally, take pleasure in the convenience of on-site dining and at the same time, take the opportunity to access the hotel's modern fitness center, including a sauna and a swimming pool. Moreover, combined well- equipped on-site car parking and spacious event space make the venue ideal for business meetings.
The location of the Radisson Blu on the Royal Mile puts visitors in the vibrant historic district's heart.
238 guest rooms and suites totaling welcome visitors with superb amenities, which include, individual climate control and free high-speed wireless internet. Start your day with a super hearty breakfast buffet, and also experience Scotland's fresh taste at Itchycoo Bar and Kitchen.
Furthermore, keep your stress low and your energy high in the on-site fitness center, gym, sauna and pool included.
Plan a productive meeting in the event space (well-appointed) for up to 240 visitors. Delegates and guests appreciate the availability of 131 car parking spaces as well as two charging stations for electric vehicles (extra fee for parking service).
Welcome to Bunratty, Company Clare, Luxury Spa and Bunratty Castle Hotel. Classic style and sophistication are Bunratty Castle Hotel's renowned hallmarks, which form part of the Blarney Group. The position of the Hotel has elevated as one of the most charming and intimate hotels in the West of Ireland. Moreover, it embodies the highest traditional values, with excellent dining and an exquisite indulgence spa and spacious rooms.
Nestle hotel exists at the center of Bunratty's historic countryside and is a few meters away from Folk Park, and Bunratty Castle, founded in the 15th century. Once in the hotel, one can easily access Shannon Airport. Bunratty has many world-famous sites to tour including Connemara, Galway, Burren, and the Cliffs of Mohr.
Constructed on a 350-acre piece of land is the famous Five-Star, Ashford Castle. It resides along the beautiful shores of Lough Corrib, and its history dates back to the year 1228. Today, the magnificent Castle is a part of The Red Carnation Hotels collection. Along with its 82 guest rooms, this hotel has numerous other activities that will always give you a feeling of Irish hospitality.
In every room found in the Castle, there is a representation of traditions, beauty, and skills. After having undergone extensive renovations in the Castle, several rooms and suites have been redesigned with modern luxury while maintaining the Castle's unique features. These changes have made the Castle look more beautiful and unique.
Beauty which is present in the various works of art that which include, the traditional furniture, the luxurious fabrics, and the custom-made carpets. There is also the bespoke beds, superb toweling, the unique lighting, as well as the Egyptian cotton bed linens.
Ranging from unique works of art, as well as the effortless services and the generosity that visitors receive when they visit the hotel, Killarney has been the most preferred retreat site for more than 160 years. At first, when it opened in 1854, it was named The Railway Hotel, but later in the early 1900s, it changed its name to The Great Southern Hotel. From 2006, it has been called The Malton giving it a fantastic long history while still retaining its unique features and the magnificent architecture of Victorian times.
The hotel, which occupies a 6-acre piece of land at the center of the busy Killarney town, is located next to the Killarney Railway Station which gives it the best scenery and makes it the most exciting one to visit. It is a superb place for all kind of leisure activities be it a family gathering, a wedding ceremony, a business trip or just for pleasure. Without a doubt, The Malton Hotel is for all classes of individuals.
To all guests visiting the place, there is available space for parking and an added internet connection that is found all over the premises. After having a peaceful night in the hotel, guests enjoy a sumptuous breakfast featuring a variety of offerings.
Around this grand hotel is a range of fantastic scenes which include the Killarney National Park. Here, you will be amazed by the eye-catching woodlands, the monumental buildings, as well as the lakes and the mountains. Also, you can enjoy yourself by playing golf in the parks, golf courses or you can take a leisurely walk around Killarney town where you will find boutiques, shopping malls, cafes and several art galleries. Some people would love to have personal time in the Innisfallen Health and Beauty rooms located within the hotel.
At the end of your busy and adventurous day out, you can choose to dine in one of the Restaurants located inside the hotel. Dining locations such as the Garden rooms, Wine Experience area or in the Punchbowl bar. Afterward, you can wrap up with any of your beloved cocktails. For more than a century, this hotel has served drinks of high quality, and they also have a Whiskey Tasting Corner where they have an excellent selection available for whiskey lovers.
At the center of the old city quarter lies the Pembroke Hotel, the city's most preferred boutique hotel that is a relaxing refuge. It is a 4 Star hotel and is located at Kilkenny's most elite street, Patrick Street. It is an old city that is rich with medieval heritage and a sense of liveliness with the most impressive art culture.
With a total of 74 spacious and airy bedrooms, there is also Stathams Bar and Restaurant. At 11 Patrick Street is a business center which makes the hotel the most comfortable and luxurious place with a calm and welcoming charisma.
Bordered by Kilkenny's prominent landmarks including the Butler House, Gardens, National Craft Gallery and Kilkenny Castle, where the hotel took its name from, is the place where you will genuinely find comfort and experience the most peaceful of nights.
At Kilkenny Hotel, creativity is the key thing which makes it a unique place. An inventiveness that ranges from the modern interior designs to the range of fresh, natural foods which allows for partnering with Butler Gallery, where they exhibit some of their permanent collections. Whether you are visiting the place for leisure, a business trip or a celebration; Pembroke Hotel is there to warmly welcome you and provide you with the most caring and naturally considerate services. Here, you will feel secure, and that all of your needs have been satisfied. Pembroke Hotel in Kilkenny City is committed to taking the best care of all visiting guests. Visit Pembroke Hotel, and you will never regret it.
For guests who would like to have easy access to the various attraction sites like Dublin Castle, the Old Jameson Distillery, the Convention Centre and the Gaiety Theatre; the famous Radisson Blue Royal Hotel (Dublin) is a perfect choice. This hotel, located 12 kilometers away from Dublin International Airport, has a total of 150 spacious rooms and suites. Coming with this is an additional offer of high-speed WI-FI, room darkening curtains, and a delicious breakfast.
Every morning, a superb breakfast buffet, prepared by the V'n V restaurant, and a dinner menu of the best and most fresh foods are ready. At SURE Bar, you can enjoy your favorite cocktail, or you can opt for a whiskey, wine or spirit bottle at The Vintage Room. Other extra services include a very safe underground parking, a gym and a total of 15 large state-of-the-art rooms that can hold meetings of up to 400 people.
The Scottish capital city, situated on the Firth of Forth's southern shore is Edinburgh. The city ranks as Scotland's second most populous as well as the United Kingdom's seventh most populous city. There are 834,648 inhabitants in Edinburgh with the city region occupied by 1,330,480 people. It is in Edinburgh where the Scottish Parliament, as well as the Scottish monarchy seat, are situated, thus making it Scotland's capital.
For a long time, the city has been well known as an educational center, especially in the medical, engineering, Scots law and science fields. Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh forms part of the four universities existing in the city. Also, Edinburgh has received its fame from the Fringe and the International Festivals with the annual international arts festival forming a pair of the latest and the largest festivals across the globe. Edinburgh follows London regarding tourist destination popularity due to its cultural and historical attractions. Annually, it attracts more than a million visitors from across the world.
Some of Edinburgh's historical sites are Edinburgh Castle, Greyfriars, and Canongate, Holyrood Palace (St. Giles church) as well as the Georgian New Town which was built during the 18th century. The New Town and Old Town in Edinburgh are UNESCO World Heritage Sites that, since 1999, have been under the management of Edinburgh World Heritage.
This historic site dominates Edinburgh from its setting over the city on a huge rock, and its story helped in shaping Scotland's story. It is in Edinburgh Castle where royalty lived and died; there were battles and sieges as well as inspiration for many generations. It was once Fierce Iron Age warriors defended a hill fort. According to some of Scotland's oldest poetry, the warriors feasted in the castle for one year before dying in battle.
In the Wars of Independence, both the English and Scots scrambled to take control of Edinburgh Castle, and the English won the battle. Scots then recaptured it in the year 1314 in a night raid that was commanded by Thomas Randolph who was King Robert the Bruce's nephew. Several Scottish monarchs who were sheltered by the castle included Queen Margaret (who died in 1093 within the castle) as well as Mary Queen of Scots (the mother of James VI who was born in 1566 within the Royal Palace). The Stone of Destiny that was for centuries used to enthrone kings was returned to the Scottish nation in 1996 and displayed in the Crown Room.
The castle, however, turned out to be a key military base in the 1600's, thus resulting in the refurbishment of some buildings and construction of new ones to accommodate the large garrison and war prisoners. The castle, which for several years been a national icon as the presence of the military, remains unbroken. These improvements have made it the leading tourist attraction site in Scotland as well as Edinburgh World Heritage Site's essential element.
Being the Scottish capital, Edinburgh is said to be Scotland's second most populated city and the United Kingdom's seventh most populated city with a population of 834,648. However, the total population of its city region is about 1,330,480. The city of Edinburgh is where the Scottish seat of the monarchy and Parliament are situated, thus boosting its recognition as Scotland's capital since the 15th century.
Being the Scottish capital, Edinburgh is said to be Scotland's second most populated city and the United Kingdom's seventh most populated city with a population of 834,648. However, the total population of its city region is about 1,330,480. The city of Edinburgh is where the Scottish seat of the monarchy and Parliament are situated, thus boosting its recognition as Scotland's capital since the 15th century.
Edinburgh has for a long time been known to be an educational center especially in such fields such as engineering, medicine, Scots law and the sciences. The University of Edinburgh, established in the year 1583, is currently among the city's four universities. Such festivals as the Fringe and Edinburgh International Festival also make Edinburgh famous. Cultural and historical attractions make Edinburgh a renowned tourist destination site in the U.K after London. It attracts more than a million international visitors every year.
Greyfriars and the Canongate, Holyrood Palace (St. Giles church), and Edinburgh Castle as well as the Georgian New Town, were constructed during the 18th century, and are some of Edinburgh's historic sites. Having been under the management of Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999, Edinburgh's Old and New Towns are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Bagpipes are Scotland's quintessential iconic symbol. We have 15 years of experience spread across teaching and playing. This experience has made us an incredible knowledge and skills source. We have the most experienced and qualified instructors. We ensure that they have attained up to level 6 examinations from the syllabus set by the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board. Through our tuition, we can assist you in taking your playing experience to the next level regardless of whether you are a seasoned veteran, a complete beginner or an adult learner. We can also enable you to enjoy playing in such games as the Scottish Highland Games.
St. Andrews nickname is “Auld Grey Toon” but there is nothing grey despite it's long history and nickname. It is currently a bustling and vibrant color hub with diverse types of independent shops, galleries, and restaurants that are all set away from the spectacular conditions for this medieval Royal Burgh. Apart from being the modern game origin, St Andrews is said to be the home for the University of St Andrews which is the oldest Scottish University, Prince William's meeting place as well as the Duchess of Cambridge.
West Sands is well-known for its opening scene in "Chariots of Fire." It offers approximately 2 miles of an incessant beach. West Sands is analogous to the Jubilee Course and is ideal for an early morning run or a romantic, moonlit stroll depending on your activeness.
You can join us in walking the world's most famous golf course. The walk takes place between the first and the 18th hole in the Old Course. During the tour, you will walk in the game icons' footsteps and a player's fabled link eye view. Studies indicate that St Andrews has been hosting golf games for over 600 years even though many researchers believe that the game first began in the 12th Century.
Apart from being the game of golf's birthplace, your visit to the world's most famous Links will enable you to have an insight into significant landmarks as well as an unparalleled and unique history.
Taking a ride in a hot air balloon gives a fantastic experience which you will never forget. Ballooning is both a thrilling and serene experience that offers breathtaking views and a unique feeling of freedom. Since the wind drives hot air balloons, you will have a real-life airborne adventure too, and you will never know what you'll see or exactly where you will fly. Will it be rolling hills, busy towns, homes, or even ancient forests?
The launch site marks the beginning of your adventure when you arrive, and the experienced crew and pilot welcome you. First, the pilot will give you an introduction to hot air ballooning and then brief you entirely on safety. Afterward, an invitation to help in balloon inflation will be extended to you if you so wish to participate. You will be climbing into the basket held by the balloon before long and then lift-off. You'll be surprised by the stillness you feel in a hot air balloon smoothly rising approaching the clouds. The experience is almost motionless. In no time, up several thousand feet you'll be cruising and able to see for miles around.
Your camera should be ready for incredible views of possible wildlife sightings and the patchwork landscape. Because the balloon is traveling with the wind, you'll find that there is no noise from the wind. The occasional burner roar is the only thing that breaks the silence.
Point to note is that weather in Scotland is unpredictable and notoriously unstable. Everything is dependent on calm air for a ride in any hot air balloon.
An army led by Andrew Murray and William Wallace at the Stirling Bridge Battle in 1297 overwhelmed much larger English force across the river Forth by trapping them on the bridge. In the 1500s the old timber bridge a short distance downstream was rebuilt in stone. The victory that Scotland's army won within sight of Stirling Castle was one that the Scottish military holds in the utmost importance. The Bannockburn Battle took place on Day 1314 which was Midsummer.
The castle was under siege by Scots and had been held for ten years by the English. A 17,000 strong army was led by King Edward II of England to relieve the assault. The English army was driven back by King Robert the Bruce's army consisting of 8,000 men into boggy by Bannockburn and a massacre inflicted. Bannockburn's aftermath forever changed Stirling Castle. The castle, after King Robert's victory, was surrendered to the Scots. To prevent the castle from possibly being held against him once more, Bruce gave his men to smash its defenses. It is at Stirling Castle where a brutal royal murder occurred.
In February 1452, James II and his courtiers at Stirling Castle assassinated William the 8th, Earl of Douglas. The legend says he was stabbed 26 times and that his corpse was then thrown from a window to the area know now as Douglas Gardens.
Mary was crowned Queen of Scots at Stirling Castle, a ceremony which took place at the old Chapel Royal (which is no longer standing) in September 1543. The Queen cried throughout the ceremony since she was only nine months old. Mel Gibson made a visit in 1995 to Stirling Castle. The Hollywood actor, who directed and starred in the film Braveheart, attended the film's premiere party.
J.T. Richard, the Edinburgh-born architect, designed the National Wallace Monument, built between 1861 and 1869. The work is among twenty Wallace Monuments that located throughout Scotland. There were discourses around the idea as far back as 1818 of a monument when the plan was initially to build it in Glasgow; however, the residents of Edinburgh rejected the idea. Eventually, they settled on a compromise – leading to an agreement on a specific location in Stirling. The most celebrated of Scotland's landmarks is the National Wallace Monument. The stunning 67-meter tower is instantly recognizable, and every year it attracts more than 100,000 visitors.
Famous for its landscape and stunning views, we are lucky to be based in this beautiful part of the world which abounds with Scotland's majestic scenery and magnificent wildlife. Their custom-designed facility presents luxury accommodations for their birds' cherished collection, with heated, state of the art accommodations and the art aviaries for their comfort, indoor artificial insemination interactive project, and incubators as well as rearing rooms.
The house in and manage the highest of standard collections of roughly 60 Falcons, Hawks, Buzzards and Eagles Owls from around the world, some of the unusual and rare species found in the country included. 'Adrian Hallgarth' the head falconer is a recognized author and expert on falconry and has accumulated over his lifetime our collection from around the world allowing us unique species experience.
The Castle's medieval hospitality tradition is 50 years old, evidence of its enjoyment and success: it is an extraordinary experience that will enthrall you from the moment you go past the drawbridge. As you sip a glass of 'mead,' you will be enjoying the beautiful violin and harp music performed by period costumed musicians.
For a glorious banquet of the 15th century at majestic Bunratty Castle, join the Earl of Thomond. We are welcomed with a toast of great Irish experience with honey mead, fine wine, and food by Earl Butler. A tune of welcome is played by a kilted piper when you enter Bunratty Medieval Castle Banquet. One of the Hostesses will offer a 'Bite of Friendship' as you ascend steps of the Castle crossing over the Drawbridge.
You will experience Ireland's living reconstruction of the environment and homes from over a century ago when you pay a visit to Bunratty Folk Park. Set on 26 acres; the park is impressive and features over thirty buildings in a rural and 'living' village setting. The village shops, streets, and rustic farmhouses are recreated and furnished the way they could have appeared that time as per their social standing. The homes vary from one-roomed dwellings of the poorest to The Bunratty house, an excellent example of a Georgian residence, home of the Studdarts built in 1804 for the gentry and occupying the Bunratty Castle as the last family.
Those visiting Ireland should prepare for village life experience in the 19th century! Many different areas from the village shops and houses have been chosen in the Folk Park to form a typical collection of the 19th-century Irish urban buildings which include; the Doctor's home, a School, pawnbrokers, Drapery, Pub, Printworks, Hardware shop, Grocery, post office, and pottery. Costumed characters recreate a lifestyle and traditions of a bygone age and also animate the Folk Park.
Amid these loved and well-known characters are the (woman of the house) Bean a Ti, a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) policeman, and a School teacher. Represented also are traditional crafts and jobs; the forge, milling, farming, banking, printing, etc.
To answer the question of who Durty Nelly was; there lived in the misty rolling countryside of Cratloe many moons ago a buxom lady who in stature was tall, but to all, she was shapely and appealing. A name–Durty Nelly as she was known, puzzled all who fortunately met her–but in Ireland times were hard but despite that, making ends meet wasn't a problem for Wily Nelly.
She was responsible for being the toll-bridge keeper over the river Owengarney which, flowed past her window to join the Shannon. To cross the bridge, all visitors had to pay Nelly their dues. Paying in kind was also accepted for those who couldn't pay in cash, including a presentation of a few eggs, chickens, home-cured bacon (a piece of it) or even, legend has it, 'comfort' for the lady herself.
Nelly was known to the virile men of the day as a considerably charming woman from Dublin to Limerick, Galway to Cork. Nelly's hospitality to the many travelers who came across the bridge resulted in Nelly gaining a place in their fond memories, and through the centuries, Nelly's legend has been handed down. The exhausted and tired journeymen's bellies were warmed by a jar of whiskey kept overlooking the river at her little shebeen - a particular corner of the house, and this made Durty Nelly renowned.
One of those travelers from Kilrush, a rogue one to be specific, crept in and stole poor Nelly's savings during one unfortunate night, taking all the gold coins which she had collected at that bridge. She went to bed the following evening with a broken heart, and after a fitful night's sleep, she awoke with a start. A clear impression of a new whiskey recipe occupied her mind. Straight away, she set to work, and from her distillery, in the woods, she filled her four best earthen jars. She became more and more convinced that this brew contained magic as she labored over the concoction.
After a short while outside her front door, she came across an old Irish wolfhound on his last legs. He was feeble and weak and was not long for this world. From one of the urns, Nelly poured a drop of her homemade whiskey (poteen) and rubbed it carefully into the muscles of the dog. Leaving the dog to rest, she went to her curved wall where daily she waited for the tolls. She began to drop off in the midday's sun heat.
Her slumber was disturbed 2 or 3 hours later by a warm and wet feeling in her palm: shocked, she realized that her hand was being licked by the Wolfhound. Showing no previous signs of his malaise, he exuberantly raced across the bridge. Nelly's neighbors in Bunratty noticed this extraordinary occurrence, and quickly the news spread of her having a special potion; that is, one that may bring the gift of new life.
Therefore, from all over the country they came in seeking 'the cure' for the sick piglet, lame horse, the athlete with muscle-bound or the slowing greyhound. Each visitor left cured of all ills and with a renewed vigor. The little house located by the bridge grew and became a landmark in Munster due to increased trade as a result of the high-quality refreshments both drink and food.
May the wind always be at your back and may the road rise up and meet you. May the warm-sun shine upon your face and the rains softly fall upon your fields and until when we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
At Ashford Castle, each of the eighty-two rooms, as well as the suites, represents traditional finesse and elegance. Many rooms and suites, following extensive refurbishment, have been lovingly and individually redesigned, and the castle's original features combined with modern luxuries. Details of meticulous attention may be found in unique works of art, sumptuous fabrics and carefully antique sourced furniture pieces with custom designed bespoke beds, carpets, Egyptian cotton bed linens, exquisite toweling and feature lighting.
Ashford Castle is among the world's leading Hotels. It is presented with the following awards and accolades:
Its charm distinctively characterizes the Island of Inis O'irr being the smallest of Islands. With its closeness to the Burren, its magnificent cliffs of Mohr, and an electric mix of color in its scenic splendor it's visible. Additionally, the Island itself has also the authentic feel of a traditional isolated fishing village. From the pier, you'll see the carpeted pristine white sandy beach that faces clear crystal turquoise waters as well as plenty of fishing nets, boats, and at the end of the day, fisherman returning with their catch.
You will find inside the village an active local community who still adheres to Ireland's traditional way of life. A traditional music bar features the Island with a nationwide reputation and night out. Furthermore, an art center is also present on the Island, Aras Eanias, which features art courses and traditional music. Hotels, as well as bed and breakfast accommodations, are also available on the Island. It is recommended that one makes accommodations in Inis Oirr before arrival. All year, ferries leaving Galway city (Rossaveal) to Aran Islands are available and from the Cliffs of Mohr (Doolin) from April to October.
The Cliffs of Mohr are located at Burren's southwestern edge. They rise 702 ft eight kilometers to the north of O'Brien's Tower. In 1835, Sir Cornelius O'Brien built the tower, a round stone tower which is near the cliffs' midpoint. Visitors can see from atop the tower and cliffs the Aran Islands in Galway, to the north in Galway county- the Twelve Pins mountain range and the Maumturks, and to the south – Loop Head. In a year, the cliffs receive close to one million visitors and are hence ranked among tourists' top visited sites in Ireland.
At the cliffs' southernmost point, there once stood on Hag's Head, an old fort by the name Mohr, from which the cliffs took their name. In 1905, the writer Thomas Johnson Westropp referred to it as Mohr Ui Ruidhin or Mohr Ui Ruis. In 1780, the fort still stood and was mentioned in John LIoyd's account 'a Short Tour of Clare (178)'. In 1808, it was demolished to provide material for a new telegraph tower. The present tower, close to Ui Ruidhin old Mohr, was built during the Napoleonic wars as a lookout tower.
Torc Waterfall, like all waterfalls, is best seen after heavy rains (no problem in Kerry!) and is worth visiting. Torc Waterfall is a five minutes' walk off the road all the way through scenic woodland. Moreover, it has a height of 80 feet and the river Owengarriff, which feeds it. On nearby Mangerton mountain rises 'The Devil's Punch Bowl.' If you need a viewing spot of the lakes as well as to get some excellent views, then a little further push is necessary by immediately climbing to the left side of the waterfall approximately 100 or so steps. Torc Waterfall is one of the most well-known tourist attractions in Killarney and a beautiful point if you need to take a picture with the magical backdrop of this waterfall.
One of the most popular and unusual sights on Kerry's Ring is the demonstration of the sheep-dog at Caitins. Brendan Ferris, a local farmer, will introduce his sheepdogs to you. On the mountainside behind him, a flock of sheep in the distance can be seen widely dispersed. Brendan then shows how on a real farm, sheep are brought in by the sheepdogs through a fascinating demonstration. The dogs respond to Brendan's whistled commands by guiding the sheep downwards. By the end of the presentation, all the sheep are miraculously gathered calmly in a pen beside you.
What follows is a lively session of question-and-answer the dogs being the show's real stars. After another successful demonstration, they listen to Brendan while happily panting; showing they love their work. At least one person asks a question regarding whether they are for sale. The answer to it is no. Lastly, you can pet, as well as examine, the sheep. Brendan will answer any questions you have concerning many rare breeds in the flock.
For over 200 years, silver screen legends, literary giants, and world diplomats have joined millions of pilgrims in climbing the steps to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence which is also known as the gift of gab. The story continuously creates debate, but its powers remain unquestioned. Visitors not long ago had their ankles held and were lowered head-first over the battlements. Nowadays, we are somewhat more cautious about visitors' safety. The Stone is set below the battlements' wall. To kiss it, one must hold onto an iron railing leaning backward from the parapet walk. The gift of eloquence is bestowed once one kisses the stone and therefore the price is a real one.
A few people refer to it as Jacob's Pillow which prophet the Jeremiah brought to Ireland. Here it became the 'Fatal Stone' or the Lia Fail, used as Irish Kings' oracular throne –a Harry Potter-like kind of 'sorting hat' for kings. Moreover, the Pillow is said to be the deathbed of St Columba on Iona's island. It was then removed, as the legend says, to mainland Scotland to be the Stone of Destiny, that is, to serve as a prophetic power of royal succession.
A portion of that old Stone was returned to Ireland as gratitude from the Scots due to the support of five thousand men sent by the king of Munster, Cormac MacCarthy to Robert the Bruce in 1314 that led to the English's defeat at Bannockburn. Other people say that the Stone may have been brought from Crusades back to Ireland – the “Stone of Ezel” behind which was hidden by David on Jonathan's advice as he fled from Saul, his enemy. Only a few claims that it was the same Stone that Moses struck and from which water gushed. What we believe, whatever the truth of its origin, is that a witch revealed to the MacCarthys its powers after being saved from drowning.
Failte Ireland voted Kilkenny as the Top Tourism Town of Ireland for 2013 and are Ireland's main tourism body. Conde Nast Traveler readers also voted Kilkenny the world's 9th friendliest city, and in Europe, the friendliest city. Moreover, at the end of 2013, it was voted the cleanest Town in Ireland, as well as the 2014's Tidiest Town, beating competition from 849 villages and towns in September 2014, and in 2015 it became Ireland's top ranking cleanest cities and towns for the 3rd time in a row. The Michelin Star was awarded to two restaurants in Kilkenny. The presence of two Michelin Stars in county Kilkenny out of nine Michelin Stars in Ireland has led to the growth of Kilkenny's reputation as a culinary destination.
This castle has been regarded for many years as a critical site from the time of Richard de Clare, who was the 2nd Earl of Pembroke and built the first castle, made of wood, in the 12th century. Established by Anglo-Saxons in the year 1173 where Mac Giolla Phádraig, King of Osraighe previously resided, Kilkenny made up a section of Leinster's lordship that he surrendered to Strongbow. In 1189, William Marshall married Isabel, an heiress, and Strongbow's daughter as well.
Earl Marshall had many large estates in Wales, Ireland, France and England which he managed effectively. The Marshall appointed Geoffrey Fitz Robert as Leinster's seneschal who initiated significant projects in Kilkenny including the erection of Kilkenny Castle as well as rent and privilege agreements with burgesses (borough citizens). Robert completed the first stone castle in the year 1213. The stone castle was square shaped with a tower in every corner. Today, three towers still exist.
One of Ireland's essential monastic sites is housed in Glendalough. Discovered in the 6th century by St. Kevin, the location is a Christian monastic settlement. The 'Monastic City,' consisting of several monastic remains, including the 30m long Round Tower, developed from this. Major monastic structures lie downstream close to the Round Tower.
A Gateway consisting of 2 round-headed granite arches was used to access the grounds. The Priest's House is situated beyond St. Mary's Church. The house was constructed in the 12th Century using a Romanesque design. It had a very interesting carving on the doorway lintel. There lies a large granite cross dating back to the 6th or 7th century past the Priest's House. The "Cathedral" which is the most prominent church in the area with a chancel, nave and vestry dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries and St Kevin's Church, referred to as St. Kevin's Kitchen, also lies beyond Priest's House. St. Kevin's Kitchen is a barrel-vaulted hard mica schist oratory whose roof is steeply pitched with a round tower belfry. St Kevin's Bed, also known as the Hermitage lies about 200m to the east of the Rock of the Church.
In addition, the Trinity Church, situated at Glendalough site on your way to Laragh (to the right), was constructed between the eleventh and twelfth Centuries. Approximately 1.5km past the river to the east of Cathedral lies a church whose windows and chancel arches have beautiful Romanesque carvings, i.e., St. Saviour's Priory. One can find three stone crosses an old stone fort remains in the middle of the Upper and Lower Lake. Another cross is visible alongside the Lower Lake. All four crosses form stations along the pilgrimage path at Glendalough. There stands Reefert Church with a chancel and nave near a small bridge in St Kevin's Bed.
This garden was ranked the world's third-best by National Geographic. The garden, situated at Powerscourt, has 800 years of history. The first Viscount Powerscourt was very keen on leaving a landmark that would affirm his importance in society. Therefore, he began to transform the medieval castle located in Powerscourt into a magnificent mansion. He ordered Richard Castle (a German architect) to construct Powerscourt House in the year 1730. The house had 68 rooms and was completed in the year 1741. It was designed with Palladian architecture whose sides featured baroque dome-roofed towers thus giving this Italian Renaissance villa massive dignity based on one architectural historian's words.
At the north facing front side, a magnificent entrance was built while on the southern part were the gardens. Initially, there were just two floors, but another level was added in 1787. Other significant changes were made during the late 19th century. This was one of the buildings that contained some of the best interiors in Ireland in the 18th century. This was among the most stunning mansions in the country. The Slazenger family finally purchased the estate in 1961 from the 9th Viscount Powerscourt.
The refurbishment carried out on the building was completed in 1974 to make it attract visitors. However, Powerscourt house's top floor tragically caught fire on the 4th of November. Luckily, there no life was lost through all the main receptions and bedrooms were burnt down. A vivid reminder of the fire remains 20 years after the incident. This was the main house wall that stood strongly revealing stonework which dates back to the 13th century. Re-roofing the house was done in 1996. This gave it a new look, and it was opened to the public in 1997 by the then-president Mary Robinson.
At the center of Dublin City lies the Book of Kells and the Old Library which are among the fascinating places within the city. This is one of the main historical sites that takes visitors back to the 18th century when this fantastic library was built. The library houses the Book of Kells which is a globally renowned ninth-century gospel manuscript. There is friendly staff who warmly welcome visitors from across the world every day of the week.
All who pay a visit to this place pass through the Library Shop and then on to Book of Kells. This is an exhibition area mainly referred to as “Turning Darkness to Light” where the Book of Kells is found. From here, they go to the treasury where the Book of Kells and many more documents related to it are displayed. Finally, one would then proceed to the upper room where there is enough space and where 200,000 of the world's oldest books are located in their oak bookcases.
The history of this library dates back to 1592 when the college was established, and it is one of Ireland's most extensive libraries. Currently, this library has more than six million printed volumes and large collections of maps, manuscripts, music, and journals showing how academics have developed for the past 400 years. Among the well-known documents are the Book of Durrow and Book of Kells. These were presented by Bishop of Meath and the ex-vice chancellor of the university Sir Henry Jones in the 1960s. Other unique collections comprise the Ussher collection and Fagel Collection that was acquired in 1661 and 1802 respectively.
The Library enjoys the 1801 Legal Deposit privilege and receives copies of materials that were published in Ireland and the U.K. The Library is helpful in enhancing learning and research needs in all the College's disciplines. The facility is the leading international repute research library. Apart from providing services to a variety of institutions and external users, it promotes creative initiative development in the provision of information. Manuscript exhibition in the library among other treasures attracts a vast number of visitors to the Old Library annually.
Book of Kells is commonly known as Ireland's most exceptional state treasure. All Dublin visitors are interested in seeing the Book of Kells and the Old Library. When you walk through Trinity College, and Dublin's cobbled streets located at the center of Dublin City, you will feel as if you are in the 18th century during the establishment of the Old Library building. The library houses a ninth century gospel manuscript which is well-known across the world-the Book of Kells. This can be accessed via the Library Shop then to the exhibition dubbed "Turning Darkness into Light." You can then proceed to the Treasury where the Book of Kells, among other associated manuscripts, are displayed. From this section, you may go to the Long Room which is located upstairs. This is where 200,000 of the facility's oldest books are housed in oak bookcases.
In what is mostly referred to as the Insular style, the Book of Kells is among the best and most well-known manuscripts that were produced from the late 6th to early 9th centuries in monasteries in England, Ireland, and Scotland and also in continental monasteries with Anglo-Saxon foundation or Hiberno-Scottish foundation. Manuscripts from the early 7th century include the Cathach of St. Columba, Durham Dean Patchy Gospel, the Chapter Library and the Ambrosiana Orosius. The Book of Durrow is dated back to the second half of the 7th Century with Durham, Lichfield, Lindisfarne and the Echternach Gospels coming from early 8th century.
Other books include the St. Gall Gospel that dates back to late the 8th century and the Book of Armagh that was written between 807 and 809 until early 9th century. All these manuscripts are put together by scholars based on their similarities in the artistic styles used, textual traditions and the scripts. The Book of Kells in this series came later between the late 8th century to early 9th century due to the fully constructed style of ornamentation. This ornamentation follows the various traditions of iconography and techniques that are found in all the ancient manuscripts. An example of this is the decorated letters in the Gospels.
The Book of Kells derives its name from the Abbey of Kells which is in Kells County Meath, its home during the medieval period. Having the date and the place when this manuscript was produced has been a problem and is still an unanswered question.
Traditionally, it is thought to have been written in the era of Columba, and many believe him to be the author as well. All these traditional beliefs are supported by the various stylistic and paleographic devices with evidence found in the composition date ca. 800. This was many years after the death of Columba in 597. In the 9th century, there was a proposed dating that coincided with the Ionas Viking raids which started in the year 794 dispersing all the monks together with their holy relics to the land of Scotland and Ireland. Other traditions have traces of some scholars from Ireland are of the opinion that the manuscript was made for the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the death of the saint.
In New Orleans you think of Bourbon Street, in Key West, Duval Street, in Memphis it's Beale Street, these are the FUN places that form part of a steep history.
Dublin's Saint Patrick's Cathedral which is also referred to as Saint Patrick's Collegiate Church and the National Cathedral was established in 1191. It is Ireland's largest church and one of the 2 Church of Ireland cathedrals in Dublin. Its spire is 43 meters high. Christ Church is a diocesan cathedral that falls under the Dublin and Glendalough diocese.
There is no bishop based in St Patrick's. However, the Dublin Archbishop is found in Christ Church Cathedral. St Patrick's, since 1870 has been designated by the church as the national cathedral to serve the whole island and where chapter members from each of the church's 12 dioceses are drawn. The dean's office is ordinary for the cathedral and has been in existence since 1219. Jonathan Swift was the most famous holder of the office.
No example that reflects the 2-cathedral city exists. Some people who do not belong to any religious order believe that St Patrick's, which is a secular cathedral, was intended to substitute for the Christ Church in an orderly manner. Persistence of a confrontational situation, with considerable tension for decades soon after St. Patrick's was established and more or less eventually settled through the signing of a 6-point agreement, Pacis Compositio of 1300.
Still in force and extended until 1870, it provided that the enthronement and consecration of Dublin's Archbishop were intended to take place in Christ Church. However, this provision was not followed at all times, with several archbishops enthroned in both, and a minimum of two had set precedence in only Christ Church St. Patrick's. Being the diocese's mother and senior cathedral, each of Dublin's deceased Archbishop's rings, miters and crosses were retained in Christ Church. Dublin's deceased Archbishops were alternately buried in each of the two cathedrals unless willed otherwise personally. Christ Church was to host the diocesan annual Chrism oil consecration. Their freedoms equally shared, both cathedrals acted as one.
Arthur Guinness established St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland in the year 1759. Currently, the company is part of Diageo formed through the merger of Grand Metropolitan and Guinness in 1997. Guinness Draught is the brewery's primary product.
In 1759, it was initially leased to Arthur Guinness for 9,000 years at £45 per year and ever since, St. James's Gate has remained the home of Guinness. In 1838 it became Ireland's largest brewery and by 1886 the largest in the world with 1.2 million barrels annual output. Although it is no longer the world's largest brewery, it is still the world's largest stout brewer. Since then, the company has bought properties that they initially leased. However, the brewery possessed most of the surrounding structures in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Employee accommodations and offices accounted for most of the use of the housing streets. Additionally, the brewery's power plant independently generates all of the brewery's electricity.
There is an attached exhibition on Guinness's 250-year history, called the Guinness Storehouse. Arthur Guinness started brewing ales in Leixlip then at St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin in 1759. Arthur signed a 9,000-year lease worth £45 per year on 31 December for the idle brewery. However today, the contract is not valid because the brewery's original four-acre site has expanded and the property bought.
On 19 May 1769, ten years after establishment, Arthur exported his beer for the first time (by then he had ceased brewing ale), shipping 6 and ½ barrels to England. Adoption of steam power and further exporting to the market in England expanded the business. By the time Benjamin Guinness died in 1868, the brewery site had grown to over 64 acres from about 1 acre, and the business' value was over £1m. His son Edward, in 1886 through a public offering, sold 65% of the business on London's Stock exchange for £6 million.
Several control efforts that the company pioneered were in quality. In 1899, statistician Willian Sealy Gosset was hired by the brewery, under the pseudonym 'Student', and the techniques he developed for Guinness achieved lasting fame, mostly Student's t-distribution and also more commonly recognized as Student's t-test. Due to 'control of Manufactures Act' of the Irish Free State's in 1932, the company's headquarters moved later that year to London. 1974 marked the Guinness' last Porter brewed.
The Jameson Distillery (the old Jameson Distillery) located in Ireland; in Dublin just off Smithfield Square is Ireland's Whiskey tourist attraction. Since 1997 when it opened as an attraction, it receives between 300,000 to 350,000 guests annually.
The Jameson's Irish whiskey original distillation site was the Old Jameson Distillery until 1971. However, it is currently the visitor's center which provides tutored Whiskey tasting, guided tours, a restaurant, a gift shop, and bars. The distillery itself is laid out over two floors and also sits above the fermentation vats' original foundation, which is visible through the atrium's glass floor. You can access JJ's bar, as well the distillery gift shop and buy tour tickets from the atrium's first floor.
Adult tickets prices at the Jameson bar as of May 2018 are €17 with a glass of Jameson Irish Whiskey included or the signature serve, lime & Jameson Ginger. Tours take one hour and operate continuously every 20 minutes throughout the day. Amenities housed on the second floor include the Sine Metu suite, the Reserve bar, and the third Still Restaurant.
The original distillery established on this site in 1780 was known as the Bow Street Distillery. However, in 1810, John Jameson, previously the general manager, took full ownership and in 1805, expanded the distillery. Therefore, the operation was renamed officially by 1810 to John Jameson and Son's Bow Street Distillery. By 1886, the distillery had grown by 5 acres.