The Year of Family and Friends

***Now extended to February 28, 2017!***

This year and indeed every year since Wild West Irish Tours began taking travelers (our beloved “Wild Westies”) on adventures in the Wild West of Ireland, we have been delighted to have so many families travel together with us. We have had anything from grandparents with grandchildren, mothers and daughters, complete families and just about every other family combination! Very often this includes family friends.tm_dolman.jpg

We have decided to make 2017 the “Year of Family & Friends”and are launching our celebration with a wonderful promotion. As you may know, our tours have a maximum of 8 people per tour. (When we have the demand for more than eight, we simply create a “twin” tour and have two separate tours going simultaneously.)

Here is the special deal: Book two people (you and a friend or family member) on one of our tours and  receive a $150 discount per person! So, if you book a group of 8 family or friends, you can save $1200! Please use discount code JAN when you’re checking out to take advantage of this offer.

You must book your tour before February 28, 2017 to qualify for this incredible offer! Not valid for prior purchases.

Announcing Two New Special Tours for 2017!

Spend 9 days in the Wild West of Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in March! In April, join us for our “Land of Heart’s Desire” Tour, as we explore the places that inspired Ireland’s greatest writers, poets and novelists. (March 15-23 and April 2-9)

 

 St. Patrick’s Day Tour

The best way to describe this incredible tour is you will have a full Wild West Irish Signature Tour, and have the opportunity to take in the best local pubs (where the locals go), hear the best in Irish traditional music, see some great dancing and take in a parade or two! This is a week of pure excitement, fun, music, libation, and “craic”, meeting locals and getting immersed in authentic Irish culture and heritage.  This isn’t the “green beer and leprechaun” tour — it is you coming to Ireland to be among friends (friends you haven’t met yet) and experience St. Patrick’s day as a local! Contact us for more information! We keep our tours to 6 to 8 people, and you can save $300 if you book here before February 20th!!

The Wild West Irish “Land of Heart’s Desire” Literary Tour

Nobel Prize-winning Irish writer, W.B. Yeats described the places he roamed and inspired him as the “Land of Heart’s Desire.”  This creative and enchanting experience will bring you to the exact places of heart’s desire of Yeats, Nobel Prize recipient Seamus Heaney, John McGahern, Augusta, Lady Gregory, Eva Gore-Booth, Countess Constance Markievicz, Dermot Healy, Leland Bardwell and Patrick Kavanagh. We will have the best local Irish writers and authors with us to help guide us through the beauty and exhilaration of  literature in the “Land of Heart’s Desire.”

Itinerary April 2- 9

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin and we will greet you at the airport and begin our journey together toward the Wild West, via the the border county of Monaghan, where Patrick Kavanagh was born. On we go toward the banks of Lough Neagh, County Derry, as we go to the home place of Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney in and around Magherafelt, N. Ireland. You will check into your beautiful B & B and relax after a long (but breathtaking) journey. We know the best place around for a pint and a delicious meal, and you will have your first taste of Ireland in a thatched pub that is centuries old.

Day 2: We start with a delicious “full Irish” breakfast and off we go with our lovely local guide who will take us through the great Sperrin Mountains, to “Mossbawn” – the place Seamus Heaney grew up and was inspired to write so much of his poetry. We will visit the marvelous new “Seamus Heaney Homeplace, Life Literature, Inspiration” and spend time in the local town. We will have a chance to delve into some of Heaney’s poetry and meet local people who knew him well. We will no doubt find a music session which will include some recitations of Heaney and his contemporaries.

Day 3: We leave our beautiful guesthouse after another Irish “brekkie” and make our way further west, through counties Fermanagh, Donegal and Leitrim (via Lough Erne, Lough Melvin, Enniskillen, Belleek)  to Yeat’s country…Sligo…the Land of Heart’s Desire.  We will take in the stunning vistas of the Dartry Mountain Range and make our way to the edge of the Wild Atlantic Ocean. We will bring you to your 4 Star B & B which is located only a 5 to 10 minute walk from the iconic “Drumcliff Cross” and church, by Yeat’s grave in “the shadow of Benbulben.” We will meet with a local writer who presents a comprehensive talk on W.B. Yeats, his importance in the literary world and his contributions to Irish Independence. Lady Gregory’s mentorship of Yeats and her influence on  him will be explored as well.  We will have dinner at a wonderful restaurant near where the ancient cross stands, and perhaps take in some Irish music at a nearby pub. We can all look forward to coming home and sitting by the fire and having a chat with our hostess and local friends.

Day 4: We will start the day (after another scrumptious breakfast) and head out to Lough Gill where we will meet the Captain of the “Rose of Innisfree.” Captain M McGoldrick will not only take us our on this beautiful lake that Yeats loved so much, he will recite some of Yeat’s poetry and provide music, tea, pints and a few good laughs. The boat sails right up to the “Lake Isle of Innisfree” and other places of Yeat’s lore. You will be accompanied this day by our local folklorist who will guide you to the places of the myths and legends…the forests, rivers, waterfalls, beaches,  that inspired Yeats. With each place we visit, we will have a Yeats poem ready, that is associated with the very place we are happily immersed in poetic ecstasy! We will also go into Sligo Town to the Yeats “Museum”  and have a walk around the town centre and Garavogue River. A lovely dinner in town followed by optional activities, such as local theatre, and we have had a full and satisfying day.

Day 5: We travel up to “Lovely Leitrim” to become better acquainted with the one of the most important writers in Irish history, John McGahern. You will visit his home, school,  and areas covered in his work such as “The Barracks” Cootehill, Ardcairn. This part of Ireland is magnificent untouched natural beauty, and you will come away with a special feeling and insight through the eyes, ears, and writing of John McGahern and the people and places he wrote about. We will take a scenic drive home through County Leitrim…its mountains, lakes, rivers, ancient sites, holy wells, ruins and back to Sligo for relaxing evening at home. We will present a documentary about local writer, Dermot Healy and be introduced to some of today’s Irish writers.

Day 6: Today we have what we can call the “participatour” of your adventure in the Wild West of Ireland. We will have a local published writer lead us in a workshop right at our comfy B & B. If you are not a writer or a poet already, you may be inspired to be one now! We will head out to the Maugherow Peninsula where the likes of Dermot Healy and Leland Bardwell lived and wrote much of their stories based on the storytelling and lives of some of the locals. We have an ancient beach, promontory fort and an historic beach where a Spanish Armada ship wrecked, in store for you as you learn more than you could have imagined in this tucked away gem in ireland.  We have a very unique music session planned for you at a 400 year old pub where there will be poetry, recitations, “party pieces” and of course the famous Irish “craic.”

Day 7: We will visit the iconic homeplace of Eva Gore-Booth and her sister Countess Constance Markievicz. We could spend an entire week tracing the lives and steps of Constance and Eva and we will visit Lissadell and the local beach, forest and places they knew all of their lives. Constance went on to fight for Irish Independence in the “Easter Rising of 1916” and we will remember her at her monument by Lissadell Bay and read the beautiful poem written by Eva when Constance was imprisoned. W.B. Yeats visited the Gore-Booth’s often at Lissadell. He was inspired to write several poems about Lissadell and the sisters.  We will finish the day  honoring Lady Gregory with an impromptu performance of “The Rising of the Moon.”

Day 8: Back to Dublin we go as we pass through Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath and into the “Fair City.” A visit to the National Library and the National Museum of History will be on our agenda. We will encourage you to take some time on your own in Dublin to visit places that interest you. If you are still in a literary frame of mind, there are places associated with James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Brendan Behan, Katherine Tynan, Samuel Beckett and so many other Irish writers. At night we will take in some theatre in Dublin City. (We hope to go to a Play at the Abbey Theatre but we can not confirm this as of yet…) You will be staying at a lovely country hotel in the northside of Dublin.

Day 9: We make arrangements to bring you to Dublin airport where you will be bringing home with you at least a dozen Irish writers and many more poems and memories of your time in the Land of YOUR Heart’s Desire.

Book soon because this tour only has 8 seats available!

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and Irish Literature’s Landscape!

Due to demand for our beloved and unique tours, we have added many dates for the coming season! For our Wild West Irish Tour Michael(Signature) we have added the following dates:

  • May 17-25
  • June 28-July 6
  • August 17-25
  • September 22-30
  • October 14-22

For our popular Wild West Irish Tour – Clare-Connemara, we have added:

  • July 22-30

See our Booking Dates and Prices page to book your tour now!

Wild West Irish Tours presents:

The Celtic Pilgrimage

“Pilgrimage is an inner journey of the heart, soul and mind where the pilgrim is enabled to connect to the spirit within each of them while making an outer journey in a landscape that has a story.”

Wild West Irish Tours invites you to join us as we connect with Celtic spirituality, tradition and folklore by following the footsteps of our ancestors and exploring sacred places. This special experience will bring you to W.B. Yeats’ “Land of Heart’s Desire” in the Sligo/Leitrim region of Ireland, to the very paths taken in the Burren/Coastal region of County Clare, by Irish Celtic philosopher and poet, John O’Donohue, author of Anam Cara – A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

071

082

038

 

Join us in 2017 and explore the traditions and rituals of the four Celtic seasons (Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtine and Lughnasa) and the connection between Celtic spirituality and the four elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

The Celtic Pilgrimage includes music; dance; poetry; group and solitary nature walks; visits to sacred places; opportunities to participate in yoga and mediation; and explorations of artistic expression in a nurturing environment. We visit places from our Wild West Irish Tours itinerary, and journey to places that are seldom seen and mystical. As always, our group will consist of no more than 8 pilgrims/travelers, and we will stay in 4-star B&B-style accommodations. We are guided by local men and women who have a strong connection to and knowledge of Celtic spirituality, traditional wisdom, the landscape, history, archaeology and  folklore.

Meet this local Celtic legend and Myth-keeper on the Celtic Pilgrimage:

As a potential pilgrim, you may experience the following before departing on a pilgrimage:

  • A longing or yearning to participate in/make a journey with a deep purpose.
  • A call to do something different and to set about preparing for the challenge required to answer that call. (The call may have its origin in a dream.)
  • A setting out on the journey, having done the necessary planning to make the pilgrimage happen (both spiritual and logistic – travel, accommodation, preparation, and a decision on what gifts the pilgrim wishes to bring and leave at the pilgrimage destinations.)
  • An acceptance that the pilgrimage may bring the pilgrim on an unpredictable path that will be followed regardless, without complaint.
  • An anticipation of their arrival at the destinations of their pilgrimage (what it will mean personally to them to have answered the call and reached their destination)
  • A consideration of what benefits/fruits the pilgrimage will have for them.

Walk this path on your own Celtic Pilgrimage…

Dates in 2016 and 2017 for the Wild West Irish Tours Celtic Pilgrimage include:

  • October 25 – November 2, 2016
  • February 2017  (dates to be announced)
  • May 1 –  May 9th, 2017
  • August 3 – August 11, 2017
  • October 25 – Nov 2, 2017

We only offer four or five of these tours, so availability is limited. To book your October 2016 tour now, click here. To book your 2017 tour, click here.

For specifics about the tour itinerary, please contact Wild West Irish Tours at info@wildwestirishtours.com or phone us in the U.S. at 804-918-7060.