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!