The Scots-Irish and Making of American Freedom

VISIT: Co. Monaghan > Co. Londonderry / Derry > Co. Donegal > Co. Tyrone > Co. Dublin

$2,100 Per Person

Est. Price – Finalized Once Dates Selected



  • 7 Night Hotel Accommodation – 4 Star Stays (Taxes and Service Charges Included)
  • Nights: Monaghan (1), Londonderry / Derry (4), Dublin (2)
  • Hotel Porterage for 1 Bag Per Person
  • Full Irish Breakfast Daily (Except Morning of Arrival)
  • 4 x Hotel Dinners
  • Admission into 8 Sightseeing Tours (Detailed Below)
  • Luxury Air Conditioned Coach w/ Professional Driver-Guide Throughout


​You are invited on a special and unique journey to discover a vital but under-valued chapter in the early history of the United States. Cara Group Travel is delighted to present; The Scots-Irish & Making American Freedom, an itinerary compiled in conjunction with experts of Scots-Irish to allow you to learn and experience the story of people who emigrated from the north and northwest of Ireland in the 1800s.

​This specialty tour will be hosted by an expert guide with deep family roots in Ireland’s northernmost corner, will bring a small group of people back to the landscape where these courageous migrants began their journey. Drawing on historic references, resources and landmarks across Northern Ireland, this specially designed trip will prove an educational yet inspiring vacation which showcases the very best Ulster-Scot heritage with the world famous Irish hospitality.



  • Visit to Magee Campus, Ulster University
  • Visit to Ulster Scots Centre
  • Trip to Ballymastocker Bay
  • Visit to Museum of Free Derry
  • Visit to Apprentice Boys Hall
  • Lecture from Experts on Scots-Irish
  • Visit to Ulster American Folk Park
  • Visit to Grays Printing Press

​Day 1 – Welcome to Ireland

Arrive in to Dublin Airport where you will be met and transported to Castle Leslie Estate in County Monaghan. This is where you will stay for the evening. It is one of the last Irish castle estates that is still in the hands of its founding family. The Leslies have lived on the estates since the 1660s. You will have dinner together at the hotel this evening. Dinner & Overnight: Castle Leslie

​​Day 2 – Introducing the Walled City

Today you will travel from County Monaghan to your hotel in Derry where you be staying for the next four nights. Get ready to explore the entirety of the history of the Scots-Irish in Ireland over the next number of days. You will learn how and why they moved to the north of Ireland from Scotland some 400 years ago, and their robust Presbyterian faith. You will learn how they responded to deprivation of political rights. Importantly you will learn of the trade in flaxseed and linen which created a powerful bond between the north of Ireland and the American Colonies. Today you will visit the First Derry Presbyterian Church and the Catholic church: St. Columb’s Long Tower. Visit the Harbour Office under whose auspices tens of thousands of people left Ireland throughout the 18th century. Take a trip to the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster. There will be a lecture here from an expert in the field of Scots-Irish history. Dine this evening in a privately owned merchant’s villa. Overnight: Londonderry / Derry Hotel

​Day 3 – Stepping Back in Time

After a hearty breakfast, you will visit the Ulster Scots Centre in Monreagh, County Donegal. Here you will experience the social conditions of 18th century Scots-Irish farming communities. Later we will take a break from the American Revolutionary experience and learn of Derry’s history over the last 50 years. Today you will also visit the Museum of Free Derry, which offers an Irish nationalist perspective on nearly three decades of near-civil war, and the Apprentice Boys’ Hall, a bastion of the Unionist tradition. This evening dine in another private 18th century merchant’s house where you will be joined by a guest active in current community and political life. Overnight: Londonderry / Derry Hotel

​Day 4 – Unique Experiences in Donegal

Ramelton, County Donegal is your next stop. It is the birthplace of Rev Francis Makemie, a pioneer of American religious freedom. He was born in Ireland and later travelled to the American colonies. In 1706 he helped to bring together Presbyterian ministers and elders to establish the presbytery of Philadelphia. This was the official birth of American Presbyterianism.Learn of Rev Francis Alison, born in the same area,who became the Chair of Moral Philosophy at the College of Philadelphia. Many of his students became founding fathers. Visit the glorious Ballymastocker Bay(once voted the second finest beach in the world) and Grianan of Ailigh, a sixth century hilltop ring fort and seat of the O’Neill clan, one of the ancient royal sites of Gaelic Ireland which was marked on Ptolemy’s Map of Ireland in 150 AD. Dinner will be served at a a private 18th century merchant’s house, where you will be lectured on the Scots-Irish. Overnight: Londonderry / Derry Hotel

​Day 5 – Learning from the Locals

Learn of Charles Thomson and Rev John Glendy, American heroes from Maghera, County Londonderry. Thomson arrived in Delaware in 1739 as a ten-year-old orphan and after excelling in classics, became a champion of the revolutionary cause in Pennsylvania, and secretary of the first American Congress. Glendy was a radical Presbyterian minister and achieved fame on both sides of the Atlantic. He was chosen as chaplain of the US Senate. Then visit the home base of yet another Scots-Irish giant, Rev James McGregor. Visit the church in Aghadowey, County Londonderry where the cleric and his flock started their journey in 1718. He and his congregration founded Derry, New Hampshire. Did you know that US secretary of state John Kerry is a direct descendant of McGregor? Hear another lecture this evening on the topic of the Scots-Irish. Dinner together at a 19th century merchant’s house. Overnight: Londonderry / Derry Hotel

​Day 6 – Last Stops in the North

This morning you will visit Gray’s Printing Press in Strabane, County Tyrone, birthplace of John Dunlap, the first printer of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. The Ulster American Folk Park is next on the list.This award-winning open air museum was built around the homestead of Thomas Mellon, who having emigrated to Pittsburgh, founded the Mellon Bank. Here you can immerse yourself in the whole story of emigration from West Ulster to America. You will then have a detailed lecture from a member of the Centre of Migration Studies. From Tyrone, you will be brought to Dublin. Overnight: Dublin Hotel​

​Day 7 – Relax and Recovery

Today you have to yourself to explore Ireland’s capital city of Dublin. There is much to see and do in this bustling and friendly city. Consider taking a stroll through St.Stephen’s Green, or visit Trinity College, in the heart of Dublin, which holds the Book of Kells. Visit one of the many museums in the capital, including the National Museum of Ireland,The Natural History Museum or The Irish Museum of Modern Art to name but a few. Visit the famous Chester Beatty Library or maybe the Dublin Writer’s Museum. Take a short trip on the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) to Bray, County Wicklow where you can walk along the beach and explore the town of Bray at your leisure. Bray is a vibrant seaside town and is full of life in the summer months. Have a scrumptious dinner either in Bray or when you return to Dublin. Overnight: Dublin Hotel​

​Day 8 – Homeward Bound

Pack your bags and bid farewell to Ireland but take your knowledge of the Scots-Irish group, heritage, culture and religion back with you.Hold the wonderful memories you have forever. Start planning to your next trip to the North West Ulster Region.

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