Scots-Irish Discovery Tour June 2nd - 12th, 2018
$2,489 PP Double/Twin Room
$3,088 PP Single Room
Travel Dates: June Saturday 2nd- Tuesday 12th 2018
- City Sightseeing Tours in Dublin, Belfast and Londonderry~Derry
- Visit to Guinness Storehouse, Belfast Titanic and UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Giants Causeway
- Visit to Ulster American Folk Park, Baronscourt Estate and Down Cathedral
- Visit of Siege Museum and Exhibition, General Ross Monument and Ulster-Scots Walking Tour of Belfast
- Visit to Sentry Hill, Ulster Scots Center (Monreagh) and Ramelton ‘Rev Francis Makemie’ Day Trip
- Luxurious Castle Stay with visit to Glenveagh National Park and Castle
Join the Scots-Irish Discovery Tour, an inspiring tour to Ireland which showcases the impact the Ulster-Scots had on the Emerald Isle. Make your mark in Ireland by sparking up your connection to your Ulster-Scots heritage whilst taking in the majestic greenery, warm welcomes and iconic landmarks of Ireland – there’s never been a better time to travel…
- 2 Nights Dublin – The Trinity City Hotel
- 3 Nights Derry~Londonderry – Hotel
- 3 Nights Belfast – The Europa Hotel
- 1 Castle Stay in Cavan – Cabra Castle
- Full Irish Breakfast Daily, 3 Hotel Dinners, 1 Evening Reception with Discover Ulster-Scots (Belfast) & 1 Farewell Dinner at Cabra Castle
- Luxury Air-Conditioned Coach w/ Professional Guide & Irish Driver Guide Throughout
- All Hotel Taxes & Services Charges & Hotel Porterage for 1 Bag
- 24/7 Emergency Assistance in Ireland
Sat Jun 2: Heading for the Emerald Isle
Today you will start your journey by flying across the United States and taking an overnight flight across the Atlantic sea to Ireland.
Sun Jun 3: Welcome to Ireland
This morning, you will land in Dublin Airport. Once you go through passport control, you collect your bags and head out into the arrivals area where you will be transferred to your first destination and new home for the next 2 nights is Dublin, the small capital of Ireland with a huge reputation.
This afternoon, get acquainted with your local surroundings and enjoy a visit to the home of the ‘Black Stuff’. Take a magical journey deep into the heart of the world famous Guinness Storehouse. This historical site is central to Dublin’s and Ireland’s heritage, and has been continually updated to create a blend of fascinating industrial tradition with a contemporary edge. The seven floors bring to life the rich heritage of Guinness, telling the story from its origins at St. James’s Gate in Dublin to its growth as a global brand, known all around the world. When you reach the 7th floor enjoy a pint of the ‘Black Stuff’ in the Gravity Bar while taking in the breath-taking panoramic 360° views of Dublin City and beyond.
Return to your hotel later for dinner and enjoy your first evening in Dublin at Temple Bar, the cultural heart of Dublin City. This area on the south bank of the River Liffey is bursting with pubs, restaurants, galleries and great craic each and every night. Overnight: Trinity City Hotel, Dublin
Mon Jun 4: Dublin’s Fair City
After breakfast this morning, you will take a panoramic sightseeing tour of Dublin’s Fair City. As we drive through the main thoroughfare, you will see historic buildings like the GPO (General Post Office) on O’ Connell Street and Trinity College, housing the Book of Kells. You will also see the vast Georgian Squares, such as Merrion Square where Oscar Wilde’s house can still be found.
We will stop and enjoy a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded in 1191 in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s. You will also see the Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe and home to Aras an Uachtarain (the Irish President’s Residence) as well as the American Ambassador’s Residence.
Afterwards, explore the city as you wish and check out landmarks such as Grafton Street, St. Stephens Green or National Botanic Gardens. After a busy day of sightseeing, you are sure to have worked up an appetite. Tuck into some Dublin favorites like coddle and European-style quick eats in the city’s cafés, restaurants and gastro-pubs. Or enjoy a more refined type of dining experience in our surprisingly affordable Michelin-starred restaurants. Overnight: Trinity City Hotel, Dublin
Tue Jun 5: Next Stop….The North
After breakfast is finished up this morning, we will bid Dublin farewell and embark on new adventures in Co. Derry, which was awarded the first UK City of Culture in 2013. We will travel over the boarder to Northern Ireland where there are no customs checks and the main difference to note will be the change in road signs and we change currencies from the (€) Euro to (£) GBP pounds sterling. In August 1990, the Northern Bank issued a £20 note which featured the famous Ulster-Scot Harry Ferguson.
On route to Derry, we will stop in the heather-clad hills of Co. Tyrone at The Ulster American Folk Park, a colorful indoor and outdoor museum exploring the story of Irish emigration to the New World. You will be immersed into the story of Irish emigration at the museum that brings it to life.
Did you know that in the course of the eighteenth century 250,000 or more Ulster Scots left Ulster in search of a better life for themselves and their children in the New World. They left as a result of a complex mixture of economic and religious reasons which are difficult to disentangle satisfactorily. The great Ulster-Scot exodus to the New World began in earnest when the Friends’ Goodwill sailed from Larne, County Antrim, for Boston, Massachusetts, in April 1717.
We will also enjoy a special visit to Barons Court Estate, the home of the Duke of Abercorn’s family since 1612, which is among that handful of old family Estates in the British Isles which combine great historical and architectural interest with a landscape of outstanding natural beauty.
Following this, we will arrive into Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland’s second-largest city which continues to flourish as an artistic and cultural hub. We will check in to our hotel and you are free to explore the city as you wish. Overnight: Hotel, Derry~Londonderry
Wed Jun 6: Introducing The Walled City
Once breakfast is finished up this morning, we will head out for a tour of Derry which offers 1,500 years of social, cultural and religious history. Derry was initially a monastic settlement, which became a plantation town and in later years it was a central port for emigration to America, Australia, England and Scotland. Derry is still making history as the opposing communities continue to work together towards a lasting settlement of disagreements.
We will also visit the new Siege Museum and Exhibition, a permanent display of the history which details how the events of the Siege of Londonderry 1688-89 shaped the political landscape in Ireland/Europe including collections of artefacts, video and interactive media of the ‘Loyal Orders’; Apprentice Boys of Derry, Orange Order, Women’s Orange and The Royal Black Institution.
You are then free to enjoy Derry as you please before meeting up later for a presentation and dinner. Overnight: Hotel, Derry~Londonderry
Thu Jun 7: Learning From The Locals
Refuel on breakfast as we head out for a day trip in Ramelton, County Donegal which was 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. We will also visit the Ulster Scots Centre in Monreagh to experience the social conditions of 18th century Scots-Irish farming communities. We will take a break to enjoy Glenveagh National Park and Castle, to take in the 16,500 hectares of County Donegal Mountains, lakes, glens and woods, with a large herd of red deer and Glenveagh Castle which is a 19th Century, castellated mansion built between 1867 and 1873.
Later, we will return to Derry where you are free to make the most of your last night in the city. Check out the Peace Bridge, Ebrington Square, and the waterfront and Guildhall area to make the most of the city’s splendid riverside setting. Overnight: Hotel, Derry~Londonderry
Fri Jun 8: Uniquely Northern Ireland
Fill up on your hearty Irish breakfast as we get ready to depart Derry to embark on new adventures in the hometown of the Titanic and Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast.
We will take a very special route on the way to Belfast, journeying via the Causeway Coastal Route which is dubbed one of the best coastal drives in the world. Known locally as ‘The Glens’, it stretches between Derry and Belfast and brings you past breathtaking scenery. If you haven’t heard about it already, this route winds between picturesque villages and unforgettable scenic locations. As we travel via this coastal route, geographically, only 12 or 13 miles of water separate the coasts of Ulster and Scotland. Since travel by water was easier than land travel for the greater part of human history, it is scarcely surprising that Ulster has been more closely linked with Scotland than the rest of the island of Ireland
We will then arrive at the world famous Giant’s Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, which is the only World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point for a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries. It harbors a wealth of local and natural history. Other noteworthy items include: a Spanish Armada shipwreck site (‘La Girona’) & many traces of the legendary giant – Finn MacCool.
Our last stop before reaching Belfast will be at Sentry Hill, a 19th century farmhouse long associated with the McKinney family who first came from Scotland to Ireland in the 18th century. A wealth of artefacts and archival material amassed by the McKinney’s provide a rare insight into the working lives, social activities, beliefs and values of rural families in Ulster during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Thereafter, we will arrive and check into our hotel in Belfast. Enjoy your first night with a dinner in the Michelin-starred restaurants or grab some fish and chips in downtown chippies. Enjoy upscale cocktails in snazzy jazz bars and local craft beers in traditional pubs in this exciting city!
Sat Jun 9: Exploring the Hometown of the Titanic
Once breakfast is finished up this morning, we will set out for a sightseeing tour of Belfast, taking in all the areas of interest in this fascinating city. It was here in 1787, that James Magee of Bridge Street, Belfast, published the first edition of Burns’s poetry outside Scotland.
We will see Belfast’s compact center on Donegal Square, which is dominated by the elaborate City Hall, which was officially reopened in 2009 by The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. We will drive through West Belfast’s Protestant neighborhood of the Shankill Road and the Catholic neighborhood of the Falls Road, where large vivid murals painted on the sides of buildings express the feelings that still run deep on both sides. Though the names of these areas were much in the news during ‘The Troubles’ the gate in the Peace Wall between them now stands open.
Afterwards, you are free to enjoy Belfast as you wish. Consider visiting uniquely Belfast landmarks including Crumlin Road Gaol, Botanic Gardens or Queens University before meeting later at the Discover Ulster-Scots Centre for an evening reception and presentation. Overnight: Europa Hotel, Belfast
Sun Jun 10: A Day Well Spent in Belfast
This morning, refuel on breakfast as we head out on a unique walking tour as organized by Ulster Historical Foundation. We will join our guides who will expertly take us around Belfast with stops to hear the fascinating history of landmarks including First Presbyterian Church on Rosemary Street, Belfast’s oldest place of worship established in 1644, The Parish Church of Saint George, a thriving Parish today with an outstanding cross-community choir, and St. Mary’s Belfast, built as the first catholic church in the city with the help of The Presbyterian Church and Church of Ireland.
Next, we will visit Titanic Belfast, a state of the art interactive museum that provides an unforgettable visitor experience. It tells the story of RMS Titanic, from her conception and launch into the River Lagan in 1911, to the tragic end of her maiden voyage a year later. It was here at the Titanic Quarter (the former Queen’s Island) in Belfast Harbor, the ship was built. Enjoy the exhibits at your own pace.
Following this, we will return to our hotel to enjoy the remainder of today as you wish. As you may know by now, Belfast is laced in history and this city includes beautifully restored Victorian architecture, a glittering waterfront lined with modern art, a fantastic foodie scene and music-filled pubs – check it out on your last night in this city. Overnight: Europa Hotel, Belfast
Mon Jun 11: Last Stops in the North
Enjoy your breakfast this morning as we get ready to depart Belfast to embark on a luxurious stay in Cabra Castle in Co. Cavan, known as the ‘Lake Country’ as supposedly there is a lake for every day of the year (including leap years). The county is also famed for its coarse fishing. Between them is a gentle landscape of meandering streams, bogs and drumlins.
On our way to Cavan, we will take an intriguing detour via Co. Down where the majority of the Anglo-Norman Earldom of Ulster, founded by Hugh de Lacy in 1205, is traced. We will stop at Down Cathedral, a Church of Ireland cathedral which was built in 1183. The remains of Saint Patrick’s are buried in the graveyard. We will also stop at General Ross Monument, located in the general’s native village of Rostrevor and surrounded by uninterrupted views of Carlingford Lough and the Mourne Mountains. The General will forever be associated with the burning of the public buildings in Washington in 1814, including the Capitol, Washington Navy Yard and, most famously or infamously of all – The ‘President’s Mansion’ or ‘President’s House’.
Later, we will head southbound as we cross over the border into the Republic of Ireland to reach Co. Cavan where we change back currencies from the (£) GBP pounds sterling to (€) Euro. We will check into Cabra Castle, the magnificent 19th century 4 star castle which is set on 100 acres of beautifully manicured gardens and parkland. Enjoy your surroundings before meeting later to share a farewell dinner together. Reflect on the memories, friendships and magic created during your stay in Ireland and toast to a successful trip in the Emerald Isle. Dinner & Overnight: Cabra Castle, Co. Cavan
Tue Jun 12: Homeward Bound…
Pack your bags as we head for Dublin Airport where you will board your flight for home. Carry on your photos and memories and bring a bit of the Emerald Isle home with you. ‘The Land of One Hundred Thousand Welcomes’ will be expecting you again soon.