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Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1: Dublin, Trinity College Library, Book of Kells and National Gallery of Ireland

Our Knit the Wild Atlantic Way tour begins in the lobby of the hotel where we meet with our guide and travelling companions for a tour introduction. Set off for a visit to the historic Trinity College Library and a chance to see the world famous Book of Kells. Enjoy a little free to wander around the Grafton Street area in the heart of Dublin, before we explore the National Gallery of Ireland.

This evening, enjoy a talk and meet and greet drinks reception with Vawn Corrigan, Author of Irish Aran, History, Tradition and Fashion, before your welcome dinner. Overnight Camden Court Hotel, Dublin - Dinner included.

Dublin Knitting Tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland
Dublin Knitting Tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland

Day 2: This is Knit Workshop with This Is Knit, Private Shopping Experience and Freetime to enjoy Dublin

After breakfast, we visit This is Knit Yarn Store for a workshop with Lisa Sisk on the Moebius Knitting style followed by a workshop on the Glenties Cowl pattern which was designed by Lisa. After your class you will have the opportunity for a private shopping experience at This Is Knit, Dublin's premier yarn and knitting accessories store in the splendour of The Powerscourt Townhouse.

This afternoon is yours to explore Dublin at leisure and make the most of the myriad of bars, bistros, traditional pubs and restaurants. Overnight Camden Court Hotel, Dublin - Breakfast included.


Day 3: Travel to Aran Islands & Kilbeggan Distillery

Today we leave Dublin and head west. We stop at the world's oldest licensed distillery dating back to 1757 in Kilbeggan, County Westmeath. Discover the history and process of making real Irish whiskey and learn how the proud people of Kilbeggan preserve its heritage before trying a drop yourself!

There will be a brief stop in Galway city for lunch (not included) and a chance to explore the lanes and boutiques before we continue to Rossaveal in Galway to board your ferry to Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran Islands in Galway Bay. Meet with locals on arrival where you will be introduced to Aran life and hear all about the history of Dun Aonghasa before your visit tomorrow. Dinner will be served at your hotel followed by a traditional Irish dancing lesson! Overnight Aran Islands Hotel, Inis Mór - Breakfast and Dinner included

Aran Islands- Knitting Tours of Ireland and Northern Ireland

Day 4: Another Day & Night on Inis Mór!

Your morning on Inis Mór includes a charming knitting workshop where you will be instructed on traditional methods and stitches associated with the Aran Island way. Tour the island with a local guide and learn about island life through the many different monuments of pre-Christian and Christian history.

Visit the impressive fort of Dún Aonghasa with it’s three terraced walls surrounding an inner enclosure containing a platform on the edge of a 300 ft high cliff. It’s important to note that there’s a sharp incline as you walk to the fort and suitable footwear should be worn. The views from the top are quite breath-taking looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. You will also have the opportunity to visit some local knitwear shops on the island and enjoy a cosy lunch (included) at Teach Nan Pháidí! Overnight Aran Islands Hotel, Inis Mór - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included.


Day 5: Stranded and Steeked Fair Isle Workshop

After breakfast we take the ferry back to the mainland and travel through beautiful Connemara before a stop at Foxford Woollen Mills! Lunch (included) will be at the nearby splendour of Castle Dargan along with your workshop with Pauline Gallagher of The Knitting Class. Prior to the explosion in interest in Aran knitting, Fair Isle knitting was already well established in Ireland, especially in Donegal which has had a strong connection with Scotland for many centuries.

Join Pauline in this comprehensive workshop where you will explore the origins of Fair Isle knitting and get to work on a two colour project specially created for the workshop. The project includes traditional features such as stranded knitting in the round, yarn management, how to read a chart and an introduction to steeks. Later you will secure, CUT and finish the steek to complete the project. In the latter part of the workshop, have fun exploring colour choices for multi coloured Fair Isle patterns and learn some tips and tricks for making successful choices. Our final destination of the day will be Sligo to check into your hotel for the night. Overnight Sligo Park Hotel, Sligo - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included.


Day 6: Atlantic Sheep Dogs, Belleek Pottery and Hanna Hats of Donegal

Today, we travel towards Donegal on Ireland’s stunning northwest coastline. We stop en route at Atlantic Sheepdogs, nestled between Benbulben Mountain and the Atlantic ocean. Learn how sheepdogs are a key part of Irish farm life and see them at work and at play with the sheep. Stop for lunch (not included) in the Belleek Tearooms before exploring the historic Belleek Pottery museum and gift store.

Continue to Hanna Hats of Donegal who create pieces that have been designed, cut, sewn, pressed, inspected, packaged, and dispatched for almost 100 years in the heart of Donegal town. Spend the rest of the afternoon sightseeing or shopping where you will find many craft shops including Magee Tweed for you to browse. Overnight in Villa Rose Hotel and Spa, County Donegal, Breakfast and Dinner included. (Oct 2024 Mill Park Hotel, County Donegal)


Day 7: Edel MacBride Knitting Workshop, Slieve League Cliffs and Glencolmcille Folk Village

After breakfast one of Ireland’s finest knitwear designers, Edel MacBride, will host you for an Aran knitting workshop. Participate in a core workshop including yarn pack working the best of Irish moss, cable and Edel’s favourite – Aran stitches. After the workshop, take time for lunch (included) before setting off to Slieve League Cliffs. These cliffs are the highest accessible cliffs in Europe offering stunning views out over Donegal Bay.

Our next stop is at Studio Donegal where a hand-weaving and clothing manufacturing business is committed to preserving and promoting traditional Irish hand-weaving. Enjoy seeing the process of hand-weaving from beginning to end including spinning, warping and weaving of the wool. This evening is free for you to enjoy your friendly locale, listen to some traditional music, dine in one of the restaurants or take it easy back at your hotel.
Overnight in Villa Rose Hotel and Spa, County Donegal - Breakfast and Lunch included. (Oct 2024 Mill Park Hotel, County Donegal)

Edel MacBride Knitting Instructor Donegal Northwest Knitting Retreat
Causeway Coast Knitting Tours of Ireland and Northern Ireland

Day 8: The Causeway Coast and Belfast

Check out of your hotel and board your coach to embark on one of the top road trips worldwide – the Causeway Coastal Route. The road travails around a narrow strip of coastline with stunning sea views and majestic high cliffs. Our first stop is at the Giant’s Causeway where over 60 million years ago, three great lava flows were laid down, cooling the basalt plateau into interlocking basalt columns. Enjoy lunch at the nearby Bushmills Inn and try their world famous sticky toffee pudding!

We will also visit the remains of Dunluce Castle perched on a dramatic headland which plunges directly down into the sea. Finally, we arrive in Belfast city where the rest of the day is free for you to check out the local pubs and restaurants. Overnight in the Grand Central Hotel Belfast - Breakfast and Lunch included.


Day 9: Titanic Belfast and Mourne Alpaca Farm

Today we travel just outside Belfast to visit Mourne Alpacas, a family-managed herd of Alpaca and pedigree angora goats. High quality fleeces are produced and their motto at the farm is “we breed for heat, not for meat”. Enjoy some time with the alpacas, take photos and feel free to ask questions about the fleece. Enjoy a cup of tea and browse through the quality alpaca yarns and some blend yarns on sale at the farm.

Yarns in many natural colours of the alpaca and some stunning seasonal colour ranges,created from natural dyes are on display here. Mourne Alpaca fleeces are processed professionally at a dedicated mill but raw fleeces are also available here for purchase for anyone interested in home spinning. Enjoy a spot of lunch before a return to Belfast and a stop off at Folklore Yarns! We then visit Titanic Belfast, built on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard where the Titanic was originally constructed. This popular museum contains many galleries where scenes were reconstructed of Belfast at the time the ship was constructed, the launch, its maiden voyage, the sinking and aftermath. This is an interactive museum where technology brings the story of each scene to life. The rest of the day is free for you to take in the sights of Belfast. Overnight in Grand Central Hotel, Belfast - Breakfast and Lunch included.


Day 10: Irish Linen Centre and Spinning & Tapestry Workshop

Historically, linen was a very important industry in Northern Ireland, so much so that Belfast was fondly known as ‘Linenopolis’! Your day begins with a visit to the Irish Linen Centre at the Lisburn Museum. This is a guided tour where you will hear about the history of linen production in the province of Ulster before a hands on natural heritage dyeing workshop!

We continue our journey down south to Drogheda to meet tapestry weaver and artist, Áine Dunne. Based in the Boyne Valley, Áine and her team will host a spinning and tapestry workshop where you will be introduced to hand spinning sheep’s wool by using a drop spindle. Have a go at weaving a sample piece on a four-sided tapestry frame loom! Return to Dublin and enjoy a farewell dinner with your group at a local restaurant. Overnight in Camden Court Hotel, Dublin -Breakfast and Farewell Dinner included.


Day 11: Farewell to Ireland!

After breakfast, depart your hotel for Dublin Airport in time for check-in and that last minute duty-free shopping!
Irish Breakfast - Donegal Northwest of Ireland Knitting Retreat
Shetland Knitting Tour

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