Aran Islands – Inishmore What better way to learn about Irish knitting than on Inishmore, one of the famous Aran Islands!
Inishmore is the largest and most westerly of the three Aran Islands. The Aran Islands are the original home of the famous Aran sweater. On Inishmore, the Aran Sweater Market contains a vast selection of Aran knitwear and visitors to shop can follow the heritage of the Aran sweater by watching their audio-visual exhibition to see the growth of the Aran sweater from an island craft to a global fashion favourite. Of course visitors to Inishmore may also want to visit its clifftop fort Dún Aonghasa and its nearby ‘Worm Hole’, the medieval Seven Churches and Kilmurvey Beach.
Kerry Woollen Mills: Visit Kerry Woollen Mills where fabrics and yarns have been created for over 300 years.
Remaining faithful to the traditions of its founders, todays mill takes advantage of up-to-date weaving technology, marrying tradition with contemporary styling for today’s discerning customers in Ireland and overseas. A tour of the mill is visual, educational and fun. It follows the path from opening of the wool fleece, teasing, dyeing, carding, spinning, weaving and finishing.
Ring of Kerry: One of Ireland’s most popular and most scenic driving routes.
The Ring of Kerry is a charming circular drive around the stunning Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry in the Southwest of Ireland. It is more than 170km long, and takes in serene lakes, rugged seascapes and picturesque rural villages.
Adare’s main street is scattered with traditional thatch cottages, medieval monasteries and a picturesque village park.
Adare Heritage Centre is a good place to start your exploration of this pretty town, it has a free exhibition which traces the village history and they run walking tours of the village and nearby Desmond Castle. Another stop that you could make could be Adare Woollens where a large selection of traditional Irish woollens and knitwear are available.
Dingle: The Dingle Peninsula has more interesting antiquities, historic sites and varied mountain scenery than any other part of Ireland.
Not alone is Dingle full of historic sites and mountain scenery, the peninsula is also a haven for craft makers with several studios dotted around the peninsula. Two stops in the town of Dingle which may be of particular interest to you are Lisbeth Mulcahy’s Weavers and Commodum Art and Design which stocks a great selection of Irish yarns.
Muckross House, Traditional Farms & Mucros Weavers: Muckross House is a 19th Centuary Mansion, surrounded by lovely gardens, a working farm and traditional weavers.
After touring the house and gardens you have the option to visit three traditional working farms each complete with working machinery and animals. At Mucros Weavers visitors can see spinning and weaving carried out in the traditional way under the watchful eye of master weaver John Cahill.
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park: Bunratty’s 15th Century Castle is one of Ireland’s most complete and fully furnished fortresses.
Guests can wander around the castle exploring the furnished rooms or if you book in advance you can do one of their famous evening traditional banquets. The folk park recreates a time in Ireland that has been long since forgotten, recreating buildings from the 1800’s including a school, post office, hardware shop and pub.
Kinsale is a stunning waterfront town on the south coast of Ireland, it has many lovely restaurants and brightly painted craft shops.
Two 17th-century fortifications overlook the river there: the massive Charles Fort to the southeast, and James Fort on the opposite side of the river. The 16th-century court building contains the Kinsale Regional Museum, which has local history exhibits and information about the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915.
Hedgehog Fibres: An Irish artisan yarn and fibre dyeing studio located in Co. Cork. They produce high quality yarn in vibrant colours.
The owners personal style is reflected in the colours of Hedgehog Fibres yarn and the colours vary from dark, rich and earthy to crazy, fluorescent and vibrant depending on her moods.
Kenmare Lace and Design Centre: The intricate art that is Kenmare Lace was introduced to Kenmare by the Poor Clare Nuns in 1861.
Kenmare Lace is still being made these days at the Kenmare Lace and Design Centre in Kenmare on the Ring of Kerry. Here you can learn about the history of this unique industry & see lace making demonstrations. Antique lace from the Poor Clare Convent is also on display.
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