Day 1: Dublin Sightseeing/Woollinn Dublin or optional Dublin Tour & Woollinn Welcome Dinner
Your Woollinn Knitting tour begins in Dublin Airport with a transfer to your hotel (for arrivals prior to 10:30am on start day of tour). Entrance fees are included for you to explore Woollinn, a popular Irish Yarn Festival at your leisure. Your pass will grant you access to the marketplace and all associated "bonus" events such as demonstrations, exhibitions and social get-togethers. You will also receive a 10% discount off any three-hour workshop that you would like to book. Please note that workshops at Woollinn are not included in this package and we do not book people into workshops, we will provide you with the information on how to book directly with the organisers as soon as this information is available to us. Please note, spaces at the workshops are available on a first-come first-served basis and that neither KnittingTours.com nor Woollinn can be responsible if you do not manage to secure a place at your chosen workshop. Please book your classes directly on the Woollinn website http://woollinn.com/ - you are entitled to a 10% discount if you book this tour. Once you have booked, a discount code will be sent to you as soon as it is available to us.
For non-knitters or those that want to do some Dublin sightseeing today, there will be an optional tour of Dublin included. At 1pm, meet at Hotel reception and begin your sightseeing with a panoramic tour of Dublin City. Visit the National Museum of Archaeology which is home to the Irish Antiquities Division of the National Museum of Ireland, the national repository for all archaeological objects found in Ireland. It holds in trust for the nation and the world a series of outstanding archaeological collections spanning millennia of Irish history and also holds extensive collections of non-Irish antiquities. The museum houses artefacts ranging in date from 7000 B.C. to the late medieval period and beyond. This evening, enjoy a sumptuous dinner which includes a sit-down meal and entertainment, with some of the Woollinn Special Guests in attendance! Dinner will be included for knitters and non-knitters alike. Overnight in Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included.
For those that want to spend another day at Woollinn, the option is there for you. Otherwise there will be return transfers to/from Dublin included so that you can do your own personal sightseeing. Overnight in Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included
Day 3: Exclusive Knitting Class with Carol Feller at Woollinn – Local Sightseeing, Russborough House & Glendalough
This morning, meet with Carol Feller for an exclusive KnittingTours.Com three-hour workshop at Woollinn. Carol’s popular class on Short Rows works students through several different ways of creating short rows until they find the method that perfectly suits them. Once the short rows have been perfected you will explore innovative ways to use your short rows and incorporate them into your work!
This afternoon, we will take a tour around Dublin visiting Russborough House & Glendalough. Russborough House is a stately house situated near the Blessington Lakes in County Wicklow and is reputed to be the longest house in Ireland, with a frontage measuring 210 m/700 ft. It is an example of Palladian architecture, designed by Richard Cassels for Joseph Leeson, 1st Earl of Milltown and built between 1741 and 1755. Your visit will include a tour of the house and there will be time for you to walk around its pretty gardens and perhaps visit one or two of the local craft makers operating in the west courtyard. After your visit to Russborough we take a quick visit to Glendalough a glacial valley located a short distance from Russborough and renowned for both its Medieval monastic settlement and stunning mountain vistas. Overnight in Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 4: Aine Dunne, Olann Dyeing Demonstration & Old Mellifont Abbey in The Boyne Valley
Leaving Dublin we travel to Drogheda to meet Aine Dunne a tapestry weaver and artist, resident and working from the Boyne Valley. With Aine and her team, you will enjoy a tapestry workshop and try your hand at weaving a sample piece on a four-sided tapestry frame loom. During your time with Aine you will gain insight into her designs, weaving methods and work schedule. Today, we will also meet Jess from Olann.ie who produces beautiful hand died yarn from her hub in Cavan for a short dyeing demonstration.
For non-knitters we will arrange a trip to nearby Drogheda where places of interest include Oliver Plunketts Head at St. Peter's Church! We continue to The Boyne Valley is one of Ireland’s most historic regions and has many famous monuments. We will enjoy a guided tour of Old Mellifont Abbey the first Cistercian monastery in Ireland, founded in 1142 by Saint Malachy, Archbishop of Armagh. In 1603 the famous Treaty of Mellifont was signed at Mellifont Abbey between the English Crown and Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone. Overnight tonight in Farnham Estate, Cavan, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 5: Crochet Rose Workshop, Sock Knitting and Spinning Demonstration at Crafts of Ireland
Today we partner with Sandra at Crafts of Ireland some craft activities. Non knitters or those that prefer to do some touring can do some additional Boyne Valley sightseeing including a visit to the Heritage town of Trim and Trim Castle.
The group at Crafts of Ireland will learn how to Crochet a traditional Irish Rose motif that often adorns Irish knitwear, see a spinning demonstration as well as a sock knitting demonstration on an antique sock knitting machine. For non-knitters we will arrange a trip to the heritage town of Trim and a tour of Trim Castle. After the craft workshops continue to your hotel in Cavan for some leisure time. Overnight in Farnham Estate, Cavan, Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 6: Travel to Donegal via Belleek Pottery and Donegal Castle
Set off early, traveling along the Northwest coast to the Belleek Pottery Centre, stopping on route at the Butter Market in Enniskillen where the early 19th century Buttermarket buildings have been beautifully restored and house such diverse crafts as pottery, fly-tying, ceramics, handmade jewellery, textiles, picture framing and original art. At Belleek Pottery Centre take a guided tour walking you through all aspects of pottery production which has been in operation since the 1800’s.
Continue to Donegal where you will have some time to explore a bit of the town. In the afternoon we will visit Donegal Castle, the castle consists of a 15th-century rectangular keep with a later Jacobean style wing. The complex is sited on a bend in the River Eske, near the mouth of Donegal Bay, and is surrounded by a 17th-century boundary wall. There is a small gatehouse at its entrance mirroring the design of the keep. Most of the stonework was constructed from locally sourced limestone with some sandstone. The castle was the stronghold of the O'Donnell clan, Lords of Tír Conaill and one of the most powerful Gaelic families in Ireland from the 5th to the 16th centuries. Overnight in Mill Park Hotel, Donegal, Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 7: Studio Donegal, Slieve League Cliffs and Glencolmcille
Begin your day with a visit to Studio Donegal, a hand-weaving and clothing manufacturing business committed to preserving and promoting traditional Irish hand-weaving. Here you will see the process of hand-weaving including the spinning, warping and weaving of the wool. Beautifully tailored vests, jackets and homeware products are made on site from their own fabrics. Studio Donegal’s soft Merino yarn is dyed and spun in the region and sold on site.
Next stop is the stunningly beautiful Slieve League Cliffs some of the highest and finest marine cliffs in Europe and the inspiration for Edel’s locally spun Sliabh Liag wool.Travel onward to Glencolmcille Folk Village, a collection of several small cottages, called a ‘clachan’, resting on a hillside that overlooks the stunning Glen Bay Beach. Designed, constructed and conserved by local people, the Folk Village is one of Ireland's longest running living-history museums. Overnight in Mill Park Hotel, Donegal, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.
Day 8: Workshop with Edel MacBride & Derry City Walking Tour
After breakfast travel to Derry to meet one of Ireland’s finest knitwear designers, Edel MacBride for a core workshop including yarn pack, working the best of Irish moss, cable and Edel’s favourite Aran stitches.
After your workshop, take a Walking Tour of Derry City which will include some of the local attractions including Derry’s Medieval Walls, Information on The Bogside, The Peoples Gallery (Murals) The Bloody Sunday Story, The History of the Apprentice Boys, The Marching Season Traditions. Finish up with some free time to explore Derry city at your leisure & tonight dinner is not included so you can check out one of this city’s superb restaurants. Overnight in Maldron Hotel, Derry, Bed & Breakfast Included
Day 9: Return to Dublin via The Ulster American Folk Park & Carrickmacross Lace Centre
Check out of your hotel and return to Dublin via the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh. The Ulster American Folk Park explores the historical link between Ulster and America, focusing particularly on the lifestyle and experiences of those immigrants who sailed from Ulster to America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Of particular interest to you may be the weaver’s cottage where you will see an authentic handloom which would have been used to weave tweed or linen by the man of the house while his wife spun the flax fibres into yarn and the children carded and combed the flax in preparation for the spinning wheel. Staff here will give you a demonstration on the spinning wheel and tell you all about traditional yarn dyeing methods.
Your final stop today will be Carrickmacross Lace to see the fine lace masterpieces that have been produced in the region since the early 1800’s. Enjoy a demonstration where staff that are passionate about the beauty of this meticulously created craft will show you the intricate needlework involved with creating the finished pieces. Continue to your hotel in Dublin City Centre Hotel and check in. The remainder of the day is free for personal sightseeing or shopping before our final farewell dinner tonight. Overnight Camden Court Hotel, Dublin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included.