Proposed itinerary A – 11 nights
Group to arrive in Dublin on overnight flights from the USA.
Transfer to the Rock of Cashel
The 4th century Rock of Cashel once the seat of the High King of Munster is one of the most enduring images of Ireland, with its amazing collection of ancient walls, towers and halls, and an excellent multilingual audio visual presentation – a site not to be missed.
Transfer time to hotel 1hr 15 minutes
19.00hrs Arrive Hotel in Cork x 2 nights
08.30hrs Depart hotel
09.30hrs Arrive Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting attention beyond Munster ever since. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland's greatest treasures. Now that might have something to do with the Blarney Stone, the legendary Stone of Eloquence, found at the top of our Tower. Kiss it and you'll never again be lost for words.
Followed by free-time at the Woollen Mills
12.30hrs Depart hotel
14.00hrs Arrive Cobh for the Titanic Walking Trail
We'll walk through the streets and environs of Cobh, revealing locations and incidents directly connected to the Titanic and many other aspects Cork harbour history and Irish heritage. Highlights include: Original buildings, streets and piers associated with Titanic, The actual pier where Titanic passengers departed from, St. Colmans Cathedral, The Lusitania Peace Memorial, The Titanic Monument, Emigrant, military and maritime history, The story of Spike Island & The Famine, Convict Transportation.
The Band will perform on the Promenade after the Walking Tour followed by a reception for the group.
Time at leisure in Cobh.
18.00hrs Depart Cobh
18.30hrs Arrive hotel
08.30hrs Check-out and depart hotel
10.30hrs Arrive Hotel Kilkenny
Tea & coffee served on arrival – room provided for changing facilities for the band – soup & sandwiches after rehearsal
Band to form up at local college and parade through the City
12.00hrs Arrive Kilkenny Castle – band performance at the Castle followed by a tour.
Kilkenny Castle has been an important site since Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, commonly known as Strongbow constructed the first castle, probably a wooden structure, in the 12th century. The Anglo-Normans had established a castle in 1173, possibly on the site of an earlier residence of the Mac Giolla Phádraig Kings of Osraighe. Kilkenny formed part of the lordship of Leinster, which was granted to Strongbow. Strongbow’s daughter and heiress, Isabel married William Marshall in 1189. The Earl Marshall owned large estates in Ireland, England, Wales and France and managed them effectively. He appointed Geoffrey Fitz Robert as seneschal of Leinster and so began a major phase of development in Kilkenny, including the construction of Kilkenny Castle and the agreement of rents and privileges with burgesses or citizens of the borough. The first stone castle on the site, was completed in 1213. This was a square-shaped castle with towers at each corner; three of these original four towers survive to this day.
16.00hrs Depart Kilkenny
18.15hrs Arrive Hotel in Dublin
St Patrick’s Day
Band to participate in both the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, followed by the Parade in Celbridge, Co. Kildare
14.00hrs Transfer to Celbridge, a light lunch is served before the parade.
18.00hrs Return to hotel
08.30hrs Depart hotel
Dublin City tour of Dublin including visits to the Book of Kells and St Patrick’s Cathedral
Welcome to the Old Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition – a “must see” on the itinerary of all visitors to Dublin. Located in the heart of Dublin City, a walk through the cobbled stones of Trinity College Dublin will bring visitors back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed. Inside is housed the Book of Kells - a 9th-century gospel manuscript which is world famous.
St Patrick’s Cathedral - Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptised converts on his visit to Dublin. The parish church of Saint Patrick on this site was granted collegiate status in 1191, and raised to cathedral status in 1224. The present building dates from 1220. The Cathedral is today the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland (a church of the Anglican communion) and also serves as a popular tourist attraction in Ireland.
Followed by free-time in the City Centre
16.00hrs Depart City Centre
16.45hrs Arrive hotel
18.00hrs Depart hotel
18.30hrs Arrive Taylors Three Rock
Taylors Irish Night involves a rip roaring evening of traditional Irish song and dance accompanied by a great selection of quality Irish food to delight your pallet.
08.30hrs Depart hotel
09.45hrs Arrive Causey Farm
Become Irish for a day - Causey Farm
- Over a six hour period the group will take part in a number of Irish Farm Activities such as:-
- Cutting turf
- Making a Sugan Rope
- Milking a cow
- Sheepdog demonstration
- Baking brown Bread
Or – Irish Cultural Activities such as:-
- Dancing a jig
- Playing a bodhran (Irish Drum)
- Enjoy a Traditional Irish ceili
- Play hurling
Lunch included on-site
16.30hrs Depart Causey Farm
17.45hrs Arrive hotel
(bring old clothes / trainers for this day)
07.15hrs Check-out and depart hotel
10.00hrs Arrive hotel in Limerick x 3 nights – please note that the rooms will not be available for check-in at this time. Light brunch served – changing facilities available.
11.15hrs Depart hotel for marshalling area.
Limerick – International Band Competition
Afternoon at leisure for post-parade party.
18.00hrs Arrive at hotel – check-in to rooms and dinner.
08.30hrs Depart hotel
10.00hrs Arrive Killarney
Group to divide in two, half the group to travel to Muckross House by jaunting car and half to return by jaunting car.
Muckross House & Gardens – tour of house and gardens included
This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney's three lakes, famed world wide for their splendour and beauty. As a focal point within Killarney National Park, Muckross House is the ideal base from which to explore this landscape. Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the water-colourist Mary Balfour Herbert. This was actually the fourth house that successive generations of the Herbert family had occupied at Muckross over a period of almost two hundred years. William Burn, the well-known Scottish architect, was responsible for its design. Building commenced in 1839 and was completed in 1843.
Free-time in Killarney
16.30hrs Depart Muckross House
18.15hrs Arrive hotel
08.45hrs Depart hotel
09.00hrs Arrive Bunratty Castle
The Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. Today, the castle stands peacefully in delightful grounds. The houses and cottages of the folk park spread out at the foot of its massive walls, much in the way that the cottages and crofts of old would have clustered around its base. We invite you to wander through the castle and marvel at the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country which brings to life a vital part of our Medieval past.
11.00hrs Depart Bunratty Castle
12.30hrs Arrive Cliffs of Moher & the Burren
The Burren is a karstic plateau - a stony chaos to the casual observer - with a full assemblage of the curious landforms that characterise such limestone landscapes. The region encompasses 360 km2 of gently inclined plateau with a further 200 km2 of lowland to the east of the plateau. The limestone also has a landscape in miniature etched into exposed slabs of rock. The bare surfaces (pavements) are fretted with hollows and channels where acidic rainwater has selectively dissolved the rock. An extreme example of these micro landforms occurs on the coast. Often described as a natural landscape, the Burren has been profoundly influenced by human activities.
The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's top Visitor attractions. The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometres over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O'Brien's Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. From the Cliffs one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South. The Cliffs of Moher take their name from a ruined promontory fort “Mothar” which was demolished during the Napoleonic wars to make room for a signal tower.
14.00hrs Depart Cliffs of Moher
14.15hrs Arrive Lahinch
Free-time for lunch
Performance opportunity for the Band either at the Cliffs or in Lahinch.
16.30hrs Depart Lahinch
18.00hrs Arrive hotel
08.30hrs Check-out and depart hotel
Transfer to Galway where we will drive along the southern shore of Lough Corrib to Moycullen where we visit the Connemara Marble Visitor Centre.
Visitors and group tours are welcome to see the factory and showrooms in Moycullen. Connemara Marble is one of Ireland's most original products. Geologists estimate this natural green rock, quarried at the Streamstown Marble Quarries two miles north west of Clifden, is about 500 million years old. Unique to the region, the marble shows twisted and interlocking bands of serpentine, in various shades of light green and dark green. Here you will find Ireland's largest display of Connemara Marble jewellery, in gold and silver, featuring the Shamrock, Harp, Celtic Cross and Claddagh Ring. Also available are a selection of marble products such as clocks, cheese boards and marble eggs.
Departing Moycullen we travel through Connemara to Spiddal and from there along Galway Bay to the city.
Galway, the largest county in Connaught, is celebrated in song and story throughout the world and takes centre stage on Ireland’s western seaboard. A spectacularly beautiful county, it is a medley of contrasts - the wildest and remotest of countryside teamed with one of Europe’s most vibrant and popular cities. Drawn as if by a magnet, visitors come again and again, captivated by this most special of Irish counties.
Galway City at the mouth of Galway Bay is both a picturesque and lively city with a wonderful avant-garde culture and a fascinating mixture of locally owned speciality shops, often featuring locally made crafts. Indeed local handcrafts are a feature of the entire region. The city has many relics of its medieval past and is worth taking time to explore. It has changed considerably over the last number of years and features a fascinating juxtaposition of new and ancient architecture. The centre of the city is conveniently compact enough to ramble around comfortably. ion including hand knits, pottery, glass, jewellery and woodwork.
Free-time in Galway City
16.00hrs Depart Galway
17.00hrs Arrive Hotel in Athlone, x 2 nights
Athlone is a vibrant town located in the centre of Ireland on the banks of the River Shannon. Discover Athlone and County Westmeath in the heart of the Lakelands Region for a family holiday, weekend break, business meeting, shopping, leisure or sporting event such as the European People's Festival or Triathlone 2010. Athlone.ie provides information and support services to visitors businesses, event organisers and people living in Athlone. We promise a warm Athlone welcome, quality service and great value for money!
09.00hrs Depart hotel
10.00hrs Arrive Schools - one coach per school
Students to visit schools in Athlone, Ballinasloe and Mullingar for the morning.
The group will have time between the school visit and the final performance to do some last minute shopping in Athlone and avail of lunch.
Final – performance – the band will assemble in the square in front of the Civic Offices and parade to outside Sean’s Bar on Main Street.
Final dinner in the Sheraton Hotel followed by a night of Irish music and songs.
Day twelve – Friday March 25th
Transfers to Dublin Airport
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
Please note that the itinerary is subject to change.