• Discover the Burren, meaning ‘rocky land’ – a large limestone plateau in County Clare in the west of Ireland
• Visit two of Aran’s spectacular great stone forts: Dun Aonghasa, perched high above the Atlantic on the edge of a cliff, and Dun Eochla to the south in the middle of the island
• Spend a day pursuing a literary theme, exploring Coole Park – once home to Lady Gregory, co-founder of the Abbey Theatre – and the 16th century tower house at Thoor Ballylee, where the poet W B Yeats lived
MA, PhD, FSAScot, FSA
archaeologist and art historian specialising in medieval Ireland
Depart London Heathrow 0950 on Aer Lingus, arriving Shannon 1110. Visits to Craggaunowen (reconstruction of Irish field monuments) and Quin Abbey (early 15th century Franciscan friary built on the site of a Norman castle). Transfer to the Merriman Hotel, Kinvara, for four nights.
Walk in the company of a specialist, looking at plants, geology and farming practices in the Burren followed by Cahercommaun (excavated early medieval stone fort) and Corcomroe (Cistercian monastery).
Poulnabrone (Neolithic dolmen), Caherconnell (excavated medieval stone fort), Kilfenora (Burren Interpretative Centre, late 12th century cathedral, 12th century high crosses and holy well).
Thoor Ballylee (tower house, home of W B Yeats), Coole Park and gardens (formerly owned by Lady Gregory and visited by W B Yeats), Kilmacduagh (ecclesiastical site with leaning round tower).
Transfer to Inishmore, Aran by ferry: Dun Eochla (imposing early medieval circular stone fort), Clochan na Carraige (small beehive cell, Dun Aonghasa (impressive cliff-edge promontory fort in use from the Bronze Age to the early Middle Ages). Overnight stay at Aran Islands Hotel, Kilronan.
Teampall Mac Duagh (early medieval church), Seven Churches. South of the island: Temple Benan and remains of Cromwellian fort. Transfer by ferry via Doolin to Ennis for two nights at Temple Gate Hotel.
Cliffs of Moher, Dysert O’Dea (12th century high cross, round tower, Romanesque church, tower house with small exhibition), Ennis Friary (13th century Franciscan friary with 15th and 16th century sculptures).
Hunt Museum, Limerick (Georgian Customs House with one of Ireland’s greatest collections of art and antiquities), early 15th century Bunratty Castle and Folk Village (recreation of early 20th century village – time permitting). Depart Shannon 1720, arriving Heathrow 1845.
20 Jun — 27 Jun 2019
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Cost of £1875 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement £165.