Date: March 2023
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  DUBLIN
  trinity college harp
Trinity College Library & Harp


The Long Room at Trinity College

carolan's harp
Exclusive Viewing of Carolan's Harp, now in storage, at the Collins Barracks, National Museum

Nobber

carolan statue
Carolan Statue & Park in Nobber

GLENDALOUGH

glendalough roundtower

KILKENNY

st. canice's cathedral

St. Canice's Cathedral

o'fogherty harp

O'Ffogherty Harp in Thurles

KILLARNEY

ross castle

Ross Castle in Killarney

 

DINGLE
trinity college harp


Dingle Bay



 
 
The Harpers' Escape is produced by You Gotta Have Harp Productions, 11 Country Lane, Voorhees, NJ 08043. Phone: 856-795-7637.
 
 
 

   

From Harpers' Escape, Trad Tours & Holloway Travel in Ireland

 
samuel beckett bridge Come With Us on the Harp Tour of Ireland!
March 2023
 

WE WERE FORCED TO POSTPONE THE 2020 TOUR twice due to the pandemic. We're keeping the itinerary below, tentatively, for March 2023.

We have a great time on all our tours. You can read all about our 2019 tour. Now's the time to put our Harp Tour of Ireland on your vacation calendar. If you've always wanted to go to Ireland, come with us! You don't have to be a harp player to love where we're going and what we'll be doing on the fourth annual tour.
--Kathy DeAngelo & Marianne MacDonald

Just as the Harpers Escape always strived to stay small in size, our tour this year will be limited to just 25 people. It is “first come, first serve”. Reserve your seat with a deposit. It's a small tour but large in hospitality, friendship and conviviality. It is open to all. You don't have to be a musician to come! Please feel free to share the tour information with your friends and family! See the rest of this page has a simple, and tentative, itinerary for the 2023 tour, which will be 8 days.

 
   

breakfastThe 2023 Tour Will Include:

  • Meet at Shannon Airport by 9am or catch up with us in Dublin.
  • 2 Nights in Dublin
  • 2 Nights in Kilkenny
  • 1 Night in Killarney
  • 2 Nights in Dingle
  • Final Night in Ennis
  • Daily Full Irish breakfast at each hotel
  • 4 Hotel Dinners
  • Paid admissions to all touring sites
  • Daily doses of harp & trad music!
  • Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
  • Driver/Guide Seamus Buckley

slieve league Our Itinerary

See our 2019 tour story. It's Ireland! There's plenty of history, breathtaking scenery and there will be plenty of traditional music! Here is our proposed route and some of the highlights along the route. Sightseeing events are subject to change, depending on weather and a variety of other unanticipated factors.

brian boru harp DUBLIN
Jury's Inn, Christchurch

DAY 1
Day 1: You arrive and Meet up with us at Shannon Airport by 9am.

First stop is Trinity College to see the holy grail of harps, The Trinity College Harp (sometimes called the Brian Boru harp) in one of the world's most beautiful libraries, The Long Room, and the "must see" Book of Kells.

carolan's harpWe'll have a tea & scone break before heading to an exclusive "behind the scenes" showing at the National Museum at the Collins Barracks of the historic harps of Ireland in the storage area of the museum. This has been a real highlight of our 2018 and 2019 tours. This year we'll get a chance to see these harps! Read my 2018 account of the visit to the Barracks.

Dinner at the hotel. Daily dose of music with Grainne Hambly.

DAY 2

We'll have a visit to the Docklands along the River Liffey and visit EPIC, the Irish Emigration Musuem (voted one of the top museums in Europe), followed by a walk over to Jeanie Johnston, the sailing ship moored along quay which has been turned into an incredible Famine museum (pictured above with the harp bridge also known as the Samuel Becket Bridge).

The rest of the day "on your own" to explore the city. You can get some ideas from our previous tour travelogs of Dublin sites: 2017 Tour, 2018 Tour, 2019 Tour

DAY 3

Trip to Nobber, O'Carolan's birthplace, and exclusive seats at the O'Carolan Festival. There are workshops during the day, plus a harp competition, followed by an evening concert at George Eogan Cultural & Heritage Centre. We'll lunch at Nana's Kitchen, our "usual" spot in Nobber!

Those who are not interested in the harp-centric day in Nobber can remain in Dublin and sample a myriad of all the museums, historic sites and theater that the city offers. There's a long list of sightseeing just within walking distrance of our hotel.

kilkenny castleKILKENNY:
Hotel Kilkenny

DAY 4
Day 4: We'll leave Dublin and on our way to Kilkenny, we'll drive to the Valley of the Two Lakes in Wicklow Mountains National Park and see the early Medieval monastic settlement Glendalough, founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century.

We'll continue our foray into Ireland's Ancient East with our stay in Kilkenny with its famous Medieval Mile, including of course a visit to the Medieval Mile Museum. Our hotel is a 10-minute stroll from the center of this 800-year old town. You can amble down its narrow streets and take in Kilkenny Castle, the Black Abbey, and the 12th century St. Canice's Cathedral.

We'll have a lovely dinner at the hotel followed by evening concert and session with our special guest, noted wire-strung harper Siobhan Armstrong.

DAY 5
Day 5: We're heading to Tipperary (it's not that long a way!) and we'll stop in at the Tipperary County Library in Thurles to see the 17th century O'Fogarty Harp, which is still owned by the descendants of Cornelius O'Ffogharty, who played it.

Our next stop will be the "most haunted castle in Ireland," Leap Castle, a fun place we visited on our first tour in 2017, one of the many highlights of that trip! We'll also get our daily dose of music with a session from the castle's owner, our host and one of Ireland's notable tinwhistle players, Sean Ryan.

rock of cashelKILLARNEY:
Scotts Hotel

DAY 6
Day 6: We leave In the morning and head to Killarney, stopping on our way at the iconic Rock of Cashel. Cashel dates back to the 4th century as the seat of power of the kings of Munster. St. Patrick himself visited there in the 5th century. Brian Boru was crowned here in 990. There is a 12th century roundtower and high cross as well as a Romanesque and Gothic church.

Our daily dose of music will be a stop in at our coachdriver Seamus' home pub the Sandpit for something to eat (part of the tour package) and your daily dose of music.

After checking into our hotel in the afternoon, you'll be able to explore the charming town of Killarney on your own and grab a meal with your new-found tour friends.

ring of kerryDINGLE:
Dingle Benners Hotel

DAY 7
On our way to our hotel in Dingle, our most excellent coach driver Seamus will take us on a magnificent sightseeing tour of the famous Ring of Kerry.

The charming town of Dingle looks out over Dingle Bay to the Blasket Islands.

DAY 8
Our Last Full Day in Ireland! We'll set out from Dingle for another gorgeous and scenic drive en route to Ennis.

We'll make a stop in the lovely town of Tralee. Yes, it's that town from the song Rose of Tralee, which means you'll be visiting the Rose Garden, one of the largest urban parks in Ireland.

When we get to the bustling market town of Ennis on the River Fergus you'll get a chance to walk its narrow streets and take in the shops and local historical sites. This was the stronghold of the O'Brien clan.

We'll have our final dinner at the hotel and our final harp session.

DAY 9: early morning trip to the airport for departures

music music music

We encourage the players coming on this tour to bring their fiddles, flutes, tinwhistles, concertina and other trad instruments easily gotten on a plane. Don't worry harpers! We'll be arranging to have harps waiting for us in Ireland! We'll have to share but you will be able to get in some playing while you're there.

Gráinne Hambly and Kathy DeAngelo & Dennis Gormley will be our resident, lead musicians.

Guest Musicians we've lined up so far: Gráinne Hambly & William Jackson (of course!), Dearbhail Finnegan, Siobhan Armstrong, Seamus Begley, and a few surprises along the way.

 
   

Tour Pricing 2023:

PRICE PER PERSON: TBA
(does not include airfare*)

Rooms are double-occupancy.
Single rooms available for an additional $500. If you're a single person traveling alone, come! We can link you up with a roommate.
All seats are first come/first serve.
Deposit of $500 holds your reservation.
Click here to download the reservation form. NOT YET! When we confirm we can do this trip, we'll post the reservation form here.

We'd love to have you join us. When we have the final announcement with dates (sometime in the Fall 2022) please don't procrastinate to reserve your seat. To get on our early invitation list, email Kathy..

*Passengers will make their own travel arrangements and will be given a time/location to meet the coach in Dublin or Shannon Airport on the tour start date (to be announced). We advise travelers to purchase their own travel insurance. We cannot refund last-minute cancellations.
**Price based on prevailing exchange rate and on 25 passengers traveling. Rate may change depending on exchange rate changes or fewer passengers.

Cancellations & Refunds: You may cancel your reservation and get a full refund of your deposit up to December 2022. You may also transfer your reservation to another person at any time. We might be able to help you find someone to take your reservation. We advise purchasing travel insurance.

 
   

Tour organizers

I want you to be completely confident in how this tour will be organized and managed! Here are the folks who are involved in making the Harp Tour of Ireland the trip experience of a lifetime!

Kathy DeAngelo, Tour director

Kathy DeAngelo organized the annual Harpers' Escape Weekend for 24 years. If you've been to the Escape, you know her well! The hallmark of the Escape was its cozy size, which we're carrying into this tour. She and her husband Dennis Gormley have been performing traditional music for more than 40 years. Kathy's organizational skills are legendary. You may know her as the director of the Somerset Folk Harp Festival, the largest folk harp conference in the United States. She, Dennis and Grainne Hambly are your on-site musical hosts for the tour.
Contact Kathy: email or phone 856-795-7637

Marianne MacDonald & Trad Tours

Marianne MacDonald and Trad Tours have been leading tours of Ireland and Cape Breton for more than 20 years. She has been actively engaged in the Irish music and dance community in the Philadelphia area and has her popular Come West Along the Road radio show on Sunday mornings. With her extensive connections to traditional Irish musicians in both the US and Ireland, besides her deep family ties in County Kerry, her tours showcase the music, history and culture of Ireland.

Contact Marianne: email or phone 856-236-2717.

Seamus Buckley & Holloway Travel

seamusSeamus & Cait Buckley and Holloway Travel, based in Mallow, County Cork, have been coordinating with Trad Tours for eight years. Seamus specializes in individually tailoring tours to meet his client interests and like Marianne, has a deep appreciation for traditional music and dance. On our trip, Seamus will drive our coach and be our guide. We leave the driving and the jokes to him! He's also a pretty fine singer himself.

grainne hamblyGrainne Hambly

Gráinne Hambly is one of Ireland's leading traditional harp performers and teachers. She has been on staff at the Harpers' Escape for 15 years and now we get to hear her on her own turf in Ireland! Gráinne is our musical coordinator for the tour and besides arranging our daily dose of harp and traditional music she'll be teaching a workshop one of the days for the harpers on the tour (while everybody else goes on a daytrip). You can expect to see and hear her husband, noted Scottish harper, William Jackson in one of our concerts.

   
meath ensembleThe Meath Harp Ensemble performed for us in 2019 at the George Eogan Cultural Center in Nobber. We'll be visiting Nobber again on our 2020 Tour and this time have seats for the evening concert at the O'Carolan Festival.  

 

 
   
   
updated 9/30/21  
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