with Maggie Jackson
Irish International award winning knitwear designer
in her homeland for an exciting knitting retreat
many of the places photographed in her book
by Alexis Xenakis of XRX Publishing.
Hear about Maggie's first collection
fashions for her dolls
a short lived success when her mum saw only flowers
of black balls leftin
the centre of her garden! Maggie will accompany
us on the whole trip,
as we visit places that will give you an insight
into the interesting history behind the
small Emerald Isle
and you never know, if youre
lucky, the sight of a leprechaun. Youll hear
tales of folklore, to be believed or not!
workshops in unusual places throughout the tour
depending on that Irish rain, of course! Your knit
project will be
unique to you and adaptable for all types of knitters.
You will be working with true Irish Linen, no longer
produced in Ireland,
and partners are welcome to enjoy the 'forty shades
of green' wee
country full of Irish charm and wit...without having
to lift a needle!!
Read more about Maggie at www.Maggiknitsretailgalleria.com
YOUR TOUR ITINERARY:
If you are coming from North America, you will need to arrange your flight to depart today, in order to arrive in BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND on the morning of May 17. Your flight will need to arrive no later than 11am if you would like to join us on the city tour of Belfast. There are two major airports serving the city of Belfast and you will find easy instructions for getting to the Fitzwilliam Hotel in the Additional Information section at the end of this itinerary.
If you would like to arrive in Belfast one day early, Traveling Together has rooms available
at the cost of $142 per person for a double room and $262 for a single, which includes breakfast and tax.
Maggie will be anxiously awaiting you at the beautiful FITZWILLIAM Hotel, located right in the center of the city, adjacent to Grand Opera House. The Fitzwilliam will be our home for the next two nights and is within an easy stroll to all that you need to see in the city.
Early this afternoon we will have a PANORAMIC TOUR OF BELFAST. In addition to a few photo stops around the city, the tour will give you an overview of the most historic and well-known sights of the city: Queen’s University, Friars Bush Graveyard, the Ulster Museum, Belfast Cathedral, and the Parliament buildings, just to name a few.
After the tour we return to the Fitzwilliam Hotel. Prior to our WELCOME DINNER, there will be time for introductions and Maggie will be giving you an overview of the knitting project that will be featured in her workshops, along with the needed supplies. After dinner, there will be an optional trip to the Crown Bar. The Crown is one of the most famous pubs in the UK and is conveniently located close to our hotel. If you’ve ever wanted to taste a true Irish Guinness, this is the place!
Following a "full Irish" breakfast, we travel to Lisburn, Maggie’s hometown, to visit the IRISH LINEN CENTRE & LISBURN MUSEUM. The stooks of flax on the steps—and the evocative painting "Flax Pullers" that hangs nearby—are harbingers of the treasures inside the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum. Its brightly lit galleries are filled with colorful exhibits, priceless artifacts including a piece of linen from King Tutankhamen's tomb, prized oil paintings, and haunting audio-visual presentations.
the Irish jokes and the behind-the-scenes stories
that made Maggies Ireland her favourite book
out of the seventeen that she has now published, whilst
knitting with traditional Irish Linen, a project unique
to the trip. Maggie was the first Fashion Designer
to set up in Northern Ireland in the height of the
troubles as they were called, leading
on to International awards.
Next on the agenda is a FELTING WORKSHOP by a local textiles designer. She will have you creating a wall hanging as a souvenir, in addition to showing you some of her unusual felted pieces, which was much enjoyed on previous trips.
||After time for lunch, we continue on to EUGENE MCCONVILLE’S FARM in nearby Dromore. We’ll tour his flax mill, the last of its kind in Ireland, and you might even get a chance to scutch some flax! Over the creaking sound of the great hundred-year-old water wheel that once powered the mill, we'll hear Eugene’s moving personal story.
Dinner this evening will be in the award winning 2 AA Rosette Lewis Restaurant at THE OLD INN. Located in Crawfordsburn, the restaurant is housed in a quaint thatched hotel that was built in 1614. We’ll enjoy a good IRISH DINNER and maybe a pint or two of Guinness to wash it down, as we listen to traditional Irish music ‘round a log fire, before returning to the Fitzwilliam Hotel for the night.
We depart Belfast this morning and travel along the beautiful ANTRIM COAST, interlaced with tales of Irish Folklore. As we head north, we will be stopping for a morning workshop before arriving at the LONDONDERRY ARMS HOTEL, situated in the rural village of Carnlough and once owned by Sir Winston Churchhill. The hotel was built in 1848 as a coaching inn by France Ann Vane Tempest, Marchioness of Londonderry. Our GROUP MEAL today will be in the FRANCIS ANNE RESTAURANT, a founding member of the Taste of Ulster and recipient of the AA Rosette award for culinary excellence.
|As we continue along the coast, passing the towns of Cushendun and Ballycastle, we arrive at the famous GIANT’S CAUSEWAY. These unique rock formations have, for millions of years, stood as a natural rampart against the unbridled ferocity of Atlantic storms. Added to the list of World Heritage sites in 1986 and run by the National Trust, you will learn about the history and the myth, with a chance to head to the water’s edge to enjoy the view and knit a few stitches, weather permitting. This natural wonder will be a highlight of today’s scenic drive.
The ROE PARK RESORT in Limavady will be our home for the next two nights.
There will be time for more knitting instruction from Maggie today, so have your needles and yarn ready as we head out for a day of sightseeing!
A trip to Ireland would not be complete without a visit to OLD BUSHMILL’S DISTILLERY, the oldest licensed
distillery in the world. They have been producing Irish whiskey since 1608 and there will surely be a chance for
||Then it’s on to CARRICK-A-REDE ROPE BRIDGE (cover of Maggie’s Ireland). After making your way down the steep flight of stairs, you may simply enjoy the view or dare to cross the sturdy rope bridge while the waves crash onto the rocks hundreds of feet below. The scenery is magnificent and it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. Our last stop is DUNLUCE CASTLE, located high above Mermaid’s Cave.
Overlooking the turbulent sea below, the castle precariously clings to the land and was the splendid home of the Earl
and Countess of Antrim who visited the royal court in London, and entertained in their castle-on-the-sea. In 1639, part of Dunluce Castle including the kitchen, fell into the abyss. Today, the second-story chimneys defy gravity and cling
to fallen walls. But even among the ruins, the romance of Dunluce Castle remains.
We return to the Roe Park Resort for a knitting workshop and DINNER this evening at the hotel.
LONDONDERRY (Derry) is known as the Gateway to Northern Ireland and is the last city to be encircled by walls and the only city where the original walls are still intactOur day begins with a guided WALKING TOUR OF DERRY that will provide us with an intriguing account of this historic city and the famous Walls of Derry. From the Diamond—the center of Old Derry—radiate four main thoroughfares that pierce the massive walls through gates bearing colorful names like Butcher's Gate, Bishop's Gate, and Ferryquay gate. Nearby, just behind the Guildhall, Shipquay Gate led thousands of Irish to the New World.
We depart Derry and drive south to Enniskillin for a visit to FLORENCE COURT. This beautiful 18th century Georgian house and spectacular Irish estate, set against the stunning backdrop of the Cuilcagh Mountains, was the home of the Earls of Enniskillen and is one of the most important houses in Ulster.
If you are a fan of the T.V. show Downton Abbey, you will especially enjoy the UPSTAIRS DRAMAS AND DOWNSTAIRS TALES guided tour. While the Earls of Enniskillen interested themselves in their estates and local politics, their Countesses produced heirs, managed the household and created the gardens we know and love today. Discover the stories of Charlotte, the cultured heiress who made the rose garden, and who gave birth to nine children in twelve years; and Irene Enniskillen who left Florence Court under mysterious circumstances in the 1920`s! Meantime, “below stairs” the melodrama of the servants remained supreme!
Our next stop will be a visit to SHEELIN IRISH LACE & VINTAGE FASHION. This amazing shop also houses exhibits illustrating the five main types of Lace which were made in Ireland: Irish Crochet Lace, Youghal Needlelace, Inishmacsaint Needlelace, Carrickmacross Lace and Limerick Lace. On display are Wedding Dresses, Wedding Veils, Shawls, Parasols, Collars, Baby Bonnets, Christening Gowns, Flounces, Jackets and many more items.
As we depart Enniskillen we drive further south and cross the border into the REPUBLIC OF IRELAND. Our final destination today is the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa in Galway with dinner at the hotel restaurant.
You will have the entire day to enjoy THE CITY OF GALWAY. Galway is the capital of the West of Ireland. The streets and buildings of this ancient town have many interesting features, and its position on the edge of the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area) makes it the gateway to magnificent areas such as Connemara, Corrib country, and the Aran Islands. The city itself is a continuing centre of growth with its University, Institute of Technology, Theatres, Cathedral, Castle, as well as other interesting attractions. Recently, the city centre of Galway has been closed to traffic in order to allow for the enjoyment of the city's narrow shopping streets.
The Radisson Blu Hotel is located within an easy walk from Eyre Square (site of the historic JF Kennedy Memorial Park and scene of his celebrated visit to the city, as one of Ireland’s most famous sons) and Quay Street, where you will find shops, pubs, restaurants and theatres. You may want to pre-arrange a spa treatment at the hotel Spirit One Spa
Today we begin our journey with a ferry ride to the shores of INIS MÓR, THE LARGEST OF THE ARAN ISLANDS and home to fewer than a thousand inhabitants. On the very edge of Western Europe, these Gaelic outcroppings—and their namesake sweaters—have always beckoned to knitters. Maggie will conduct an informal workshop at some time today, with the remainder of the day free to shop and sightsee in the beautiful village port.
|Your tour includes
a PONY AND TRAP RIDE around the island that will end at the
Aran Sweater Market.
In addition to selling woolens and souvenirs, you can learn the history of these beautiful sweaters by going to
Aran Sweater Market
At the end of the day we’ll return to our hotel in Galway.
We depart Galway this morning for NEWCASTLE, located just south of Belfast on the eastern shore, and home to the SLIEVE DONARD RESORT AND SPA. This Victorian hotel is located on six acres of private grounds with spectacular panoramic views of the County Down coastline and Mountains of Mourne, making it one of Northern Ireland's most popular hotels. There will be time for a knitting session prior to DINNER TONIGHT in the main dining room of the hotel’s Oak Restaurant.
This morning we’ll be among the MISTY MOUNTAINS OF MOURNE—dear to the hearts of the Irish—and the dry stone hedges that crisscross the heart of SILENT VALLEY. The Mourne Mountains are the highest in Northern Ireland and tower above the Silent Valley reservoir. Nestled at their feet, the reservoir gathers the mountain’s runoff, and supplies all of County Down and Belfast with pristine drinking water.
|We'll drive by "Maggie's Cottage," home to the crew during the Maggie's Ireland shoot, while on the lookout for falcons that sweep down from the Mourne Mountains. Through a countryside dotted with cottages, sheep, stone walls, and winding roads, we enjoy panoramic views of the valley below as we reach Silent Valley, where the stillness will surround us. We will return to Newcastle in time for you to have lunch and explore the shopping streets of Newcastle, within walking distance of our hotel.
A Maggie Jackson Retreat would not be complete without a
As in the past, it will be spectacular, featuring Maggie’s signature designs from her past and current collections, and maybe a sneak peek of things to come! Maggie will share her tips from a fashion designer’s point of view, with the new seasons trends and colors from the catwalks of Milan,
New York, Paris, and London.
The last full day in Ireland and there is a lot left to see and do! Many of you may not know it, but the Titanic was conceived, designed, built and launched in Belfast and... as they proudly say locally, "She was alright when she left here!" This morning we will visit the Titanic Museum. Housed in an iconic, 6-floor building, this state-of-the-art visitor experience tells the story of the Titanic. Beginning at the turn of the century Belfast, you learn why this city which was once the third largest in the Empire, was so industrialized. From there, the story of Titanic’s conception is told followed by its early construction, launch, fit out and tragic maiden voyage. The story is brought up to the present with the discovery of the wreck and into the future with live links to contemporary undersea exploration. Across ten galleries, with an equal number of interactive exhibits, Titanic Belfast will convey the sights, sounds, smells and stories of the shipyard and its most famous creation. This afternoon you will be free to do some last minute shopping in the Belfast City center.
You may have met CHEF STEVIE FROM THE PAGES OF MAGGIE'S IRELAND? If you didn't have a chance to try any of his recipes yet, at this evening’s ‘GALA DINNER’ you will savor the fruits of his passion for food and culinary education. "My passion for food was born in my family's kitchen," Chef Stevie says. "In all Irish families, the credit for cooking goes to Mother and grandmother. While the other kids in school had peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, I would open my lunch box to find a hearty sandwich of cured ham drenched with the rich juices of homegrown tomatoes, accompanied by a fresh wheaten scone, spilling with my Gran's rhubarb jam. I gained a sincere appreciation for good eating, and I never swapped lunches with anyone!"
After fabulous workshops with Maggie, seeing the best of what Ireland has to offer, and making new friends, it’s time to check-in to the EUROPA HOTEL for your last night on the Emerald Isle.
Whether your flight departs from BELFAST CITY AIRPORT or BELFAST INTERNATIONAL, there will be a transfer to each airport this morning. In order to take advantage of these transfers, your flight will need to depart 11:00am or later, from either airport. Should your flight depart earlier than 11:00am the hotel can assist you in scheduling your taxi or you can take the bus from the Europa Buscentre, adjacent to the Europa Hotel.
YOUR TOUR INCLUDES:
All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 6 dinners
All workshops, class materials, & fashion show
All group tours & activities
All group ground transportation within Ireland
Airport transfer on Sun, May 27, when departing with the group
Hosted by Maggie Jackson
Escorted by a Professional Tour Leader
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