Our Itinerary and Suggested Readings


Travel always involves adventure and the unknown.  This itinerary is subject to adjustment as planning is solidified.  If any drastic alterations are made, our office will let you know.

All attractions and accommodations listed below are hyperlinked – click on the link to view more detailed information about rooms, facilities and services, and other information.

Unless otherwise noted, the costs associated with activities listed on the itinerary are included with the trip.


July 17 (Dublin)

Trans-Atlantic flights will arrive at Dublin Airport in the morning. The course instructors will meet participants at the airport and coordinate transportation to Ariel House in Dublin as people arrive. Participants will have lunch on their own at cafes in the area of the hotel and the entire group will meet in the hotel lobby at 12:30pm.

In the afternoon, Rob Doggett will lead us on a literary walking tour of Dublin. This tour will cover a number of key sites associated with Irish writers such as James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and William Butler Yeats. Highlights will include Trinity College, Merrion Square, St. Stephens Green, the National Library of Ireland, and Davy Byrnes pub.  Free time in the late afternoon will give participants opportunities to relax back at the hotel or explore a variety of city center attractions, including Trinity College and the Book of Kells, the National GalleryChrist Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedrals and shopping on Grafton Street (these attractions are not included as part of the group tour).  Our first group dinner will be held in the evening, starting at approximately 7:00pm.

Suggested Readings:


July 18 (Dublin)

In the morning, Joe Cope will lead us on a historical walking tour through the city center, concentrating on O’Connell Street where we will explore some of the key sites associated with the 1916 Rising and the memorials to Irish independence movements at the Garden of Remembrance.  We will then proceed to a guided tour of Kilmainham Gaol, a Victorian era prison that housed many of the men who fought for Irish independence in the late 19th and early 20th century. It was also the site of the execution of the leaders of the 1916 Rising.

After our tour, class participants will be dropped off for lunch at Temple Bar (an area known for good pubs and restaurants, including Dublin’s oldest pub, the Brazen Head). After lunch, participants may explore the city center on their own. Joe Cope and Rob Doggett will accompany interested participants on optional trips to the crypts and mummies at St. Michan’s Church (please note that the St. Michan’s tour will require a descent into underground crypts which may be difficult for some participants), the Chester Beatty Library, and the Guinness Brewery (these attractions are not part of the group tour).

In the evening, we will travel to nearby Dun Laoghaire for a fine dinner followed by a traditional Irish music and dancing session at the Cultúrlann na hÉireann in Monkstown.

Suggested Readings:


July 19 (Derry)

We will depart the hotel by private bus in the morning and travel through the Boyne Valley. Along the way, Joe Cope will provide commentary on the history of the 16th and 17th century English conquest and plantations, as well as the 17th and 18th century risings. We will stop for a group picnic lunch at the site of the 1690 Battle of the Boyne, with free time for exploring the battlefield and museum.  We will then cross into Northern Ireland, traveling along the county Antrim coast, with time to discuss Irish folklore and the Gaelic Revival. A visit to the stunning volcanic columns and cliffs of Giant’s Causeway will be the centerpiece of the afternoon activities before we continue on to Derry and check in at the Tower Hotel. Participants will have time for dinner on their own and shopping in the city center of Derry.

Suggested Readings:


July 20 (Derry)

In the morning, Joe Cope will lead a walking tour of the 17th century city walls of Derry. We will then proceed into the Bogside neighborhood to view and discuss the murals and monuments associated with the late 20th century struggle for Catholic civil rights in Northern Ireland and will visit the Museum of Free Derry near the site of the 1972 Bloody Sunday attack.  Over lunch in the city center, Rob Doggett will lead a workshop on the poetry of Seamus Heaney. Participants will then have a free afternoon to explore Derry’s museums and shopping.  Participants will arrange dinner on their own.

Suggested Readings:


July 21 (Sligo)

In the morning, our private bus will transport us to Glenveagh National Park, where we will tour Glenveagh Gardens (with a Geneseo connection – the gardens were created by Cornelia Wadsworth Ritchie, daughter of Geneseo’s Civil War hero, General James S. Wadsworth). Participants should bring a lunch or plan to eat in the local café.  After a group picnic lunch, we will continue on to Sligo with a bus tour of sites associated with William Butler Yeats before proceeding to our lodgings at the Sligo Park Hotel.  In the early afternoon participants will have free time for exploration.

Suggested Readings:


July 22 (Sligo)

Participants will have several options for independent activities, including a group golfing package at Standhill Golf Club, the spa treatments at Voya Seaweed Baths, hiking at Knocknarea Mountain, or shopping in Sligo (these activities will involve a separate cost, depending on choices).  We will meet in the early evening for a pub dinner, live music and a literary pub crawl in the village of Sligo.


July 23 (Sligo)

Today, we will have a full day with local expert and poet Martin Enright, who will lead us on a tour of county Sligo, including the neolithic sites at Carrowmore.  Please pack a lunch.  The day will end with a privately-catered banquet in Sligo.


July 24 (Connemara)

Our tour bus will transport us through Connemara with a stop for a tour at the famous and scenic site of Kylemore Abbey.  Participants should pack a lunch or plan to eat at the café on site.  We will then proceed to Maol Reidh Hotel in the Connemara village of Tullycross.  In the evening, the group will be treated to a private meal at Renvyle House, an award-winning traditional Irish restaurant.

Suggested Readings:


July 25 (Connemara)

We will be joined by Connemara poet Joan McBreen, who will lead us on a day tour of Connemara, including a group picnic lunch at Connemara National Park. We will return to Tullycross in the late afternoon, with free time available before participants arrange dinner on their own.


July 26 (Galway)

We will depart for Galway in the morning, and check in at Jurys Inn Galway. In the late morning and afternoon, participants will have free time for sightseeing in Galway and we should arrive in time for participants to take the ferry to the Aran Islands for an afternoon on Inis Mór.  In the evening, we will meet for a final closing banquet in Galway to wrap up the trip.

Suggested Readings:


July 27 (Galway)

Our bus will depart from Galway for Dublin Airport in time for early afternoon flights.  Participants flying out of Shannon Airport will need to arrange their own transportation from Galway.

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