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Ceramics Holiday in Southern Ireland

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31st May to 11th June 2015



USD $ Price per Person Sharing a Double/Twin Room

20 People 25 People 30 People

$ 2,209.00 $ 2,090.00 $1,979.00


Single Room Supplement ~ $ 499.00 per Single Room




  • 2 Night’s B&B and 1 x 3 Course dinner at the Ashling Hotel, Dublin City

  • 1 Night B&B and 1 x 3 Course dinner at the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny city.

  • 4 Night’s B&B and 1 x 3 Course dinners at the Trident Hotel, Kinsale, Co. Cork.

  • 3 Night’s B&B and 3 x 3 Course dinners at the Maritime Hotel, Bantry, West Cork.

  • 1 Night B&B and 1 x 3 Course dinner at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel, Co. Meath

  • Full Irish Breakfast Daily. Tea and Scones on morning of arrival.

  • 1 x 3 Course Dinner at Restaurant in Cork city (Venue TBC)

  • 1 x 3 Course Dinner at Restaurant(s) in Kinsale

  • Entrance fee to Book of Kells; Casino Marino; Nicholas Mosse Pottery; Kilkenny Castle; Charles Fort; Walking tour of Kinsale; Muckross House & Gardens.

  • Local guide for Half Day Tour in Dublin city on Day 2.

  • Porterage of one bag per person at hotels only (no porterage provided at Dublin airport)

  • Transport with driver/guide included as follows – 1 Group airport transfer on Day 1 at an agreed time.

  • Private transfers can be arranged at an extra supp.

  • Half Day Dublin City Tour on Day 2.

  • Full Day tour on Day 3 from Dublin via Kilkenny City to Kinsale.

  • 1 x Local return transfer to Kinsale Pottery & Arts Centre and return to Kinsale.

  • 2 x (late afternoon) half day tours from Kinsale to Cobh and to Cork City.

  • Transport from Kinsale to West Cork and transport to Dunboyne Castle hotel with driver/guide touring en route 1

  • Group airport transfer on Day 12 from Dunboyne Castle Hotel to Dublin Airport at an agreed time.

  • Private transfers can be arranged at an extra supp. All Taxes and service charges




Bookings: This is a fully serviced package holiday, administered through Specialized Travel Services, Blackrock, Co Dublin +353 1278 2677   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and can be booked from any country of origin.  Prices do not include inbound travel to Dublin.

For Friends of People “Cracked about Pottery” package for partners, scroll down below the potter's package.....










“Cracked about Pottery”


Gathering of Potters



Tour Itinerary


Gather your creative pottery hands together and discover Irish ceramics for yourself in the Emerald Isle……

The first examples of Irish ceramics, in the form of pottery, which is made from firing clay dug from the ground, date from around 6000 years ago; notably fragments of coil-built pots found in early burial mounds; these were probably air-dried, rather than kiln fired. The potter’s wheel was introduced into Ireland around the 13th century by the Anglo-Normans. This technological advance helped with vessel symmetry and speed of production. There are three principal types of pottery- earthenware, stoneware and porcelain; distinctions were made between the types of clay used and their firing temperatures. Traditional Irish pottery can be divided into two types- coarse ware and fine ware. Coarse ware is more common and consists of strong, robust items, used for everyday activities, such as sturdy cooking bowls and jugs, crocks and similar vessels for buttermilk and cream, chimney pots and flowerpots. These items would generally be either stoneware or earthenware. Fine ware began to be made in Ireland in the late 17th century due to the rising cost of importing fine ware from overseas. Using native fine white clay, this pottery tends to be more decorative and delicate in nature…….

Day 1 – Arrive into Dublin, Ireland

Arrive at leisure – depending on times or arrival – one airport transfer is included for the entire group. (Flight times & transfer time to be confirmed)


Céad Míle Fáilte(A hundred thousand welcomes) – to Ireland. On arrival into Dublin Airport and after collecting your luggage from the baggage claim area, make your way outside of the arrivals hall where you can travel with Air Coach; Dublin Bus or by taxi into the City centre to check into your overnight accommodation. Ensure that you have EURO (€) with you for your airport transfer.


Dublin City - capital of the Republic of Ireland sits on a splendid bay at the mouth of the River Liffey with the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains rising from its southern suburbs.  It is internationally noted for its writers, Georgian architecture, witty natives and the production of Guinness!


Check into the Trinity Capital Hotel (or similar) (Dinner, B&B Basis) – NOTE: Rooms won’t be ready for check in until after 3.00pm. Spend your afternoon exploring the capital city at your own leisure.

This evening at 7.00PM meet the rest of the tour group at the hotel’s restaurant for a welcome dinner.

Day 2 – Full Day exploring Dublin’s Fair City.

This morning after breakfast you will meet a local tour guide at your hotel, where they will introduce you to the city during a full day panoramic city tour. See the city's scenic highlights on a narrated drive through Dublin City, including the River Liffey, the Customs House, O'Connell Street, the GPO (General Post office), the Four Courts, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Christchurch Cathedral, Trinity College, St. Stephen's Green and Leinster House.



Visit the Book of Kells - The Book o f Kells was written around the year 800 AD and is one of the most beautifully illuminated manuscripts in the world. Its 680 pages of vellum contain the Latin texts of the Four Gospels. It was written around 800AD by Irish monks, probably begun at a monastery in Iona, an island off Scotland and finished at Kells, Co. Meath. It was later buried in the ground for fear of the Vikings and after being eventually rediscovered it was deposited for safe keeping in Trinity around 1653


Travel past Merrion Square, the heart of Georgian Dublin - Mapped out 250 years ago in 1762, it has fine Georgian Houses on three sides and the garden of Leinster House and The National Gallery and Natural History Museum on the 4th. Today many of the houses are predominantly used as office space but there is a wealth of history attached. Oscar Wilde lived as a child at 1 Merrion Square & there is now a statue of him in the Merrion Square Park, while W.B Yeats lived at No 82, and Daniel O’Connell at No 58.


Visit Number Twenty Nine on Lower Fitzwilliam Street, & take a guided tour from the basement to the attic, through rooms which have been furnished with original artefacts as they would have bee n in the years 1790 to 1820 (Late Georgian Dublin).

Experience what life was like for the fortunate who lived in such elegant townhouses and the less fortunate who worked in them. No. 29 was first occupied in 1794, during a time of great change and expansion in Ireland’s Capital. The first occupant was Mrs. Olivia Beatty, the widow of a prominent Dublin wine merchant.




Visit the National Museum of Ireland-Decorative Arts and History, located at Collins Barracks, formerly a military barracks. On display, you'll find fine examples of silver, ceramics, glassware, weaponry, furniture, folk life, clothing, jewellery, coins and medals.



In the afternoon, visit the Casino Marino, designed by Sir William Chambers as a pleasure house for James Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont. It is one of the finest 18th century neo-classical buildings in Europe. The Casino, meaning "small house", surprisingly contains 16 finely decorated rooms, endlessly rich in subtlety and design. It is a remarkable building - both in terms of structure and history. The Casino is located at Marino, just off the Malahide Road and only three miles north of the centre of Dublin.

This Evening is free to explore Dublin on your own with a visit to one of the many theatres, or plays or National Concert (list of events are not available yet)


Overnight at the Trinity Capital Hotel or similar (B&B Basis)

Day 3 - Dublin, Glendalough & Kilkenny.


After breakfast this morning, depart the hotel and travel through the Dublin suburbs to County Wicklow the base of the Wicklow Mountains and afforested hills and rolling valleys of Wicklow traditionally known as the ‘Garden of Ireland’. County Wicklow is one of Ireland's true scenic treasures with its magnificent hills and mountains, long sandy beaches, rivers and lakes.



Visit Glendalough (or Gleann Da Loch, meaning ‘The Glen of the Two Lakes’) which is situated in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park. The ancient monastery on the site is a fascinating site, having been founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin. Set in a glaciated valley with two lakes, the monastic remains include a superb round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses. The round tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the area. The site also includes a Celtic high cross, St. Mary’s Church and St. Kevin’s Church. The remains of three stone crosses and a stone fort are also to be found between the upper and lower lakes.


Glendalough Visitor Centre is situated adjacent to the monastic settlement and as well as an exhibition, contains an audio-visual demonstration. The visitor centre is fully accessible for visitors with disabilities. Access to the graveyard is very difficult for wheelchair users. The Wicklow Mountains National Park is an ideal location to learn more about the flora and fauna of Glendalough, where wildlife habitats thrive and grow in the natural countryside.


Travel over the Wicklow Gap journey southwards to Kilkenny City viewing the scenic Irish countryside along the way–

Kilkenny is a beautiful medieval city, sitting snug on the banks of the River Nore in the South East of Ireland. It is acclaimed internationally as a centre for craft and design and is host every year to a number of major events including the Kilkenny Arts Festival and the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival. The city was named after a 6th century monk, St. Canice, whose memory lives on in the beautifully restored St. Canice’s Cathedral.




Visit the magnificent Kilkenny Castle, which overlooks the River Nore and has guarded this important river crossing for more than 900 years. The gardens, with extensive woodland paths, rose garden and ornamental lake, create the setting for a beautiful stroll. Two wings of the castle have been restored to their 19th Century splendour and include a library, drawing room and the noted Long Gallery. A suite of former servants rooms now houses the Butler Art Gallery, which mounts frequently changing exhibitions of contemporary art. The Parade Tower is the Castle’s conference venue.


Enjoy a walk around the Kilkenny Design Centre, situated in what was once the stables of historic Kilkenny Castle. The design centre is fittingly located adjacent to the National Craft Gallery, which is the Crafts Council of Ireland’s (CCoI) flagship exhibition space. It is housed in Castle Yard, the former stables of Kilkenny Castle. In 1965 these late 18th century buildings were converted to house Kilkenny Design Workshops. Today they are home to the CCoI headquarters.

Dinner and overnight at the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel (Or similar) (Dinner, B&B Basis)


Day 4 – The Vee Gap, Lismore Town, Midleton Distillery & Kinsale.

After breakfast enjoy some free time to explore Kilkenny on your own. Afterwards the tour will travels through parts of County Tipperary and over the mountain range with panoramic views of four counties from the Vee Gap. Continue to the picturesque town of Lismore, which was substantially restructured during the 19th century and is now designated a Heritage Town. From a distance view Lismore Castle, built on the banks of the Blackwater, the town has been a hub of Irish life since medieval times when St. Carthage founded a monastery here in 636. It later became a celebrated international school. Henry II chose his site for a castle here in 1171 and the growth of Anglo-Norman influence during the late 12th century marked the decline of the monastery. Lismore Castle is the private home of the Dukes of Devonshire and can be viewed from a distance from the bridge.




Travel to the town of Midleton, which is a small rural town in County Cork to visit the Jameson Experience at the Old Midleton Whiskey Distillery. The Distillery comprises of 11 acres of grounds, which is both architecturally and historically unique. Now visitors to Ireland can trace the history of the magical spirit.  Prior to 1825 the site was used as a Woollen Mill that commenced production in 1795.

Today the original distillery - carefully and lovingly restored - is the only self-contained 18th century industrial complex of its kind in Britain and Ireland.


Of the many artifacts still remaining, pride of place goes to the largest Pot still in the world, which has a capacity of more than 30,000 gallons and is preserved in the building where it has been located for more than 150 years. A tour of the Midleton Distillery is a journey through the history of Irish whiskey. Mapping out the journey are historic illustrations and photographs, audiovisual shows, exhibitions, demonstrations, graphic panels, intriguing display cabinets, timeless artifacts and working models. The visitor also encounters superbly restored machinery and dramatic recreations of many of the stages in whiskey production.




Continue further south through County Cork to Kinsale. Originally a medieval fishing port, historic Kinsale is one of the most picturesque, popular and historic towns on the south west coast of Ireland. It has been hailed as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland, with no shortage of cafes, pubs and restaurants to suit every taste and budget. Only 18 miles from Cork, Kinsale marks the beginning of scenic West Cork and is ideally placed as a yachting and deep-sea angling centre and in recent years a world class golf destination. Kinsale town nestles between the hills and the shoreline, a maze of narrow streets, never far from the water and little changed in many hundreds of years. Amongst buildings of later periods are those of another age with historical links to the French, Spanish, British and Americans.


Walking around the town of Kinsale you can enjoy browsing in its many shops, for gifts, crafts, paintings, locally designed fashions, art galleries, book shops or take time out in one of its many lovely café's for coffee and cakes.


Dinner & overnight at the Trident Hotel Kinsale, or similar (Dinner, B&B Basis).

After dinner meet Adrian Wistreich, your pottery host in Kinsale.

Day 5 – Kinsale & Cobh.

One vehicle will transport the Potters and non potters – Dropping the Potters to the work shop and the non potters continuing on their days' activities

Potters: Ceramics Workshop with Sara Roberts at Kinsale Pottery & Arts Centre.


Today, after a full Irish Breakfast, the potters in the group will enjoy a full day workshop with Sara Roberts – (www.sramics.com) at Kinsale Pottery & Arts Centre on the process of making landscape and seascape relief wall-pieces. Each participant will produce a landscape or seascape in porcelain, based on either an image you can bring, or one provided by Sara.  These pieces will be dried and bisque fired after the day and will be ready for you to glaze in Sara’s second workshop.


Sara Roberts is perhaps best-known for capturing the drama of her native West Cork coastline in beautifully glazed porcelain. Mounted and framed to be wall hung. As a ceramicist, Sara now enjoys the challenge of portraying her natural environment, the allure of its ever changing textures and colours, – images actually created from their


constituent parts – earth (clay), sand (glaze) rocks (pigments). A member of the West Cork Craft & Design Guild, Sara has exhibited throughout Ireland and Europe and her work can be found in many private and corporate collections.


Lunch will be provided, for potters in The Coach house Gallery at Kinsale Pottery, by Una Crosbie, one of Kinsale’s expert local chefs and a specialist in local Irish produce. The buffet will include hot and cold Irish tapas, (local artisan, meats , fish and cheeses) with salad and various homemade condiments and breads, teas, coffees and soft drinks.


Non Potters: Cobh Heritage Walk and Spike Island

Enjoy breakfast & a leisurely morning at the hotel before travelling to Cobh, where its landmark Cathedral clings miraculously to the town's steep slopes as they sweep down to the sea of Cork Harbour. Cobh was the last bit of Irish soil millions of Irish had under their feet before emigrating to America in the 19th and 20th century. On the 11th April 1912, Cobh was the last port of call of the S.S. Titanic as it departed on its ill fated first and last voyage to America. This tragic past as well as Cobh's historical and maritime story is brought alive in the Cobh Heritage Centre.



A local guide will bring you on an engrossing historical walk through Cobh, exploring its fascinating diversity of military, maritime and social heritage. See all the real buildings, streets and piers where Titanic passengers embarked. Enjoy spectacular views of one of the world’s largest natural harbours.


In the afternoon depart Cobh by boat from Kennedy Pier and travel to Spike Island. Spike Island is located in Cobh Harbour and directly protects the inner harbour. It is also the site of an ancient monastery as Saint Mochuda founded a church here shortly after Christianity was introduced to Ireland.


The island was purchased in 1779 by the British government and the construction of Fort Westmoreland began in 1790. Today the fort is know as Fort Mitchell  having  been re-named after  John Mitchell, Irish nationalist activist and political journalist. Fort Mitchell was complete by 1860. It is a six-bastioned fort surrounded by a ditch with two entrances and two sets of casements on the northern side. The Fort has logistically positioned gun emplacements which protected the mouth of the harbour. The main armament, facing out to sea, was restored by prisoners in the 1990s. There are also many tunnels on the island and even a gallows in the shower block.


After a tour of the island the boat will return back to Cobh.

Return to Kinsale to meet up with the Potters of the group.


The entire group will have a walking tour of the main highlights of Kinsale with a local guide, followed by “Dine around the Gourmet Capital Kinsale” – Pre Dinner drink @ X ; Starter @ X ; Main Course @ X and Dessert @ X.


Overnight at the Trident Hotel, or similar (B&B Basis)


Day 6 – Kinsale & Ballymaloe.

One vehicle will transport the Potters and non potters – Dropping the Potters to the work shop and the non potters continuing on their days' activities

Potters: Ceramic Workshop with Adrian Wistreich



Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before travelling to Kinsale Pottery and Arts Centre for a full day workshop. (www.kinsaleceramics.com) Kinsale Pottery and Arts Centre provides arts and crafts courses for adults and children, specializing in pottery, glass fusing and stained glass, jewellery-making, millinery and mosaic-making. The pottery is in the converted stables of the home farm for Ballinacurra House, and the gallery is in the eaves of its coach house, which dates back to 1795.




Join Adrian Wistreich for a full-day workshop on throwing and hand building with coloured clay, including porcelain and porcelain paper clay.  Each participant will produce three or four small pieces which will be bisque fired and clear glazed on your behalf after the workshop. After more than 20 years of corporate life in London, working as a publisher and research consultant, Adrian pursued his ambition of becoming an artist and teacher. After completing a diploma in Ceramics and Design at Hackney College of Art, London, he moved to Kinsale with his family and set-up the Kinsale Pottery and Art School.


Lunch will be provided in The Coach House Gallery by Una Crosbie.


Afterwards the group will meet with Jim Turner (Rossmore Pottery Clonakilty) http://www.rossmorepottery.com/jim_turner.php). Jim Turner’s work is focused on creating textured surfaces unique to the ceramic process. This series of work explores the use of paper clay to create pieces, which seem familiar but are never quite resolved in the observer’s eye. So objects are being constructed from paper clay sheets which in older work were only being used for ceramic “decoration”.


Non Potters: Irish Home Baking Experience at Ballymaloe House and Cookery School with the Allen Family

Travel to Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Co. Cork. Ballymaloe Cookery School was set up by Darina Allen (Myrtle Allen’s daughter-in-law), another great champion of Irish produce, who strives to maintain the ethic started at East Cork’s famous country house. Darina believes that the best cooking comes from using the best ingredients and it is no co-incidence that her Cookery School is situated on a 100 acre farm near Shanagarry in East Cork, in the heart of the country, as what could be better than cooking with one's own organic vegetables, fruit, herbs, milk, butter, cheese, meat, honey and other produce.




Ballymaloe Cookery School is a haven for those who thirst for food knowledge and is one of Europe’s foremost cookery schools. On arrival at the cookery school, the group will collect their recipe packs and Ballymaloe Cookery School aprons – Some homemade elderflower cordial or tea and coffee and homemade biscuits will be served. After watching a demonstration on making Irish scones, the group is then divided into pairs so they can make their own scones. The group will then get to sample their own baking followed by a walk in the gardens


This evening the group will be at their own leisure for dinner and to explore Kinsale.


Overnight at the Trident Hotel, or similar (B&B Basis)


Day 7 – Kinsale, Blarney Castle & Cork City.

One vehicle will transport the Potters and non potters – Dropping the Potters to the work shop and the non potters continuing on their days' activities

Potters: Workshop at Kinsale Pottery with Julian Smith and the entire group will explore Cork city in the late afternoon


After breakfast enjoy a full day (till approximately 3pm) workshop with Julian Smith at Kinsale Pottery & Arts Centre for a specialized raku session, incorporating some of Julian’s unique techniques. Resist slip, tinfoil saggar copper matt, copper reduction horse hair and how to obtain a good crackle will all be covered.  You will get a chance to fire pre-prepared bisque pots using these techniques and to watch demonstrations by Julian, a master in Raku.  All work fired during this workshop will be available to take with you.




Julian Fullerton Smith has been working with clay for well over 20 years. After training in Scotland and Wales, he moved to Ireland in 1995. Initially he lived in Galway but soon discovered Kinsale, and established his own studio there in 1996. Julian has established himself as one of Ireland's foremost Raku artists. Raku is a technique originating in Japan in the sixteenth century, in which work is rapidly fired and removed from the kiln when glowing red-hot. The piece is then placed in a container with combustible materials creating striking colours using metallic oxides. The charm of Raku lies in its use of primitive materials which nevertheless can produce highly sophisticated results. The workshop will explain the many different effects that can be achieved by using a simple raku kiln, and show how to control the atmospheres inside the kiln while firing.


Lunch will be provided in the pottery for potters



Non Potters: Morning tour to Blarney Castle & Village and the entire group will explore Cork city in the late afternoon


Enjoy a morning tour to Blarney Castle – Situated 8km from Cork City, this historic castle is most famous for its stone, which has the traditional power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it. The word “Blarney” was introduced into the English language by Queen Elizabeth I and is described as pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending. The stone is set in the wall below the battlements, and to kiss it, one has to lean backwa rds (grasping an iron railing) from the parapet walk.


In the grounds of the castle the Rock Close, and its surroundings, is a curious place of ancient trees and far more ancient stones, by legend a garden of druidic origin and a centre of worship in pre-Christian days. The place has an aura of magic and mystique with Wishing Steps, Witch's Kitchen, Druid's Cave and many other delights, telling a story of centuries past. Blarney Castle Estate offers visitors the chance to stroll in one of the country's most spectacular gardens. Blarney Castle & House are set in acres of parkland filled with rare and unusual trees and plants


Return to Kinsale.


Freshen up back at the hotel before an early evening panoramic tour of Cork City




The name ‘Cork’ derives from the Irish ‘Corcach Mór Mumhan’ which means the ‘great marsh of Munster’ and refers to the fact that the centre of Cork City is built on islands, surrounded by the River Lee, which were marshy and prone to episodes of flooding. The waterways between the islands were built over to form some of the main streets of present-day Cork. The oblong-like shape of the centre-city island, bounded by the north and south channels of the Lee gives Cork City much of its physical charm and a distinctive continental air. Cork is renowned for its culinary flair and vibrant cultural scene this was reflected when the city was titled the European Capital of Culture in 2005.


St. Patrick's Street is the main shopping street in Cork and the heart of the city. One of the jewels of Cork city centre is the English Market dating back to 1788. Today, it has one of the most cosmopolitan atmospheres to be found in Cork and sells a wide array of foodstuffs from all over the world.


See one of Cork’s most distinctive landmarks, St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, located in one of the oldest areas of the city. It is the diocesan cathedral of the Church of Ireland and was designed by the notable English architect, William Burges, who also designed the stained glass, the sculptures, the mosaics, the furniture and metal work for the interior.


Dinner this evening will be in a restaurant in Cork City. Return to Kinsale for overnight at the Trident Hotel, or similar (B&B Basis)


Day 8 – Kinsale, Charles Fort & West Cork.

Potters: Half Day pottery workshop with Sara Roberts

After breakfast this morning, travel to Chinaman’s Loft, Nohoval, to spend the morning with Sara Roberts in her studio decorating and glazing your work produced in her first workshop.  This will be glaze fired before the end of the tour and delivered to your hotel in Bantry.

Non Potters: Charlesfort for non Potters

In the Morning, non Potters visit Charles Fort located on the road just beyond Summercove and perhaps the best-known historical attraction in Kinsale. Charles Fort is one of the finest surviving examples of a 17th Century star-shaped fort, and much of the construction begun in 1678 remains. The fort has two enormous bastions overlooking the estuary, and three facing inland. Within its walls were all the barracks and ancillary facilities to support the fort’s garrison. The fort continued in military use until 1922. After a tour of the fort, you will escorted along the Scilly walk back to Kinsale where you are free to explore Kinsale’s historic centre, shop and enjoy its café culture for lunch, before meeting back at your hotel to  travel to Bantry.


Famous in song, the small town of Bantry is of legendary beauty. Bantry, at the head of the bay, is a busy market town and fishing port. Bantry Bay was twice entered by French fleets: in 1689 to support James II against William of Orange, in 1796 to aid Wolfe Tone and an Irish uprising. A storm dispersed the 1796 fleet and only a few of the ships made the Bay.


Dinner and overnight at the Maritime Hotel Bantry, or similar (Dinner, B&B Basis)




Day 9 - West Cork & Kenmare/Bantry.


After breakfast, travel through West Cork and the Beara Peninsula the most westerly part of County Cork, bordered by the waters of Bantry Bay, Kenmare Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and the largest peninsula in County Cork. Beara is dominated by the Caha Mountains, which run down the middle of the peninsula from end to end. With its rocky mountains, glacial lakes and rugged coastline, Beara is an area of great scenic beauty. The principal villages and towns in Beara are: Allihies, Ardgroom, Castletownbere, Eyeries and Glengarriff.


Arriving in Castletownbere, visit the famous ceramics gallery The Mill Cove Gallery (www.millcovegallery.com), probably the best display of Ireland’s leading ceramicists’ work, and take a guided tour of the gallery and gardens with proprietor, John Goode.  Enjoy a light lunch at Mill Cove’s excellent café, overlooking Bere Island and the stunning coastline.


The Mill Cove Gallery represents over 40 ceramic artists - the largest number of ceramic artists represented by an Irish Gallery. The Sculpture Gardens include over 50 sculptures on 4 acres of mature grounds overlooking the sea.


Return for dinner & overnight at the Maritime Hotel, Bantry. (Dinner, B&B Basis). Featuring over 100 designer rooms, some with sea views and others overlooking mature wood this luxury accommodation is situated very conveniently for the famous bay of the region. Superbly located on the water’s edge, The Maritime Hotel enjoys uninterrupted sea views across Bantry Bay.



This evening, the group will meet with One of Ireland’s best-know ceramicists, Cormac Boydell – www.cormacboydell.com - Cormac Boydell worked as a geologist in Australia and Libya before moving to Allihies, West Cork in 1972 and has been working full time in ceramics since 1983. In making his work Boydell uses no tools, relishing instead the direct contact between hands and the clay. Boydell is keen to emphasis the importance of the process of making and that the nature of clay be apparent in the form and the texture of the resultant work. He uses an Irish terracotta clay from Co. Wexford chosen because of the beauty of the orangey terracotta that is the perfect background to the colours he works with.








Day 10 – West Cork & Bantry

Potters: West Cork Workshop with Robert Lee and Darren Cassidy



Today after breakfast travel to Skibbereen for a full day workshop with Robert Lee, a contemporary Irish ceramic artist. (http://www.ccoi.ie/portfolio/cv/robert_lee.pdf) and Darren Cassidy, tile maker, product designer and sculptor.


  • - Each participant will work on a porcelain pot, which will be glazed after the workshop.  The pot will seek to capture your preference of the porcelain decorative techniques demonstrated by Robert - such as faceting, gestural mark making and post manipulation of form on freshly thrown clay. You can focus and explore the techniques on your own pot at the potters’ wheel.
  • - The theme of this work will be the drinking vessel.



Robert Lee is one of Ireland’s best throwing ceramicists, having over 17 years' immersion in study and practice, his recent work explores simplicity and repetition of form; intuitively working with and striving to reveal the inherent qualities of  porcelain clay and celadon / tenmoku glazes. Robert's unique porcelain is distinguished by fluid, contemporary lines and innovative, delicate glazes. He recently earned a Masters Degree in ceramics product design from Crawford College of Art in Cork City and exhibits his work nationally and internationally. He teaches and makes his work at his studio just outside the beautiful town of Skibbereen.

Darren Cassidy received his diploma in Design Communications in 1996 from Dunloaghaire College of Art & Design. Returning home to Cork he started his own company, producing woodcarvings and shaker furniture. From his work with wood, blossomed a love for sculpture in all mediums, wood, stone, plaster and of course clay.

He has always enjoyed mastering different techniques and found that he also loved to share his findings from his years of experimentation. This led him to teaching. Now he enjoys his time moving between his work in the studio and teaching, “a perfect combination” and this is reflected in his students work.


In Darren’s workshop you will learn various making and decorative techniques to produce stoneware slab-rolled relief carved tiles and explore sgraffito, mosaic and press moulding, combining all to make a final piece which will be glazed and shipped after the workshop along with the work made with Robert Lee.


Non Potters: Explore West Cork & Bantry House & Gardens.


This morning after breakfast the non potters will explore parts of West Cork as well as


a visit to Bantry House, the ancestral home of the Earls of Bantry, which is situated overlooking Bantry Bay in West Cork. The title lapsed in 1891 but the house is still owned and lived in by the direct descendants of the 1st Earl of Bantry. Since 1946 the House and Garden has been open to the public. The House has an important collection of art treasures mainly collected by the 2nd Earl of Bantry on his Grand Tour. The House and Garden are self-guided with guidebooks in many different languages.


The garden was inspired by travels of the 2nd Earl. It is laid out in the Italian style over seven terraces, with the house sitting on the third terrace. A Parterre facing south surrounding a wisteria circle which again surrounds a fountain was also created. From there rise the famous Hundred Steps, a monumental staircase built of local stone, set amidst azaleas and rhododendron. Bantry House hosts a number of events including classical and traditional music festivals, product launches, food festivals and outdoor theatre and is a popular location for television and films.


Dinner & overnight at the Maritime Hotel, Bantry. (Dinner, B&B Basis).


Day 11 – Killarney and Dublin


Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before travelling to Killarney. On the journey from Kenmare to Killarney you will pass through the Killarney National Park on a journey that takes you on steep and narrow roads through Ireland’s highest mountain range, the Macgillicuddy Reeks.


Stop for a photo at the scenic point at Ladies View with magnificent panoramic views of the three lakes and primary mountains. - Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting visited here during the royal visit in 1861. They were so enraptured with the view that it was named after them.


Visit the world renowned Muckross House & Gardens, situated amidst the spectacular scenery of Killarney National Park. The elegantly furnished rooms portray the lifestyles of the landed gentry, while downstairs in the basement one can experience the working conditions of the servants employed in the house. The gardens of Muckross House are renowned worldwide for their beauty. In particular they are noted for their fine collection of Azaleas and Rhododendrons, an extensive water garden, and an outstanding rock garden hewn out of natural limestone.




Travel northwards to County Limerick and Adare Village - Snuggled in a wooden and lush countryside setting, Adare is widely regarded as being Ireland’s prettiest and most picturesque village. Situated on the River Maigue, a tributary of the Shannon River, part of the main street is lined with two groups of world famous, ornate, thatched cottages.


Continue towards County Meath for dinner & overnight at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel or similar (Dinner B&B Basis).


Day 12 - Depart from Dublin Airport at leisure (airport transfer not included).





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