On this superb knitting holiday, enjoy workshops led by our expert Julie Dubreux and discover the stunning scenery and traditional crafts found on the west coast of Ireland. Excursions include the charming city of Galway as well as Kylemore Abbey and Leenane Sheep and Wool Centre, both nestled in the midst of Connemara's rugged landscape. Knitting has been a part of Irish life since the 1600s, when knitting schools were established across the country. Thanks to an abundance of wool, it became a source of income for many households during the 18th century. With their distinctive design, Aran sweaters are a symbol of Ireland and our full day excursion to the smallest of the Aran islands is a chance to learn about Aran knitting the Inis Oírr way.
Workshop information: Julie will guide you through a new exclusive design from start to finish. You will have the opportunity to learn about two-colour brioche knitting, which is our expert’s favourite technique to create colourful designs with delightful texture. And, of course, the workshop project also features cables, a technique that is deeply rooted in the Irish knitting culture.
Meet your tour manager at London Heathrow for your morning flight to Shannon. We'll visit the stunning Cliffs of Moher en route to the hotel.
This morning's excursion takes us to Galway where we visit Knitwits, Galway's largest yarn store, and enjoy a guided walking tour through the historic winding streets of this colourful and cultural city. This afternoon we enjoy our first knitting workshop in the hotel.
Today we travel to Ros a'Mhíl to catch the ferry to Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran islands, which are renowned for their preservation of the traditional ways of life. After a wandering wagon tour of the island, we meet with a local knitting expert to knit a simple project with an Aran design inspired by the Inis Oírr landscape. Lunch today is included.
Beyond Galway lies the stunning landscape of Connemara. Here we'll visit historic Kylemore Abbey, and enjoy an insight into the importance of textiles to Connemara at the fascinating Leenane Sheep and Wool Centre. Discover the history of sheep farming, and learn about the methods of spinning and weaving, as you see wheels and looms dating back to the turn of the last century.
This morning, we enjoy our final knitting workshop with our expert before leaving the hotel and transferring to Shannon airport for our return flight to London Heathrow.
Tour notes: You will need to have a reasonable level of fitness to get the most out of this holiday. On excursion days you will need to walk a short distance from the hotel/ship to the coach and you should be able to board the coach unaided. On arrival at the excursion destination, you should be able to alight the coach unaided and there may be a walk between the coach drop off point and the excursion venue. By their nature, walking tours, museum visits etc involve being on your feet for a significant amount of time. Whilst our excursions are taken at a leisurely pace, for the enjoyment of everyone in the group you should be able to keep up with your fellow travellers.
You will stay for five nights at the Galway Bay Hotel.
This 4-star hotel is set on the shores of Galway Bay, one of Ireland’s most scenic locations. With beautiful views over the Bay and Clare Hills, this award-winning hotel is also just 5 minutes from Galway City. Guests can enjoy the hotel’s swimming pool, massage fountain and the leisure centre, which features a fully equipped modern gym and sauna. Health and beauty treatments are also available. Full Irish breakfasts are served each morning, and the AA Rosette Bay Brasserie serves modern Irish cuisine with fresh fish and local produce.