An Irish Country Castle Christmas House Party
December 14th - 28th, 2020
"I am so excited to be offering this tour and especially during the
holiday season. I have always loved Christmas and everything
leading up to it. I decorate extensively for the holidays and love
to go see what others are doing in there homes, or castles for that
matter! I love Christmas markets and caroling and making
merry in every way! What better way to spend the days leading
up to Christmas than traveling through the beautiful Irish
countryside! And then spending Christmas week with Christmas
Eve and Christmas Day in a beautiful Irish Castle.
With 3 days in Dublin and 10 days in a beautiful Irish Castle, I've
tried to give a broad spectrum of what is available to see and do
at this time of year and I think that the end result is fabulous!
Please join us for this amazing holiday experience on a trip
through magical Ireland that will live on in your heart forever!  
Shannon McDonald Tate
Highlights include: Dublin and Temple Bar's Famous Old Christmas Market, Old Temple Bar Food Market, Temple Bar Book Market,
Malahide Castle, Gardens and Fairy Trail, 12 days of Christmas at Dublin's Docklands, Olympia Theatre Christmas Panto, Kilbeggan
and Kilbeggan Distillery, Christmas Market at the Milk Market in Limerick, Christmas Evening at Bunratty Castle, Waterford Crystal
Factory, Waterford's Winterval Festival, Chrsitmas Market at the English Market in Cork, Dingle Peninsula, Gallarus Oratory
Drystone Church, Rock of Cashel, Kilkenny and Kilkenny Castle, Browne's Hill Dolmen and more!
15 Days on a spectacular holiday journey through Dublin and the Irish celebrating Christmas in an amazing historic Irish Castle. Your
days will be full of sightseeing and holiday festivities with lovely afternoon teas and Christmas lunches interspersed throughout. Tour
includes lovely country house accommodation, all sightseeing as listed in the itinerary, full, buffet or continental breakfast each
morning, all lunches and dinners as listed in itinerary, porterage of one suitcase per person, minibus travel including tour guide,
knowledgeable guide for all tourist venues, any entrance fees, all taxes and service charges. Due to the nature of our house tours we
cannot cater for special diets.

$6795 per person. $995 single supplement. $500 per person deposit. All singles filled - doubles only.
Please read our
terms and conditions before signing up for a tour as you will be required to agree to them.
Deposit
Agree to Terms and Conditions
Day 1 - December 14th - We will meet this morning in Dublin and begin our Christmas journey. We will start with  Temple
Bar’s Famous Old Christmas Market
creating a vibrant festive atmosphere. These events include the Designer Mart on Cow
Lane
with Irish based designers and arts and crafts artists presenting some unique Christmas gifts for visitors, followed by the Old
Temple Bar Food Market
with traditional Christmas fayre from local farmers and food producers with the very best organic
poultry and cheeses, and then the
Temple Bar Book Market stocking a range of Christmas favourites from Dickens classics to Dr
Seuss. We will then gather for
Afternoon Tea in the Lord Mayor's Lounge at the Shelbourne Hotel. You will then have some
free time in Dublin before we return to our accommodation to get settled in before a
Welcoming Dinner. Dinner and Overnight
Dublin. (L,D)

Day 2 - December 15th -
We venture just a short way out of the city today to Dublin's most loved Christmas Experience at
Malahide Castle, Gardens and Fairy Trail.
We will have a Guided Tour that will take you on a journey through time and give
you an extraordinary glimpse into the life in the castle during the 800 years that the
Talbot Family resided there- right up until
1975! Highlights of the tour are the beautiful reception rooms,
The Oak Room, The Small and Large Drawing Rooms and the
Great Hall, home to the original Battle of the Boyne Painting- on loan from the National Gallery of Ireland. The castle is
adorned with beautiful period furniture and an extensive collection of paintings from the National Gallery of Ireland. Our visit will be
followed by a
Festive Afternoon Tea at Bon Appetit in Malahide. We then return to Dublin where you will be able to find
dinner on your own.
Overnight Dublin. (B,L)

Day 3 - December 16th -
Today starts our with 12 days of Christmas Market at Dublin’s Docklands. This traditional
yuletide event will see over 80 market stalls selling a range of creative Christmas gifts from craft jewellery and glassware to wooden
toys. Celebrating the magic of Christmas at its best, the market features a
Classic Carousel and other fairground attractions as well
as
Christmas Carol Singers, Mulled Wine Stalls and the chance for little ones to sit on Santa’s knee and issue their Christmas
demands! After our visit, you will be able to find some lunch on your own and then do some shopping. Dublin offers a fantastic
shopping experience with a huge range of stores, boutiques and shopping centres. The main shopping areas of the city are the
pedestrianized zones of
Grafton Street and Henry Street along with Dublin’s central boulevard of O’Connell Street and you’ll
find many a Christmas bargain on
Moore Street and at Blackrock Market. This evening we meet up for dinner and then a
Classic Christmas Panto at Olympia Theatre in Temple Bar. Dinner Overnight Dublin. (B,D)

Day 4 - December 17th -
This morning we make our to Thurles and to our castle home for the next 10 days. It is just a 2 hour
journey to our
Wee Irish Castle where we will be staying for the next week, so we will get started right away. We first make our
way to
Kilbeggan and Kilbeggan Distillery where we will join an exclusive Access All Areas Tour of Kilbeggan Distillery,
the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland. We will meet with the distilling team as they take us through a day in the life of a distiller in
Kilbeggan. The tour includes an
Appetizing Lunch in their wonderful on site Pantry Restaurant ending with a delicious
complete
Tasting of their Irish Whiskey Core Portfolio Range as you discover the best kept secret in Irish whiskey. As a
finale, they will take us to our warehouse where we will pull our own 200ml sample from one of their aging cask to take home.  Once
we are home we will spend some time getting settled into the castle before we gather for a
Buffet Supper. We will take over this
lovely wee castle for the week and make ourselves at home.
Overnight Thurles. (L,D)

Day 5 - December 18th -
This morning we will visit the Christmas Market at the Milk Market in Limerick. Shoppers will
experience wafting scents of spices and oils combining with the aroma of cooking.
Food Will Sizzle, Christmas Choirs Will
Sing
, craft workers will explain their work. Buskers from around the world will merge their differing musical and entertainment
traditions and the banter between traders and shoppers will add to the buzz and excitement of the market. We will have a
Christmas Afternoon Tea at NO.1 Pery Square in the city which will be served in The Drawing and Park Rooms located at
the heart of the house with grand old original marble surrounds and burning turf fires with echoes of festive music. We will take some
time to explore Limerick before we head further up the road to
Bunratty Castle.  “Christmas Evening at Bunratty Castle” is
a superb mix of classic Christmas tunes and contemporary classics performed by the members of the world renowned Shannon Castle
entertainers guaranteed to put guests into the festive spirit. Once proceedings in the castle are complete, guests are invited to take in
the glittering lights of the folk park’s
Christmas Village. Overnight Thurles. (B,L,D)

Day 6 - December 19th -
Today will be a leisurely day spent at home in this beautifully restored Georgian Manor Castle set in
the lush green countryside of
Thurles in County Tipperary. You can hang out, relax and unwind in the Castle Library with a
volume of
Irish Literature and a Traditional Irish Whiskey. The castle overlooks a patchwork quilt of green fields and
distant mountains. To the front of the castle you will enjoy views of green fields and mature trees. A private walled gardenis adorned
with beautiful lawns, old varieties of lilies and roses. A patioed outdoor seated area overlooks the generous proportion of well
maintained green lawns and offers wonderful views of the sun setting slowly behind the neighbouring mountains. This is the perfect
spot to unwind contemplating a day spent in the enjoyment of sightseeing in Ireland. Later in the day we will gather for a
Traditional Irish Afternoon Tea in the Castle Drawing Room, a showcase for the superb restoration of the Castle from an
atmospheric ruin into an elegant manor house.
Overnight Thurles. (B,L)

Day 7 - December 20th -
This morning we journey to investigate Ireland's loveliest inland village of Kilkenny and take part in
the
Yulefest Kilkenny Experience where you can stroll down medieval streets and slipways, buzzing with atmosphere and festive
cheer. While here we will visit
Kilkenny Castle in all of its Christmas Splendor! Built in the 1190's, Kilkenny Castle was
occupied right up to 1935. The castle stands dramatically on a strategic height that commands a crossing on the
River Nore and
dominates the ‘High Town’ of Kilkenny City
. Over the eight centuries of its existence, many additions and alterations have
been made to the fabric of the building, making Kilkenny Castle today a complex structure of various architectural styles. High spots
of the tour include
the Library, the Wood-Paneled Dining Room and the Chinese Bedroom. We will Lunch In Kilkenny
before making our way to
Jerpoint Abbey, one of the finest Cistercian Ruins in Ireland. Built in 1160, the fortified medieval
complex flourished until the dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539.  In the transept chapels the visitor can see 13th to 16th century
tomb sculpture. The tower and cloister date from the 15th century. The chief delight of the Abbey is the sculptured cloister arcade
with unique carvings. We then return home for dinner and our last night in the castle.
Dinner and Overnight Thurles. (B,L,D)

Day 8 - December 21st -
 This morning we are off to Waterford for a tour of the Waterford Crystal Factory. The factory
was founded in 1783. June 2010 saw the opening of the new factory where visitors can follow all stages of production of this world
reknowned glassware. After the tour we will spend some time in the opulent showroom for some shopping. We then have a
Festive
Holiday Lunch at the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Waterford
before taking some time to explore all that this lovely city has to offer
as we take part in
Waterford City's Winterval Festival. The Festival will take over the heart of the Medieval City where
beautifully decorated traditional log cabins will host an offering of the very best quality and range of goods, craft, toys and
decorations. The list of events at this years Winterval goes on and on and will include a
Georgian Christmas at the Bishops
Palace, a Christmas Carousel and Horse Drawn Sleighs!
Then we are back home before a Dinner Outing in Thurles.
Overnight Thurles. (B,L,D)

Day 9 - December 22nd
- Pack an overnight bag for an early morning journey to Tralee and then through the wilds of the
Dingle Peninsula. A drive around Dingle reveals fascinating antiquities ranging from Iron Age Stone Forts to Inscribed
Stones, early Christian Oratories and Beehive Huts
. We will stop at the Gallarus Oratory Drystone Church. Gallarus
Oratory was built between the seventh and eight century and is the best preserved early Christian Church in Ireland. It
represents the apogee of drystone corbelling, using techniques first developed by Neolithic tomb makers. We will also stop in
Kilmalkedar and its 12th Century Romanesque Church. Many of the features which typify Irish Romanesque Architecture
are present. Inside the church is the alphabet stone with both 6th Century Latin writing and an inscribed cross. A number of
interesting objects are located outside of the church, including a tall
Ogham Burial Stone. We will enjoy some free time in the
attractive fishing village of
Dingle before we make our way to Killarney for dinner. Dinner and Overnight Killarney. (B,D)

Day 10 - December 23rd -
This morning we will take in a bit of Killarney where we will have a Killarney Christmas Sleigh
Ride. Killarney is
a vibrant little town with incredibly beautiful surrounding countryside. On the way home we will stop in Mallow
for a
Festive Afternoon Tea in a 1720 Georgian Heritage Mansion. Afternoon Tea in Longueville House is an institution in
itself and is served in
The Drawing Room and Mount Hillary Room of Longueville House in front of a roaring log fire. After a
lovely tea we will continue on the
Cashel and the Rock of Cashel. Cashel with its well preserved ecclesiastical remains, is one of
Ireland's spectacular landmarks, rising above the surrounding plain and dominating the land route southwards. There is a 13th
century cathedral, 12th century round tower and the
Chapel of King Cormac, which is my favourite place on the rock! We will
have a tour of the site that is reputedly the site of the conversion of
Aenghus the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th
century AD. Long before the Norman invasion, The Rock of Cashel was the seat of the
High Kings of Munster.  We then return
home to our wee little castle before we are out for you to find some dinner on your own.
Overnight Thurles. (B,L)

Day 11 - December 24th
- This morning we make our way to Cork for some last minute Christmas Shopping. We will visit the
English Market, a mix of Traditional Cork Fare and exciting new foods from afar, along with longstanding family-run stalls and
newcomers from outside, all contribute to its unique appeal, which is celebrated widely. We will also visit the
Christmas Market on
Princes Street
with lots of beautiful items to choose from with Art, Crafts, Fashion, Body Care, Vintage Boutiques,
Jewellery
and more. In between shopping we will stop at the 5 Star Hayfield Manor for Afternoon Tea. We then make our
way back home to start our
Holiday Celebration with a Christmas Eve Buffet Supper. After supper we will open our gifts to
each other and then watch
"Its a Wonderful Life" in the Drawing Room. Overnight Thurles. (B,L,D)

Day 12 - December 25th -
We will have a leisurely morning as we get up and see if Santa has brought us anything and if the
Stockings that were Hung with Care have been filled! There will be nibbles set out if anyone is hungry and then we will Gather
for Brunch at Mid Morning
and spend the day enjoying the house and grounds. This afternoon we will gather for a Traditional
Christmas Dinner with all the Trimmings!
We will take a break after dinner to sit and socialize together before we break out
the pie and goodies. We will then gather to watch my favourite holiday movie,
"Meet Me in St. Louis" and it is never truly
Christmas until
Judy Garland has sung "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"! We will leave out nibbles to help yourself
to as we reminisce about the trip and the year ahead.
Overnight Thurles. (BR,D)

Day 13 - December 26th -
Today in Ireland it is St. Stephens Day also known as the Day of the Wren is an occasion to
commemorate the life of St. Stephen and is considered a holiday in Ireland. To stay in the holiday mood, we will put out a
Mid
Morning Brunch
and then after brunch we will take one of my favourite drives through the Glen of Aherlow a country valley,
which lies between the
Slievenamuck Ridge and the main Galtee Mountain Range. Bounded by the rural villages of Bansha
and Galbally
, the Glen was historically an important pass between Limerick and Tipperary. We will travel south of the heritage
town of
Tipperary, through sixteen miles of unspoilt countryside affording some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable
making it one of the most desirable destinations in Ireland. Within the Glen the focal point is the
Statue of Christ the King.
Erected in 1950, Christ the King, overlooking the valley at its most scenic viewpoint has his hand raised in
“blessing the Glen and
all who pass by”
, attracts thousands of visitors every year. After some glorious sightseeing we will return home to dinner in the
castle.
Dinner and Overnight Thurles. (BR,D)

Day 14 - December 27th -
On our way north toward Dublin today we visit Browne's Hill Dolmen, an ancient burial tomb
which has the biggest capstone in Europe, weighing 100 tons. The capstone rests on two portal stones, a door stone and a prostrate
slab.
The Dolmen or Cromlech is a type of pagan sepulchral monument. Our drive will then take is through the beautiful
Wicklow Mountains National Park to Roundwood, one of the highest elevated villages in Ireland. We will stop for lunch here
before we visit
Killruddery House, a living, working House, Gardens and Farm. It has been home to sixteen generations of the
Brabazon family and over the centuries many other families have joined this special place as a home and in employment. We will have
a tour of the house and if you think it looks familiar, that’s because it’s a popular location for many well known movies and TV mini-
series including
My Left Foot, Far & Away, Angela’s Ashes, The Tudors and Camelot. After our tour we make our way to
our accommodation just outside of
Dublin for a Farewell Dinner. Dinner and Overnight near Dublin(B,L,D)

Day 15 - December 28th -
We will return you to the Dublin International Airport.