Landscape of Soul & Story
Tour & Writing Retreat in Ireland
Sunday, September 8 - Thursday, September 19, 2024
Sunday, 8th: Pick-up at Dublin Airport. 10:30 am. We’ll arrive at Kilkea Castle Hotel, County Kildare, about 12:30 pm, for lunch and hotel check-in. Afternoon introduction session, 4-6 pm. Dinner at Kilkea Castle. Evening free to settle in.
Monday, 9th: Leave 9:30 am for a day at the Solas Bhride Center in Kildare. We will spend a day of pilgrimage with the women who re-lit the perpetual flame for goddess/saint Brigit in 1993. Morning talk by Sr. Phil and lunch at Solas Bhride and pilgrimage walk to Brigit's Holy Well. Then on to Brigid’s monastery & round tower. Dinner at Kilkea Castle, followed by evening writing circle.
Tuesday, 10th: Morning free. Lunch on your own at Kilkea Castle. Leave 1:30 pm for a return to Solas Bhride for an afternoon writing circle, within walking distance of Brigid’s Well and the beautiful Curragh fields. Dinner at Silken Thomas restaurant in Kildare. Evening free.
Wednesday, 11th: Leave 9 am. Lunch on the road, then mid-afternoon arrival in Castletownbere in far south west Ireland, and get settled at Bed & Breakfasts. Dinner in Castletownbere. Evening free to settle in.
Thursday, 12th: Meet at 9:30 am for morning writing circle with local guide and writer Carina McNally. Leave 11:30 am for lunch on your own at Kilmackillogue Harbour, then exploration of the Beara Peninsula with Carina. We will visit the Uragh Stone circle, Kilkatherine and the Hag of Beara. Dinner in Castletownbere, and evening free to explore the charming town.
Friday, 13th: Meet at 9:30 am for a full day and evening writing retreat at Island View House. There will be time to write, think, rest and reflect on your Ireland pilgrimage and the poetry of the landscape. Lunch & dinner at B&B.
Saturday, 14th: Meet at 9:30 am for morning writing circle. Leave 11:30 am for lunch on your own at Allihies Mine Museum, drive on to the tip of the Beara peninsula, Dursey Sound then on to the beautiful Caha Mountains and Healy Pass on the way home. Dinner on your own in Castletownbere. Evening free.
Sunday, 15th: Leave at 9:30 am for drive north to Navan. Lunch on the road. Arrive at Bellinter House mid-afternoon for check-in. Dinner at Bellinter. Circle that evening with guide Gerard Clarke for Boyne Valley orientation.
Monday, 16th: Morning writing circle. Leave 11:30 for lunch on your own at the wonderful Hill of Tara Cafe and Gift shop. Followed by a guided walk on the Hill of Tara, then a visit to Dalgan Park labyrinth and nature walk by the River Boyne and the contemplative Bective Abbey. Early dinner in Navan, evening free.
Tuesday, 17th: Leave 9:30 am for the Loughcrew passage mound whose ancient name is Slieve na Cailleach, or "Hill of the Old Woman," with stunning views of much of Ireland.. Lunch at Loughcrew Megalithic Centre, then return to Bellinter. Afternoon writing circle. Evening free. Dinner on your own at Bellinter or in Navan.
Wednesday, 18th: Leave 8:00 am for tour of Ireland's stunning neolithic passage mounds at Newgrange and Knowth, and lunch at the world-class Bru na Boinne Visits Center. Afternoon closing writing circle. Dinner at Bellinter, evening free.
Thursday, 19th: Early breakfast, 6-7 am. Leave 7:00 am for drop-off at Dublin Airport by 8:30 am. Participants' departure flights should leave no earlier than noon.