with Kiran Young Wimberly & The McGraths | from $2,480 per person
Go to the heart of Ireland with this ten-day exploration of Celtic music, spirituality, and peacemaking. The musical portion of our journey begins with Kiran Young Wimberly and the McGraths whose Celtic Psalms are beautifully soul-stirring. We will also listen and learn at the School of Traditional Irish Music in County Donegal, and every city we visit holds opportunities to hear traditional and modern Irish music. Throughout the trip, we will explore pre-Christian, early Christian, and modern Celtic spirituality, allowing time to pray and reflect. Highlights include the Stone Age passage tomb at Newgrange, the Corrymeela Community on the Antrim Coast, the Columba Heritage Center in Derry, and the peaceful Glendalough Monastic Site in County Wicklow. Finally, learn about the political history of Northern Ireland, and hear from individuals and organizations who are working to build peace and strengthen their communities. The whole trip is dotted with spectacular scenery and warm Irish culture.
October 17-26 Daily Itinerary
Departing from your airport of choice, board your overnight flight to Dublin Airport in the Republic of Ireland. This itinerary does not include airfare, so you should book a flight arriving in Dublin not later than 9:00am on Thursday, October 18. Progressive Pilgrimage can coordinate your air travel upon request.
This morning we arrive in Dublin Airport where we will be met by our coach driver for our onward journey to Armagh.
En route we will tour the passage tombs at Knowth and/or Newgrange, Stone Age monuments dating from 3,200 B.C., making them older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza. Knowth and Newgrange provide an excellent introduction to ancient pre-Christian spirituality of the area.
After lunch (included) at Newgrange, we will continue to Armagh for an introduction to Celtic Spirituality with Rev. Grace Clunie of the Celtic Spirituality Center. At the same locaiton, the Navan Fort one of Ireland’s most famous and important archaeological sites, the legendary Emain Macha. Legends say that Macha, the ancient goddess of war and fertility, scored the earth with her brooch pin and traced the famous outline of this sacred stronghold of the hero Cu Chulainn, home of the famous Red Branch Knights and Ulster Cycle of tales. Dinner and overnight at Armagh City Hotel.
Today we begin with a visit to the town of Downpatrick and the St. Patrick Centre for an introduction to Ireland’s patron saint. We will also visit Saint Patrick’s cathedral located on the hill where the saint was buried after his death in 461 A.D. According to tradition, St. Columba and St. Brigid are also buried here. After lunch (included), we return to Armagh to visit additional sites associated with St. Patrick and early Christianity in Ireland.
In the early evening, we will be joined by Kiran Young Wimberly and the McGraths. The group has released three albums setting Psalms to traditional Celtic melodies. We will learn more about their songwriting and composing process and the history of Celtic music while sampling the music of Celtic Psalms. Enjoy dinner on your own at one of Armagh’s restaurants. Overnight at Armagh City Hotel.
We will spend time today learning more about “The Troubles” that plagued Northern Ireland from the 1960s through 1998. With guides representing both Unionist and Republican ideals, you will receive a through introduction to the conflict and its historic origins. We will visit both Unionist and Republican neighborhoods including Falls and Shankill Roads, the peace murals, and the Crumlin Road Jail and Courthouse. We will also meet with local organizations who have been doing peacebuilding work in Belfast and the surrounding region. Lunch included.
The focus on peacebuilding continues into the evening as we transfer to the Corrymeela Community in Ballycastle on the Antrim Coast. Corrymeela is Northern Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organisation, promoting tolerance between people of differing backgrounds and beliefs. Much of their work is conducted at the center in Ballycastle, but Corrymeela is a dispersed community of people committed to living by the community’s values. Dinner and overnight at Corrymeela.
We begin this Sunday morning by worshiping with the community at Corrymeela.
After worship we will visit of one of Europe’s most magnificent coastlines and the unique rock formations that have, for millions of years, stood as a natural rampart against the unbridled ferocity of Atlantic storms. The rugged symmetry of the columns and the associated folklore never fails to intrigue and inspire visitors. Those who desire may participate in a hike along the coastline. A picnic lunch is included.
In the nearby village of Bushmills, you’ll find the oldest working distillery in Ireland. At Bushmills, family and friends have worked over 400 years, keeping to the philosophy that hand crafting small batches is the way to produce beautifully smooth Irish whiskey. Enjoy a tour of the distillery and the option for a tasting.
From Bushmills we continue to Derry where we will enjoy dinner and overnight accommodations at Derry City Hotel.
St. Columba (Colum Cille in Gaelic), founder of the famous Iona Abbey, is also known as the founder of Derry. The Columcille Centre provides an excellent introduction to his life and ministry. Our group will also visit the St. Augustine’s Monastery and the Long Tower Church, sites associated with early Christianity in Derry.
After lunch (included), we remain in Derry but switch from ancient Christian sites to the more recent political history of the city. Our guide will take us on a walk around the city walls to introduce how the city came to be divided. We will visit the Bogside neighborhood, site of the Bloody Sunday massacre and now home to 12 giant murals known as the People’s Gallery. We will conclude the day at the Holywell Trust, a center for peace and community building. Here we will here the stories of local people engaged in the work of healing themselves and their community after 40+ years of conflict. Enjoy dinner on your own and overnight accommodations at Derry City Hotel.
Take in many aspects of Irish culture and nature today as we venture into County Donegal. We will begin the morning at the Donegal School of Traditional Irish Music in Letterkenny to learn more about the roots of Celtic music, the instruments, and hear samples of various styles within the Celtic tradition. Lunch is included.
Next we visit Drumcorry, a working farm with cows and sheep. Like most farmers, Patsy grew up with dogs around him on the farm and he was used to working with them. He was lucky to grow up in an area well known for the number of shepherds who are serious collie men. He has shown off his skills at the agricultural shows throughout the country and competed nationally at championship sheepdogs trials. Patsy is a sheepdog handler who delights in thrilling guests from all over the world with his demonstrations.
Finally, take in the natural splendor at Sliabh Liag on the Wild Atlantic Way. Known as the highest accessible sea cliffs in Europe, they reach a height of 1,972 feet – almost twice as high as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and nearly three times the height of the famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. Return to Derry for dinner on your own and overnight accommodations.
From Derry, we will depart toward Dublin, stopping en route at the early Christian settlement of Monasterboice. It was founded in the late 5th century by Saint Buithe and was an important centre of religion and learning. The site houses two churches built in the 14th century or later and an earlier round tower, but it is most famous for its 10th century high crosses.
From Monasterboice we will continue to Dublin for a visit Trinity College and the Book of Kells. Located in the heart of Dublin City, a walk through the cobbled stones of Trinity College Dublin will bring visitors back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed which displays the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. The 9th century book is a richly decorated copy of the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ. It is one of only a few such manuscripts that survived Viking raids.
Before turning in for the night, our group will enjoy a festive traditional Irish dinner including music and storytelling. Overnight at Camden Court Hotel.
Glendalough is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. This early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and from this developed the “Monastic City”. Most of the buildings that survive today date from the 10th through 12th centuries. Despite attacks by Vikings over the years, Glendalough thrived as one of Ireland’s great ecclesiastical foundations and schools of learning until the Normans destroyed the monastery in 1214 A.D. and the dioceses of Glendalough and Dublin were united. The visit includes a guided pilgrimage walk with ample time for prayer and reflection. Lunch is included.
You’ll have the afternoon and evening to explore Dublin on your own. This capital of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin is on Ireland’s east coast at the mouth of the River Liffey. Its historic buildings include Dublin Castle, dating to the 13th century, and imposing St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded in 1191. City parks include landscaped St. Stephen’s Green and huge Phoenix Park, containing the Dublin Zoo. The National Museum of Ireland explores Irish heritage and culture. Enjoy dinner on your own in one of Dublin’s many restaurants or pubs. Overnight at Camden Court Hotel.
After enjoying your last Irish breakfast, transfer to Dublin Airport for your return flight to the United States. The included airport transfer is for flights departing after 9:00 A.M. Those with earlier departures will require a taxi, public bus, or private shuttle. Progressive Pilgrimage can assist with these arrangements.
Those wishing to stay on longer in Dublin may add additional days to their itinerary or book excursions to other locations in Ireland. Contact us for more information.
The total land cost for the ten-day pilgrimage is $2,480 per person, double occupancy when you register by March 31. After March 31, the price increases to $2,580 per person, double occupancy. Group size is limited to 20 participants.
|First Class Hotels||Ground Transportation||Expert Local Guides|
|Breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 4 dinners||Entrance Fees||Pre-trip Educational Resources|
|Hotel Baggage Transfers||Gratuity for Drivers and Guides||Ordained Spiritual Guide|
Single occupancy is available upon request for a surcharge of $450.
Airfare is not included in the tour price. Participants should purchase flights that land in Dublin not later than 9:00 A.M. on October 18. Return flights should depart Dublin not earlier than 9:00 A.M. on October 26 to take advantage of the included airport transfer. Travelers may purchase airfare on their own or work with Progressive Pilgrimage’s airline partner, Mission Travel, to complete their airfare purchase.
A $500/person deposit is due at time of registration, payable online via PayPal or credit card. Full payment is due by August 17, 2018. Participants will be invoiced for the balance due which may be paid by check, ACH, or credit card. Credit card payments of the remaining balance will incur a 3% fee.
Terms and Conditions
Please read the complete Terms and Conditions online. ENROLLMENT IN AND PAYMENT FOR THE TOUR CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE CONDITIONS AND STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY.