Travel Classics Writers
Conference May 16-19, 2013 in Ireland
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Travel Classics International 2013

May 16-19, 2013 in County Cork, Ireland
(go to Pre-Conference Tour)

    Tourism Ireland would like to extend a warm welcome to the attending writers of the upcoming Travel Classics International Writers Conference in Ireland. The pre- and post-familiarization tours are opportunities to get to know the best that Ireland has to offer. You'll visit magical historic sites and impressive panoramic views, see quaint villages and spectacular gardens, and stay in luxurious inns and hotels.

    For more information please email Ruth Moran, / 212-418-0832, or Yvonne Carr / 212-418-0818. Please note: Tourism Ireland reserves the right to modify this itinerary.

Six Days / Five Nights: May 19 - 24 2013

Sunday 19th May

Titanic Walking Tour of Cobh
    The Titanic Trail Cobh (Queenstown) Cork, Ireland, is a fascinating guided tour that explores the town of Cobh in Cork Harbour which was the last port of call of RMS Titanic. This Irish heritage walking tour takes visitors through the historic town of Cobh where the buildings, streets and piers have not changed since the Titanic's sinking over 100 years ago. The one hour escorted tour, with, brings to life the story of Titanic, and the events in the town on the day Titanic left her last anchorage to sail into her icy fate in the North Atlantic.

Highlights of Cork Bus Tour
    This is a great way to see the Cork city's main historical landmarks and sites. Cork City is Ireland's third city (after Dublin and Belfast) and has always been an important seaport. It began on an island in the swampy estuary of the River Lee (the name Corcaigh means a marsh), and gradually climbed up the steep banks on either side. Today the river flows through Cork city in two main channels, so that you find yourself constantly crossing bridges and hence Cork City's coat of arms bears the motto 'A Safe Harbour for Ships'. Some of the main streets are built over channels where ships nuzzled their anchor-chains a century ago. Along the South Mall, you will see large gateways at street level, under steps leading to a higher main door. These were once boathouses, when merchants arrived at their warehouses by water.

Lunch in Hayfield Manor
    Corks premier hotel is equipped with all the modern amenities you would expect from a 5 star hotel, yet still retains the distinct charm of a Manor House.

Guided Cliff Walk
    We encourage you to get fit and feel well by making use of the great outdoors and beautiful landscapes. This will take approximately one hour and thirty minutes and boots will be provided.

Dinner and overnight accommodation in the Cliff House, Ardmore
    Regarded as one of the finest small luxury five-star hotels in Ireland, this seaside boutique hotel features an intimate Irish destination spa as well as a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Monday 20th May

House of Waterford Crystal
    Take the guided Factory Tour, giving you first hand access to all areas of traditional crystal production and view the largest collection of crystal in the world in the retail area.

Visit Waterford Treasures
    Three magnificent museums chronicling over one thousand years of history -- Viking, Medieval and Georgian. Lunch and actor led tour of the Bishops Palace.

Overnight and dinner Ballyfin House (County Laois)
    The house has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland, and after eight years of restoration, Ballyfin re-opened in May 2011 as a 5 star country house hotel. It offers the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable. With only fifteen rooms for the 600 acre estate, this 5 star luxury hotel is the perfect place for a break.

Tuesday 21st May

Visit and lunch Strokestown House
    Strokestown House is an eighteenth century palladian mansion, home of the Packenham Mahon family from 1653 until 1979. The House is unique in that it retains all of its original furnishings and can be seen by guided tour. The Famine Museum is located in the stable yards of Strokestown Park. When what remained of the original property was purchased, an archive of papers relating to the management of the estate during the 1840s came to light. This collection is now regarded as the single best private archive on the Great Irish Famine in the world. The six-acre Walled Gardens have been faithfully restored to their original splendour and give an insight into horticultural practices and garden architecture from the 1740s to the present day.

Drumcliffe Church & High Cross (County Sligo)
    The final resting place of W B Yeats whose grave is in the churchyard under a simple headstone with the inscription: 'Cast a cold eye on life, On Death Horseman pass by.'

Dinner and overnight accommodation in Lough Eske Castle & Spa (County Donegal)
    Lough Eske Castle, Donegal's only five star castle hotel, located on a secluded lakeside estate, has a rich history dating back to the 1400s. This is an historic building set in a storybook location delivering superior hospitality and comfort and is the ideal place for those who simply want to relax and unwind.

Wednesday 22nd May

Cliffs of Slieve League (Donegal)
    Slieve League will take your breath away, that is a promise -- the cliffs of Slieve League are the highest sea cliffs in Europe. A nearly sheer drop of roughly 2,000 feet separates the Atlantic Ocean from the highest point of the cliffs.

Lunch and visit Glenveagh Castle, in Glenveagh National Park
    Deep in the Derryveagh mountains, there's a piece of Donegal that owes its existence largely to America. Glenveagh castle and its exotic gardens, built in the 19th century by John George Adair, a man who was born in County Laois, but who made his fortune in the United States. He had a castle designed to resemble Balmoral, Queen Victoria's Scottish highland residence, with a four-story keep and turrets made of thick granite, and placed it in estate of over 40,000 acres. Two other Americans who later owned the castle would add to it's size and grandeur, creating one of Europe's most enchanting settings in a place of solitude.

Overnight in Derry, Londonderry (UK City of Culture 2013)
    Dominating the North-western landscapes of Ireland, astride the flowing waters of the Foyle, is a 6th Century city that today resonates to the sounds of the 21st Century. Among the happiest of those sounds is the multi-lingual chatter of more international visitors than ever - from conference delegates and backpackers to cruise passengers and tourists of all kinds - who are discovering the delights of a compact city which is unlike any other. Having been placed by Lonely Planet as the fourth best city to visit in 2013 by a panel of travel experts, Derry is the place to be this year as it takes on the mantle of the first UK City of Culture in 2013.

Thursday 23rd May

Visit Glaslough Village (County Monaghan)
    The name Glaslough is derived from the Irish translation 'Calm or Green Lake'; our picturesque, magical village is located on the outskirts of Castle Leslie Estate in North County Monaghan. Surrounded by ancient woodlands and glittering lakes, it is a village filled with impressive historical and architectural features, beautifully stone cut period buildings and a unique, vibrant and welcoming community.

Dinner, tour and overnight accommodation in Castle Leslie
    Castle Leslie Estate, Monaghan is one of the last great Irish Castle estates still in the hands of its founding family. Since the 1660s, the distinguished and somewhat individual Leslie family have lived on the Castle Estate, welcoming everyone from politicians to poets, ambassadors to ufologists; all the time making their home into one of the finest luxury castle hotels Ireland has to offer.

Friday 24th May

Visit Newgrange (County Meath)
    Newgrange was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Buitl during the Neolithic or New Stone Age by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. Knowth and Dowth are similar mounds that together with Newgrange have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however Newgrange is now recognised to be much more than a passage tomb.

    Ancient Temple is a more fitting classification, a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige and worship where dignitaries may be laid to rest.

Visit Dublin
    Steeped in history and youthful energy, Dublin is a medieval city where the charming and cosmopolitan converge in delightful diversity. Fine museums and art galleries chronicle Dublin's long and colourful past, while the pubs and cafes buzz with traditional and contemporary entertainment.

    Throughout Dublin city and county you will find an abundance of visitor attractions to discover and explore, from the most majestic museums to more modern centres of entertainment. Whether your interest is sport, history, art or literature, whether you want to follow a heritage trail, visit a zoo, eat in a castle or follow in the footsteps of Dublin's many musical greats, there's something for everyone in Dublin!

Visit the Guinness Storehouse

    Experience a magical journey deep into the heart of the world famous GUINNESS brand and company. This historical building is central to Dublin's and Ireland's heritage, and has been continually updated to create a blend of fascinating industrial tradition with a contemporary edge. The seven floors bring to life the rich heritage of GUINNESS¨, telling the story from its origins here at St. James's Gate in Dublin to its growth as a global brand, known all around the world.
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