Ireland: Thin Places
A Soulful Celtic Journey

Thin Places – A Soulful Celtic Journey

Our exclusive itinerary awaits you…

Upon arrival at the airport in Dublin you will be met at luggage claim and transferred to the deluxe and iconic Shelbourne Dublin.

This 5 star hotel is a timeless landmark located in Dublin’s city centre, overlooking St. Stephen’s Green, and within walking distance to the shops on Grafton St. as well as many of the city’s historic buildings. Not only was The Shelbourne Dublin the site of the drafting of the Irish Constitution in 1922, the hotel also offers genealogy services to guests who are interested in tracing their Irish heritage.

We will immediately meet in the lobby to head out on a walking tour of the downtown core. We will see some of the capital city’s major tourist attractions; which include a visit to the famous Trinity College and to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, one of the oldest in Ireland. A wonderful opportunity to orient yourself to this vibrant city.

Trinity College Dublin

Situated in the heart of this busy European capital, Trinity College is famous for graduates such as Swift, Goldsmith, Wilde and Beckett. A visit to Trinity with its majestic 18th century buildings and squares is like stepping back into another age, an opportunity to experience the peace and quiet of another era! Trinity College is home to the famous “Book of Kells” (a manuscript dating back to 800 AD containing the four gospels written in Latin) celebrated for its lavish decoration as well as the Long Room, which is the largest single chamber library in the world containing 200,000 of the library’s oldest books.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptized converts on his visit to Dublin. The present building dates from 1220. The Cathedral is today the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland and also serves as a popular tourist attraction. Today the Cathedral is open to all people as an architectural and historical site, but principally as a place of worship.

We will stop for lunch at a local pub before returning to The Shelbourne hotel.
This afternoon relax and settle in to your deluxe room and unwind from the journey before heading out on our own Private Musical Pub Crawl. Enjoy a pint and snacks as you immerse yourself in one of the important aspects of Irish tradition!

Private Musical Pub Crawl

We invite you to discover the Irish musical culture by taking you on a musical pub crawl. We will hit some of the most popular pubs of the city where you will be entertained by talented musicians playing traditional Irish “sing along” songs!!

Traditional instruments such as pipe, accordion, violin and Irish bagpipe will thrill the group while the duo will tell the story of Irish music and explaining its influence on the contemporary music world.

A light dinner with wine will follow at Cliff Townhouse Restaurant. Dinner will be served in a private room overlooking the famous St. Stephen’s Green and will showcase a creative range of dishes to suit all tastes.

Rise and enjoy a full Irish breakfast at leisure in the hotel’s Saddle Room Restaurant.
This morning we depart to explore some of the legendary “Thin Places” just outside Dublin. Pádraigín Clancy, a graduate in Irish Folklore & History, will join us as we make our way to The Hill of Tara. Here, she will walk us through the site explaining the history & folklore of the area. We will also see the “holy well” (said to have healing properties) before sitting down to a casual lunch. Pádraigín will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Pádraigín Clancy

A native of Dublin and a graduate in Irish Folklore and History (NUI Dublin) Pádraigín Clancy has presented workshops/lectures and retreats on Celtic Spirituality throughout Ireland, USA and Australia since 1990. She is editor and co-author of ‘ Celtic Threads; and has a keen interest in St Brigit of Ireland and aspects of the divine feminine in the Gaelic tradition. She has contributed frequently to Irish national radio and television on the subject. Pádraigín has resided on Inis Mór, Aran Islands for many years where she works seasonally as a guide at Dún Aonghasa. She also leads Celtic pilgrimages on the island. Her post-graduate research includes a large collection of Gaelic folklore from the island. She is a fluent Gaelic Speaker and a Traditional Irish Musician and dancer.

The Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara is an archaeological complex located near the River Boyne and runs between Navan and Dunshaughlin in County Meath. It contains a number of ancient monuments, and, according to tradition, was the seat of the High King of Ireland. The view from the hill is one of the best features. The surrounding countryside is considered to be one of the richest pastureland in the country. Here at the cultural and political heart of the country every third year there was a great Feis (fair or festival) at which the laws and the rules of the land were discussed and revised.

Next stop is the famous site of Newgrange, here we will enter the chamber and learn about the history of the magnificent structure. Feel free to wander the grounds and take in the beauty and majesty of the surrounding area. Pádraigín will be happy to further expand on the folklore and spirituality of this renowned site.


New Grange was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange was built during the Neolithic or New Stone Age by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley.

It is a large kidney shaped mound covering an area of over one acre, retained at the base by 97 kerbstones, some of which are richly decorated with megalithic art.

The 19 metre long inner passage leads to a cruciform chamber with a corbelled roof. The amount of time and labour invested in construction of Newgrange suggests a well-organized society with specialised groups responsible for different aspects of construction.

Above the entrance passage is a ‘roof-box’, which precisely aligns with the rising sun at the winter solstice (December 21), so that the rays touch the ground at the very centre of the tomb for about 20 minutes. Many of the upright stones along the walls of the 19 meter passage, which follows the rise of the hill, are richly decorated.

Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. At dawn, from December 18th to 23rd, a narrow beam of light penetrates the roof-box and reaches the floor of the chamber. As the sun rises higher, the beam widens within the chamber so that the whole room becomes dramatically illuminated. Each year the winter solstice event attracts much attention at Newgrange. Many gather at the ancient tomb to wait for dawn, as people did 5000 years ago.

Return to the hotel to relax or perhaps visit some of the many shops on Grafton St.

We have rather an unusual event in store for you this evening as we head off to Christ Church Cathedral. Step back in time as we descend into the Cathedral’s 12th Century Crypt for a private cocktail reception. Enjoy some Irish whiskey tasting, hors d’oeuvres and stirring entertainment. Docents will also be on hand to offer tours of the Cathedral.

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral is Dublin’s oldest building and a place of pilgrimage for almost 1,000 years. Renowned for its beauty, architecture and exquisite floor tiles, it is home to the famous 12th Century crypt, one of the oldest and largest in Britain and Ireland. Constructed in 1172 it is the earliest surviving structure in Dublin city and uniquely extends under the entire Cathedral.

Dinner tonight is on your own and at your leisure.

The Divine Destination Collection’s on-site concierge service can help make restaurant recommendations and arrangements for you.

Enjoy a full Irish breakfast at leisure in the Saddle Room Restaurant.

This morning is at your leisure to explore Dublin. There are many options in this energetic city…visit the famous Guinness Storehouse, or the Book of Kells in Trinity College, have a leisurely stroll through St. Stephen’s Green or get some power shopping in before we depart Dublin.

Just before lunch we will depart Dublin and head west to Co. Clare. Everyone will receive their own deluxe lunch basket to enjoy as you take in the magnificent Irish scenery. We will make a stop along the way for a few oysters & Guinness (a true Irish tradition)

We arrive in Ballyvaughan and check-in at the quaint and delightful Gregans Castle. With breathtaking views across Galway Bay and idyllically situated overlooking the unique Burren landscape, this is the ultimate luxury and gourmet hideaway. An oasis of comfort and genuine Irish hospitality, award winning innovative cooking and elegant bedrooms free from the intrusion of televisions. Antiques, modern art, turf fires, candlelight and garden flowers add to the indulgently relaxing atmosphere.

Spend the balance of the afternoon relaxing in your “one-of-a-kind” guestroom or explore the hotel’s magnificent gardens.

This evening you will have the opportunity to get to know the locals! We have arranged for everyone to dine with a local family…sit down at their dinner table for a delicious home cooked meal, wine and a good “chin-wag”. Great “craic” (fun) to be had by all!

After dinner, Irish coffee will be served back at the hotel bar as everyone shares their dining experiences!

Enjoy a full Irish breakfast at leisure in the hotel restaurant.

Today we will explore another aspect of Irish culture & tradition as we hop aboard the ferry to Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands. Upon arrival Pádraigín Clancy will join us again as our hostess and guide around the island. We will tour the island via pony & trap (horse & carriage) and stop at the haunting ruins of the Seven Churches, the holy well of St. Enda and of course the famous Dún Aonghasa.

Inis Mor

Located west of Ireland and famous for its wild, rugged beauty, a thousand miles of stone walls, stunning views across the Atlantic and clusters of ancient ruins. We will hear about the history of the island and how the residents overcame the adverse weather conditions and rocky ground to grow crops and farm.

Dun Aonghasa

Perched spectacularly on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this is the largest of the prehistoric stone forts of the Aran Islands. Some say it was a temple due to the archaeological finds that have only ever been found on other religious sites. It is enclosed by three massive dry-stone walls and a “chevaux-de-frise” consisting of tall blocks of limestone set vertically into the ground to deter attackers. The fort is about 900m from the Visitor Centre and is a lovely hike over rising ground.

A light lunch will be served at a local restaurant before we head back on the afternoon ferry.

This evening join Simon & Bridget (the charming owners of Gregans Castle) for cocktails on the lawn.

Dinner is on your own and at leisure. We recommend you experience the hotel’s gourmet award-winning restaurant…it’s not to be missed.

This morning enjoy a full Irish breakfast at leisure in the hotel restaurant.

You will have a couple of hours to enjoy the hotel before we depart for our last stop on this magical journey. Along the way we will visit the spectacular Cliffs of Moher as well as St. Bridget’s Well before heading to Ennis for a lovely lunch at The Cloister Restaurant.

Cliffs of Moher

Stretching across 8 km of jaw-dropping Atlantic coastline, The Cliffs of Moher command one of the most incredible views in Ireland. On a clear day one can see as far as the Aran Islands in Galway Bay and across to the valleys and hills of Connemara. The Cliffs of Moher rise from Hag’s Head to the south and reach their highest point (214 metres) just north of O’Brien’s Tower, which was constructed in 1835 by Cornelius O ‘Brien (a descendant of Brian Boru).

This afternoon as we meander up the impressive winding drive, we arrive at the dramatic Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country Estate. With an extraordinary history stretching back to the 5th Century, Dromoland seamlessly blends Old-World elegance with contemporary luxuries. With a reputation built on its unparalleled warm hospitality, you will truly understand what a special experience it is to stay at one of the finest 5 star hotels in Ireland

Once you have checked in to your beautiful Queen Anne guestroom, feel free to explore the extensive grounds or have a cup of tea in the Library.

Our final evening will be a casual Garden Party held privately in the age-old walled garden of the castle. Enjoy a delicious buffet dinner with wine along with local entertainment (ideal for a sing-a-long). A perfect ending to an enchanted journey.

This morning enjoy a full Irish breakfast at leisure in the hotel restaurant, followed by a return private group coach transfer to the Shannon Airport.

Ireland…a country that welcomes, a people who are genuine, a landscape that beguiles…castles, song, poetry, folklore, sacred sites, mysticism and great ‘craic’ (fun).

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