Writing Retreat In Ireland
April 20 - 30, 2017
Join Dr. Gerard Collins for this unique writing getaway.
This one-of-a-kind creative retreat will enrich your life, writing & your view of the world. Come, be inspired by Ireland's rich and ancient history with breathtaking scenery, and by Gerard’s insightful personalized commentary on your writing. Ireland is waiting to be discovered on Freedom's Exclusive Escorted Tour.
$4399.00 per person based on double occupancy
$5249.00 single occupancy
-Round trip air from Saint John to Dublin (Air from other gateways available upon request)
-Transportation by Motor coach while in Ireland
-5 nights accommodation at the amazing Clontarf Castle in Dublin with Full Irish Breakfast
-1 night accommodation in Sligo including breakfast
-Drumcliffe, Gravesite of W.B. Yeats
-Cliffs of Moher & Atlantic Edge Experience
-Boat tour on Lough Gill to Lake Isle of Innisfree
-2 nights at ancient Old Ground Hotel in Ennis with Full Irish Breakfast
-1 night hotel accommodation Dublin
-Time for exploring historic and literary landscapes
- Creative writing workshops
-Private writing consultation with award-winning Newfoundland author Gerard Collins
-In-depth written feedback
-Informal gatherings with other writers
-Opportunity to share your work
-Dedicated writing time
-Access to writer-in-residence throughout retreat
•Travel Insurance (please call us for exact Insurance price)
April 20 – Depart home for your overnight flight to Dublin.
April 21 – Arrive Dublin.
Following arrival at Dublin Airport, our driver will meet us and transfer us to Clontarf Castle, your home base for the first leg of this unique writing retreat. Here, you’ll partake in your first creative writing workshop with Gerard and the other writers. At the Clontarf, we’ll lay the foundation for the rest of your Irish writing retreat as you receive one-on-one mentorship with an award-winning author and literature scholar. By getting to know the other writers, focusing on your own writing, and spending five nights at the castle, you’ll soon feel inspired and ready to create as you go.
You might also want to wander about, bask in your surroundings and imagine the stories that have both taken place, and might occur, at such a magnificent, ancient place. It’s the best kind of research there is. Besides being known for its many pubs and connection to the arts, Dublin – like all of Ireland – is rich with political and cultural history that will weave a tapestry of thoughts deep within your imagination. Dublin City has been the home of the Irish Parliament since the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922. Dublin has many landmarks such Dublin Castle, Trinity College, The Book of Kells, The Mansion House, home of the lord Mayor of Dublin and of course Guinness' Brewery, and its Cathedrals - St. Patrick's, Christchurch and The Pro-Cathedral. There is something for everyone in Dublin. 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 you will find it here.
April 22 – Dublin
Breakfast at the castle
Creative writing workshop, 9:00am – 11:30am
One on one meetings with Gerard this afternoon.
Free afternoon for those not meeting with Gerard
April 23 – Dublin
After another hearty breakfast at the castle, alone or with some of the other writers (there’ll be plenty of provocative conversation, if you wish) you can have some one on one time with Gerard today. If you’re not scheduled to meet with Gerard, why not take in a Hop-on Hop-off Tour which allows you to experience all the history and culture of Dublin with 23 stops conveniently located close to Dublin's most popular attractions?
April 24 – Dublin
Breakfast at the castle. Free day. You might feel like writing, and then maybe head out for a little shopping. Arnott’s is the oldest and largest department store in Dublin. Its flagship store is located on Henry Street on the north side of the city centre. Maybe visit The Guinness Storehouse for a sample of their world famous brew. However you choose to spend your days, you’ll find constant encouragement to write for as long as you please, as often as you want. Take a notepad and pen wherever you go. Even the camera on your phone will come in handy for recording once-in-a-lifetime sights and ideas.
April 25 – Dublin
After breakfast, you’ll have another day to take in all that Dublin has to offer and, hopefully, to feel inspired at various places along the way. Have you visited one of the many pubs yet? This is a must when in Ireland. In Dublin, the electric rail system called the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is a quick and easy way to get around Dublin & the coastal towns. It runs along the coast of the Irish Sea from Malahide or Howth in north County Dublin, southwards as far as Greystones, Co Wicklow. The DART allows you to discover many of the sights and attractions Dublin has to offer from sandy, parks, harbour villages, museums and much more.
April 26 – Dublin - Sligo
Following breakfast you’ll depart Dublin City and travel into the Irish country side as you make your way to county Sligo. While on the coach, there’ll be plenty of sightseeing and time for writing notes to yourself (I’d even suggest starting a journal while you’re there). This afternoon you will board the Rose of lnnisfree and enjoy a cruise on Lough Gill - the subject of several poems by William Butler Yeats, also on the lake is the famous "Isle of lnnisfree". Following your cruise you will travel to Drumcliffe - set against the striking backdrop of the Benbulben Mountain. It is best known as the final resting place of W.B. Yeats. Found in the churchyard, his grave is marked with a simple headstone with the inscription, "Cast a cold eye on life, on death, horseman, pass by." This was Yeats' self -penned epitaph together with the instructions that the grave consist of "no marble, no conventional phrase". The graveyard also contains a high cross and nearby is the site of a 6th Century Columbian monastery. But really, you’ll need to see this sacred site for yourself-a rare treat for the travelling writer and a memory you’ll take home with you.
From here you’ll continue to the Clarion Hotel in Sligo town for a one night stay. (B & D)
April 27 – Galway - Coole Park - Ennis
Breakfast at the hotel then depart Sligo and travel to Ennis. Your tour today will take you to Cong in County Mayo. You continue through scenic Connemara made up of mountains, lake lands and bog lands – not hard to imagine the fey and fairie folk, here. The scenery is both magical and mystical and is a paradise for writers and photographers alike. You will have some free time in Galway City for lunch (on your own) and to wander through the charming old cobbled stone streets, experience the history and appreciate the blend of past and present with modern shops housed in centuries-old buildings. You may wish to visit the house of Nora Barnacle (James Joyce's wife), which is now a museum at number 8 Bowling Green.
From Galway you’ll continue to Ennis, stopping briefly at Coole Park, once the home of Lady Gregory, dramatist and folklorist. Here you will see the Autograph Tree, an old Copper beech where William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, John Millington Synge, Sean O' Casey and many more carved their initials. On arriving in Ennis, you will check into the Old Ground Hotel for a two night stay. At the end of the day, you might feel like a draught or a good cup of tea and an evening of music, quiet talk, or some writing – or all of the above, after supper. (B & D)
April 28 – Cliffs of Moher - Galway Bay - the Burren
This morning, after your second creative writing workshop with Gerard, you’ll travel to the majestic Cliffs of Moher, standing 214m (702 feet) at their highest point; they stretch for 8 kilometres along the Atlantic coast line. Following some free time to view the cliffs your tour winds its way around Black Head and through the lunar type landscape of the Burren which takes its name from the Irish word 'bhoireann' meaning 'a stony place' or 'a rocky place'-an apt description for this vast plateau. From here you return to Ennis for what might be another evening of writing or whatever you please. (B & D)
April 29 – Ennis - Limerick - Dublin
This morning you depart Ennis and travel to Limerick City on the banks of the river Shannon. Following a short tour of the city you continue through the Irish midland to the capital city of Dublin where you will check into the Camden Court Hotel. By now, your head will feel so stuffed with ideas, you might have to seize the moment for some writing of a character sketch, a brand new scene of your novel-in-progress, or the wistful lines of a burgeoning poem. It’s your last night in Ireland, so you might want to splurge on some last minute writing before regrouping for a farewell dinner at your hotel. After dinner why not have a thrist-quenching Guinness from a nearby pub such as The Bleeding Horse which has been mentioned in several classic novels, most notably The Cock and Anchor (1845) by Sheridan Le Fanu and Ulysses by James Joyce. Literary patrons included James Clarence Mangan and Oliver St. John Gogarty (B&D)
April 30 – Depart Dublin
After the wrap-up breakfast with the entire group you will travel a half an hour by coach to the Dublin airport for your flight home with fond memories and newly acquired accents. Most important, though, you’ll have enough tales and images to feed your writing and conversations for years to come, and, thanks to mentoring from Gerard and the constant attention to your writing, you’ll have greater confidence and renewed optimism for the creative road ahead.
Freedom Tours & Travel
80 Charlotte St,
Saint John, NB
Phone: (506) 632 - 1012
Toll Free: 1 (800) 561 - 2324
Hours of operation:
Monday to Friday
9 - 5:30 PM
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