for larger view.
three areas that I suggest for a painting tour are Connemara,
Co. Galway, The Burren, Co. Clare and Dingle, Co. Kerry
and below I give you some brief information on these that
may be of help to you and if interested then will give
you much more detail.
Co. GALWAY - one of the most beautiful regions in Ireland
- this is a sparsely populated area, west of Galway City,
with vast stretches of bogland and many gentle heather-clad
Touring Galway and Connemara brings you face to face with
time. For time stands still here amid the vastness of
the mountains and the silence of the fields. Yet one never
seems to find enough time to explore this vast country
of the west. There always seems to be another valley,
or another ancient site to draw you further from your
base. As in much of the West, hundreds of stone walls
stitch boulder-strewn fields together, and solitary, wind-warped
trees dot the barren plains - indeed an enchanted terrain!
Kylemore Abbey, in the heart of Galway's Connemara, is
a living fairytale scene. Grey and solemn against mist-swathed
mountains, the turrets and towers of the imposing edifice
are mirrored in a large, wood-hugged lake. In fact the
abbey is a girls' school run by the Benedictine Nuns.
Connemara, the largest Gaelic-speaking area in the country,
is a brown-gold landscape of constant fascination. The
mist drifting on the bare bog hills of the Twelve Bens
and shading the many lakes glimmering between them adds
to the unearthy quality of its beauty. Connemara National
Park, which encloses bog and pool and mountain, also boasts
a megalithic court-tomb, which is 4,000 years old.
for larger view.
ISLANDS - off the coast of Galway lie the three Aran Islands,
Gaelic-speaking and home of the famous Aran sweaters.
On Inishmore, the largest of the islands, the immense
prehistoric stone fortifications of Dun Aenghus embrace
the cliff edge while hundreds of standing stones are in
silent commune with wind the rain. These lonely islands
with their multitude of ancient monuments have inspired
many artists and writers, including J.M. Synge.
THE BURREN & the CLIFFS of MOHER, Co. CLARE - a mountainous
limestone area of north west Clare. The Cliffs and their
surroundings of the coastal and Burren scenery, are dramatic
and exhilarating. Clean sweep of earth to sea, austere
purity of wind and rock - a timeless, spiritual quality
emanates from the primeval landscape. Here, too, remains
of the past are very much present: the Poulnabrone dolmen,
a burial chamber erected on the cracked Burren moonscape
in around 2,000 B.C., is also reputed to have been a refuge
for the legendary Diarmuid and Grainne.
The shortest boat trip to the Aran Islands is actually
from Doolin in the Burren so if including a trip to the
islands will probably include it during time in this region.
KERRY & DINGLE - It is always difficult in choosing
one part of Kerry above another but for a painting holiday
I would perhaps suggest the Dingle Peninsula and then
enjoy a tour of the Ring of Kerry during one of your days
Justifiably known as the "Kingdom", Kerry is
perhaps the richest jewel in the cluster forming the Emerald
Isle. The most westerly point of Europe, its humidity
produces a colourful, almost tropical lushness, while
the picture-book beauty of its lakes and mountains earn
it a reputation as one of the idyllic retreats of the
world. An astonishing array of prehistoric remains - clochans
or monastic beehive huts, raths, dolmens, standing stones,
ogham stones - lend an otherworldly magic to the primordial
landscape of water, mountain and sky.
The Dingle Peninsula, the most westerly point of land
in Europe, is a rugged but magical place. Dotted with
a profusion of Celtic monastic ruins, blessed with deserted
beaches and the dipping mountain scenery which characterises
Kerry, this is an elemental land of fickle sunlight and
secretive mists which seem about to reveal another world.
The picturesque town of Dingle is known for the craic
guaranteed in its lively pubs and seafood restaurants.
West of Dingle town is the Gealtacht or Irish-speaking
area. Between it and Slea Head are over 500 reminders
of a different time - the spectacular promontory fort
of Dun Beag, numerous stone beehive huts, cave dwellings,
churches, standing stones and crosses.
TOUR to IRELAND
JUNE/JULY & AUGUST/SEPTEMBER, 2001
NIGHTS, GUESTHOUSE ACCOMMODATION
3 NIGHTS CONNEMARA, Co. GALWAY
3 NIGHTS BURREN, Co. CLARE
3 NIGHTS DINGLE, Co. KERRY
Full Irish breakfast daily, 4 evening meals
· Guesthouse accommodation for nine nights, based
on double/twin occupancy and all rooms with full ensuite
· Full Irish breakfast daily
· 4 evening meals including first and last night
· Transport as follows
From Shannon Airport to Connemara
From Connemara to the Burren
From the Burren to Kerry
From Kerry to Shannon Airport for return flights
· Coach tour of the Ring of Kerry (visit to Aran
Islands optional and to be paid locally if not arranged
at time of booking)
· Transport to/from painting sites on 5 days