Weddings at the Ring of Kerry Hotel Heritage Weekends Hosted by the Ring of Kerry Hotel Food served all day at the Ring of Kerry Hotel Events, celebrations, held at the Ring of Kerry Hotel

The Ring of Kerry Hotel
"Irish Heritage Tours"

Experience the outstanding beauty, the mystical past, the vibrant culture and the heritage of this most fascinating part of Ireland. 

Learn to set-dance to LIVE traditional music
Discover our connection with some world-famous European landmarks
Find out how Christian monks lived on a rock in the Atlantic Ocean 1500 years ago... 
...and much, much more.


It's all here to be discovered and experienced first hand while based in the comfort of our friendly, family-run hotel.

3 DAYS IMMERSED IN THE CULTURE & 
TRADITION OF SOUTH KERRY 

FOR ONLY €289* 
per person (full board)

WEEKENDS RUN FROM SATURDAY (arrival) TO TUESDAY (departure) THROUGHOUT 2010
See our typical schedule here.


*There is an optional collection service for guests traveling via Farranfore Airport at a supplement of €25 each way. Single room supplement is available at €25.00 per person.

Experience local culture, history and natural beauty


TYPICAL HERITAGE WEEKEND SCHEDULE



Day 1
6pm

Arrival DINNER


8pm

Local History Lecture 

Day 2
10am

Skellig Ring Tour after BREAKFAST 



Our first stop on this tour will be to Valentia Island and a visit to the Valentia Slate Quarry. Opened by The Knight of Kerry in 1816, the Quarry has exported slate to many famous venues around the world including The Paris Opera House and the British House of Commons in Westminister. The public Records Office in London is said to have 25 miles of Valentia Slate used for shelves. The slate is also in many English railway stations and even as far as The San Salvador Railway Station in South America. Also deep within this quarry is a Marian Shrine, built in 1954. 

Then we travel on to see the first signs of Pre-Historic life in Europe - theTetrapod Trackway. The Tetrapod came ashore at Dohilla between 350 and 370 million years BC, and his footprints were preserved.

We will then take a stroll to Valentia's highest point The Geokaun Mountain & Fogher Cliffs, which provides a fantastic view of Valentia Island, the Skelligs, the Blasket Islands (and maybe even the Statue of Liberty on a fine day!!). 

Next we learn about the first Transatlantic Cable that was laid between Valentia Island and Newfoundland in 1865. This was the first line of communication between Europe and America and operated for more than one hundred years.

As we leave the Island we will stop off at The Skellig Experience Heritage Centre and here we will learn all about Skellig Michael, now a designatedUNESCO World Heritage Site which is the earliest recorded monastic settlement in Ireland, and Little Skellig which is the second largest bird sanctuary in the world, being home to 27,000 pairs of gannets.

As we leave Valentia we pass through the picturesque fishing village ofPortmagee, and on to St. Finian's Bay in The Glen. This is named after St. Finán who frequently travelled from the Skelligs to say mass at the monastery in Keel. Evidence of habitation from the Bronze Age has been found in this area.

Further along, we will stop of at The Skelligs Chocolate Factory, the most Westerly chocolate company in Europe, where we can watch the process of how they make their chocolates and enjoy sampling some of their great tasting Champagne and Whiskey truffles.

We travel from here to Ballinskelligs Abbey, a 13th century Augustinian Abbey, which was used by the monks from the Skelligs. 1538 saw the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII after which the abbey went into the hands of the McCarthy Mór clan, and was then used as a garrison. In 1620 it came into possession of Christopher Sigerson and was used as a manor by the Sigerson family until the early 17th century. 

Across from the Abbey, can be seen the 16th Century McCarthy Tower built by the McCarthy Mórs to protect Ballinskellig bay from pirates and to impose tariffs on passing ships.

We then call to see the Cill Rialig Arts Centre which is an outlet for works produced at an artist's retreat situated on the rugged cliffs of Bolus Head, overlooking Ballinskelligs Bay. The village of Cill Rialaig was a pre-Famine settlement occupied off and on from the 1600s until the mid-twentieth century. Houses within the village have been restored to provide accommodation for visiting artists who come from all over the world to enjoy the inspirational and breathtaking scenery. The village is situated among ancient house foundations, Standing Stones, and the ruins of Megalithic and Medieval Christian settlements. 


We will then return to our Hotel for Dinner


6pm

DINNER 


8pm

Traditional and Set Dancing Workshop.



Here we will learn Traditional Irish Ceili Dancing, which is still a very popular pastime in this area.

Travelling Dance Masters taught all over Ireland, as late as the early 1900s. As Irish people emigrated all over the world, they took their cultural traditions with them - Ceili and Set Dancing. In Ireland these were major social events. During the summer season, these dances were held at crossroads which would be a meeting point for many villages. During the winter months, these dances were held in local halls and sometimes called 'hops'. In times past, when a member of the family died, there would be a 'Wake' held in the house where all the family and friends and neighbours would hold an all-night vigil to give the departed soul a proper sendoff to Heaven.This entailed everyone staying awake, quite a lot of drinking, storytelling and, as all houses then, had hard stone floors, Set Dancing and Step Dancing - all night until the sun came up!! A great way to be sent off indeed.

Set and Step Dancing was made hugely popular again in 1994 with the hit musical production - Michael Flatley's 'Riverdance'.

Day 3
10am

Local History Walk



Here we learn about Daniel O'Connell the Liberator, (who battled for Catholic Emancipation for Ireland in the early 1800s). We will visit his birthplace, and have a stroll around the O'Connell Park which has a fine commemorative Bronze bust of Daniel O'Connell by renowned sculptor, Alan Hall who also created the impressive 60 foot high 'Monks in a Boat' monument which can also be seen from the Park. The 'Monks in a Boat' commemorates the Skellig Monks who spread Christianity throughout the world. We will then visit the Gothic Revival style O'Connell Memorial Church in the centre of Cahersiveen, which is the only Catholic church to be dedicated to a member of the laity.

We will follow this with a walk to the historical sites of Ballycarberry Castle, which was built by the McCarthy Mórs as in Ballinskelligs. Very nearby, we have two stone ringforts - Cahergal and Leacanabuaile. Cahergal Fort, which is dated to approximately 600AD, is an impressive structure which has been carefully restored, to stand now more than 2m high in places, with interior terraces (or inbuilt stairs) and in the centre is the base of a single beehive hut. A mere 400 meters away, is Leacanabuaile Fort - one of the few Irish Forts (or Duns as they are sometimes known) to have been excavated. The excavations produced both Bronze and Iron Age objects suggesting that there was a farming community here from an early date.

To conclude our local walk, we will take a leisurely stroll up one of the many local mountains for which Cahersiveen is famous and all of which give breathtaking views of the spectacular scenery surrounding Cahersiveen. In the words of Cahersiveen's anthem 'The Boys of Barr na Sraide', by Sigerson Clifford: 
'Oh, the town that climbs the mountain and looks upon the sea.'

After this energetic day, we will have some time for shopping around Cahersiveen, before we return to the hotel for DINNER at 6pm.


8pm

Old Days and Forgotten Ways



This evening will take us back in time to the days of being self sufficient. Here we will learn how fishermen made their lobster pots, how farmers made the ropes for tying their animals, made harnesses for horses, rabbit traps, and how the Súgan chair was made. We will learn also how to make the St. Bridgid's Cross for the month of February. In true tradition, we will finish our night on a high note with some Traditional Storytelling.







 

 

Heritage Weekend Contact Details
Marian - m.nishuilliobhain@ucc.ie
Telephone - 087 2212649

View Student Heritage Weekends Here

Ring Of Kerry Hotel, B&B, Family Accommodation, Cahersiveen