Celtic Footstep were recently asked to prepare a custom itinerary for a Professor and 10 students from Boston, USA. Their interest was all things Joycean! The tour that we proposed included all of their wish list and a few extras! This tour is easily adapted and ideal for student groups, study groups, special interest groups and academic groups visiting Dublin and Ireland!
Day of Arrival - Dublin, Ireland
Welcome to Dublin, Ireland! Visit Trinity College and the famous Book of Kells. Written around the year 800 AD, the Book of Kells contains a richly decorated copy of the four gospels in a Latin text based on the Vulgate edition (completed by St Jerome in 384 AD). Continue on and begin the James Joyce Journey in Dublin with a visit to Sweny's Pharmacy; a historical venue near Trinity College Dublin, best known for appearing in the James Joyce book 'Ulysses'. Fictional character Leopold Bloom was on his way to Sweny's pharmacy to pick up a lotion for his wife Molly. Over one hundred years later, Sweny's, although no longer a working pharmacy, remains at 1 Lincoln Place, preserved in its 1850s Victorian style.
Day 2 Explore Joyce's Dublin
Visit the GPO; Not only was this building the site of the 1916 Rebellion but also inspiration for poetry and literature of that setting, and in nearby Prince’s Street where Joyce’s Leopold Bloom worked for the freeman’s journal.
Continue on and visit the Writers Museum. The museum occupies a tasteful 18th-century townhouse. There are displays relating to Irish literature in all its forms from around the 10th century to the present day. The exhibits include paintings, manuscripts, letters, rare editions and mementos of many of Ireland’s famous authors. There are a number of temporary exhibits and a sumptuously decorated Gallery of Writers upstairs. The museum also hosts frequent poetry readings and lectures.
After the museum visit the James Joyce Cultural Centre close by. The newly restored 1784 Georgian town house contains various exhibits, an archive, and a reference library. We will be joined by an expert James Joyce guide for a walking tour from the centre.
Walk to Mountjoy Square to number 35, once home to Seán O’Casey. Brendan Behan grew up in nearby 14 Russell St. Continue down Gardiner Street along the route taken by Leopold Bloom in Jame’s Joyce’s “Ulysses”. Up Railway St stood Bella Cohen’s Brothel, also featured in this book.
*There is also a literary pub crawl tour of Dublin which can be available if appropriate.
Day 3 Dublin City Tour
This morning visit Marsh’s Library. Established in 1707 Marsh's Library is the oldest public library in Ireland and houses 25,000 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th-century printed and manuscript books on history, classics, science, travel, mathematics, religion and lots more.
Next visit 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 baptised converts on his visit to Dublin. The parish church of Saint Patrick on this site was granted collegiate status in 1191, and raised to cathedral status in 1224. The present building dates from 1220. The Cathedral is today the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland (a church of the Anglican communion).
Continue to the National Library in the city centre for a tour of the library. Tonight enjoy dinner and traditional Irish Music & Dance at Oliver St. John Gogartys pub in Temple Bar. Gogartys comprises a traditional Irish Bar, an award winning Restaurant serving traditional Irish dishes, all with Live Irish Music.
Day 4 - Interesting Sites Associated with James Joyce
This morning depart your accommodation and visit the original home of UCD - Newman house. It comprises of two Georgian town houses and a Victorian hall.The two townhouses, Numbers 85 and 86 St Stephen’s Green are notable for their fine interiors and splendid plasterwork. James Joyce has long been associated with this building. Continue to the modern day campus of University College Dublin, UCD and the James Joyce Research Centre. Through their research, publications, teaching, and academic events, the centre aims to further scholarship in the area of James Joyce Studies both nationally and internationally. They work to bring together scholarship and resources on Joyce in UCD with academic and cultural institutions both in Dublin and internationally which have specific Joycean interests.
Continue on from UCD and visit the James Joyce Tower & Museum in Sandycove. The James Joyce Tower is a Martello tower situated on a cliff top in South County Dublin. The tower is best known for featuring in the opening section of James Joyce’s Ulysses.The tower today houses a museum which contains letters, photographs and personal possessions of Joyce.It also contains rare editions of his work and items such as the original key of the tower, a plaster bust of Joyce by Milton Hebaldand two plaster death masks of Joyce by the sculptor Paul Speck. Visitors can see Joyce’s living room and access the roof up a narrow winding staircase.From the roof there is a panoramic view across Dublin Bay where “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead”.
Further on visit Sandymount Strand which features twice for Joyce. In Episode 3,Proteus, Stephen Dedalus walks on the beach and ponders life and much more besides. Later in the book (Episode 13,Nausicaa) Bloom finds himself sitting on rocks observing a young woman, Gertie McDowell, and fantasises about her. This scene caused great controversy, particularly in America, where the editors of The Little Review were convicted of obscenity. It was not until 1932, ten years after its release, that a US court delared Ulysses non-obscene.
Day 5 James Joyce's House & The Abbey Theatre
Enjoy a free morning in Dublin City Centre. Afterwards, visit James Joyce House of the Dead. James Joyce was a regular visitor here in the 1890’s the home of his great aunts at 15 Usher’s Island on the edge of Dublin’s river Liffey.
It is the setting for Joyce's THE DEAD. Enjoy an intimate tour of the most important dining room in world literature that inspired the greatest short story ever written.
This evening visit the Abbey Theatre. Many important works were first staged here since its opening in 1904 including the “Playboy of the western World” by John Millington Synge and Seán O’Casey’s“The Plough and the Stars”. The present building replaced the original theatre, which burned down in 1951. Attend a play at the Abbey in the evening.
Day 6 Newgrange & Boyne Valley
Meet your guide Mary Gibbons and join a scheduled tour to Newgrange & the Boyne Valley. Explore the history & archaeology of neolithic Ireland 5000 years old. Newgrange is located in the Boyne Valley. A world listed heritage site, Newgrange is a Neolithic Ritual Centre and Passage Tomb with architectural links to the prehistoric maritime peoples of Portugal, Northern Spain, Brittany, Denmark and the Western Isles.
Day 7 Day of Departure - Slan Abhaile
There is the option to extend the tour with a visit to Galway on the West coast of Ireland to explore Joyce's links with Galway and Nora Barnacle.
Celtic Footstep are experts in creating custom tours of Ireland. If you are planning a group trip to Ireland contact Celtic Footstep to create a bespoke customised tour for your group to Ireland.