Date: July 31-August 10, 2018
  Ireland Tour 2018
  Our 2017 Trip
  Our Books & CDS  



shop street



keadue harp
O'Carolan Harp Festival in Keadue

carolans grave
Carolan's Grave in Ballyfarnon


Titanic Museum

Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge


trinity college harp
Trinity College Library & Harp

laser harp
Guinness Storehouse

The Harpers' Escape is produced by You Gotta Have Harp Productions, 11 Country Lane, Voorhees, NJ 08043. Phone: 856-795-7637.


From Harpers' Escape in conjunction with Trad Tours & Holloway Travel

trinityharpThe Next
Harp Tour of Ireland
July 31-Aug. 10, 2018

The 2017 Harp Tour quickly sold out. We had a great time this summer. You can read all about the first tour . You don't have to be a harp player to love where we're going and what we'll be doing on this incredible journey.
--Kathy DeAngelo & Marianne MacDonald

Just as the Harpers Escape always strived to stay small in size, our tour will be limited to just 40 people. It is “first come, first serve”. You must reserve your seat with a deposit. It's a small tour but large in hospitality, friendship and conviviality. It is open to all. You don't have to be a musician to come! Please feel free to share the tour information with your friends and family! See the rest of the page for all the details of what we'll be doing on the 2018 Tour.


breakfastThe 2018 Tour Includes:

  • Meet at Dublin Airport on Monday July 31 by 9am
  • 3 Nights in Westport: Hotel Westport
  • 2 Nights in Drumshanbo: Lough Allen Hotel
  • 3 Nights in Belfast: Europa Hotel
  • 2 Nights in Dublin: Ashling Hotel
  • Daily Full Irish breakfast at each hotel
  • 4 Hotel Dinners
  • Paid admissions to all touring sites
  • Daily doses of harp & trad music!
  • Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
  • Driver/Guide Seamus Buckley

2018 Itinerary:

As with the Harpers Escape penchant for "playing by ear", we might deviate from this proposed itinerary as interesting things pop up during our time in Ireland. See our 2017 tour story. It's Ireland! That happens! Here is our proposed route and some of the highlights along the route. Expect plenty of harps & history, breathtaking scenery, music & memories!

(as of 2/22/18):

Hotel Westport

  • TUESDAY JULY 31 Day 1: You arrive and Meet up with us at Dublin Airport by 9am. First stop is a visit to Trinity College to see the holy grail of harps, The Trinity College Harp (sometimes called the Brian Boru harp) and the "must see" Book of Kells. Afterwards we'll head out for Westport. We'll stop en route for tea & scone. Tour stops as we head across country to County Mayo to be determined.
  • Our harp music for our Westport stay will be a concert with the Music Generation Mayo Harp Ensemble led by Grainne Hambly & William Jackson. See the video below! Concert venue to be determined.
  • WEDNESDAY AUG. 1 Day 2: Coach tour across the Wild Atlantic Way and Achill Island with stops at Croagh Patrick and the Irish Hunger Memorial sculpture. Evening concert: artists to be announced. Our Westport stay coincides with Scoil Acla on Achill Island and we will work a visit there into our itinerary when Scoil Acla announces their schedule. We'll also be connecting up with harp maker Graham Wright.
  • THURSDAY AUG. 2 Day 3: Around Clew Bay to Grace O'Malley's Rockfleet Castle and on to The Museum of Country Life in Castlebar with its 1798 Rebellion historic sites. Then we're off to 13th century Ballintubber Abbey and around Lough Mask to the picturesque town of Cong. We'll do more sightseeing through Connemara on the way back to Westport for our evening festivities (to be announced).

Lough Allen Hotel

  • FRIDAY AUG. 3 Day 4: Exclusive private tour of Clonalis House in Castlerea, County Roscommon to view up close and personal Carolan's Harp. Visit to Carolan’s Grave in Ballyfarnon. We'll have a lovely dinner at the hotel followed by evening concert and session with special guest fiddler John Carty.
  • SATURDAY AUG. 4 Day 5: Explore Leitrim and Roscommon on your own. Our stay coincides with the O'Carolan Harp Festival in Keadue. We recommend attending the harp competitions in the morning. Harp workshops at the hotel in the afternoon with Grainne Hambly & Laoise Kelly are included in your tour. Views of Lough Allen. Evening concert at the hotel with Grainne & Billy and Laoise Kelly. Session to follow.

Europa Hotel, City Centre

  • SUNDAY AUG. 5 Day 6: We leave In the morning and head to Nobber (Carolan's birthplace) for an exclusive afternoon concert at the George Eogan Cultural & Heritage Centre with Dearbhail Finnegan & Grainne Hambly and quite possibly Dearbhail's harp ensemble, like last year. This was an awesome event for us in 2017!
  • MONDAY AUG. 6 Day 7: 1792 Belfast Harp Festival historical walking tour. See where it all took place and the church where Edward Bunting was an organist when he was hired to take down the music of the old harpers. Exclusive lecture at Queens University on Bunting's works including private viewing of his manuscripts. Exclusive evening concert in local historic site, hosted by Patrick Davey. Concert artists to be announced.
  • TUESDAY AUG. 7 Day 8: Tour the Antrim Coastline with stops at the Giants Causeway ( World Heritage site pictured above) in Bushmill plus the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

Ashling Hotel

  • WEDNESDAY AUG. 8 Day 9: End our Belfast stay with a visit to the Titanic Museum then the trip down to Dublin and dinner at the hotel. The optional evening activity is the trad session at the Cobblestone.
  • THURSDAY AUG. 9 Day 10: Guinness Brewery & the Guinness laser harp. and the historic Downhill harp (this was one of the highlights of last year's trip) OR the Irish Emigration Musuem. Incredible experiences to end our stay in Ireland. The rest of the day is "on your own" to explore the city. Goodbye session at the hotel.
  • FRIDAY AUG 10: early morning trip to the airport for departures

music music music

We encourage the players coming on this tour to bring their fiddles, flutes, tinwhistles, concertina and other trad instruments easily gotten on a plane. Don't worry harpers! We'll be arranging to have harps waiting for us in Ireland! We'll have to share but you will be able to get in some playing while you're there.

Gráinne Hambly and Kathy DeAngelo & Dennis Gormley will be our resident, lead musicians.

Guest Musicians we've lined up so far: Gráinne Hambly & William Jackson (of course!), Dearbhail Finnegan, Patrick Davey, John Carty, and a few surprises along the way.

For the harpers: harp workshops with Gráinne Hambly & Laoise Kelly. We'll arrange for the harps. Don't worry about what playing level you're at. There will be 2 groups.


Tour Pricing 2018:

(does not include airfare*)

Rooms are double-occupancy.
Single rooms available for an additional $500 (as of 12/3 the single rooms are sold out). If you're a single person traveling alone, come! We can link you up with a roommate.
All seats are first come/first serve.
Deposit of $500 holds your reservation.
As of Feb. 22, we have 3 seats left. Don't procrastinate. Get your seat on the bus today!

Fill out the registration form below & send a check. Contact us to pay via Paypal (any fees will need to be covered on a future payment).

Download the sign-up form

We sent out the first invitations to those on our waiting list from 2017 and our email list for 2018. We'd love to have you join us but please don't procrastinate to reserve your seat. Email me with any questions.

*Passengers will make their own travel arrangements and will be given a time to meet the coach in Dublin Airport on Tuesday July 31. We advise travelers to purchase their own travel insurance.
**Price based on exchange rate on 9/9/17 and on 40 passengers traveling. Rate may change depending on exchange rate changes or fewer passengers.

Cancellations & Refunds: You may cancel your reservation and get a full refund of your deposit up to Dec. 31, 2017. You may also transfer your reservation to another person at any time. We can help you find someone to take your reservation because we'll have a long waiting list. We advise purchasing travel insurance.


Tour organizers

I want you to be completely confident in how this tour will be organized and managed! Here are the folks who are involved in making the Harp Tour of Ireland the trip experience of a lifetime!

Kathy DeAngelo, Tour director

Kathy DeAngelo organized the annual Harpers' Escape Weekend for 24 years. If you've been to the Escape, you know her well! The hallmark of the Escape was its cozy size, which we're carrying into this tour. She and her husband Dennis Gormley have been performing traditional music for more than 40 years. Kathy's organizational skills are legendary. You may know her as the director of the Somerset Folk Harp Festival, the largest folk harp conference in the United States. She, Dennis and Grainne Hambly are your on-site musical hosts for the tour.
Contact Kathy: email or phone 856-795-7637

Marianne MacDonald & Trad Tours

Marianne MacDonald and Trad Tours have been leading tours of Ireland and Cape Breton for 20 years. She has been actively engaged in the Irish music and dance community in the Philadelphia area and has her popular Come West Along the Road radio show on Sunday mornings. With her extensive connections to traditional Irish musicians in both the US and Ireland, besides her deep family ties in County Kerry, her tours showcase the music, history and culture of Ireland.

Contact Marianne: email or phone 856-236-2717.

Seamus Buckley & Holloway Travel

seamusSeamus Buckley and Holloway Travel, based in Mallow, County Cork, have been coordinating with Trad Tours for six years. Seamus specializes in individually tailoring tours to meet his client interests and like Marianne, has a deep appreciation for traditional music and dance. On our trip, Seamus will drive our coach and be our guide. We leave the driving and the jokes to him! He's also a pretty fine singer himself. His daughter Cait drives the follow-on van with our luggage and she's a tremendous harp player herself.

grainne hamblyGrainne Hambly

Gráinne Hambly is one of Ireland's leading traditional harp performers and teachers. She has been on staff at the Harpers' Escape for 15 years and now we get to hear her on her own turf in Ireland! Gráinne is our musical coordinator for the tour and besides arranging our daily dose of harp and traditional music she'll be teaching a workshop one of the days for the harpers on the tour (while everybody else goes on a daytrip). You can expect her husband, noted Scottish harper, William Jackson will also be teaching a workshop and playing in one of our concerrts.


The 2017 Harp Tour group gathered around the Carolan statue in Nobber, County Meath then headed to St. John's Church, now the George Eogan Cultural Center, for our special harp concert

updated 2/22/18