Date: July 30-August 9, 2019
 Ireland Tour 2019
  2018 Travelog  
  Our 2017 Trip
  Our Books & CDS  

WESTPORT in 2018


shop street

First session of the tour in Westport


keadue harp
O'Carolan Harp Festival in Keadue

carolans grave
Carolan's Grave in Ballyfarnon

BELFAST in 2018

The Bunting Collection at Queens University

Grainne Hambly Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge


trinity college harp
Trinity College Library & Harp

The Long Room at Trinity College

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

We're starting to plan
Harp Tour of Ireland
July 30-Aug. 9, 2019

We had a great time this summer. You can read all about our second annual tour. If you're starting to think about your 2019 vacation and you've always wanted to go to Ireland, come with us! You don't have to be a harp player to love where we're going and what we'll be doing on the third annual tour.
--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 as we start putting together the itinerary for the 2019 Tour.


breakfastThe 2019 Tour Includes:

  • Meet at Dublin Airport on Monday July 30 by 9am
  • 3 Nights in TBD
  • 2 Nights in Drumshanbo: Lough Allen Hotel
  • 3 Nights in TBD
  • 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

Just Starting to work on the 2019 Itinerary:

See our 2018 tour story. It's Ireland! There's plenty of history, breaktaking scenery and there will be plenty of traditional music! Here is our proposed route and some of the highlights along the route.

2018 ITINERARY (Will Update with 2019 Itinerary sometime in October):

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. If we can squeeze it in, we'd like to get to the 13th century Ballintubber Abbey and around Lough Mask to the picturesque town of Cong.
  • Located adjacent to the hotel is the statue of Granuaille, Grace O'Malley.
  • 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.
  • We'll be connecting up with harp maker Graham Wright in Newport. Our Westport stay coincides with Scoil Acla on Achill Island and we are planning to go to their evening concert.
  • 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.
  • Our daily dose of music will be a late afternoon concert with the Music Generation Mayo Harp Ensemble led by Grainne Hambly & William Jackson at the Westport Town Hall. See the video below!

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! We stop at the Carolan statue on the way into town for the group photo!
  • MONDAY AUG. 6 Day 7: 1792 Belfast Harp Festival historical walking tour. We start out at Queens University for an exclusive showing in the Special Reading Room of the original Bunting manuscript, along with a lecture on Bunting by Eilis Lavelle (we'll hear her play harp later in the day). Then we'll see where the 1792 Belfast Harp Festival took place. Exclusive evening concert at the Rosemary St. Presbyterian Church, where Bunting was organist when he was hired to take down the music of the harpers at the festival. Concert with Patrick Davey (uilleann pipes, flute, whistles) , Eilis Lavelle (harp) and Mairead Forde (fiddle).
  • 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: EPIC, the Irish Emigration Musuem, an 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 2019:

PRICE PER PERSON: $2995** (tentative)
(does not include airfare*)

Rooms are double-occupancy.
Single rooms available for an additional $500. 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.

We'll be sending out the first invitations to those on our mailing list in late October. We'd love to have you join us but please don't procrastinate to reserve your seat. Email me now to get on the invitation list when the seats open up.

*Passengers will make their own travel arrangements and will be given a time to meet the coach in Dublin Airport on Tuesday July 30. We advise travelers to purchase their own travel insurance.
**Price based on exchange rate on 9/9/18 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, 2018. 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 8/28/18