herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

National Geographic to offer Irish history tours

HIGH EXPECTATIONS: The sunlight failed to light up the chamber at Newgrange
HIGH EXPECTATIONS: The sunlight failed to light up the chamber at Newgrange

Travel bible National Geographic has identified Ireland as home to some of the most important prehistoric monuments in the world.

And to show just how important they are, the adventure department of the magazine is bringing holidaymakers to Ireland.

"In the company of local archaeologists, authors and historians, uncover the stories of Neolithic and Bronze Age civilisations - and the mysteries of their legacies - as we make our way from Stonehenge (UK) to Ireland's Bend of the Boyne, the Aran Islands and more," reads the itinerary for the trip.

In Dublin, participants will be taken to the National Museum of Ireland which National Geographic said is "home to a world-class prehistory collection".

Holidaymakers will get up close and personal with the early Bronze Age jewellery on display at the Kildare Street museum. They will also meet Cashel Man, the 4,000-year-old bog body discovered under six-and-a-half feet of peat in 2011.

Also in the capital, the tour group will be put up in historic Clontarf Castle.

The trip comes as tourist figures soar here, following on from the year of the Gathering.

The number of tourists has risen by 9pc this year compared with 2013.

Outside of Dublin, the visitors' itinerary includes the Aran Islands, the excavated Ceidi Fields and the prehistoric tombs in the Boyne Valley. There is also a walking tour of the Burren.

The holidaymakers will get to see Newgrange and the Hill of Tara too.

National Geographic previously raved about the Dublin food scene, with one of its top food and travel writers saying she was "blown away" by its culinary delights.

SOPHISTICATED

"The quality, creativity and dedication to locally-sourced ingredients we witnessed were on a par with what you'll find in some of the most sophisticated cities in the world - yet set apart by a uniquely Irish emphasis on comfort and simplicity," National Geographic reported.

Up for a special mention was the Michelin-star restaurant Chapter One.

jfegan@herald.ie

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