Explore Ireland

Explore The Republic of Ireland

Welcome to the Republic of Ireland! A magnificent emerald of an island situated to the west of Great Britain.

Brimming in mystique and charm, Ireland truly is an enchanting place to visit, where legend and reality mingle effortlessly.

There is so much to see here, the vibrant capital city of Dublin contrasting with the peace and serenity of nearby ancient Wicklow, beautiful and untouched scenery steeped in Irish folklore where fairies, merrows and leprechauns, are commonplace! Beyond the bustling metropolis of Dublin and historic towns of Kilkenny and Cork, there is a wilder side to Ireland, with the stunning scenery of the Wild Atlantic Way and the glorious picture-postcard destinations of West Cork, Dingle, Galway, the Ring of Kerry -the list is endless.

From St. Patrick’s Day Festivals to the Cork Sailing Festival and the Galway Arts Festival, there are over 400 celebrations on tap each year. Music, food, literary, Celtic, film and comedy festivals keep the good craic rolling. Traditional Irish music is renowned the world over and never fails to lift the spirits and the list of world famous musicians who hail from Ireland is impressive. Welcoming and known to love a good party, the Irish people are a particularly happy and lively nation who are just waiting to welcome you to the Emerald Isle so you too can revel in the Irish ‘craic’! In the famous words of Irish novelist George Moore, ‘A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it’ and once you’ve visited Ireland, it is guaranteed you’ll never what to leave!

Our Tour Highlights

Dublin, Ireland’s Ancient East & ‘Garden’ County

The vibrant city of Dublin has so much to offer its visitors, the warmest of welcomes and an array of unique attractions. ...more

Kilkenny, Killarney & Killimer

Similar by name but contrasting in nature and location within the Emerald Isle and all well worth a visit. ...more

County Limerick

Founded by Vikings in the 9th century, Limerick is one of Ireland’s oldest cities, located where the majestic River Shannon meets with the wild Atlantic. ...more

The Wild Atlantic Way – Galway & Donegal

Spanning 9 counties in West Ireland and a distance of 2,500 km, the Wild Atlantic Way offers jaw-dropping scenery, dreamlike landscapes and an untamed spirit for adventure! ...more

Performance Venue Highlights

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

Located at the edge of Temple Bar with shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, the Cathedral is at the heart of Dublin City. Almost 1000 years old and originally a Viking Church, the history of Christ Church Cathedral reflects the history, both religious and political, of Ireland. Music forms a very important part of cathedral life with the long-established Cathedral Choir founded in 1493.
  • Perfect for: Choirs and Orchestras
  • Repertoire: Sacred and Classical
  • Performance times: .Afternoon and evening concerts. Service participation during choir holiday periods

St Stephen’s Green, Dublin

An oasis of green calm amid the hustle and bustle of Dublin, St Stephen’s Green Park is a historical park and garden, located in the centre of Dublin city. Its four centuries of history are eventful and complex, involving such important figures in Irish history and the name derives from a 13th century St Stephen’s church no longer in existence. The park is home to many species of birds and plants, several historic monuments and bandstand.
  • Perfect for: Bands
  • Repertoire: Popular and light
  • Performance times: Lunchtime

St Audoen’s Church, Dublin

Located in the heart of the walled medieval city, St Audoen's Church is the only remaining medieval parish church in Dublin and dates back to the 12th Century. A very beautiful and intimate setting, the acoustic and setting is much admired by all who sing there.  Its historical and architectural legacy is exhibited in the nearby Visitors Centre which is also well worth a visit.
  • Perfect for: Choirs
  • Repertoire: Sacred and Classical
  • Performance times: Afternoon concerts and recitals

St Enda’s Park, Rathfarnham

Located in the suburbs of Dublin City, St Enda’s Park is one of the most charming and atmospheric parks, with its riverside walks, unique follies, waterfall and walled garden. Situated in the grounds is the Pearse Museum, formerly a school and now named after Patrick Pearse, a teacher and one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916. The beautiful setting makes it a popular place for a weekend visit.
  • Perfect for: Bands, Choirs and Orchestras
  • Repertoire: Popular and light
  • Performance times: Sunday Afternoons during the summer

Church of Assumption, Howth

Situated on the scenic coastline to the north of Dublin Bay and a popular tourist spot, the Howth Peninsula is a beautiful place to visit with its rocky cliffs and pretty village. Built at the end of 19th century the Church of the Assumption church in the village centre is a welcoming and pretty church combining the architectural characteristics of the Hiberno-Romanseque period with the Gothic Revival of the late 19th century.
  • Perfect for: Choirs and Orchestras
  • Repertoire: Mixed
  • Performance times: Evening

Powerscourt House and Gardens, County Wicklow

Experience how the powerful and mighty Anglo-Normans may have lived at one of Ireland’s most famous tourist attractions, Powerscourt House and Gardens. Sing within the magnificent Italianate Gardens, abundant in exotic plants, trees and shrubs with a magnificent blend of sweeping terraces, ornamental lakes and secret hollows surrounded by the breathtaking views of nearby Sugarloaf, Wicklow’s most distinctive peak.
  • Perfect for: Choirs
  • Repertoire: Sacred and classical preferable
  • Performance times: Daytime

St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Galway

The largest remaining medieval church in Ireland with an active congregation welcomes musicians from all over the world.St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, is a welcoming and inclusive church. Dedicated to St. Nicholas of Myra, patron saint of children and seafarers, in recognition of Galway’s status as a port town. The church has paid host to famous visitors over the centuries including Christopher Columbus in 1477 and the less welcomed Cromwellian troops in 1652 after the siege of Galway.
  • Perfect for: Choirs and chamber orchestras
  • Repertoire: Sacred and classical preferable
  • Performance times: Saturday mornings and evening concerts

Choral Festivals in Limerick, County Limerick

Limerick plays host to two highly-esteemed annual weekend choral events that invite both national and international choirs to participate in a wonderful weekend of singing. The internationally renowned Limerick Choral Festival offers choirs a competitive event in the springtime and the Limerick Sings International Choral Festival, a non-competitive choral festival every June. Across the two individual events, performances take place in spectacular venues including the Redemptorist Church, St Mary’s Cathedral, University Concert Hall and Holy Trinity Abbey Church Adare.
  • Perfect for: Choirs
  • Repertoire: Mixed
  • Performance times: Limerick Choral Festival – 1st-3rd March 2024, Limerick Sings – 7th-9th June 2024

Castletown House and Gardens

Built in the early 18th century for the speaker of the Irish House of Commons, Castletown is the largest and most significant Palladian style country house in Ireland set amongst beautiful 18th century parklands of Celbridge, Co.Kildare. Offering a variety of performance venue options within the house and grounds including the Pleasure Gardens, the Courtyard and Hunting Room in the East Wing, there are also numerous events throughout the year during which your ensemble may perform.
  • Perfect for: Choirs, Bands and Chamber Orchestras
  • Repertoire: Mixed
  • Performance times: March – December during official opening hours and special events

Where To Stay

*official star rating

Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel, Adare, County Limerick

  • A superb, family run hotel located in the countryside just 2 miles from one of the prettiest villages in Ireland, Adare.
  • Spacious and comfortable rooms equipped with TV, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities.
  • Hotel facilities include the elegant Fieldings restaurant serving locally sourced produce and a comfortable bar area.  The extensive leisure facilities include a 20m swimming pool, sauna, steam room and spa bath. The hotel also features the award-winning Revas Spa.

*official star rating

Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise, Co. Laois

  • Centrally located hotel which is the epitome of chic elegance, quality service and newly refurbished in 2017.
  • All 110 bedrooms are of a good size and equipped with TV, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities.
  • Hotel facilities include an impressive lobby and bar, restaurants serving traditional Irish cuisine and extensive leisure facilities with an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room and spa bath.

*official star rating

Aspect Park West, Dublin

  • Modern 3* hotel located 6 miles from Dublin city.
  • All 146 bright, spacious, comfortable bedrooms are equipped with TV, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities.
  • Hotel facilities include the contemporary Rueben’s bar and restaurant.

*official star rating

Oranmore Lodge Hotel, Oranmore, County Galway

  • Full of character and charm, the family run Oranmore Lodge Hotel is a traditional, country-style hotel conveniently located 5 miles from Galway city.
  • Each of the 68 bedrooms are decorated in warm shades and equipped with TV, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities.
  • Hotel facilities include two dining areas in either the cosy Hunt Room or Butlers Bistro and a warm and welcoming bar. The excellent leisure facilities include an indoor swimming pool, sauna, spa bath, steam room and gym.

Sample Itinerary

This itinerary is for guidance only and will be tailored to meet your exact tour requirements. The excursions and concerts featured below will be subject to your chosen tour dates, availability and budget. Please get in touch to discuss your potential tour in more detail and other opportunities available to your group!
Day 1Travel to Dublin by air or by ferry from the UK to arrive mid-morning/lunchtimeAt leisure to enjoy the sights of DublinWelcome refreshments followed by your evening meal at the hotel, then time to socialise!
Day 2Day excursion in Dublin with time to enjoy the sightsAfternoon concert/recital in a church, Christchurch Cathedral or bandstand in DublinEvening meal and overnight in Dublin area
Day 3Day excursion in Dublin with time to enjoy the sightsOptional additional concert in DublinEvening meal and overnight in Dublin area
Day 4Morning visit to the Powerscourt Estate and spectacular gardens with potential informal concert in the gardens or cafeAfternoon excursion to Glendalough Visitor Centre and the pretty weavers village of AvocaEvening meal and overnight in Dublin area
Day 5Excursion to Castletown House and Gardens with concert in either the house or gardensLate afternoon departure for hotel in PortlaoiseEvening meal and overnight in Portlaoise
Day 6Full day excursion in the heart of Kilkenny, Ireland’s most historic and compact city.Afternoon or evening concert/recital in a church, park, arts centre or Cathedral within KilkennyEvening meal and overnight in Portlaoise
Day 7Onwards to County Limerick with morning excursion to Foynes Flying Boat Museum and Irish Coffee making tuitionBoard the Shannon ferry and take the scenic coastal drive to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher & Visitor Experience, a UNESCO Geo ParkEvening meal and overnight in County Limerick
Day 8Spend the day exploring the lively and very musical town of LimerickAfternoon or evening concert at St Mary’s Cathedral, LimerickEvening meal and overnight in County Limerick
Day 9Morning excursion travelling through Connemara National Park, one of the wildest and most beautiful regions in the whole of Ireland.Afternoon arrival in Westport, one of Ireland’s most photogenic townsEvening meal and overnight in County Galway
Day 10Full day excursion exploring the colourful, medieval city of GalwayFinal concert at St Nicholas Collegiate Church, GalwayFarewell meal and overnight in County Galway

Jo and her team came up with a fantastic itinerary for our choir and planned everything to the last detail. We always felt we were in safe hands and that they were on the end of a phone to help us with anything we needed. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
Rosie SayersChairperson for Sing It Loud Community Choir
Brilliant tour, expertly organised. Kindness and compassion. Nothing was too much trouble. Colin, our driver, was a complete gem and so knowledgeable about the isle. Lovely hotel staff where nothing was too much trouble
Felicity CourageChoir Director, Courage Choir
From cathedrals and abbeys, churches and stately homes, all steeped in centuries of history, some in Roman Towns others in quintessential English ‘picture postcard’ villages, every choir and musical ensemble should spend a tour exploring the United Kingdom and Ireland. Whatever part of the country you to choose to visit, by working with a knowledgeable team of people who know the regions inside out from both a tourism and musical perspective, you will be guaranteed the richest of touring experiences
Tim KnightBritish composer and Choral Director
As a Chorister, and eventually Head Chorister in our local church choir for eleven years, Jo was talented, dedicated and could always be relied on to work to the utmost of her undoubted abilities. I would expect that she would apply the same attributes to her professional life
P BuckmasterChoral Director
One of the best tours we have ever undertaken – musically, socially and geographically. Would heartily recommend Sound Escapes to any group considering a tour.
Carole Lindsay-DouglasAmici SingersWeston-Super-Mare 2023
Care and attention to detail of the highest degree. The planning with Jo Porter was detailed and meticulous, with nothing being missed, and although she was not involved in the accommodation arrangements, she nevertheless checked it out and acted as an intermediary.
Robin SpencerChoir Secretary, Phoenix Choir

In May 2020 we were due to tour the Stirling area in Scotland and due to the current coronavirus pandemic we took the difficult decision to call off the tour. I’d like to give our thanks and praise to Jo and her team for all the planning and preparation she had done to put the itinerary together – she was able to provide us with an excellent range of stunning concert venues, plus some great suggestions for our leisure time, and we look forward to working with her again soon.

Sally ColesSecretary, Cantamici
Sound Escapes did a fantastic job on arrangements for our tour . Would thoroughly recommend Jo to any choir looking to travel . All feedback has been positive from everyone who travelled . The extra care at meeting us at the coach and check in to ensure things ran smoothly went above and beyond .
Don OakleyMalmesbury ChoirOxford 2023
Fantastic tour in Bonnie Scotland, enjoyed by all who went, singing and non-singing. Brilliant organisation from Jo who really made it all look so easy.
Kate HymansTour organiser for Masterworks Chorale
You’ve been patient and kind all the way through this, Jo – especially with it being the first international tour I’ve done, and with all the unforeseen changes to the travel arrangements, so thank you to you and the team.
Sarah MonteithChoir DirectorResound ChoirParis 2023