InSite Partners with Australians Studying Abroad

New Literary Tour Package for the Australian Cultural Tourism Market

June 2017 will be the first time that Bellaghy based tour company InSite partners with Australians Studying Abroad (ASA). This is part of ASA’s hugely ambitious ‘Arise and Go Now’ Literary Tour of Ireland. ASA was founded in 1977 and since then has grown into the market leader for educational trips for Australians to compelling overseas destinations. They strive on a daily basis to make each tour a better experience for their ASA travelling community by enhancing their programs with local hosts. This provides inimitable insights into their country and the unique aspects of their landscapes and cultures.

InSite partners with australians studying abroad

ASA offers high end cultural tours to some of the most famous and important sites in the world.

It is this strategic fit with our own purpose as a tour company – to offer inimitable and intimate tours of our destination – that first brought us together with ASA. We will be offering our bespoke tour ‘In the Footsteps of Seamus Heaney’ as part of their 21 day literary tour of Ireland. This will take place next year from 26th May to 15th June. This programme has been so popular that they will be repeating it again in 2018, with the potential to become an annual feature in their tour calendar.

Arise and Go Now

Taking its name from the famous Yeats poem ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’, the tour is unprecedented in its scale and its reach: –

“I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.” (W.B. Yeats)

The tour will immerse guests in Ireland’s long and wonderfully rich literary tradition – from anonymous Celtic sagas, the writings of early Christian scribes; the struggles to hold on to a distinctively Irish literature in the face of English oppression; tales of famine and emigration, the exciting modernism of Joyce and Beckett; and the Nobel Prizewinning work of Seamus Heaney. Since Ireland, throughout history, has had a fascinating way with words, Irish writers have always had a strong sense of place – so seeing those places greatly enriches an understanding of their works. That is why they will follow in the footsteps of our very own Seamus Heaney on their journey around literary Ireland.

ASA’s remarkable tour will bring their guests up close with James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Brendan Behan, Seamus Heaney, George Bernard Shaw, Oliver Goldsmith, C.S. Lewis, Patrick Kavanagh, Lady Gregory, Maria Edgeworth, Frank McCourt, J.M. Synge, John Hewitt, Maeve Binchy, Colm Toibin, Roddy Doyle, and many others.

The Bellaghy Itinerary

Their Bellaghy itinerary will include

  • Talk on Seamus Heaney by Dr Sophia Hillan at the new Seamus Heaney HomePlace
  • Tour of Seamus Heaney HomePlace
  • Escorted tour ‘In the Footsteps of Seamus Heaney’ with Fergal Kearney including Bellaghy Bawn, Church Island, Anahorish School, Old Thatch Inn, Barney’s Forge, Toner’s Bog and Seamus Heaney’s final resting place at St Mary’s Church
  • Lunch and a fully guided tour of Ballyscullion Park
  • A talk by Richard Mulholland: ‘The Story of Ballyscullion Park and the Mulholland family’

The Tour will be led by Susannah Fullerton, President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia and an alumni of the University of Auckland and the University of Edinburgh.

With individual tours starting at AUS$12,000 – reflecting the scale and depth of the programme – this represents an entirely new cultural tourism market for Ireland and indeed, for South Derry.

We look forward to welcoming ASA on their first visit to Bellaghy next June!

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About InSite Tours Admin

InSite Tours Ireland is owned and managed by Fergal Kearney and offers specialist guided tours focusing on the distinctive characteristics of his native Northern Ireland. With over 20 years experience in tourism on the island of Ireland, with 15 of those spent at Tourism NI, Fergal has an unsurpassed knowledge of the destination and its unique culture and environment.


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  2. I brought 25 people from Australia and New Zealand to Bellaghy to explore Seamus Heaney. We were so lucky to have Fergal as our guide. The whole day was pure Irish magic! He took us to places intimately connected with Heaney’s life and poems, he read the poems beautifully to us, he shared his personal experience of Heaney and made all of us fall in love with the great poet, and he was organised, kept to time and was a total pleasure to be with. I will be bringing another group of literary pilgrims next year and am already looking forward to another wonderful day with Fergal.

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