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‘There is no better way to discover the “everyday” landscapes that inspired much of Heaney’s poetry than with Eugene Kielt’ Catherine Mack in The Guardian 8 October 2016:
‘Eugene’s personal guided trip around Heaney Country was by far the most informative, exciting, humorous and moving tour I have ever experienced.’ John (Northumberland, England)
Laurel Villa’s five star Tours of Heaney Country are known for their authentic, personal and professional uncovering of Seamus Heaney’s first world, the source of much of his poetry. Our tours have been independently assessed on behalf of N Ireland Tourist Board and have been awarded 5 Stars, the top rating. This means that they have been judged to be an ‘exceptional visitor experience’.
‘One of the Top Ten Outdoor activities in Ireland’ – The Guardian
‘Informative and entertaining one man tours that are already the stuff of legend.’ – Patrick Kelly, Arts Industry October 2016
You can view our 5 STAR Certificate here:
Click on the links below to read reviews of our 5 Star Tours of Heaney Country:
Tours are led in person by Eugene, a fully qualified and sensitive Blue Badge tourist guide. The tours are tailored to meet the requirements of each individual or group. While many of these tours are conducted for overnight guests at Laurel Villa, we also take tours for non-resident individuals and groups. Our guided tours take groups to places which have an association with the late Seamus Heaney’s life and works. Among the groups who have benefited from this experience is a group from Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan. Student Asami Oka described it as an unforgettable experience and said that it provided her with a deeper understanding of Heaney’s writings and of Heaney country. Our ‘Tour of Heaney Country’ was a highlight of the Out to Lunch Festival in 2013 and of the On Home Ground Poetry festival in 2013 & 2014. Hairy Biker and Heaney enthusiast Si King took our tour of Heaney Country for BBC’s The One Show and the tour has been featured on Radio Ulster’s Your Place and Mine. Travel journalists from all over thew world have benefited from our tours, including Hong Kong based Fionnuala McHugh, Catherine Mack, Christopher Somerville and Eoghan Corry, as have writers such as award-winning novelist MJ Hyland. The Out of The Marvellous RTE documentary and TG4’s Tribute to Seamus Heaney have also used our guiding services.
Photo © M McLaughlin
At Laurel Villa we can supply morning tea/coffee and scones in our poetry-bedecked dining room for those participating in our tours. Why not make a day of it and enjoy an unforgettable experience.
Price: Please Contact Us for a quote
Other Self Guided Tours
There are many places of interest in the Magherafelt and Mid Ulster area. Among them are Ardboe High Cross, Springhill House, Antrim Round Tower, Bellaghy Bawn, Tirkane Sweathouse, Tirnony Dolmen, Beaghmore Stone Circles and Church Island.
Slieve Gallen to the west is another local landmark with commanding views over the whole area. It is reputed to be the burial place of Colla, an early King of Ireland. It has been immortalised in the popular local ballad Slieve Gallen’s Brae. Seamus Heaney has referred to it as one of the dream boundaries of his imagination.