11.05.2019, 00:00 A.M.
As members will be aware, the first Country House Tour with the 20-Ghost Club was Oxfordshire in 1978, and these tours soon became a firm fixture in our annual calendar, raising considerable funds for the work of the Irish Georgian Society.
This year’s tour is to be in Northwest Ireland and offers, as usual, a combination of marvellous country houses and other historic buildings with wonderful open scenery and glorious driving on empty roads - what could be better? The itinerary is still be arranged but, as usual, most of the houses we will be visiting are still in private hands, and we will be staying for three days of this 5-night tour in one of them – Markree Castle, just south of Sligo town, which is now a hotel. Houses we intend visiting include Castle Coole, Florence Court, Bessmount, Lissadell, Coopershill, Bellamont Forest, Crom Castle, Annaghmore, and several others. We will also tour a coal mine in the area – how many members have been down one of these? The pace of the tour will be somewhat slower than some previous ones to enjoy the stunningly beautiful and relatively deserted countryside of this part of Ireland.
The tour is still being organised, although the accommodation has already been reserved, starting on Saturday 11th May and finishing on Thursday 16th May, so is for 5 nights rather than the usual 3. Further information, including exactly where and when to meet on the Saturday morning, will be issued to all participants nearer the time of the tour. We are limited in the number of rooms that the hotels are allowing for single occupancy, and priority obviously must be given to the 20-Ghost Club, so understandably a ‘first come, first served’ system cannot be applied. As usual, priority will be given to members who have not been on any of these tours in recent years. Finally, all successful applicants are required be current Individual members or Family members of the Irish Georgian Society, to ensure that both the 20-Ghost Club and the Irish Georgian Society are covered for any damage etc. that might be caused by any member of either society. Members are of course encouraged to have their own personal cover for travel etc.
The cost to IGS members is £970.00 or €1,100.00 per person sharing and will include B&B for the 5 nights from Saturday 11th to Wednesday 15th May, lunch and dinner on all 5 days [with drinks at some of these], and all admission fees. Single rooms are available for £1,160.00 or €1,320.00 per person. If anyone requires accommodation at the hotel before the tour starts please let us know and we will make the arrangements with the hotel; Markree Castle cannot offer any accommodation after the tour. We assume that most members will pay in sterling, but notice is given that there may be an additional supplement nearer the time if the £ST dips in value against the Euro before the tour takes place, as a consequence of the continuing Brexit issues. If you wish, you can pay in Euro [€1,100 pp sharing OR € 1,320.00 for a single], thus avoiding that possibility.
If you would like to come on the tour, please complete the attached application form and return it as soon as possible, certainly before mid-March, to Jimmy Valentine at the address on the booking form, together with a cheque [sorry but payment for this event cannot be made by bank transfer] and email address. Please be aware that, as with previous tours with the 20-Ghost Club, the number of places for IGS members is limited by the number of 20-Ghost Club cars available.
Forms are available to download here.