Get away from the busyness of life for this exciting weekend combining singing and walking on the Wild Atlantic Way with Seamus Doohan and Candy Verney.
3rd – 6th of July 2020
Start the morning with an hour of wonderful singing: – rounds, work songs, songs we can sing as we walk. All taught by ear, accessible to all. Then put on your walking boots and explore the mountains, valleys and beaches of North West Donegal with Seamus. As we walk, Seamus will regale us with fascinating stories from the history and mythology of the area, as well as showing us medicinal and food plants, traditionally used in times gone by.Discover as we uncover the layers of history in our landscape and learn about our rich Gaelic culture and heritage.
The North-west coast of Donegal is one of the undiscovered gems of Ireland. It possesses some of the most spectacular, unique and unspoilt scenery in the country, and is a veritable paradise for hill walkers.
Donegal has a long coastline with extraordinarily dramatic coastal scenery: sea-battered cliffs and sea stacks; jagged rock formations, picturesque peninsulas scattered with prehistoric remains, rugged headlands. Spectacular long sandy and often deserted beaches are bordered with sand dunes, still home to the very rare and shy corncrake, which if you’re lucky you can hear on an evening in June.
If you travel inwards you come across an equally impressive and varied landscape– majestic mountains and rolling hills, bog, woodland and lakes. Donegal has also two national parks: Glenveagh and Ards Forest Park, both within a few miles of the Song House.
Course starts: 5pm Friday 3rd July
Finishes: 10am Mon 6th of July
About Your Hosts
Candy has been getting people singing for most of her life. She has inspired thousands to find their voice. She has set up many community choirs, as well as taking people to wild places on the edges of UK and Ireland- Singing on the Wild Side. She set about creating her vision of the Song House in 2014, where her work is now centered. Whether you are a singing diva or one of those terrified to open your voice, you will find inspiration and relaxation by singing simple harmony songs from different parts of the world.
Seamus was born and brought up in this part of Donegal. He is a native Irish speaker and has a love for the flora and fauna, as well as a passion for local history and archaeology. Having explored the rugged hills, mountains and coastline of Donegal from a very early age you would be hard pushed to find someone more knowledgable about the area. More than just a walk, find yourself enthralled by the wealth of fascinating tales and facts Seamus has at hand about the ecology and mythology of the area as you explore it together.
So get your boots on and contact Seamus #WalkingDonegal
The Song House/ Teach na nAmhrán
After running singing holidays in wild places successfully for many years, 5 years ago the chance came my way to put down roots and establish a centre in Donegal. The Song House is a centre for singing and other activities, which fit with the guiding principles of community, harmony and valuing the natural world.
Formerly known as the Poets’ House, the centre was well-known in literary circles, with Seamus Heaney a frequent visitor. Now, in its new incarnation as The Song House, I am delighted that the creative spirit of the house will be continued and enhanced.
In short, the landscape, the people, the music. The landscape here on the Wild Atlantic Way is quite stunning, constantly changing in response to shifts in the light, miles of empty sandy beaches as well as the iconic mountains of Errigal and Muckish as a backdrop to every view. All bedrooms in the Song House, as well as the spacious singing room, look out onto Muckish mountain, arising majestically from the sweeping boglands. Falcarragh lies within the Gaeltacht, the Irish speaking areas of Ireland, so you are likely to hear Irish being spoken by many local residents. There are weekly music sessions in many local pubs.
Things to Do in the Area
The area of Donegal around Falcarragh is steeped in archaeological and historical interest and Celtic spirituality, as well as a unique concentration of spectacular sandy beaches and mountains. It is a walker’s paradise. Ards Forest Park with its many stunning nature trails, Glenveagh National park, Muckish mountain (Irish for hog’s back) are all close by. It is in the Gaeltacht so Irish is regularly spoken. There are 5 expansive sandy beaches within 7 miles drive of The Song House, and you can hire surfing equipment, or bicycles nearby.
Hill walking, golf, kayaking, swimming, rock climbing, cycling, hiking are all available in the surrounding area.
The Song House has 3 twin bedrooms, 1 double, and 1 family room with a double bed, 2 bunk beds and 1 single.
There is also a B&B 100 yards up the road, which has single rooms.
*We are offering one place at half price to a young person who will act as housekeeper during the week.
Arrival and Departure Times
Arrive from 4-6pm on the first evening
Depart after breakfast on the final day
Total €359, Early Bird rate €329 before Dec 1st
Single room supplement: €60 pp
En-suite twin room supplement: €30 pp
Family rate: please contact Candy direct
€150 deposit required on completion to secure your place.
What to Bring
Bring clothes for all eventualities. Rain gear and walking shoes essential.
Midge repellant. (No midges in April, but they can be an issue in damp weather in the summer.)
Song House will provide all linen and towels, but if you like swimming, bring a swimming towel.
There is a guitar here you can use. Bring musical instruments, stories, games, poems to make our own entertainment in the evenings.
You can travel to Falcarragh easily by public transport.
• Daily Coaches from Dublin to Falcarragh (4 hours). The coach picks up at Dublin airport:
• Daily Coaches from Belfast to Falcarragh (2 ¾ hours). The coach doesn’t stop at Belfast International airport, but if you phone them, they’ll arrange for a taxi to drop you from the airport to meet the coach on the main road: http://www.gallagherscoaches.com/Map.htm
• Hourly minibus from Belfast airport to Derry: www.airporter.co.uk
• Local buses will get you from Derry to Letterkenny, then on to Falcarragh.
• Regular flights from Glasgow and Dublin to Donegal airport. 30 min drive from Song House. The car hire at Donegal airport is more expensive. Or get a taxi.
• To drive, Google maps reference is on our website
– Accommodation for three nights
– Meals – Breakfast three days, Lunch three days, Dinner 2 nights
– Guided hikes and walks
– Harmony Singing tuition
What’s not included?
– Transport to and from the Song House. Guests will be expected to make their own way to the house. Full directions and transport options will be given. We will share cars to travel to/from sites or order a taxi if need be as taxis are exceptionally cheap here in Donegal.
– Any snack food outside of the three meals provided.
– One evening dinner which will be a group outing to a local restaurant.
– Insurance for a weekend holiday, make sure you have cover for hiking activities.
Our public liability insurance covers you for injury due to our negligence during the holiday but it does not cover you for injury from other causes or for loss or damage to your property. We cannot accept responsibility for illness, injury or loss, other than that caused by our proven negligence.
“Fantastic – never thought I would be able to learn so quickly and be part of something which sounds so good.” – Trish Leeds UK 2016
“Loved the singing. Was great to be back to it. Filled up my singing tank. Candy you make it so easy to learn and enjoyable. You have a fantastic skill which makes singing accessible to everyone. Thank you for sharing it.” ZG Northern Ireland April 2018
My highlights? Candy’s leadership. And I loved being part of the creation process of a new song, by a local singer songwriter- ‘Spread your Wings’ DD June 2018
Teach na nAmhrán: The Song House, Clonbara, Falcarragh, Co Donegal F92 D4EX