In This Issue
Ole Hallow's Eve at Ballyknocken Cookery School
Supernatural London
A Spooky Castle Retreat
Underground Edinburgh
Dublin's Halloween Bram Stoker Festival
LegenDerry Halloween Festival
Newgrange: Birthplace of Halloween
UCD Feature: Siobhan Byrne Learat
Itinerary | Haunted Ireland (11 Days)

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June 2019

The Must-Do of the year - Visit Ireland for Spooky Festivals & Experiences!

Both Ireland and Britain are islands of myths and legends... and not surprisingly, ghostly goings-on.  Stories about phantom horses, devilish apparitions, ghostly hangmen and execution yards that still echo with gunshots will chill you to the bone on your spooky journey.  Let  history envelop you whilst you envisage the presence of those who walked before us.

Prepare for a Fall Hallowe'en break with enchanted, yet haunting  experiences for all, - hear about the ghosts that haunt the old castle corridors,  delight and unwind with the rust-coloured  fall foliage and cosy wood and turf-burning fireplaces, listen to tales of doomed  romances from a  bygone era, and hear the brave histories of those who fought and died for their country at a tender age.

Visit Dublin for 4 Days of Deadly Adventures in October.   The Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin playfully celebrates the gothic, the mysterious, the after-dark and the thrill of Halloween, and delves into the legacy of one of Ireland's most treasured authors. The packed programme of events devilishly mixes family-friendly adventures with late-night antics for mates, dates and everything in between.

Go to the North-West of Ireland where t he ancient Celtic celebration of Halloween has become synonymous with the city of Derry - it's LegenDerry!.    Crowned "Best Halloween Destination in the World" the annual street carnival parade is an illuminated moving performance which weaves its way through the city streets with over 1000 local and international participants.

Our Ancient East is the home to our newest festival launching this year.  Ireland, and in particular the prehistoric site of Newgrange is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween ... come visit this Fall and enjoy the New Puca festival.   According to Irish folklore and more recent archaeological evidence, Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic tradition of Samhain more than 3,000 years ago. 'Summer's end' in old Irish, Samhain marked the end of the Celtic Year and the start of a new one and believed to be a time of transition, when the spirits of all those who had passed away since the previous Oíche Shamhna (31st October) moved onto the next life.   Samhain was the last great gathering before winter, a time of feasting, remembering what had passed and preparing for what was to come..  Where better to celebrate it than in Ireland's Ancient East.

And where to stay ... so many places in Ireland are said to be visited by the spirits.  From Ballygally Castle on Ireland's Antrim coast to the north, to Ireland's most famous haunted castle - Leap Castle.  There's lots to choose from and even better .... October in Ireland offers exceedingly good value sometimes even half the price of Summer prices! 

See you soon,

Siobhan Byrne Learat
Founder & President
Adams & Butler

NETFLIX Star Catherine Fulvio & Ole Hallow's Eve at Ballyknocken Cookery School
Irish Celebrity Chef Catherine Fulvio of NETFLIX's Lord & Ladles

The NETFLIX and Amazon hit, Lords & Ladles takes the viewer on a historical journey to celebrate Ireland's past through the wonders of food and the glories of cooking. The series features three of Ireland's finest chefs: Catherine Fulvio, Derry Clarke & Paul Flynn who recreate these amazing meals in the old manor houses and castles of Ireland, where they also meet the owners and learn the family history.

Catherine Fulvio now invites you into her 1850s Irish farmhouse, where the fourth generation of her family now reside. She regales her family stories, shows her famine soup pot, takes you to her international award winning cookery school and works with you in recreating three dishes from the TV hit series Lords and Ladles . Thereafter, you may relax in the Parlour Room of Catherine's home, Ballyknocken House, and enjoy your historic feast. You also have the opportunity to meet Pat the sheepherder, learn how to gather the sheep and try it for yourselves!

While Catherine hosts experiences year round, visiting her farm during autumn affords a special treat. Caroline, at this time of year,  resurrects  one of her favorite recipes, Barmbrack - a time-honored Irish Halloween cake - as her family has done so for generations time. Adams & Butler invites you participate in this tradition in a private exclusive experience at Catherine's farm. There, you will prepare the Barmbrack together.  
Traditionally small items are mixed into the brack before it is baked, each with a message or prediction for the person who gets it in a slice. These items always include a ring, which predicts a wedding within the year, but any wish or fortune can be included. As the treat bakes, you can enjoy the long celebrated traditions of 'All Souls Day.' Children may opt to dunk and snap apples, while the adults may choose to sip on an Irish whiskey besides a bonfire fire. It is even possible to arrange for a traditional Irish song and dance performance or a sheep dog demonstration directly on the grounds.

For more information click  here

Encounters with the Past & Supernatural in London
The Langham London

Adams & Butler relishes in transporting guests to the past - both in a spooky manner as well as regally.

Clients can visit the haunted Tower of London for a private exclusive secret after-hours tour,  taking you into areas of the Tower normally hidden from view to access locations that show the beauty and the harshness of life in the Tower!

Since it is a secret, we cannot unveil your route; however, to provide a sneak peak, participants will be entering out of bounds areas including Queens House, St Thomas More Crypt, Chapel Royal and entering famous prisoners cells who were kept at the Tower.

Following such an ominous visit, holiday-goers should of course then proceed to check-in to one of the world's most luxurious, yet haunted hotels, the Langham.

London's Langham Hotel opened in 1865 and has been visited by several literary greats, including Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It has also reportedly been frequented by a number of ghosts. The most common sighting is of a man in Victorian evening wear in Room 333, who apparently appears only during October.

Another guest claimed to have seen the figure of a man in military attire standing by the window on the fourth floor, which is said to be the ghost of a German prince who jumped out of a window before the start of the First World War. It is also believed the ghost of Napoleon III, another former guest, haunts the basement of the hotel.

For more information click  here

A Spooky Castle Retreat
Lismore Castle

Adams & Butler offers travelers a plethora of castles to choose from when it comes to a vacation. Come autumn, holiday-goers flock to the British Isles to indulge in history and celebrate the foliage as well as the eerie, mysterious nature of Halloween.

Lodging at a truly authentic castle brings to life the Halloween spirit for all - whether you are travelling as a multi-generational family or as an intimate gathering amongst friends.

Adams & Butler has arranged for spook-filled evenings such as ghost story nights and murder mystery immersive affairs in the comfort of your own private castle.

One such castle where guests can lodge is Lismore Castle. The grandeur, vastness and opulence of the property truly makes one feel as they belong to royalty and nobility of the past. 

Lismore Castle in Waterford, Ireland, is a one of a kind and a repository of extraordinary history: from walls marked by Cromwellian cannon balls to the days it was owned by Sir Walter Raleigh -the man who brought potatoes and tobacco to Ireland - to Cecil Beaton, Lucian Freud, Fred Astaire and JFK, all of whom slept a night or more in this private castle on the banks of the River Blackwater.

The property boasts ten double bedrooms and can accomodate up to twenty seven guests. The property also allows holiday-goers to truly enjoy the crisp fall weather of Ireland, as it encourages guests to venture outdoors and indulge in a range of country sports such as falconry and clay pigeon shooting. Adams & Butler can also arrange for historic days such as the Downtown Abbey experience. Celebrating Halloween through experiencing the past celebrates the heart of the holiday.

Downtown Abbey Experience at Lismore Castle -  A chance for the group to relax and enjoy the surrounds of the Castle and grounds and gain insight in to the long and proud history as well as its vibrant daily life. 

After a quiet morning, join the Head Gardener on a private tour of the extensive gardens. Spread over nearly 3 hectares, the historic gardens are divided into two very distinct and different halves. The Upper Garden is a complete example of the 17th-century walled garden first constructed here by Richard Boyle, the First Earl of Cork, in about 1605. The outer walls and terraces remain and the plantings have changed to match the tastes of those living within the castle. The Lower Garden was mostly created in the 19th century for the Sixth Duke of Devonshire, Joseph Paxton's patron. This garden is informal with shrubs, trees and lawns while the stately Yew Avenue is much older. The gardens contain a fine collection of magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons, herbaceous borders and contemporary sculpture and a remarkable yew walk where Edmund Spenser is said to have written 'The Faerie Queen'

Once everyone has blown away the cobwebs and worked up an appetite, you will return to the Drawing Room for a sumptious Afternoon Tea followed by a talk on the history and a tour of the castle with Butler Denis Nevin - Denis (as indeed is the case with many of the staff here) has been with the family for over 30 years. A wonderful raconteur, with a witty turn of phrase & a great glint in his eye, Denis is much loved by all - guests, family & staff alike. His knowledge of the history of the castle and surrounds is encyclopeadic and his personal anecdotes on the family, previous famous visitors and the like are gems!

For more information click here.

Hidden Beneath Edinburgh's Streets
Underground Vaults of Edinburgh

Adams & Butler arranges for private tours of the underground Edinburgh. Few know the secrets the lay directly beneath them as they stroll through the cobbled streets of Scotland's capital.

Journey back in time and follow in the footsteps of former residents. Step down and explore the rooms, streets and spaces underneath the famous Royal Mile - a unique glimpse into the city's past, and Edinburgh's only preserved 17th century street.

Imagine a warren of streets frozen in time, where centuries of stories are just waiting to be told. Discover authentic truths about Edinburgh's dark past, and find out what it was really like for the people who lived, worked, and died on the Close.

Evening experiences at barren graveyards can also be arranged on a private basis. Let us warn you though, this experience proves wary for the fainthearted! 

For more information click  here.

Get Spooky at Dublin's Bram Stoker Festival
Dublin's Bram Stoker Festival

Whether you're a resident vampire or visiting from further afield, the Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin has something for everyone in its gothically inspired programme of events. Get ready for four days of living stories and four nights of deadly adventures as Dublin gets gloriously gothic this October 25-28th. 

The Bram Stoker Festival playfully celebrates the gothic, the mysterious, the after-dark and the thrill of Halloween, and delves into the legacy of one of Ireland's most treasured authors. The packed programme of events devilishly mixes family-friendly adventures with late-night antics for mates, dates and everything in between.

From unforgettable, spectacular parades to pop-up Victorian fun parks, with intimate performances in unusual spaces, live music, workshops, theatre, podcasts, audio tours and a whole range of film, literary and once-off events, Bram Stoker Festival is full of surprises.

For more information click  here.

LegenDerry Halloween Festival
Halloween in Dery

The ancient Celtic celebration of Halloween has become synonymous with Derry, where local people have really embraced this feast of myth and legend, nurtured and developed it, and brought it right into the 21st century.

Crowned "Best Halloween Destination in the World" in a massive public poll by  US media outlet USA Today, Derry toppled the likes of spooky Salem Massachusetts and even Dracula's den in Transylvania, to steal the title.

On Halloween night, the annual street carnival parade is an illuminated moving performance which weaves its way through the city streets featuring costumed performers, illuminated sculpture, large scale lanterns, music, movement, dance, circus and street performers. Over 1000 local and international participants come together to create a bespoke work which draws on the myths and legends of Halloween to tell a new story from our collective imaginations.

For more information click  here.

Newgrange: The Birthplace of Halloween
Celtic Ritual

Púca is the name of Ireland's exciting new festival that aims to position Ireland internationally as the home of Halloween and which will take place this year in Ireland's Ancient East.

Rooted in ancient tradition, the festival will run with a full programme of events from 31st October to 2nd November 2019.

A spectacular festival of music and light complemented by rich harvest-inspired food experiences, Púca will celebrate a time when light turns to dark, the veil between realities draws thin, rules can be broken, and the spirits move between worlds.   'Púca', a character from Celtic folklore often associated with Samhain, was chosen as the name for the festival as at Halloween, the Púca comes alive, changing the fortunes of those that cross it and immersing them in the true spirit of Halloween.

Samhain was a fusion of pagan and Christian beliefs, said to mark the harvest and the end of the old Celtic year and the beginning of the New Year, and where the spirits of the dead passed on to the next world, invoking the Christian idea of resurrection too. According to one of the early chroniclers of Ireland, the Samhain festival began on top of the hill of Tlachtga, now called the Hill of Ward, one mile east of Athboy, Co. Meath. 

It was believed that Tlachtga was closely linked to the spirit world and it was from here that the sacred Samhain fire of the new year was lit and carried to seven other hills around the county including Tara, Loughcrew and then on to light up Ireland's Ancient East and beyond. Recent archaeological excavations at Tlachtga suggest this ancient hill was indeed used for feasting and ceremonies. 

For more information click  here.

UCD Feature: Siobhan Byrne Learat
Siobhan Byrne Learat

Our CEO Siobhan Byrne Learat was profiled by UCD Smurfit Business School recently.
Please view article here.

Capping 14 years of experience in the hospitality industry with an MBA was the kickstart for Siobhan Byrne Learat to set up high-end tour company Adams & Butler, which specialises in providing tailor-made vacations worldwide and specialising in Ireland, the UK and Africa.  She has counted Michael Jackson and Taylor Swift among her clients.

Suggested Itinerary: Haunted Ireland (11 Days)
Haunted Ireland

Day 1    Dublin
  • Welcome to Ireland!  Arrive into Dublin Airport, meet your private transfer at the the arrival halls and be transferred to your hotel, the Shelbourne Hotel. Once you have checked in, relax and acclimatize before your walking tour. Partake in a haunted private walking tour of Ireland's capital city, Dublin. You will be visiting all the spooky and haunted sites around Dublin City. Such as Captain Boyd's grave, St Patrick's Cathedral - where a ghost of a black Newfoundland dog has often been seen sitting at the base of a life-sized marble statue of Captain John Boyd in the Cathedral as well as laying on his master's grave outside. The dog chose to starve to death at the grave rather than leave his master, after his master heroically died on a rescue mission in 1861. You will be staying at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. The Shelbourne is said to be haunted by a young girl by the name of Mary Masters. Mary passed away from cholera in the hotel in the 19th century. Ever since then countless people all through the years have seen the ghost or experienced something that they can't explain.
Day 2     Dublin
  • Today you will be visiting the notorious Kilmainham Goal. If you have any desire to understand Irish history - especially the juicy bits about resistance to British rule - then a visit to this former prison is an absolute must. This threatening grey building, built in 1796, played a role in virtually every act of Ireland's painful path to independence, and even today, despite closing in 1924, it still has the power to chill. Afterwards, explore the East Coast with a private guided tour.
Day 3     Dublin, Belfast
  •  Leave Dublin with your Private Driver Guide or self-drive and journey up North towards Belfast. On your way to Belfast, make sure to visit the Haunted Castles of Malahide and Ardgillan Castle. Both of which have a ghost who wanders the halls with a broken heart.
Day 4     Belfast, Antrim
  • Learn about Belfast's rich political and religious history which plays an important role today within the recent Brexit climate.   See the Peace wall and enjoy a famous Black Cab Tour.  Afterwards, travel to Ballygally Castle, which is considered to be one of the most haunted hotels in Northern Ireland. Enjoy afternoon tea.
Day 5     Antrim & Derry
  • Today you will be joined by an amazing local guide who will be bringing you on a haunted tour along the Causeway Coast. You will be visiting castles, manor houses and learning all about the spooky tales that are associated with these properties. There is no better way to explore the Causeway Coast.  Finish with a tour of the LegenDerry city of Derry.
Day 6     Derry to Connemara
  • Take a break from all the horror stories and tour to Ashford Castle in Connemara, arriving early enough to enjoy its spa and activities. 
Day 7      Connemara, Mayo
  • Today you will be touring the Connemara & Aran Islands with your local fun guide. Of course, this tour will have a haunted spin on it, you'll experience dungeons, castles and maybe a friendly ghost or two. Return to Ashford Castle.
Day 8      Galway to Offaly
  • This morning venture to Galway City with a Private Food Walking Tour where you will sample the local cuisine, after which you will continue on to Offaly where you will be staying in one of the most haunted hotels in Ireland.  Kinnitty Castle has a long history with many different Lords and Kings.
Day 9      Kilkenny
  •  Leave Offaly and visit the iconic Rock of Cashel.  After, travel to  Kilkenny Town for a Private Walking Tour of the Medieval Capital of Ireland. You will then make the journey to Kildare for the last night of the trip. This will be your last day with the driver guide.
Day 10      Kildare
  • Have today to relax on the property and enjoy some on-site activities. You can have a private Falconry Lesson today.  Alternatively you can depart from Ireland this morning.
Day 11      Kildare
  • Departure. Depart for Dublin Airport.

For more information click  here.

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