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Ireland, England, France 2022

After a two-year hiatus from traveling with students due to the pandemic, I led my group of students, adults, and chaperones on a four-country tour, visiting Ireland, Wales, England, and France. This tour was a lovely blend of both countryside and city, visiting the Ring of Kerry and Stratford-upon-Avon and the cities of Dublin, London, and Paris. We had a mix of ages since many students had signed up when they were going into their senior year, but they were awesome on tour with everyone getting along and enjoying the trip. I really like how it started in Ireland and we worked our way up to the hustle and bustle of Paris. I had a chance to do this same tour back in 2013, but there were definitely some improvements that I wanted to highlight.

This was the trip of a lifetime! Having the opportunity to visit four countries (Ireland, England, France, and passing through Wales) was inspirational! From the astonishing cliffs at Ring of Kerry to walking through Windsor Castle and from cruising on the Seine to watch the Eiffel Tower glisten at night, this trip was an eye-opening adventure! There was such rich history and beautiful scenery everywhere we went! And of course, the food was incredible! Eating hot crepes under the Eiffel Tower and sitting down for tea and biscuits with clotted cream were a couple of my favorites. EF truly made learning come alive in a new way and for that, I will always be grateful. 


-- Bernice, ECHS Class of 2022


There is not much that matches the green of the Irish country side, and the combination of the country and big city of Dublin makes Ireland a mist visit!

Killarney is a must-visit for the Irish countryside. Whether visiting the Ross Castle or doing a trip around the Ring of Kerry (with a stop at Ladies View) the greenery and the lushness of Ireland is truly spectacular.


Killarney is a must-visit for the Irish countryside. Whether visiting the Ross Castle or doing a trip around the Ring of Kerry (with a stop at Ladies View) the greenery and the lushness of Ireland is truly spectacular.


One of our favorite things on the tour was the horse and carriage ride (jaunting) through Killarney National Park. You can get to see parts of the park that are inaccessible ca. Talk to your TD ahead of time to arrange this special experience.


Going to the sheepdog and sheep sheering demonstration was an awesome part of the EF built in itinerary. Ireland has about a 1 sheep to 1 person ratio in the country so it is important par of their history and culture. The picture above this caption is the whole group outside of the sheep farm. It was quite cold and windy, hence the look on some of their faces (I can assure you everyone was having a good time).

Visiting Ireland is not complete without a visit to the Blarney Castle and kissing the Blarney stone. Originally created in the 1200's it was destroyed in 1446 and rebuilt by Cormac Láidir MacCarthy, the Lord of Muscry.

When you go there, and if you are feeling adventurous, you may want to kiss the Blarney Stone and give yourself the gift of the gab (see video of me below). The word “blarney,” meaning skillful flattery or nonsense, supposedly came into use following an incident involving the head of the McCarthy family and Queen Elizabeth I, who ruled England and Ireland from 1558 to 1603. The queen sent the earl of Leicester to seize Blarney Castle but the talkative McCarthy managed to keep stalling him. The queen grew exasperated by the earl’s reports about the lack of progress in the matter and uttered something to the effect that the reports were all “Blarney.”



After a ferry ride from Holyhead, Ireland and before we continued London, we traveled through Wales with a stop at the picturesque Conwy Castle. It contains the most intact set of medieval royal apartments in Wales. The high curtain wall and eight lofty towers rise almost as impressively as when they were built more than 700 years ago. Students loved going up the towers and capturing that unforgettable Welch countryside.

Conway Castle.jpg


The famous quote by Samuel Johnson, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life," rings true every time I visit England. We took students to the birthplace of Shakespeare, Stafford Upon Avignon and the city of London, along with a guided tour of the Windsor Castle.


The Windsor Castle is an optional, and well worth the additional cost. It was great to see the royal residence and have a Blue Badge guide walk us through. The original castle was built in the 11th century, and as served as the longest occupied palace in Europe.



Paris is always a top attraction for students prior to the trip and it rarely dissapoints. The city has a little bit of everything. I am reminding when teaching AP Euro, and King Henry IV of Nantes, during the height of the religious wars, converted to Catholicism, saying "Paris is well worth a mass." From the Louvre with its massive collection of art to a ride on Seine River to a view of the city from Montparnasse, I fall in love with the city every time I go back.

Sienne River.jpg
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