A pal of mine has brought a website to my attention which, I believe, shall be of interest to readers at home and overseas, particularly my readership in the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand:-
The Ulster Grand Tour is an unique experience ... from Classical mansions to romantic Gothic inspired castles, Ulster's aristocratic families welcome the opportunity to open their doors and give you a glimpse into history. Our expert guides will ensure you have a memorable time while in Ulster.
The Ulster Grand Tour affords the specialised knowledge and experience of two guides, viz. Mark Donnelly:-
Mark Donnelly will be leading your group during the visit. Mark has a degree in History and Fine Arts from Trinity College Dublin. He trained at Sotheby's in London before travelling to work in South Africa as a Fine Art Consultant.Robert O'Byrne is no less a connoisseur in his field:-
He developed a successful business there before returning to his native Ulster where he has been advising clients for the past twenty years. Mark is involved in many aspects of the arts, most notably as the local representative of The Art Fund, a UK based charity funding museums and art galleries throughout the country.
He is also involved in the continuing development of Hillsborough Castle, home to the Royal Family when they are in residence, and a busy venue for charitable and other public events. He is passionate about the Irish country house and its survival and has an in depth knowledge in the field.
Many country house owners are either his clients/or his friends. You will be made to feel most welcome.
Robert O'Byrne, one of Ireland's best-known writers on art and architecture, the author of more than a dozen books on these subjects, including Romantic Irish Homes, Luggala Days: The Story of a Guinness House, and A History of the Irish Georgian Society.
He is also a columnist for several publications including the Irish Arts Review and Apollo magazine. A board member of the Irish Georgian Society for many years, Robert is also a trustee of the Alfred Beit Foundation, responsible for the management of one of Ireland's most beautiful houses, Russborough, County Wicklow.
The Grand Tour includes some of the Province's finest country houses, including Baronscourt, Ballywalter Park, Mount Stewart House, Grey Abbey House, Killyleagh Castle, Montalto House, Crom Castle, Florence Court House, Belle Isle Castle and Castle Coole.