the pagan hills
Full day excursion
Meet at the Saint Patrick Centre and transfer to Lough Money. Follow the River Slaney to the shore where Patrick landed on his return to Ireland. Walking through an ancient landscape and visit Saint Tassach's Church and Lough Money Dolmen.
The meeting point
At the Saint Patrick Centre we meet and view the exhibition. A packed lunch and pilgrim vest is provided before transferring to Lough Money.
Following the trails along the Lough we ramble along the Lecale Way to Raholp. Continuing on the trail we follow cross country trails to the River Slaney. These are part of the areas most ancient public rights of way made up of green paths surrounded by old hedgerows. Along the Way you will see neolithic monuments and hear ancient tales.
Following in the footsteps of both saint and pagan we explore the landscape that Patrick himself encountered when he returned to Ireland nearly 1600 years ago. It takes in the Shores of Strangford Lough where Patrick was greated by Dichu, his first convert who gave him the Barn for his first church. As the water washes ashore this is the spot where we will have our lunch.
The walk continues to Saint Tassach's Church, one of the oldest buildings in all of Lecale. The present ruins date back to the 10th Century. This was the church of Patrick's metal worker, the man who made him his bell, crozier, crosses and chalices. Afterwards we visit Lough Money Dolmen a Neoloithic burial site in a wildflower meadow. Afterwards we follow quiet lanes back to the starting point taking in views of the Mourne Mountains.
Completing the route the walk returns to the Saint Patrick Centre.
A bit more info
The walk is 6.5 miles and circular, returning to the start point.
Terrain can be uneven in places. Waterproof and sensible walking shoes are advised. Due to the nature of vegetation on the trails, long trousers are advised.
The route will use quiet public highways, laneways, and open grassland (there may be roaming livestock).
The walk takes 3.5 hours, full experience 5.5 hours.
The meeting point
The Saint Patrick Centre
53a Market Street
Booking is essential and spaces can be reserved by contacting The Saint Patrick Centre - 44(0)28 4461 9000
13 August 2020 at 10:15am.
27 August 2020 at 10:15am.