St Patrick’s country is an adventure into your true self… a chance to sink into the beauty of nature, reconnect with the spirituality that inspired one of the most famous people in the world, and meet new friends along the way.
Take Saint Patrick’s Way and explore Patrick’s own transformation from a faithless teenager to a fiery apostle. And, in his own words, “Be amazed!”
In Downpatrick, the ancient town named after Patrick, history was changed during the Anglo- Norman Invasion. In Ballyhornan, discover the beauty of the Down coast which leads to St Patrick’s Well. Or follow ancient pilgrim paths to St Patrick’s Holy Wells at Struell. Explore the Mournes where Saint Patrick made some of his first converts.
Along the way our pilgrim guides share their own journey and their unique connection to St Patrick. Patrick himself wrote: “The Spirit if a witness that, what is of the countryside, is also created by the Most High…”
“Patrick’s words touched my heart in a special way,” said pilgrim guide Martina Purdy. “Elaine and I have a special story about that and we tell it to the pilgrims when they join us on the Way.”
Elaine Kelly said she often observed how pilgrims arrived looking a bit tired and stressed and ended the walk feeling, tired yes, but refreshed, rejuvenated and joyful.
“There is something about a physical challenge that unleashes the spirit,” said Elaine.
“This rugged coastline – which Patrick himself would have experienced – is a hidden gem here in Co Down.
“This is a great way to clear the cobwebs in the spirit, and to walk with other people who want an authentic joyful experience.”
Dr Tim Campbell, director of Saint Patrick Centre, said pilgrims from all across the island are already booking this year’s walks in Newcastle, Downpatrick and Ardglass. “We are looking forward to lockdown ending and welcoming people back so they can enjoy everything that St Patrick’s Country and the Saint Patrick Centre has to offer.”