Co. Mayo and Croagh Patrick
Leaders - Cate Macfarlane (01799 513750) and Daphne Atkinson
Jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, Co Mayo has a great variety of scenery and an unspoiled natural environment. Numerous loughs and rivers hide among Nephin Beg Mountain range and the conical silhouette of Croagh (Hill) Patrick stands lofty at 765m above the town of Westport and the mosaic of 365 islands forming Clew Bay.
Patrick fasted on the mountain top for forty days and nights in Lent
during his long missionary tour of Ireland in 441. To this day the
mountain remains a focus of pilgrimage with the major event of the year taking place on the last Sunday in July, known as 'Reek Sunday' or in times past as 'Lughnasa' marking the end of summer and the beginning of the bountiful season of harvest.
Ancient oak woodlands, heathery moorland, pretty harbours, isolated beaches makes this an
area where pilgrims and tourists alike can experience a sojourn from
the business of everyday life. Clare Island, one of the larger islands
in Clew Bay and once home to the 16thC pirate queen Grace O’Malley,
encompasses sea cliffs, seabirds, beaches and undulating hills. Medieval
wall paintings adorning the Cistercian Abbey ruins provide a rich island
sense of history, humanity and Christianity are never far away in Co
Mayo; many monastic sites and ruins – Murrisk and Burrishoole Abbeys to
name two - holding prayer from the past and offering silent inspiration
to pilgrims of to-day. Céide Fields are the oldest known field systems
in the world - a unique Neolithic landscape, stone walls buried under a
depth of bog; we shall walk these ancient fields which have been buried for almost fifty centuries.
Walks and activities
- we shall offer walking in the foothills and lower slopes of Croagh
Patrick or maybe even climb the scree path to the top - if you wish. We
shall tread paths and tracks in the Owenwee river valley and
surrounding areas, generally walking between 6-8 miles over a whole day,
all optional. Weather permitting, we shall spend a day on Clare Island.
We shall have our own transport.
our home for the week will be a 19thC farm cottage near the hamlet of
Callow offering twin and double bedrooms (all ensuite). We shall self
cater as a group.
Getting there- flights are available from several UK airports to Ireland West [Knock] Airport. We can collect you from the airport or Westport railway station on Saturday 9th June and return on 16thJune.
Cost - £440
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