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Irish Monastic Tours offers expert-led guided tours to some of the most historic and evocative sites on the island of Ireland.
Dr Thérèse Cullen brings her archaeological and historical expertise to illuminate sites long hidden – many of them unknown even to locals. Thérèse invites participants to discover the wonders of Ireland's historic sites and religious traditions through her unique wit and wisdom, and there will plenty of opportunities for what we in Ireland call, 'the craic.'
Irish Monastic Tours offer various tours within Northern Ireland in cluding Saint Patrick: The Man, the Myth, the Legend, Neolithic Ulster Tour, Monastic Tour of Bangor Abbey and Nendrum and a Monastic Tour of Lough Erne.
- c/o Visit Belfast Welcome Centre
- 9 Donegall Square North
- BT1 5GB
Top Reasons To Visit
- Discover the ancient sites and monuments linked to Patrick.
- Visit settlements of the earliest inhabitants of the island.
- Explore two of Ireland's ancient & influential monasteries.
- Discover Lough Erne as it should be viewed, from the water.
Saint Patrick: The Man, the Myth, the Legend
Discover the ancient sites and monuments linked to the life and legacy of Ireland’s Patron Saint. Take an unforgettable day trip to the glorious countryside of County Down, with visits to:
- Saul Church, Saint Patrick’s first church in Ireland
- Struell Wells, pre-Christian wells that have been a place of healing for fifteen centuries
- Inch Abbey, where the story of Saint Patrick and the snakes was recorded
- Historic Downpatrick to uncover Saint Patrick’s legacy and see the Downpatrick High Cross in Down County Museum
- Down Cathedral and the traditional site of Saint Patrick’s grave, and finally
- The Saint Patrick’s Centre, to find out about the life or Ireland’s Patron Saint.
Ticket priced at £30 per person, available to book online with pick up on Saturdays at Jury’s Hotel, Great Victoria Street, Belfast, at 9.30am, and return to Belfast at approximately 5pm. The tour will take place every Saturday.
Neolithic Ulster Tour
- Visit Mountsandel near Coleraine – the first known dwelling place on the island – dating from 7000 BC.
- Second stop – Tievebulliagh, nestled in the Glens of Antrim. This was the site of a Neolithic stone quarry. Many Neolithic stone axe heads were found at this site and if you’re lucky enough you might come across some residual flint.
- Stop for lunch in nearby Cushendall.
This tour involves a lot of hill walking. Warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear essential.
Monastic Tour of Bangor Abbey and Nendrum
- Bangor Abbey was founded in 558 AD by St Comgall. The Abbey is renowned because of its founder, Comgall, but also for former missionary monks, Saints Columbanus and Gall. These men would go off to Continental Europe in 590 AD and founded some of Europe’s most famous monasteries at Luxiell (France), St Gallen (Switzerland) and Bobbio (Italy).
- The final stop will be the monastic settlement at Nendrum, on Mahee Island in Strangford Lough, where it is believed that St Mochaoi (better known as Coalán) established a monastery in the 5th Century. The site contains one of the best remaining Cashel structures in Ireland. Also see the remnants of one of the oldest Tidal mills in the world.
- Stop off for lunch in one of the localities quaint restaurants.
Monastic Tour of Lough Erne
Discover the beautiful Lough Erne as it should be viewed, from the water. Tour the many monastic sites on the Lough, from:
- Devenish, founded by Saint Molaise in the 6th Century. The site was raided on a number of occasions by the Vikings, but don’t worry they are long gone now. It functioned as a monastery until the Reformation, to;
- White Island, houses a beautiful Romanesque doorway and Medieval stone carvings. St Snell, known for his austere training founded a monastery on Clenish Island, where St Columbanus received his initial training.
- Finally, visit Boa Island, home of the pre-Christian three-faced Janus stone.