Cork walking trail highlighted on TV show

St Finbarr's Way, a pilgrim path from Drimoleague to Gougane Barra, is featured on The Summer Show on Sunday
Cork walking trail highlighted on TV show

Derek Mooney and Nuala Carey are in Cork for the final episode of The Summer Show

AROUND 1,500 years ago - give or take - a holy man arrived at the Top of the Rock in Drimoleague and urged the heathens living there to follow the path to Christianity.

St Finbarr - for it was he - then made his way 37km to the holy place of Gougane Barra - source of the River Lee.

That journey has become known as St Finbarr’s Way, and it features in the final episode of walking series The Summer Show on RTÉ1 on Sunday at 6.30pm.

Derek Mooney and Nuala Carey’s follow the Cork Pilgrim Path, a journey which should be done over a few days.

Groups of walkers are often seen walking the the route, which has been opened up to the public in recent years, with the goodwill of local landowners, who maintain the pathway under the Walks Scheme.

The scenic walk involves three mountain systems and four valleys - the Ilen, Mealagh, Ouvane, and Lee Valley basins. There are spectacular views over Bantry Bay and stretches of the West Cork coastline.

A rich archaeological landscape is combined with interesting folklore.

Cork folklorist Shane Lehane joins Nuala and Derek along St Finbar’s Way, offering some knowledge and insights about pilgrimage along the way.

Also in the episode of The Summer Show tomorrow, Colin Stafford Johnson is in Wexford and visits the Raven Nature Reserve, using a 360 degree camera to explore.

Derek also travels to Lough Erne in Co. Fermanagh to follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims of St Patrick and also to discover the secrets of The Janus Stone.

Aedin Ni Thiarnaigh is on the beautiful West Cork coast discovering seaweeds surprising secrets.

Cinematographer Theo Jebb explores diverse habitats on one of the Shannon’s largest lakes, Lough Ree.

We also join poet, performer and playwright, Felispeaks, who currently features on the English Leaving Cert curriculum, as she revisits Maynooth University to ponder the role that the Kildare town played in her personal and professional development.

Nuala takes to the skies in a hot air balloon alongside author and broadcaster Manchán Magan to discover more about the longstanding fascination with the hobby in Ireland.

The series finishes with Nuala and Derek taking in the peaceful surroundings of Gougane Barra, as they encourage viewers to get out and about, to travel the highways and byways as RTÉ celebrates the best of what Ireland has to offer this summer.

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