A glorious day in St. Patrick’s country

A glorious day in St. Patrick’s country


With several of our regulars unavailable, just six Columbanus Walkers set off in bright May sunshine to spend a day in the Lecale peninsula.

From Raholp (4 miles east of Downpatrick) we walked along green lanes and country tracks to the north end of Lough Money. Here, in the crystal clear water, we saw a solitary swan and speculated that its mate was tending a nest, secreted in the bullrushes.  Along the path that took us away from the lough we admired the flowers that were blooming in the May sunshine – bluebells, primroses and speedwell among others.  We mused on the fact that we were using lanes that had been created, and marked out by dry stone walls, hundreds of years ago.  We also wondered what had be sown in the many fields that were covered with neat rows of polythene.

Our walk, now on public roads, brought us to the car park and fishing stations at the south end of Lough Money. The cooling northerly breeze, blowing over the lough obliged us to shelter behind a wall for our lunch stop.

On our return to Raholp we decided to take a short cut.  This gave us the time, and, more importantly, the energy, to visit the statute of St. Patrick, on a hill between Raholp and Saul.  The statue was erected in 1932 to mark the 1500th anniversary of our patron saint’s landing at Saul.  From the road, a steady climb for 10 minutes took us to the statue on the top of Slieve Patrick. Our exertions were rewarded with a marvellous view, not just across County Down – from the Mournes to Scrabo – but also across the sea to Scotland and England. While at the top of the hill, Robert drew our attention to the aerial display of a noisy crow chasing a buzzard away from the crow’s nest.

As we returned home after a glorious day in St Patrick’s country, we stopped at McCann’s of Balloo for refreshments.

Added by: RobbieJackson
Added on: Thursday 9th May 2019

Category: Walkers

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