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Discover St. Patrick's Legacy Landmarks in a Motorhome

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Exploring St. Patrick's heritage in Ireland by motorhome or campervan promises for a fascinating journey through history, religion, and culture. Each of the following locations holds significance in the story Ireland's patron saint. It's a simple matter of belting up, hitting the road and praying for good weather.

While the international community celebrates St. Patricks day with colourful floats and parades in cities all over the globe, you may want to delve a little deeper into the origins of our legendary Saint and the fascinating story on how he converted Pagan Ireland to Christianity. So, if you are planning a St. Patricks Bank Holiday Weekend getaway in your motorhome there are plenty of culturally significant sights to explore.

Slemish, Antrim

Slemish Mountain is believed to be the place where. St. Patrick was introduced to Ireland as a slave from England and worked as a shepherd from the age of 16 to 22. In his loneliness, prayer was his only consolation until he had a vision encouraging him to escape, which he did. He returned to England, became a priest, and later returned to Ireland to spread the Christian faith. Slemish mountain hike is only 1.2 miles which only requires a moderate level of fitness, it can be done in one to two hours depending on your pace but do be aware there are steep inclines and in wet weather, you’ll need decent footgear.  As you walk the trail you'll get to appreciate the hardship St. Patrick endured as a teenager, and perhaps reflect on how his time at Slemish played a significant role on the mapping of St. Patrick's life and the subsequent impact this had on Ireland's culture, religion and identity to this present day. There is plenty of parking at the base of Slemish mountain with a designated car park that has toilet facilities, perfect for campervans and motorhomes giving you peace of mind while you set off on your trail. Not only is Slemish mountain associated with St. Patrick, it’s also the central core of an extinct volcano and this volcanic activity is evident in other mesmerising Antrim Landmarks such as the Giant’s Causeway. Thanks to the flexibility of owning your own motorhome, such attractions in Antrim are easily accessible with nearby Glenariff forest parkland and the Rope Bridge of Antrim among them.

Downpatrick, County Down

This is reputedly the burial place of St. Patrick, marked by a mound and a cathedral. The saint's grave is said to be located in the grounds of Down Cathedral, which also houses St. Patrick Centre providing insight into his life and legacy. There are several St. Patricks way excursions you can book at the centre and Saul church as pictured below is a charming landmark on one of the trails on offer. To find out more visit the website link above with information on options, pricing and special offers. 

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh

St. Patrick built a church on the same hill that the cathedral sits on in Armagh in 445. His church was called the Damhliagh Mór or Great Stone and is mentioned in the Annals of Ulster in the ninth century. St. Patrick's efforts to build a church on this site is testament to his life's mission to spread the Christian faith. The cathedral in Armagh was built on this same site and is dedicated to St. Patrick. It is also the ecclesiastical seat of the Archbishop of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland. It's a significant pilgrimage site and an architectural masterpiece.

Hill of Slane

The Hill of Slane is an ancient site located in County Meath, Ireland. It is historically significant as the place where St. Patrick is said to have lit a paschal fire in defiance of the pagan King Lóegaire. He lit a fire to symbolise the arrival of Christianity in Ireland to commemorate Easter during the pagan festival of Beltane. Despite the Kings anger, he allegedly allowed St. Patrick to spread the word of Christianity and ended up being a convert himself. The Hill of Slane is also associated with various myths and legends and it remains a popular pilgrimage site and tourist destination.

Rock of Cashel, Tipperary

Though not directly associated with St. Patrick, the Rock of Cashel is an iconic site in Irish history and culture. It was here that St. Patrick reputedly converted the King of Munster around AD432 to Christianity by using a shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity. The Rock is a ancient Royal site of the Kings of Munster, where King Aengus became Ireland’s first Christian Ruler. It has a steeper history associated with it but is a wonderful attraction for motorhome owners especially as there is a camping site called O’Briens Cashel Lodge Camping only 900m away with magnificent views of the Rock.

Croagh Patrick, Mayo

Croagh Patrick is one of Ireland's most famous pilgrimage sites, where St. Patrick is said to have fasted and prayed for forty days in the 5th century.  Each year, thousands of pilgrims climb the mountain in his honour, especially on Reek Sunday, the last Sunday in July. Ironically the celts used to climb this mountain before Christianity was introduced to Ireland to worship the sun God “Lugh” which is short for “Lughnasa” or Irish for July. It’s a tough climb and one for which you will need good walking shoes and a stick, but the views from the top are very rewarding. 4 hours should be plenty of time to get you to the top and back down again, if you are an experienced hiker, it can take 2.5 to 3 hrs.  There’s a car park at the foot of the mountain in Murrisk but it fills up quickly, especially on weekends and in summer, so get there early to secure motorhome parking. If full, you can always park along the road.

Down Patrick, Co. Mayo

We’ve featured Downpatrick in another other blog before, but it's too iconic to leave out, plus it's a superb place to visit by campervan with excellent parking and plenty of nearby attractions. Only 5km north of Ballycastle a visit to Downpatrick Head is without doubt one of the best things to do in Mayo. The site houses the ruins of a church that would have been founded by St. Patrick, and be sure to visit the holy well and stone cross and don’t miss out on "Poll na Seantinne" blowhole at the viewing platform. Downpatrick is best known for Dun Briste, a gigantic stone column about 50 meters from the coast. There is plenty of motorhome parking and the cliffs are a short walk away. Exercise with caution as the cliffs edges are exposed in parts with uneven ground. On arrival, you'll see the magnificent Dun Bríste sea stack and the Stags of Broadhaven’ (600 million year-old island rocks out at sea). Here you will also find the Eire 64 look out post signalling our neutrality to overhead planes during WW II.  After a blustery cliff walk you can recharge and refuel in your motorhome before heading off to your next location.

Motorhome living provides a unique and exciting way to experience life on the road. With freedom, comfort, and convenience all wrapped into one compact package, a motorhome provides a one-of-a-kind adventure that you'll never forget. So if you're ready to hit the open road and experience life at its fullest, a motorhome lifestyle may be just what you're looking for.

Come and visit us to see the range at our showrooms in Shannonside Business Park, Birdhill, Co. Tipperary V94VY98. Anchor Point Motorhomes is your Burstner, Weinsberg and Westfalia Motorhome Ireland dealer and we pride ourselves on delivering a 5 star service to all our customers.  

Help is always at hand, so if you have any questions, call us on 353 (0)61 379903 or pop in to see us. A warm welcome awaits! 

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