There is an long-term campaign to grow Slí Cholmcille in Donegal and Derry as a long-distance walk after the pattern of the Camino de Santiago de Compostella between France and Spain.
The Slí has a great deal to offer. There are many places in Donegal from Gleann Cholmcille to Tory and Gartan which have strong associations with Colmcille or Columba, the great saint shared by Ireland, Scotland and the north of England. Long-distance walking is becoming popular both as a spiritual journey, and as a means of connecting with the natural landscape.
This year, as last, COVID will limit the number of people taking part, but a band of people will set out on the 4th July to walk 270 km from Gleann Cholm Cille to Derry over twelve days taking in finishing at Shroove in Inishowen. On the way, they will visit the old monastic settlement in Tory, the saint’s birthplace at Gartan, the old monastic site of Raphoe, and the high cross at Ray, the tallest and oldest ringed cross in Ireland.
A preliminary walk has already taken place in June from Donegal town to Gleann Cholmcille, linking the Columban heritage of south-east Donegal and places like Drumhome and Disert with the rest of the Slí. There will again be a walk from Donegal to Disert on the 3rd July.
The Colmcille 1500 programme marks 1500 years since the birth of Colmcille or Columba, and it is hoped that the camino-style walk will grow as a long-term legacy. Considerable planning and liaison is underway, and the working group includes representation from different churches and from walkers and community groups.
This year the number of participants is capped at 30. For further details of the itinerary and to register to walk please contact firstname.lastname@example.org