St. Finbarr’s Pilgrim Walk on National Pilgrim Paths Day: 4 and 5 April 2015

St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Walk on National Pilgrim Paths Days Easter 2015: Saturday 4th April – Sunday 5th April 2015

From the Top of the Rock, Drimoleague to Gougane Barra.

In West Cork and South Kerry the practise of walking pilgrim paths to St Finbarr’s hermitage in Gougane Barra has been in place for many centuries. In one such place, Drimoleague, local tradition recalls that St Finbarr arrived at the Top of the Rock in the sixth century and admonished the people to return to Christ, after which he made his way to Gougane Barra. The practise of walking this ancient route has been revived since 2008. Groups as large as fifty and as small as three or four are regularly found walking the 37km route. The route itself has been opened up to the public with the goodwill of landowners along the route, who maintain the walks under the Walks Scheme.

The order of events for the Pilgrim Paths Easter Walk is as follows:

Good Friday 3rd April : 8pm onwards Complimentary light supper at the Top of the Rock Pod Páirc & Walking Centre with time to meet, prepare and orientate to the Pilgrim Walk. A short reflection will be given on the challenge ahead.

Saturday 4th April: 9am Depart from the Top of the Rock, heading for Castledonovan, Mullaghmesha and the Mealagh Valley. (See map ) 2pm Lunch. 5pm Arrival in Kealkil having completed the first 19km of the walk.

At this point those staying in Gougane Barra will be taken by bus to the Gougane Barra Hotel for dinner. Those staying in Drimoleague will have a Bus transfer to Drimoleague via Bantry. A special deal will be in place at the Willie Pa’s restaurant for dinner. This is not included in the price below. Then return to the Pod Páirc by minibus.

Sunday 5th April: Bus transfers from Gougane and Drimoleague will enable a 10am start from Carriganass Castle in Kealkil for the 16km walk over the mountain to Gougane Barra. Sandwich lunch at a stop near Lackavaun before the steep ascent. A bus will be available for those who wish to take a less strenuous route to walk into Gougane by road. Arrival in Gougane at approx. 4pm with a short time of reflection and prayer. The Gougane Barra hotel will host tea and sandwiches for the walkers.

Cost is divided into two components:
1. Cost of walk: €40/person. This includes lunches both days, bus transfers and cost of guides.
2. Cost of Accommodation: The Gougane Barra Hotel and the Top of the Rock Pod Páirc offer packages:

GOUGANE BARRA HOTEL Two night bed, breakfast and I dinner at € 125.00 per person
Three night B&B plus 2 dinners at € 199.00 per person

Two night bed and breakfast: standard pod: €55/person sharing. Luxury pod: €70 /person sharing.
Three night bed and breakfast: standard pod: €80/person sharing Luxury pod €110/person sharing
Note: Accommodation rate does not include dinner.
See for details of pods and facilities.
We hope you can join us for Pilgrim Path weekend. Spaces are limited…Book early. A non-returnable booking fee of €25 per person will be required to secure a place.
For further details and to book a package please contact Neil Lucey at the Gougane Barra Hotel 026 47069 Or David and Elizabeth Ross (028 31547) at the Top of the Rock Pod Páirc.

For more information about Pilgrim Paths of Ireland go to

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