|Start & Finish
|Top of the Rock, Drimoleague to Gougane Barra.
|2 days (7hrs each day)(?)
Map depicting the St Finbarr’s Way route
About St Finbarr’s Way
37km Estimated Time
7hrs each of two consecutive daysGrade
Strenuous, over high ground. Fog and cloud can descend quickly. Only experienced walkers should attempt this walk. Sturdy footwear required.
This walk begins at the Top of the Rock, Drimoleague, where local tradition states that St Finbarr in the 6th century “admonished the people to return to Christ, then went on his way to Gougane Barra”. Since that time, local people, until forty years ago, used to walk the 37km particularly on the Saint’s feast day: 25th September. The walk is a two day stretch with an overnight in Kealkil, an important walking centre in its own right. Three significant mountain and valley systems are traversed: The Ilen, Mealagh and Ouvane, and the walk culminates in a spectacular descent from Foilastoookeen, high above St Finbarr’s Oratory in Gougane Barra. The entire walk is steeped in Celtic history and archaeological remains.
St Finbarr’s Pilgrimage. Stretching from the Top of the Rock, Drimoleague, to Gougane Barra, at a distance of 31km, this two day walk follows in the footsteps of Saint Finbarr who visited Drimoleague in the 6th century. The walk passes through Kealkill, taking in part of the Carriganass walks on the way. The walk arrives at Gougane Barra not by road but by way of the Beara Breffni Way, a steep and spectacular descent, with the hermitage of St Finbarr visible below in its serene lake island setting. The walk is difficult and challenging in places and should not be undertaken in poor weather.