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  • Writer's picturerobertdonkers261

St Patrick’s Pilgrim Walk - Day 7 - Sat, 26 September 2020

Today we walked from Tyrella to Downpatrick

Day 7

Today was the last walk of our 7 days challenge of St Patrick’s Pilgrim Walk

The walk was mostly on small roads but a section also on a busier road. We held up traffic, but most drivers smiled and showed care and patience when driving past us slowly.

I can’t believe that we have completed yet another heritage walk. After Hadrian’s Wall, The West Highland Way, The Great Glen Way, The Weardale Way, The Jurassic Coastal Path, Land’s End to John O’Groats we have now added St Patrick’s Pilgrim Walk.

The dogs were very well behaved. Four leads in each hand. The start of any walk is always slow. All of the dogs will have to do number 1 and 2s several times. After all, that sniffing around and looking for the right stop becomes more comfortable as they all get used to where they should be walking, and the leads do not get entangled.

Although the area of Tyrella to Downpatrick is full of rolling green hill of farmland, one does not get to experience walking the rural farm field. Sadly, in Northern Ireland, one does not have Rights of the way like in the rest of the UK; instead, walkers have to walk on these little roads.

It is a terrible shame, and I do believe that Northern Ireland must make changes and allow walkers to walk at the edges of farm fields. It would be so good for tourism. Northern Ireland is far behind in the numbers of walkers it attracts and receives compared to the rest of the UK. Rights of way increase tourism and benefit local economies if the farmers/tourist board and Government were more welcoming. As it stands, walkers will choose the countryside walking in Scotland, Wales and England over Northern Ireland at any time.

Because of this, my next walk might well be in Scotland again. We will see what next year brings.

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