Welcome to the Landscape Section, the Irish landscape is a living landscape in every sense of the word. It has and will continue to be used in an ever-changing variety of ways.

The Pilgrim Paths

The Pilgrim Paths project was set up by the Heritage Council in 1997 and involves seven routes across Ireland. In association with local communities, its objective is the development of a network of walking routes along medieval pilgrimage paths. The project aims to raise awareness of the different aspects of heritage, built and natural, encountered along the routes, while contributing to sustainable tourism and community development in each local area. 

The medieval pilgrimage was originally a journey that combined prayer, sacrifice and devotion - with an element of physical discomfort - by which the pilgrim could become closer to God. It also fulfilled many of the functions of a modern holiday - a change of scene and a time to make room for something above and beyond the daily grind. Walking these ancient ways not only offers the opportunity for spiritual renewal, but also provides us with a link to our past. The Pilgrim Paths project has developed these routes for the enjoyment of modern walkers and pilgrims alike.

Many of the Pilgrim Path trails are now detailed on the Irish Trails iPhone App, available to download at

Cosán na Naomh >

On the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry.

St Kevin’s Way >

From Hollywood to Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.

Lough Derg >

A route to the shore opposite Saints Island, Co. Donegal.

Tóchar Phádraig >

From Ballintubber to the foot of Croagh Patrick, Co. Mayo.

Turas >

Within the valley of Gleann Cholm Cille, Co. Donegal.

Pilgrim Path, Co. Offaly >

From Ballycumber to Clonmacnoise, Co. Offaly.

Due to current budget restraints, works have not yet started on St. Declan's Way, from Ardmore to Lismore, Co. Waterford, no works are due to take place in 2012.

Download an information sheet about the Pilgrim's Paths, with information on walking & cycling routes, signage, safety, access and information for large groups [pdf 224kb].

Download the Pilgrim's Paths brochure (please note the publications listed are no longer in print due to budget restraints) [pdf 1.2mb].

For further information on safe and environmentally sustainable walking, see the Mountaineering Council of Ireland’s website: