On The Trail of St Patrick

After our lovely Wicklow break we drove north to spend some time with my friends and family. Always nice to catch up, we always try to visit somewhere new as well. This trip was no different. I can’t really remember ever being in Downpatrick Co Down so decided to recitify that. Having read about their visitor centre which focuses on the life and times of St Patrick, I thought it would be interesting and worth a visit – it was.

The centre is ultra modern and right in the middle of the little town. They use multi-media, lots of technology and a film right at the end to tell the story of the life of St Patrick. The building was purpose built and is the only permanent exhibition in the world about Ireland’s patron saint.

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Surprised to find we were the only people inside, we paid our entrance fee and were shown how the tour would run. Self guided, you pass through different areas and the story of Patrick is told in different ways. All very effective and interesting too with artefacts here and there to look at.

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We started with an exploration of Patrick’s background and the world of Celtic Ireland to which he would come. Patrick introduced himself through his writings – the first words ever written in Ireland.

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Our tour finished with a “helicopter” ride around Ireland via a huge cinema screen, it took us to all the places associated with Patrick. Son and I loved it, Husband was queasy and more than a bit green around the gills but it was a great way to end things.

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A peek in the gift shop then we headed out.

Downpatrick is one of Ireland’s most historic and ancient towns. It takes its name from a fort which once stood on the hill that dominates the town and on which Down Cathedral now stands. We didn’t find too much of interest in the town itself, but walked up the hill to check out the cathedral.

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St Patrick started his mission here in 432 AD and when he died he was buried on what his now Cathedral Hill. We found his grave before leaving.

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21 thoughts on “On The Trail of St Patrick

    • He can ride the meanest, highest and worst roller coaster but put him on a kiddie roundabout and he instantly wilts!! This was fun – 3D and you did get the feeling you were in a helicopter but not for the nauseous prone for sure!

  1. Looks such an interesting place Joy – very serene and pretty too. Am sure I would have felt queasy in the “helicopter” ride too but the museum sounds fascinating. Hope you’re not too frazzled with the pre Christmas madness! Our younger daughter arrives next Saturday for nearly 3 weeks so have been trying to get as much as possible done before then! Hope you have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

    • It was very peaceful and serene Rosemary – just the thing to look back on in the midst of the Christmas frenzy!! Actually we’re not frazzled and I’m enjoying the build up – we don’t have big families and don’t go overboard with presents so there’s no stress at all with that. We went to a lovely Christmas market in a little town in the countryside today which was wonderful. I bet you are so excited and can’t wait for Saturday – I get excited when our son has been away for 1 night, can’t imagine how you must feel!! Hope your weekend has been a lovely one too.

      • Sounds lovely Joy – I do miss the wintry Christmas markets though we do have some here just not quite the same when it’s summer! I would like to go to the central European Christmas markets one year just for the experience. Yes we are very excited – it does seem a bit surreal that our daughter will be here in person on Saturday. It’s also her birthday that day too so there’s even more reason to celebrate. Haven’t seen her on her actual birthday now for 4 years as she was travelling overseas in 2013 and has been living in London since 2014. I’m actually pretty organised as I wanted to get everything done before Mlle arrived so I can relax and enjoy her visit! Hope you’re having a lovely week πŸ™‚

    • It’s interesting to go there and we did enjoy the museum. Doesn’t seem to be incredibly popular, hardly anyone in there when we were visiting but then it is good to get the place to yourself!! There are lots more sites and places connected to St Patrick, we didn’t manage to fit anything else in on this trip but will be back and hope to explore some more.

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