Exploring the land of Columbanus
The Columban Way
The Columban Way forms part of the wider European ‘Via Columbani’. It traces the route from Mt. Leinster to Bangor, across eight countries of Europe, finishing in Bobbio, Italy.
‘Via Columbani’ is inspired by St Columbanus, a 6th-century monk and pilgrim whose messages, though delivered nearly 1500 years ago, continue to have remarkable relevance today.
See below for links to some of the websites with route information about the Columban Way locally, within Ireland and across Europe.
Please note that the Irish route is very much a work in progress and to walk it all you will have to combine existing waymarked trails with un-waymarked sections requiring navigation and route choice. There is a detailed route drawn on the Via Columbani, but this is just one possible route and may not be the best for you.
Comber to Bangor
- Ards and North Down Council
- Grand Day Out (NI) Comber to Bangor – Alternative Route (independent walking blog)
Armagh to Downpatrick
- Saint Patrick’s Way (Useful maps and description in the downloads section)
General Long Distance Trails in Ireland
- Tough Soles Blog (This excellent independent blog describes all the long-distance trails in southern Ireland in detail from a walker’s perspective. It includes detailed route maps). Several of these can be combined to form part of the route.
Bangor Christian Heritage Trail
The trail, approximately 5km in distance, though it can be completed in shorter sections or individual site visits, takes the user on a journey to key locations within the town that showcase the history and importance Bangor has played in the development of Christianity, not just domestically but throughout Europe, including the influence of Columbanus and Gall, Saints who left Bangor and made their mark in countries such as France, Switzerland and Italy by establishing monastic settlements.
For full details and map see:
Accommodation and Tourist Information
The tourism website for Ards and North Down Council Area