Exploring the Environment

The Colm Cille pilgrimage cuts across the natural landscape of Gleann Cholm Cille.
Yellow flower - local flora.
The sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean.
A local lamb relaxing.

An exploration of both the natural and man-made heritage of the region with morning presentations and afternoon field trips.

Title Location Price
Saturday, 2 July 2022 — Saturday, 9 July 2022
Exploring the Environment Gleann Cholm Cille €210 Book now

Gleann Cholm Cille, as it exists today, is the result of the interaction of man and the landscape over thousands of years. This course gives an understanding of the natural and man-made heritage of this spectacular valley of St Columba.

Topics include: the landscape before the arrival of man, the impact of the first inhabitants, the bogs and their flora and fauna, patterns of land use and other environmental themes.


The course format comprises a series of illustrated talks in the morning followed by guided walks each afternoon. The walks are not over-strenuous but a moderate level of fitness is required. Participants should bring walking shoes and rain gear.

Ireland’s Flora
Walk to the Silver Strand

MondayThe wild Irish Boglands
Flora, Fauna, History, Conservation
Bog Walk

TuesdayEarly man in Ireland
Lifestyle, buildings, tombs, impact on the environment
Neolithic tomb walk at Malinmore

WednesdaySome threatened Irish habitats
Meadows, dune systems, wildflowers
Nature Walk in Gleann Cholm Cille

ThursdayEarly Christianity in Gleann Cholm Cille, holy wells
Walk – Turas Cholm Cille

FridayTraditional buildings, field systems, place names
Walk part of Sliabh Liag or part of walk towards Port

Courses will be provided in line with Government of Ireland health advice. There may be some changes to the course format in light of updated health guidelines. Please see our information page on COVID-19 and Oideas Gael’s Course Programme 2022.