Exploring Westmeath’s monastic heritage and Camino links

by | Jul 22, 2013 | Church Archive, Church B, Pilgrimage Archive, ZZ_All

Walking the Way of the Monks – 27th July 2013


Visit Facebook Page – Camino Garden Mullingar

Join us on Saturday 27 July for a 22 km walk from the picturesque Fore Abbey to Mullingar that will bring the Spanish “camino” to Westmeath.

In medieval times monks from Mullingar walked the ancient Spanish trail called the “camino” – a distance of 800 km.

The walk is a great opportunity for those who have never walked the “camino” de Santiago, the ancient pilgrim route in Spain to have a “camino” experience closer to home. Just like the Way of Saint James walkers will receive a pilgrim passport and there will be a chance to stop for refreshments, meet others, take in the scenery and learn the history of North Westmeath.

Designated Stops during the walk

Approximately every 4kms along the 22km trail there are designated stops. At these stops you get your passport stamped. It is a chance to meet with other walkers and to learn a little about the “camino” and Westmeath’s history. Refreshments will be available for purchase and toilet facilities will be available in designated locations.


How long is the walk?

The walk is 22km and starts at 9.30am from Fore. It should take about 6-7 hours. So budgeting for breaks of 10-15 minutes for passport stamp and refreshments at the designated stops, walkers will begin arriving at the statue of the monks in Mullingar from 4pm. There is an option of doing two extra kilometres towards the end of the walk to see St. Munna’s Abbey.

Do I need to be a good walker?

This walk is one of the longest you will probably ever take. The terrain is relatively flat and downhill. This walk suits people who like exercise and have a reasonably good level of fitness. If possible in preparation make an effort to do some extra walking. Please be advised this walk is not suitable for children under 12. Under 18′s must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration will open soon for the event and pilgrim packs will be available at a cost of €10. The pilgrim pack contains a passport, pilgrim trail map and a scallop shell. Optional bus transport to Fore on the morning of the walk is also available at a cost of €5. The walk is a fundraiser for a memorial garden at the monks’ burial site in the grounds of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar.

What do I need to bring?

Bring your pilgrim passport, money for refreshments and any water/drinks you think you may need. Good walking shoes with ankle support are recommended. Be prepared for rain- even on the Spanish “camino” walkers meet rain every third day. If the sun does come out sunglasses, a hat and suncream will all come in handy!

How do I get to Fore?

Walkers are free to make their own arrangements to get to the car park at Fore Abbey (the start point of the walk). Alternatively you can go by bus for €5. Buses will leave from in front of the Cathedral every 20 minutes starting from 8am to 9am (last bus) on the day of the walk. Seats must be pre booked.