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A stunning high resolution image of Church Island and the Strand at Lough Beg.
Church Island and Lough Beg, together with the vast expanse of the Strand, was described by Nobel poet Seamus Heaney as ‘my favourite place in the world’. A National Nature Reserve and an Internationally designated Ramsar Site, this is a site unparalleled on these islands, with its mix of spirituality, myth, legend and literature.
With a monastic settlement on the island from the time of St Patrick (6th century AD), this has been a place of worship for over 1500 years and continues today with an annual pilgrimage on the first Sunday of September. The church spire was a later addition c.1798 by Bishop Hervey, the Earl Bishop of Derry, who had the spire added to the existing tower to enhance his view from his new palace at nearby Ballyscullion.
The palace is long gone but the spire remains intact today. If you are after a place of solace, with an enormous weight of history and spirituality, then Church Island and the Strand are a must visit on any Irish journey.
InSite Tours Ireland can arrange guided walking tours across the Strand to Church Island (weather permitting lasting c. 3 hours) and can arrange boat trips of Lough Beg for small groups.
BBC Countryfile visited Church Island and Lough Beg as part of their Northern Ireland Special, broadcast on Sunday 11th June 2017 at 7.00p.m on BBC1. Check its availability on the BBC iPlayer.
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