Skip to main content
Colmcille Logo White
Tory Island © Janek Kloss

Best foot forward – Slí Cholmcille 2021


There is an long-term campaign to grow Slí Cholmcille in Donegal and Derry as a long-distance walk after the pattern of the Camino de Santiago de Compostella between France and Spain.

Fr Eddie stamps the pilgrim’s pas for Bishop Alan McGuckian (Gleann Cholm Cille 2020)
Fr Eddie stamps the pilgrim’s pas for Bishop Alan McGuckian (Gleann Cholm Cille 2020)

(Insert pic here or after next pic) Caption: Fr Eddie stamps the pilgrim’s pas for Bishop Alan McGuckian (Gleann Cholm Cille 2020)

The Slí has a great deal to offer. There are many places in Donegal from Gleann Cholmcille to Tory and Gartan which have strong associations with Colmcille or Columba, the great saint shared by Ireland, Scotland and the north of England. Long-distance walking is becoming popular both as a spiritual journey, and as a means of connecting with the natural landscape.

This year, as last, COVID will limit the number of people taking part, but a band of people will set out on the 4th July to walk 270 km from Gleann Cholm Cille to Derry over twelve days taking in finishing at Shroove in Inishowen. On the way, they will visit the old monastic settlement in Tory, the saint’s birthplace at Gartan, the old monastic site of Raphoe, and the high cross at Ray, the tallest and oldest ringed cross in Ireland.

A preliminary walk has already taken place in June from Donegal town to Gleann Cholmcille, linking the Columban heritage of south-east Donegal and places like Drumhome and Disert with the rest of the Slí. There will again be a walk from Donegal to Disert on the 3rd July.

The Colmcille 1500 programme marks 1500 years since the birth of Colmcille or Columba, and it is hoped that the camino-style walk will grow as a long-term legacy. Considerable planning and liaison is underway, and the working group includes representation from different churches and from walkers and community groups.

This year the number of participants is capped at 30. For further details of the itinerary and to register to walk please contact

Nhún na nGall
Derry City
Oideas Gael
Museum Nan Eilean
Comunn Eachdraidh Nis
Argyll Bute
colmcille 1500

Bòrd na Gàidhlig

Great Glen House
Leachkin Road
Scotland, IV3 8NW

(+44) 01463 225454


Foras na Gaeilge, 2-6 Queen Street
Northern Ireland

(+44) 028 9089 0970


Foras na Gaeilge, An Chrannóg
Na Doirí Beaga
Gaoth Dobhair
Donegal, Ireland. F92 EYT3

(+353) 074 9560113