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“Walking shares with making and working that crucial element of engagement of the body and the mind with the world, of knowing the world through the body and the body through the world.” Rebecca Solnit

An important part of the Pilgrimage project is taking the group into the landscape on specific field trips. We do this in part so we can connect more closely with our ancient heritage, and the land, but also so that the group can walk and talk and form new relationships. It’s been well documented that walking can stimulate creative thought, and the process of being out in the open air, walking side by side with endless space to the front and behind, can open up new possibilities through new ways of thinking and a renewed ability to share intimacies.

The first of these field trips was to explore two key sites in Sligo both dating some 5,000 years old; Knocknarea; that most recognisable of landscapes with Queen Maeve’s cairn perched on top, and Carrowkeel; a less well travelled mountain with spectacular examples of intact cairns that you can still enter and experience.

For our first climb we were guided by archeologist Stefan Bergh, whose main research interest is focused on the interaction between people, place and landscapes in prehistory. He is an expert on Knocknarea, having published several pieces of work about the mountain. He is currently completing a new body of research which is nearing publication in the coming year or so.

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