herald

Saturday 24 September 2016

Move over Wild Atlantic Way ... the magic of the Ancient East is unveiled

TOURISM

Historical characters St Kevin with Lady Lucy Fitzgerald of Caron House and William Marshall take a coffee break before the official Failte Ireland launch of Ireland's Ancient East by Minister Paschal Donohue in the RDS
Historical characters St Kevin with Lady Lucy Fitzgerald of Caron House and William Marshall take a coffee break before the official Failte Ireland launch of Ireland's Ancient East by Minister Paschal Donohue in the RDS
Christine Bleakley

Popular tourist route the 'Wild Atlantic Way' looks set for some competition as a new initiative to promote the east and south coasts is launched.

The new 'Ireland's Ancient East' route will stretch from Newgrange and the Boyne Valley in the north east all the way down via Kilkenny's Medieval mile to Waterford's Viking Quarter, before finishing in Cork.

It's hoped that the path will mimic the success of its western counterpart.

"With the great amount of history and heritage in such a relatively compact area, 'Ireland's Ancient East' will allow us to seriously build on the assets we have in the east and south," Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe said.

The Wild Atlantic Way will make an appearance on television screens today as TV presenter Christine Bleakley (inset) travels the route in her new show 'Wild Ireland'.

The popular host, who is engaged to English footballer Frank Lampard, is taking a break from her normal glamorous get-up for the new UTV Ireland travel show, which sees her drive, hike and swim the path.

"It was such a pleasure to film this series and to get the opportunity to really see, feel and experience Ireland in all its breath-taking glory.

"Getting to visit places like the Keshcurran Caves in Sligo ... has been fascinating and it's all on our doorstep," she said.

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