Stepping into the past to bring tourists in the future 30/05/17 : the chronicle.ie

Stepping into the past to bring tourists in the future 30/05/17

| May 30, 2017

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What is hoped to be a major tourism driver for the county over the coming years was unveiled last week when the The Norman Way heritage and cycling trail was officially launched by the  Minister of State for Tourism and Transport, Patrick O’Donovan at Lady’s Island, County Wexford.

The Norman Way trail was developed by Wexford County Council with support from Failte Ireland as a true treasure of “Ireland’s Ancient East”. The route uncovers Medieval Ireland via a series of authentic, protected medieval sites which tell the compelling story of the Normans and their way of life over 800 years ago. .

This forward thinking experience brings visitors back to Ireland’s past on a road less travelled, to discover religious structures, architectural ruins and other hidden gems along a route from Lady’s Island, through Tomhaggard and Kilmore Quay, and eventually onto Bannow, Tintern, Fethard and Hookhead to New Ross and beyond,” commented Minister O’Donovan.

One of the most enjoyable ways to experience the 22 kilometres of undisturbed landscape which makes up this first phase of The Norman Way is on two wheels, sailing down quiet country lanes, through beautiful seaside villages and past stunning beaches. .

Currently, the trail comprises ten fascinating sites steeped in Irish history, running from Lady’s Island to Kilmore Quay along an including a wonderful new visitor experience at St Mary’s Church in New Ross, while an additional 21 sites have been identified for a second phase of development.

Along with brand new Norman Way interpretive panels at each of the sites, new groundwork, seats and bike racks have also been installed at several of these medieval sites, to provide a comfortable experience for all levels of walkers and cyclists,” said Tony Larkin, Director of Enterprise and Planning Services at Wexford County Council. ”.

Minister O’Donovan concluded his address by congratulating all those involved in developing the Norman Way.  “With a greater number of Norman castles and churches than any other county in Ireland, South Wexford has been left with an extraordinary legacy of Norman descent. The Norman Way aims to promote this rich heritage, both to our own and to visitors, whilst promoting some of the best scenery Ireland has to offer,” said the Minister.

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