St Patrick's Day in Northern Ireland - What to see in Downpatrick

Dufferin Coaching Inn is located just a stone's throw away from Downpatrick, a town famous for its Monastic heritage. Known as Saint Patrick’s town, the quiet area comes alive during the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

We caught up with an expert on the area’s historic inheritance, Dr Thérèse Cullen from Irish Monastic Tours who told us the must-see attractions in County Down during St. Patrick’s Day. “The story of St Patrick provides elements that everyone can relate to. Saint Patrick is part of our common Christian heritage on this island, as he predates sectarian disputes and has been claimed by both communities,” said Dr Cullen. 

“While St Patrick’s Day has become a day most commonly spent in the pub, it’s important to remember why we celebrate the day. What better way to kick off this year’s celebrations than by getting outdoors and experiencing the same landmarks as Patrick did fifteen centuries ago?” 

To get in the spirit of St. Paddy’s, Dufferin Coaching Inn is running a special offer for guests to stay 3 nights during St Patrick’s Day weekend and only pay for 2. So book your stay with us and take a look at what County Down has to offer: 

Slieve Patrick

Trace the footsteps of the town’s patron saint with a dander down Saint Patrick’s Trail and a scenic climb to Slieve Patrick where you can view the largest statue of St Patrick in the world!

The Parade

Thousands of people flock to the main street of Downpatrick each year to watch the vibrant cross-community carnival parade. The entertaining floats range from traditional Irish dancing performances and live music of marching bands, to energetic exotic dance routines from far-off cultures and elaborate art exhibitions from the local community. 

The Saint Patrick's Centre

Step through the state-of-the-art visitor’s centre located in the heart of Downpatrick. The modern museum houses some of the most treasured relics relating to Patrick’s life. Narrated by award-winning Irish actor Ciarán Hinds, visitors are guided through a chronological tour of Patrick’s journey from slavery to sainthood. 

Holy Wells of Struell

Although they date back before the time of Saint Patrick, this magical site is the backdrop of four holy wells, which once upon a time people visited seeking cures from the sacred waters. Legend has it that St Patrick used to come from nearby Saul to bathe in the waters, and religious pilgrims still visit the spot to this day!

Dr Cullen runs tours of historical Irish monastic sites throughout the year and throughout Ireland. For St Patrick’s Day she will host a series of special tours every Saturday in March.  Tickets can be booked directly through Irish Monastic Tours www.irishmonastictours.com.