Local hiking tour to explore the origins of Halloween

The Neolithic Tomb in the Derg Valley which will be explored as part of The Halloween Origins Tour.
The Neolithic Tomb in the Derg Valley which will be explored as part of The Halloween Origins Tour.

Local landscape guide and ecologist Martin Bradley has created a tour that invites curious visitors to explore rural Derry and Strabane this Halloween, to discover some of the ancient origins of the Celtic festival of Samhain.

The Halloween Origins Tour is a unique trip that visits a number of prehistoric sites and ancient habitats that hold tales about the beginnings of the festival.

The tour will take place from Friday, October 26 to Thursday, November 1 and is part of a wide range of trails in Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Halloween 2018 programme.

“My tour explores stone circles, sacred wells, druid`s altars, ancient forests and stories of bog bodies, ritual offerings and more,” explained Martin who has an extensive knowledge of the plant archaeology of this region.

“It also considers the fact that many of the trees, shrubs and plants now found in our countryside have associations with ancient festivals such as Samhain. Interest in the tour has been quite surprising, with a healthy number of North American`s having already booked on Eventbrite. Plus Visit Derry has been able to point a number of Europeans to my origins tour as bookings from Austria and Spain have also been confirmed”.

The tour takes approximately seven hours and departs from the Tourist Office at Foyle Street daily at 9.30am, taking participants through part of Donegal and into the Derg Valley.

Those interested in taking part are advised to wear hiking boots and to prebook as places are limited.

Tickets are available on www.derryhalloween.com/tickets or by contacting Martin on 07926785706 or e mailing martin839@btinternet.com.

The Halloween Origins Tour is one of 11 trails on offer in the Derry Halloween 2018 Programme, including tours of the City Cemetery and the Tower Museum.

The 2018 Halloween programme will run to November 3, with over 100 family friendly activities at more than 40 venues, stretching over nine jam-packed days.