The Lecale Region , Northern Ireland

Jutting into the southern reach of Strangford Lough , the Lecale Peninsula is above all St Patrick country. It is a real hidden gem.

Ireland's patron saint was a Roman Briton , first carried off as a youth from somewhere near Carlisle in Northern England by Irish raiders. He spent six years in slavery in Ireland before escaping home again and , at the age of thirty , decided to return to Ireland as a Bishop , to spread Christianity.

Christianity had already reached Ireland a while earlier , probably through traders and other slaves , and , indeed , St Patrick was not in fact the first Bishop of Ireland , but he remains easily the most famous. He arrived in Ireland this second time , according to his biographer Muirchu (also his erstwhile captor , converted) , on the shores of the Lecale Region , and his first Irish sermon was preached at Saul in 432. Today the region commemorates the association with sites at Struell Wells and Saul , as well as at Downpatrick town.

All worth seeing on Ireland tours.