Walking with saints

No matter what your beliefs, walking in the footsteps of previous pilgrims through nature brings moments of transcendence and enlightenment, writes Jasper Winn.

Taking the pilgrims' route to Mount Brandon in Co Kerry.

Which came first? Walking or thinking? Pilgrimage or religion? Whether on pre-historic paths between natural shrines, the Hadj to Mecca, the Hindu teertha-yatra to Varanasi or the many roads to Santiago and Rome, humans have always found a deeper meaning in walking than just getting around.

Movement is of itself a miracle and even those without affiliation to an organised belief system or without religious faith of any kind can find moments of ...