A boy and his hurley It was against this storied landscape that young Setanta set out across the Cooley Mountains, making his way through the thicket-strewn terrain, a dream in his heart and a hurley stick in his hand. His quest? To prove his worth as a warrior to his uncle, the High King of Ulster, and join the ranks of Macra: the trainee division of the legendary Red Branch Knights. To shorten the journey, Setanta hit a sliotar (ball) with his hurley along the route before him. Along hilly peaks and deep gullies, through bouncing bracken and purple heather, he battled through rain and mist. Yet he always kept his eye on the prize – and on the sliotar surging ahead. © Conor Phelan A hero's welcome Passing through the verdant valley of Glenmore, climbing the peak of Slieve Foy, Setanta looked out over the ocean. He drank in the emerald stillness of Carlingford Lough, unable to know that, millennia later, their names and his own would be forever intertwined in legend. Finally, he reached the royal court of King Conchobar. The Macra were assembled on the grass outside the castle, over 100 of them in total, playing hurling with a swiftness that rivalled the wind. But Setanta beat them one and all, attracting the attention of the king, who welcomed the boy with open arms. Discover where legends come to life Take on this exhilarating 4-day journey and you'll see more than just witches... you might even meet a leprechaun! Ireland's Ancient East North from Dublin The journey continues Over the years that followed, Setanta would himself become a Red Branch Knight, and eventually one of the most feared and fearsome names of Irish legend: Cú Chulainn. To this day, the All-Ireland Poc Fada commemorates Setanta’s epic journey across the Cooley Mountains, with 12 of the island’s best hurlers aiming to cross the same stretch of land with the fewest whacks of the ball. Though thousands of years have passed, it remains a dream deep in the hearts of many to follow in the footsteps of Setanta. So: do you have what it takes? The mountains are waiting… Stories from Ireland's Ancient East 5 stories from the sea Take a deep breath: we're bringing five tales from the coast of Ireland's Ancient East to the surface. When is a stone not just a stone? In this part of Ireland, even the stones tell tales. Careful where you tread, there could be a story beneath your feet... Go beyond the gates of Guinness Three tales of invention, inspiration and innovation from the history of this legendary brew. Crafts of Ireland's Ancient East Meet masterful craftspeople who are bringing design brilliance and innovation to this legendary corner of Ireland. 9 fun facts Magical fairies, incredible saints and 1,000 year-old butter – you won't believe these tales from Ireland's Ancient East. Women who made history Meet the inspiring and sometimes dangerous women of Ireland’s Ancient East who’s legacies live on across the land. High kings and heroes Trace the tales of Ireland’s high kings and brave heroes preserved in the ancient stone of Ireland’s finest monuments. Tales of terror Murderous widows, treacherous clans and tragic deaths: Ireland’s Ancient East is wrought with spirits from its perilous past. Gorgeous gardens Explore ancient woodlands, elegant trails and bask in the beauty of flourishing flora in these breathtaking gardens.