Join Mark Thompson and Lolly Spence will explore the 300-mile Ulster leg of the International Appalachian Trail in a new three-part series for BBC Two.
‘Walkin’ Hame’ brings them from the coastal town of Larne all the way to Donegal.
The Appalachian Trail in the United States is one of the world’s most famous hiking trails, spanning more than 2,000 miles and crossing 14 states.
But geologists have discovered that it was once part of an ancient mountain range stretching all the way from America to Europe – and so in recent years new chapters of the International Trail have been created, including one in Ulster.
Walkin’ Hame follows Mark and Lolly as they hike the trail through four counties, taking in some of the most picturesque locations in Ulster along the way.
They also meet people along the way who help them explore Ulster’s enduring links with the Appalachian region and discover more about the Ulster-Scots language and heritage.
Episode one finds the presenting duo in the coastal town of Larne, where they learn about the Ulster-Scots migrants who made the perilous journey to America during the 18th century.
In Antrim, Lolly meets a local tour guide for a hike to Antrim’s Sallagh Braes, a series of spectacular basalt cliff that create a natural amphitheatre in the heart of the Glens, while Mark catches up with acclaimed singer-songwriter Ben Glover and Carnlough poet Gary Morgan.
In episode two Mark and Lolly pick up their journey from Kinbane Castle on the Antrim Coast, before heading west to cross the mighty River Bann, where they learn about settlements dating back thousands of years.
At Downhill Beach, overlooked by Mussenden Temple, Lolly chats with the Ulster-Scots poet Anne McMaster, who’s experienced life on both sides of the Atlantic.
At Binevenagh Mountain, Mark catches up with Helen Mark, the Scottish-born broadcaster who has made the area her home, while in Tyrone our presenters find out about the story behind the International Appalachian Trail.
In the final episode Mark pays a visit to Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh for its annual Bluegrass Festival.
At Lough Eske – the gateway to Donegal’s rugged Bluestack Mountains – Lolly hears the story of Frances Browne, the ‘blind poetess of Ulster’.
In the Irish-speaking heartland of Glencolmcille, Mark explores the unique Donegal fiddling style with acclaimed violinist Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.
Mark and Lolly complete their Ulster Odyssey at Bunglas Point in South Donegal, with breath-taking views over Slieve League.
Walkin’ Hame begins on Sunday 8 January on BBC Two Northern Ireland at 10pm.
The entire series will be available on BBC iPlayer.
It is a Below The Radar production for BBC Northern Ireland, with assistance from the Northern Ireland Screen Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund.