What is Footsteps in the Forest Giant Adventure
As High Summer lingers on the horizon, a mythical people are coming together. Slieve Gullion Forest Park is their destination and our preparations are almost complete. Step into the forest this summer and step outside the world as you know it. Leave behind all that is familiar and let the gentleness of nature restore your weary spirit. Then close your eyes and listen, for in the distance a sound is stirring… who owns those Footsteps in the Forest……
Footsteps in the Forest Giant Adventure, Winner of the 2016 Heritage Council Cool for Kids category, is an unmissable weekend festival of story-telling, arts, culture, food and heritage for the very young to the very old. If you like a good story then this Giant Adventure is for you.
When is Footsteps in the Forest Giant Adventure
Footsteps in the Forest Giant Adventure is an annual event hosted by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Tourism Northern Ireland. This year, 2017, the Giant Adventure takes place on Saturday the 3rd June and Sunday 4th June. If you can’t make Footsteps in the Forest, don’t worry there are plenty of other events and festivals happening throughout the year.
Where is Footsteps in the Forest Giant Adventure
This magical annual Giant Adventure takes place at one of Ireland’s premier visitor attractions, Slieve Gullion Forest Park in the Ring of Gullion Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in County Armagh.
The mischievous trolls get into your SatNav around this magical mountain- so we advise not using it to get here! Good old pen and paper, they can’t muddle that up.
From either Belfast or Dublin directions; Exit through the ‘Newry South’ – Forkhill Exit, B113. From the slip road you will pick up the first sign for Slieve Gullion Forest Park (4th exit from north, 1st exit from south). On the exit road you will pick up signs for Forkhill B113 and Slieve Gullion Forest Park. Check out the map below and follow the black on yellow signs from here and always, always look out for trolls, fairies and giants you may meet on the roads of South Armagh! If you need an ATM, stop of at the EuroSpar on the right hand side.
Do I need tickets for Footsteps in the Forest Giant Adventure
Most of the Giant Adventure at Slieve Gullion Forest Park is ticket-less, you don’t need a ticket to enjoy the fun and festivities. You’ll have a chance to get up close and personal and maybe even get a picture with some of these larger than life characters from the world of myths and legends.
The food market offers excellent local provenance produce in a traditional style market-place, so come join us and ensure you enjoy a tasty treat or two.
And throughout the day when you’re not meeting all the mythical characters, eating at the market, listening to local musicians, The Traditional Arts Partnership, at the main stage or talking to some weird and wonderful characters walking around the Forest you can enjoy all these activities and more at Slieve Gullion Forest Park: Face painting, jumping clay, watching Mr Mess ake a mess! and make and do with Artists from the local arts group: ROGHA.
ROGHA (Ring of Gullion Handcrafts and Arts) are an arts collective from the Ring of Gullion. They will be demonstrating their skills and teaching you some too at Footsteps in the Forest Giant Adventure.
At Footsteps In the Forest Giant Adventure there will be wood turning demos creating spinning tops and fairy wands for kids; metal forging demos making keyrings, bottle openers and fireside accessories; children and big kids will get a chance to make felt wands and pencils; there will be a Footsteps in the Forest pottery workshop; a Light Dancers Glass Art Experience; you’ll be able to make your own Fairy and Elf doors; or work with Mrs Sew and Sew; and even make your very own Felt Fairy wings and Creature footsteps all with the artists from ROGHA.
Free ‘Fast-Track’ Tickets for the Living Story Trail
The Living Children’s Story Trail is an unforgettable experience set amidst the enchanting woodland trails of Slieve Gullion Forest Park. There are guided tours with limited spaces every 15 minutes throughout the day. You can book your ‘Fast-Track’ tickets below. Please note not everyone is guaranteed a space on the Living Story Trail guided tour. We advise getting there early with your fast-track ticket on the day!
Information for parents about Footsteps in the Forest Giant Adventure
Please allow plenty of time, about an hour, to get to the park for your allotted tour; there will be ‘park & dander’ facilities – and there will be plenty of signage and helpful trolls as you arrive. Lots of events and festivals are happening during the bank holiday weekend so its well worth an over night stay or two – check out these great offers.
There are five ticket only time slots set aside for people with additional needs on both mornings. These sessions are reserved for people with additional needs such as ASD, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome, learning disabilities or sensory and communication disorders and their siblings. Group numbers will be smaller, speakers turned down and a little extra time will be given to complete the trail. The facilitators will be aware that the children have additional needs and the atmosphere will be more relaxed.
The tour will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes so please bring suitable footwear, and wear weather appropriate clothing. We do not recommend bringing pushchairs as per normal activities on the mountain, and the path isn’t suitable for wheelchair users.
There is no ATM on site. The closest ATM is at the EuroSpar at the ‘Newry South’ Exit.
Slieve Gullion Forest Park: Restrictions During Footsteps in the Forest Giant Adventure
Slieve Gullion Forest Park will be closed to all public moterised traffic from 6pm Friday 2nd June until 8am Monday 5th June. The park, except Hawthorn Hill (Giant’s Lair / Fairy Trail), will remain open to pedestrians. Please note the Forest Drive will be closed on the 3rd and 4th June. Normal operating resumes at 8am Monday 5th June.