Come along to the Ring of Gullion Lúnasa Festival 2021 and immerse yourself in the rich landscape, culture and heritage of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This festival is part of the Mourne-Gullion-Strangford Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark of events and is funded by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. To find a full list of events visit www.ringofgullion.org.
Escape the hustle and bustle of Belfast, with Gullion A. Tours, and come for a dally on the border through the ancient Barony of Orior; home to saints, singers, poets, and legends, on our first bus tour from Belfast.
Enjoy the impressive scenery in this area of outstanding natural beauty as you zig-zag along the border roads, immersed in historical and mythical tales. One of the highlights will be Derrymore House, complete with a display of the hand-crafted lace which has been made in the area from the 19th century and made N. Ireland and industrial powerhouse.
Heading South from Belfast you’ll pass through drumlin country, past the Mournes and into the Ring of Gullion to make your first stop at Derrymore House, a National Trust property on the outskirts of the model village of Bessbrook; the less famous predecessor to Bournville model village, in England. There you’ll be able to view an exhibition of Carrickmacross and Clanrye lace and speak to the women who are keeping this heritage cottage industry alive.From Derrymore you dally to and fro, zigzagging along the border roads (not literally of course; hilly country doesn’t make for straight roads) visiting highlights such as:
• The Hill of Faughart, steeped in history and folklore. It’s also an excellent photo stop, on a good day, as it has panoramic views of the Pale and Gap of the North.
• Moyry Castle, which epitomises the phrase “They don’t build them like they used to” as it was built in 30 days and is still standing! Moyry keeps watch over the Gap of the North one of the key strategic routes for armies moving North or South.
• Slieve Gullion mountain, reputed to be Ireland’s most mystical mountain, it an opportunity for fairy hunting, dilly dallying through the forest or chilling out in the café. Don’t worry we aren’t actually dragging you up the mountain. (Though if you’d like a guided hike, this can be arranged for another day.)
Along the way your guide will enthral you tales of kings, queens, chieftains, legends and much, much more. It’s a tour not to be missed! We hope it inspires you to return again and again to explore all the hidden gems the Ring of Gullion has to offer. The bus will depart and return to Cityside Retail & Leisure Park, Belfast and there will be the opportunity for lunch in a traditional bar in the border village of Forkhill.
NB: If there are spaces on the bus, we can arrange a pick up at Derrymore House, however, priority will be given to people booking the whole tour from Belfast.
Click here to book. Booking is essential.
Rapid COVID-19 tests – known as Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests
The use of LFD testing is important as an additional measure alongside the range of existing safety measures in place. It is important to remember that, even with a negative LFD test, continue to follow all other public health and safety measures in place.
It is strongly recommended that anyone participating in, or attending, any event should test themselves before they attend, and on days 2 and 8 after the event. The purpose of this testing is to identify any positive cases in advance of the event, and allow them to self-isolate. Post event testing will also help to identify any asymptomatic COVID-19 infections arising from the event, or social interactions that may occur before or after an organised event.
Rapid COVID-19 tests can be obtained by anyone who requires them, free of charge. Rapid test packs can be ordered online for free delivery to your home.
You can also order them for collection in a number of locations across NI:
If anyone has symptoms of COVID-19, they should self-isolate and book a PCR test immediately. Please do not attend events unless you receive a negative PCR test. PCR tests are available at testing sites across Northern Ireland and can be booked at: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.