The Giant’s Lair Slieve Gullion
A woodland walk exploring Hawthorn Hill Nature Reserve within Slieve Gullion Forest Park. A magical living storybook is brought to life through a trail of intertwined fairy houses and arts features creating a childhood land with dragons, giants and fairies. The Giant’s Lair is inspired by legend and mythical folklore on over a mile of woodlands at Slieve Gullion Forest Park.
There are magnificent views of the Ring of Gullion mountains including Croslieve, Slievebrack and Mullaghbane Mountains from the path.
Distance 1 mile
OS Map Sheet 29
Terrain Undulating woodland trail
Nearest Town Forkhill, Meigh, Dromintee
Route Shape Circular
Grid Reference J04098 19735
Route Type Hill, Woodland
The walk starts and finishes in the car park adjacent to the Slieve Gullion Courtyard Centre in Slieve Gullion Forest Park.
Follow the path uphill at the side of the children’s play park. Keep to the left and continue straight uphill through deciduous woodland for about 750m until arriving at a forest track with a log bench on the right hand side of the path.
From this point magnificent views can be had of the Ring of Gullion Hills near Forkhill.
Keeping to the right, continue on the path back in to the woodland. The path continues for 850m, first uphill, before descending directly to the car park and start point.
Follow in the footsteps of Flynn the mischievous fairy, who has one important job – not to allow anyone to wake Slieve Gullion; It might look like a mountain but it’s really a sleeping giant! Drop in for a cup of dandelion tea, grab a seat at the Giant’s Table, stroll along to the Ladybird House and sneak a peek at local witchy trickster, The Calliagh Berra. The Giant’s Lair captures a genuine sense of enchantment and mystery in the beautiful setting of Slieve Gullion Forest Park.
Situated beside the Slieve Gullion Adventure Playpark, with handy car parking available. The Giant’s Lair is free to walk round and explore. The trail takes you into plenty of nooks and crannies so a backpack carrier or baby sling is recommended for tots.
These walks are situated in a working forest environment and may be subject to diversion and closure from time to time. Up to date information is available on the Forest Service web site – link below.
Opening times – Giant’s Lair and Adventure Playpark
1st April to the last weekend in October – 8am until 9pm
Last weekend in October to 31st March – 8am until 4pm
Walled garden and pond in the adjacent Courtyard
From Newry take the Dublin Road until the Cloghoge Roundabout (2km). Travel on the B113 towards Forkhill, for approximately 5km past Meigh until the sign for Slieve Gullion Forest Park on the right hand side of the road just before Drumintee. Follow the drive past the Courtyard Centre to the car park which is the start and finish of the walk (GR J042196).
Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk
Dogs are allowed. Dogs are not allowed in the Adventure Playpark, and must be ‘under control’ at all times in the rest of the Forest Park.
Grounded Café, the Visitor Information Office and toilets are all situated in the Slieve Gullion Courtyard. The café, and toilets have disabled access from the carpark.
The car park can accommodate 120 cars (8 disabled parking bays), and has space for four 50 seater buses. Do drive and park with caution as there may be small children, fairies and trolls about. You can call ahead to Grounded café to book large groups on 028 3084 9786.
The Adventure Playpark, Giant’s Lair, Carpark, and Courtyard will be staffed during opening hours by a partnership of organisations. You can ask staff in high visibility clothing for any extra information, and they are all trained in First Aid for your safety.
The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility:
– Café (wheelchair accessible) – Open daily from 10am to 4pm
– Disabled toilets – Open daily from 10am to 4pm
- The path may not be hard and firm in all weathers with loose stones (not bigger than 10cm) with occasional tree roots and pot holes and will be at least 80cm wide for its entire length.
- The path gradients and cross slopes will be greater than 6 degrees
- Obstacles such as steps or stiles are to be expected and surface breaks may be larger 75mm in width.
- There will be a clear head height of greater than 2.10m for the entire length of the route.
- Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.