Winter Solstice is approaching fast and personally it’s one of our favourite days of the year! As the shortest day, it inevitably means those dark afternoons are about to change and Spring is just around the corner… Even though in reality we haven’t even had winter yet! It’s a psychological thing really isn’t it….brighter evenings imply that Spring is on it’s way.
Winter solstice is famously celebrated at the historic Stonehenge site, but did you know Northern Ireland has it’s own historic solstice site?
On the southern end of the summit of Slieve Gullion is Ireland’s highest known surviving passage tomb which dates to the Neolithic period of human settlement in South Armagh. The prehistoric tomb, which was constructed at an unknown date between 4000 BC and 2500 BC, is aligned to the setting sun of the Winter Solstice.
This year a series of walks to the passage tomb will take place from December 19 – 22 for walkers to witness the spectacular event when the setting sun illuminates the passage chamber of the tomb.
The walks to the passage tomb leave from Slieve Gullion Forest Drive top car park at 2.30pm on each day and are all free of charge and weather dependent. The walk on December 22 will be led in Irish.
To book your place visit www.ringofgullion.org/whatson – booking essential.
For more information on things to and see in Northern Ireland click on www.discovernorthernireland.com, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto www.facebook.com/discovernorthernireland