Enjoy Bed & Breakfast at the Carrickdale with full use of health & leisure centre, then your journey will start at the foot of Slieve Gullion (Slieve Gullion is a 5 minute drive from the hotel, however please note transport is not provided in package but can be arranged at an additional cost. 10.30 – 1130am Mindful Walk – Slieve Gullion forest
Your journey begins at Slieve Gullion Mountain for a restorative, mindful walk where you will explore the magic of the forest. You will be met with a warm smile from Ann Ward, local Meditation coach, Tour Guide and Ring of Gullion Ambassdor. Ann has deep connections with Slieve Gullion Mountain through her family heritage. She will guide you on this sensory journey and share the holistic benefits of mindfulness and forest therapy. 12- 2.30pm Sacred Site Visits – Killeavy Old Churches and St Moninnas Well
Ann will accompany you to the 6th century church, founded by Moninna, one of the first female saints in Ireland (who was Christened by St. Patrick). Ann will share stories on the history of the ancient sites and you will experience the deep silence and palpable sense of peace within these sacred grounds. The graveyard is a reminder of the importance of cherishing life and living in the moment and the impermanence of life.
Ann will then gently guide us up a meandering steep little path towards St. Moninna’s Well (pre-Christian). She will point out healing herbs along the way and a special seat her Father built in dedication to her Mum Winifred who was born in the house just below the well. You will drink from the healing waters of the holy well and learn about Druid rituals and the spiritual source of water.
Ann will guide us through a mindful breathing exercise where you will connect with the silence of the landscape. Relaxation continues with mindful eating practice with a gourmet picnic form ‘A Taste of Gullion’, while enjoying a panoramic view of the townland of Killeavy (Church of the Mountain).3-4pm
We will then visit Ann’s quirky meditation space (a 2nd world war Nissan hut!) in the neighbouring village of Meigh. You will learn more about the benefits of mindfulness
and stress management and how to anchor yourself in the present moment using the natural resources of your breath, your body and your senses………
4pm Travel to Venora and Iains Farmhouse in Ravensdale (2 hour experience)
After the silent, sombre beauty of Killeavy Old Churches and St. Moninnas well, travel a few minutes across the Ancient East, through the historic Gap of the North, to visit an old traditional Farmhouse, home of Venora and Iain. The house, garden and orchard is set against the backdrop of the beautiful Cooley hills, where mythological warrior Cu Chulainn roamed as a child with his hurleystick and ball. Here it is said , began the tradition of Hurling as an Irish national spórt.
Venora is a storyteller, gardener and is steeped in local culture. Iain is a food producer of “Drumnasilla,” making homemade chutneys, award winning curd and jams and country cordials. The couple aim is to offer a total sensory and relaxing experience to visitors of their house and garden.
You will initially explore the cottage garden and orchard with Venora, and learn about the herb garden and the differing traditional, medicinal and culinary uses of a variety of herbs. Visitors will experience the feel, smell and taste of sorrel, fennel, thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, and many more. You may even find some comfy, hiding in a shady corner. In Irish it is called Lus na gcnámh mbriste (Plant of the broken bone) or more commonly Knitbone, This makes a wonderful natural fertiliser too. The couple believe in the use of natural fertilisers in the orchard and garden, and can show you how these are easily made.
Your experience will continue with a simple farmhouse supper in the company of your hosts in their diningroom. Our menu will include fish, meat or artisan cheeses- all locally sourced, with seasonal salads, herbs and fruit desserts from the garden. This will be complimented with Drumnasilla's chutneys, curds and jams. To drink, we provide our own natural Spring Water, cordials, tea, coffee and herbal infusions.
Please advise of any special dietary requirements on the booking form.