Booley & Butter  – Forgotten Traditions of the Past

Forkhill, Northern Ireland


4 hours


Set dates (also available for private bookings)


Forkhill, Northern Ireland



Group size

1 - 12

To book contact: www.mountainwaysireland.com

+353 (0) 87 224 3176 [email protected]


Seventh generation farmer, Brian Hoey, grew up inside a magical ring of hills that surround the beautiful heather clad Slieve Gullion Mountain. Through Brian, who is now an expert mountain leader, tour guide and seasoned forager, the forgotten past is awakened with masterfully shared stories of the millennia-old traditions and secrets of this ancient magical place.

Walk in the footsteps of ancient herds, warriors, and fairies. Stroll through abandoned famine fields known as ‘lazy beds,’ a direct link to the failed potato crop of the great Irish famine (1840’s) and the impoverished world of Brian’s ancestors.  Open the half door to a 200-year-old private stone cottage to see original butter making tools used by Brian’s great grandparents. Visit the ‘booley’ site, an old stone enclosure used for centuries by cow herding girls and butter makers. In memory of this craft, learn how to create your own batch of butter along with an old ritual, invoked to prevent the fairies from stealing the cream.


Awaken the Traditions of a 6000 year old Mountain Community in the Magical Ring of Gullion
  • Brian Hoey | expert mountain leader | intimately connected with the stories and landscape of Slieve Gullion
  • Experience | private access to rocky mountain pastures | unique species rich upland piece of heaven.
  • Sense of Place | learn old Gaelic place names | the deep ancestral connection to abandoned famine fields
  • Family History | enter the world of Brian’s ancestors | tales of a mountain community | links to the past
  • Forage | collect, taste, and learn the nutritional quality of wild foods | learn about mountain valley plants
  • Butter-making | become part of “booleying” (butter making) story | make your own butter/ enjoy an artisan picnic lunch at the Booley site
  • Landscape & Wildlife | spectacular borderland landscape born of ice and fire | rich biodiversity & wildlife
  • Folklore, Myth & Legend | walk in the footsteps of ancient cow herds, warriors, and fairies


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Additional Information

This is for the most part an outdoor experience so a raincoat and good walking shoes / boots are a requirement.

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