Celtic Trails riding holiday in Ireland - Far and Ride
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Celtic Trails, Ireland





Reviews



The holiday was excellent, the riding was very well timetabled and nice riding through lovely countryside. All the team were lovely, particularly the two guides who looked after us very well.

Ann L.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Mostly Irish Cobs with some Connemaras and Irish Hunters.

Nature of horses:

Good, solid, sensible trail riding horses.

Height of horses:

14 - 17h.

Weight limit:

90kg/200lbs.

Tack type:

English (some Western saddles are available upon request).

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

A riding destination to bring you a touch of the true Irish spirit, taking you riding on Celtic trails through historic parts of the Irish countryside and beautiful nature. Guests can take part in fascinating trail rides through Co. Clare, Co. Galway and the special Burren National Park or can enjoy a more relaxed based stay at the 300 year old farmhouse, benefitting from beautiful hacking in the nearby woodlands and across farmland. More novice riders are welcome to some basic tuition (enough to get them riding safely and able to enjoy the trail riding) and to explore the land on a trusty Irish horse with a knowledgeable guide.

In the rural West of Ireland, the riding centre is situated in the rolling hills of the Slieve Aughty Mountains with views down to the River Shannon. The surrounding areas are quiet and peaceful making for an ideal getaway where you can simply enjoy the beautiful green countryside that Ireland has to offer. Guests without a whole week to spare can take part in their shorter programme combining fabulous horse riding with visits to Irish castles and monastic ruins, certainly one for those with a love of history. Families or non-riders might also enjoy the special opportunity of donkey walking available here!

Irish horses are renowned for both quality and temperament and all the horses here are Irish bred, many of them having grown up on the farm. They are trained to be good, solid, sensible trail riding horses and thus they are perfect for taking you across their homeland. There is a variety of horses including Irish Cobs, Connemaras and Irish Hunters, all of which can offer you a truly enjoyable ride.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

The lodge is a 300 year old farmhouse which has been tastefully restored to offer guests a comfortable and welcoming stay. It maintains an air of times gone by but features all modern facilities that guests might need. Guest rooms are all en suite and individually decorated.

The rooms available are 3 doubles (or twins), 2 twins, 3 singles and 1 triple. They are all en suite. There is one additional double room which has a separate but private bathroom across the hallway.

During the trail rides guests stay in the lodge (sometimes you will be driven back there, leaving the horses at a stop off point along the trail) and in guesthouses along the way.

Complimentary WiFi is available at the farmhouse and in most of the guesthouses during the trail ride.

Hearty Irish breakfasts and traditional farmhouse cooking is served, usually sat by the open turf fire. Lunch is usually a tasty buffet.

Prices include tea, coffee and fresh spring water. Other drinks (soft drinks and alcohol) are not included in the packages but are available for purchase.

 

Activities

Donkey walking - many years ago donkeys were seen as a hardworking farm animal and were of great value when working the land. Nowadays there are not many working donkeys left in Ireland and most are treated as pets. Here you can book a different kind of experience... "walking with a donkey!" This is great fun for families with children, donkey lovers or perhaps non-riders wanting to do something different.

 

Further Details

Languages: English.

Health requirements: None specific.

Age limit: Riders must be a minimum of 8 years old.

Tuition: Basic tuition available on the residential riding package if desired.

Included: Accommodation, all meals, tea, coffee, spring water, horse riding as per itinerary and luggage transport during the trails.

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, airport transfers, drinks and extras not mentioned.

 

Travel Information

Guests are advised to fly into Shannon Airport and from here we can arrange your airport transfers or you can hire a car (we can provide driving directions). Transfers are available at a cost of 35 Euros per person, each way.

Airport: Shannon

 

Programmes


Galway Clare Burren Trail



A point to point trail ride during which you discover some of Ireland's most beautiful nature and colourful history on horseback. The trail covers roughly 140 miles from County Galway, in the midwest of Ireland, westwards through rural parts of County Clare. You will reach the unique Burren region and then on to the Atlantic coast overlooking the magnificent cliffs of Moher. 

Saturday:

Pick up from Shannon Airport (if requested) and transfer to the lodge where you will stay for the first four nights. 

Sunday:

Introduction to your horse and start of the trail along the peaceful slopes of the wooded Slieve Aughty Mountains and across widespread bog lands. 

Monday:

Today you will enjoy fascinating views over the majestic Lough Derg. You will be riding through traditional turf cutting areas, listening to the myths of Neolithic dolmen and learning about the well-preserved ruins on Holy Island. 

Tuesday:

You will head for the top of the hills and overlook endless woods and miles of old stonewalls, with many a story to tell, which shelter lush green pastures. The sandy shores of the Lough Graney invite you to "blow the old cobwebs" away and the trail ride continues around the gentle lapping lake. 

Wednesday:

Lovely wood tracks guide you to the marshy uplands, to where County Clare unfolds around you. In the distance, the rising hills of the Burren National Park appear, as does the first glimpse of the stunning Galway Bay. Tonight you still stay in the quaint village of Corofin.

Thursday:

Today you will experience the unique and rocky landscape of the Burren National Park. Here you will discover a variety of rare and colourful flora and fauna, as well as number of highly interesting prehistoric settlements. Tonight is spent in quirky village of Lisdoonvarna, home to the bizarrely famous "Matchmaking festival". 

Friday:

Riding westwards until you reach the edge of this cragged coastline, you will be met by some of the most gloriously breathtaking views out across the seemingly endless Atlantic Sea. On a clear day, spot the beautiful Isles of Aran, the rugged Connemara Mountains and the rugged Cliffs of Moher. Tonight will offer another chance to explore the colourful village of Lisdoonvarna. 

Saturday:

After breakfast you will continue your onwards journey or take a transfer back to Shannon Airport for your departure. 

Please note that the itinerary may change without prior notice due to weather conditions or circumstances beyond your hosts' control.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Intermediate and above, capable of walk, trot and canter in open countryside and happy to ride for long hours.
Type of ride: Trail ride.
Total riding time: 6 days, 4 - 6 hours per day.
Departure dates: 2017: Saturday to Saturday starting: 1 April, 8 April, 15 April, 22 April, 29 April, 6 May, 13 May, 20 May, 27 May, 3 June, 10 June, 17 June, 24 June, 1 July, 8 July, 15 July, 22 July, 29 July, 5 August, 12 August, 19 August, 26 August, 2 September, 9 September, 16 September, 23 September. Shortened itinerary can be organised on request.
 
Pricing: 2017:

High Season (June, July and August): £1095 per person.
Normal Season: £1014 per person.
Single Supplement: £101 per person, per week.
Non-riders: £484 per person.



Irish Castle and Monastic Ruin Ride



A five night programme combining visits to ancient Irish castles and monastic ruins with lovely guided trail rides through Irish bogs, fields and local farmland. You ride four half days and then visit fascinating places such as Portumna Castle, seat of the Earl of Clanricarde and Pallas Castle, one of the best preserved tower houses and castle grounds of the 14th century. You will also take a boat ride to Holy Island on the river Shannon to explore the ruins of one of Ireland's most important monastic settlements. You will ride the horses to lunch at Williamstad House, a beautiful landlord residence of the 18th century.

Saturday

Arrival at Shannon Airport and transfer (if requested) to the riding centre. Transfer is approximately 2 hours and you will stay at the tastefully restored 300 year old farmhouse for the full five nights. On arrival day guests are invited simply relax and recover from their journey, or perhaps to take a stroll on the well mapped East Clare Walking Trail just nearby. In the evening you will get to know your fellow riders and enjoy dinner by candlelight and open turf fire. 

Sunday:

After breakfast you will head out to the horses. Every rider can bond with their horse by grooming and tacking them up themselves - don't worry as there are lots of helping hands around you! Your first ride (2 hours) will take you along forest tracks and quiet country lanes, passing some lovely abandoned 18th century farms. After lunch, you will be driven to the nearby harbour of Mountshannon, from where it is possible to catch a ferry to Inis Cealtra (the Holy Island). The island is one of the most famous monastic sites in Ireland, with religious pilgrims travelling here until the mid-19th century. You will note the discarded ruins of no less than six churches, early monastic cells and a pre-12th century cemetery, as well as the island's iconic preserved tower.

In the evening, you will return to the farmhouse for a wonderful home cooked dinner.

Monday:

Today's ride (2.5 hours) will take you into the hills of the Slieve Aughty Mountains in order to enjoy prominent views out over the sparkling Shannon river.

In the afternoon you will get to visit the impressive Portumna workhouse museum to experience the other side of Irelands dark and complex history. This will be followed by a chance to walk around the impressive 17th century Portumna Castle. You will also have time for shopping in the town, until your return to the farmhouse to relax by the peat fire and enjoy a traditional home cooked dinner.

Tuesday:

This morning's ride (2.5 hours) will follow quiet tracks through Ireland's beautiful rural countryside.  During the afternoon you will visit the 14th century walled castle at Pallas, one of the best preserved in the county. Explore its crumbling walls and discover a lifestyle forgotten.

After a hearty dinner back at the farmhouse, you may be invited to join your hosts for an outing to the local village pub. Meet some of the local characters and experience some true Irish hospitality!

Wednesday:

On your last day to you will be able to enjoy a full day of riding (4 hours). You will enjoy the beauty of the magical moorland landscape of marsh and heather. At around noon, you will be offered a picnic lunch, al-fresco, taking in the glorious views as you eat and reminisce on your experiences this week. Through the afternoon, you will ride back towards home, passing by an ancient Celtic Dolmen which is believed to be around 5000 years old. Finally you will reach the horses paddock where they will happily be turned loose.

Tonight you will enjoy your final night in the warm comfort and welcoming atmosphere of the farmhouse.

Thursday:

After breakfast it is time to say 'slan abhaile' and to get ready for the transfer (if booked) back to Shannon. 

Please note that the itinerary may change without prior notice due to weather conditions or circumstances beyond your hosts' control.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Strong confident novice and above. Capable of walk, trot and canter in open countryside.
Type of ride: Trail ride.
Total riding time: 4 riding days as per itinerary (some are half days).
Departure dates: 2017: 22-27 April, 13-18 May, 27 May - 1 June, 3-8 June, 24-29 June, 8-13 July, 22-27 July, 5-10 August, 19-24 August, 16-21 September, 7-12 October. Other dates available on request for groups.
 
Pricing: 2017:

£789 per person.
Non-rider: £586 per person.
Single Supplement: £72 per person

All prices include 5 nights full board accommodation, based on shared rooms at the riding centre and 4 days of horse riding as per the itinerary. All sight seeing trips and entry fees are also included.



Residential Riding Package



This based riding programme provides guests with their own horse for the week. You stay on site in the 300 year old farmhouse, enjoying the beautiful Irish surroundings and the company of a suitable horse. Experienced riders can enjoy the charming woodlands and endless riding tracks, heading out for a different ride each day in the company of a suitable guide. More novice riders can gain knowledge about their equine partner through horsemanship lessons, basic tuition and guided rides out. The tuition is just enough to get guests riding safely and able to enjoy the trail rides but it is not high level. 

This package includes approximately 15 hours of horse riding or lessons and runs all year, apart from the Christmas and New Year period. Riding is around 2 and a half hours each morning with the afternoons as free time.

Non-riders are welcome and shorter stays are available upon request. 



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Beginner to Experienced.
Type of ride: Based stay with hacking and basic tuition (if desired).
Total riding time: 6 riding days with 2.5 hours each day (approximately 15 hours of riding or lessons across the week).
Departure dates: Saturday - Saturday all year round. Shorter breaks are available upon request.
 
Pricing: 2017:

£760 per person, per week.
Single supplement: £101 per week.

Prices include your own horse for 6 days (including 15 hours of riding) and 7 nights full board accommodation at the riding centre.