Riding: No riding.
After arriving in Belfast or Dublin, you will make your way to your first accommodation on Antrim's north coast - we can organise your airport transfers at additional cost or help you with public transport. If you hire a car then you can travel along the Causeway Coastal Route which has been called one of the top five road trips in the world, offering spectacular views of the rugged coastline. Alternatively your hosts can provide a private driver and tour guide to bring this area to life!
Today is purely for travel and settling in, you can spend the day at leisure or do a spot of sightseeing. You can choose a local pub or restaurant for dinner, sample a pint of Guinness with the friendly locals or find somewhere to dance to some traditional Irish music. Your hosts look forward to meeting you to the next day.
Riding: 6 - 7 hours
A driver will collect you from your accommodation and take you to the stables to meet your hosts including Sheba, the Border Collie farm dog, who will give you a warm welcome. There is a tour of the stables this morning and you will meet the team of horses - you are welcome to help with grooming and tacking up if you like to be 'hands on'.
You will have a chance to ensure that you are comfortable with your horse and there will be a riding assessment to make sure that everyone is safe and settled, then you'll be off for a day ride into the wilderness of the North Antrim hills. The slopes are dotted with heather and you'll see panoramic views over verdant pastures and the north coast. There will be a stop at a glass-sided mountain cabin which is located high in the hills and is the perfect place for a picnic or a traditional afternoon tea.
Today's riding takes you past the old peat banks, once a traditional source of fuel in Ireland, and you can stop and try your hand at peat-cutting with the old-fashioned peat spades. A great photo opportunity for those interested in Irish history!
Once the ride has ended, you'll be picked up and drive to your accommodation where you can get freshened up before heading into town for dinner, drinks and craic with the locals, whatever takes your fancy.
Riding: 6 - 7 hours
Today your horses will be transported to the hills above Ballycastle from where you will ride to Loughareema, also known as the 'Vanishing Lake', an area of Irish myths and legends. This other-worldly lake is often covered with a mist and has the habit of simply disappearing overnight and is apparently haunted by ghosts when at its fullest. Your guide will have plenty of tales to share with you!
Riding on from the lake you will have the chance to explore a secret only known to locals, an underground spring leading to the Carey River, situated on the McBride family farm. From there, the Old Coach road leads you to the Glen of Glendun, one of the 9 Glens of Antrim - the road was once a main link for travellers from the coast to the glens but has been abandoned for many years, although it offers magnificent views including the sea of Moyle.
After following this historic route you will make your way to the sheltered harbour town at the mouth of Glendun, another of Antrim's famed 9 glens. You will ride along this short (but beautiful) stretch of beach and enjoy some trots and canters on the sand to finish your day on a high.
Riding: 6 - 7 hours
Today's ride starts at the picturesque village of Ballintoy on the coast. After tacking up you will follow an off-road track enjoying coastal views before reaching the incredible white sand beach of Whitepark Bay. This is a pristine 3-mile long beach which lies on the famous Causeway Coastal Route, the perfect place for a refreshing trot, canter or gallop. You'll take your time to play on this beautiful beach and in the fringes of the ocean, cantering over the sand and perhaps meeting the famous "sunbathing cattle" who love the beach too. The rugged cliffs in the backdrop were once home to some of the earliest human settlers in Ireland.
After this exciting beach ride you'll cross sand dunes and rich farmlands on your way to lunch a the Fulerton Arms Pub, known for its Game of Thrones connections. You can enjoy a pint, a glass of wine or perhaps a cup of tea before sampling straightforward and locally-sourced main dishes such as Irish stew, seafood chowder or a terrific sandwich and a delicious dessert.
The area of Ballintoy is rich in history and you'll look out over its harbour which was traditionally associated with salmon fishing. More recently it was the setting for the Iron Islands and Lordsport in the Isle of Pyke for the Game of Thrones series. You'll also seen the distinctive sight of Ballintoy Parish Church which was built in 1813, replacing an early 17th century church, which is one of the most scenic churches in the country with Rathlin Island in the background. It is also the final resting places for many notable, landed families.
You'll ride on towards the final destination of today's ride and will look out over the cliffs surrounding one of Northern Ireland's most popular tourist attractions, the Carrick-a-Rede Ropebridge. The vista of the coastline of the wild Atlantic Ocean is truly something special with views of Rathlin Island, the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland and the Western Isles of Scotland. You'll stop and say farewell to the horses and team after this full day of off-road riding and will be driven back to your accommodation.
Riding: 6 - 7 hours
Your next beach lies beside the village of Waterfoot, at the base of the glen of Glenariff. This is a wonderful bay on which to enjoy canters and gallops with beautiful views! After your beach time you will ride on through the "Queen of the Glens", riding to the head of one of the prettiest of Antrim's glens. Glenariff Waterfalls, at the top of the Glen, cascades its way down between the trees and is considered a major attraction for tourists visiting this fabulous coastline.
This epic trail will take you all the way to the summer where, at the head of the glen, you will untack your horses at the Lara Lodge restaurant. This is a top wedding destination thanks to its lovely location. Your horses will be tied here as you enjoy a short walk for a better view of the waterfalls.
Lunch is taken at Lara Lodge and this is a great time to share photos from your ride today, deep into these mystical Glens of Antrim. After dining you will make your way back down the glen and back to your start point at Waterfoot for one last gallop across the sands before your horse heads home.
Riding: 6 - 7 hours
Your ride today begins at Whiterocks Beach, named for its white chalk cliffs and the caverns set back from the edge of the water. The beach looks out over the Skerries, a small group of islands off the coast of Portrush, and gives views of the iconic Dunluce Castle, Donegal and the Western Isles of Scotland. There is time to enjoy some refreshing trots and canters and to splash in the waves.
After conquering the beach, it's time to storm the 13th century ruins of Dunluce Castle, taking a tour to learn more about its history. After a snack-stop you will ride on towards the little harbour town of Portballintrae from where you will start to see the headlands surrounding the famed Giant's Causeway, an area of interlocking basalt rocks which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will cross the River Bush on its route to the Atlantic Ocean, its power having been used to produce Old Bushmills Whiskey, then you will arrive at your second beach of the day for more fun on the sand. The ride continues on along an old tram trail, over dunes and passes by Runkerry House, a grand country home.
As reach the Giant's Causeway your ride comes to the end and the horses will be loaded up and taken home, whilst you will finish your adventure with a relaxing meal in the Causeway Hotel. Afterwards you should definitely take some time to explore this unique site, standing on the rocks and feeling the wind on your face. It's time to say bye for now (slán go foil!) after an authentic Irish adventure.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.