Ride Overview - Across Ireland Ride
A special horseback riding vacation in western Ireland! You will ride across trails found in the windswept County Clare Burren and along the picturesque Ring of Kerry! To create a total Irish immersion, we have combined the Irish Castle and Ruin Ride with 2 riding days of the Celtic Ring of Kerry Ride. In addition, we have added a non-riding day at the Bunratty Castle and Village. There you can visit a 15th-century castle, a 19th-century folk village, Durty Nellie’s, Ireland’s oldest pub and shop in delightful village stores. Mixing the strong Irish horses with the fun-loving Irish and their incredible scenery will create a unique and memorable equestrian vacation!
Ride Itinerary - Across Ireland Ride
Day 1: Saturday
Transfer from the Dublin Airport by either bus to Portumna or train to Ennis. You will be met by the guide at either station and transferred to your country B & B. Tonight, you will enjoy a traditional home cooked dinner by an open peat fire with a review of the sights and exciting trails that await you.
Day 2: Sunday
You will ride through the peaceful forest of the Slieve Aughty Mountains with scenic views of the Shannon River. After lunch, you take a short boat ride to the Holy Island to visit the ruins of one of Ireland’s most important monastic settlements. Sacred to both Pagans and Christians for many centuries, the legend says that Saint Colm found there an old man named Maccriche and a tree whose juice had the flavor of honey and the heaviness of wine. St. Caiman, who died in 653 AD, created a great center for learning on the island. There is a magnificent round tower, a holy well, seven Bullaun stones, and an extraordinary cell-like building. You will see a curious stone called a bargaining stone where deals of every description were performed in the past and woe betides anyone who breaks that deal. Later you will see an ancient cemetery dating from the 8th century, unique due to the fact that the grave markers are still in their original position. During Whit weekend thousands used to flock here to do penance and make atonement for their sins. When the work of penance was finished most would repair to the drinking tents set up around the Island. They believed the penance will take away the guilt and some whiskey will wash away the remembrance of it. Return to the B & B.
Day 3: Monday
On today’s ride (2 and 1⁄2 hours), your trail will lead you into the hills of the Slieve Aughty Mountains to enjoy fascinating views of the majestic River Shannon. In the afternoon, you will get to visit the Portumna workhouse museum, where the poor and destitute took shelter 250 years ago and then also visit the impressive Portumna Castle of the 17th century where the Earl lived. You will also have time for shopping in the town. In the evening you can relax by a peat fire and enjoy a traditional home cooked dinner. Return to the B & B.
Day 4: Tuesday
This morning’s ride (2 and 1⁄2 hours) will take you on quiet tracks through Ireland’s beautiful rural countryside. This afternoon’s visit will bring you to Pallas castle, one of the best-preserved tower-houses and walled castle grounds of the 14th century. Here you will have ample opportunity to learn about the history of this structure and how the Irish clans survived and ruled for centuries.In the evening you will enjoy your dinner again your farmhouse B & B.
Day 5: Wednesday
You will ride through the part of Ireland that makes it popular in coffee table books and in novels, as you travel across the magical landscape of bog and heather. The 2 hour morning ride brings us across the magical landscape of bog and heather. You will have your lunch picnic out on the trail, where your group will meet the minibus with all the supplies for horses & riders. On the 2-hour afternoon ride, you will pass by a typical Celtic dolmen, which is believed to be 5000 years old! Your ride will finish in a field where the horses are happily turned out. Return to the B & B.
Day 6: Thursday
After breakfast, you will be transferred to an inn or B & B in the Bunratty Village.
Day 7: Friday
Today is a non-riding day to explore the Bunratty Castle, folk village and shops. Be sure to include a toast in Durty Nellie’s, Ireland’s oldest pub!
Day 8: Saturday
Take a taxi (30-minute drive) to the Limerick train station and board your train to Killarney. You will be met at the train station by your Kerry guide.
Day 9: Sunday
Your ride will begin at the base of Seefinn Mountain and ascend to the Windy Gap to view the splendor of Caragh Lake. The trail takes you across green pastures and through charming villages to Coomasaharn Lake which is enclosed by Horseshoe Mountain. The quaint village of Glenbeigh,(Glen of Birches) is your destination for the evening. Surrounded entirely by mountains, this town boasts breathtaking views of the River Behy and Rossbeigh Strand and you can enjoy a delightful visit to Winn’s Folly Castle.
Day 10: Monday
You will gallop across the golden sand of Rossbeigh beach. A century-old tower which guided ships entering Castlemaine Harbour and the panorama of Dingle and Inveragh peninsulas will enhance your ride. After lunch on the beach and another brisk gallop, your day ends as you return from the beach via Cliff Road.
Day 11: Tuesday
You will be transferred to the Killarney train station for your trip back to the Dublin Airport.
Ride Details - Across Ireland Ride
Dates: call for available dates
Begin ride: either a train from Dublin to Ennis or bus from Dublin to Portumna
End ride: train from Killarney to Dublin
Length of ride: 4 days in County Clare, 2 days in Killarney
Daily Riding Hours: 2 1/2 – 5
Ability level: INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots and short canters.
Horse: Irish draught, Connemara, piebald, Irish cob, and Irish hunter
Group size: 2 – 8
Non-riding activity: visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Village
Hotel/s: 3*** Country Guest House (Converted Irish Hunting Lodge), 3*** village inn
*Price: call for pricing.
*Prices will fluctuate with the USD/EURO exchange rate and will be fixed at final payment.
Includes: 8 nights accommodations, all meals in Clare, breakfasts and lunches in Killarney, transfer to Bunratty, train to Killarney, transfer from Kerry ride to Killarney train station, horse, guide, tack
Not Included: airfare, transfer from Dublin airport to Portumna or Ennis, transfer from Killarney to Dublin Airport, all meals at Bunratty, entrance fees to Bunratty attractions, dinners during Kerry ride
ANNUAL TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL:
Across Ireland Ride: Gallery
Across Ireland Ride