Ride Overview - Dublin Horse Show and The Lands of the Game of Thrones Ride
Enjoy the Dublin Horse Show and ride across the stunning lands of the Games of Thrones! This horseback riding vacation also provides a taste of lively Dublin, County Wicklow’s majestic Powerscourt Gardens and the stunning County Kildare, the heart of Ireland’s horse country and home to the famous Irish National Stud and the beautiful Japanese Gardens. Non-riders can enjoy golf while the riders traverse the trails. Luxurious lodging has been selected to create a memorable adventure on the Emerald Isle!
Ride Itinerary - Dublin Horse Show and The Lands of the Game of Thrones Ride
Upon arrival at Dublin Airport, you’ll be welcomed by your driver/guide and safely transported into Dublin’s city centre. An icon in a city of greats, The Westbury Hotel surrounds its guests in luxurious style, placing them at the very center of the city’s social and cultural riches. An iconic Dublin hotel, The Westbury occupies a prime position between Trinity College and St. Stephen’s Green, Europe’s grandest garden square–perfectly located for exploring the most exciting sides of Dublin. At its front doorstep lies Grafton Street–renowned for its color, street artists and luxury shopping; whilst Dublin’s ‘Creative Quarter’, a vibrant network of streets filled with lively bars, restaurants and quirky stores runs behind the hotel. The afternoon is at your leisure—relax at the hotel or explore this vibrant city. Take in sites such as Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, experience the Connoisseur Tour at Guinness Storehouse or treat yourself by indulging in a Dublin institution: a sumptuous afternoon tea in the Gallery of the Westbury Hotel! In the evening, you can head out and experience one of Dublin’s many fabulous restaurants or perhaps take in an Irish Cabaret—complete with ballad band, champion Irish dancers and a three-course traditional Irish dinner. Hotel: The Westbury, Dublin
After a leisurely breakfast, you will escape the bustle of the city by heading south for an exciting day in the Irish countryside. Your first stop is County Wicklow, “The Garden of Ireland”, 40 minutes from Dublin where you’ll visit the world famous, Powerscourt Estate, home to the world’s most spectacular gardens. Set against the backdrop of the Sugarloaf Mountain, Powerscourt Gardens are a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statuary and ornamental lakes with secret hollows, rambling walks, and walled gardens, with over 200 varieties of trees and shrubs. Inspiration for the garden design followed visits to ornamental gardens at the Palace of Versailles, Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna, and Schwetzingen Castle near Heidelberg. From the ornate Italian gardens, to the formal walks of the Rose Garden and kitchen gardens, there is plenty to see and explore. Next, you’ll head towards Glendalough (the Glen of Two Lakes) one of the most important sites of monastic ruins in Ireland where you’ll visit St. Kevins Church and the Round tower– but first stopping for lunch at The Wicklow Heather, idyllically situated in the picturesque village of Laragh deep in the Wicklow Mountains. From Glendalough, you’ll head to Irish National Stud & Gardens—one of Ireland’s true treasures. This world-renowned stud farm is the home of equine royalty—stallions can be seen and admired alongside mares, frolicking foals and athletic yearlings. See retired equine stars like Vintage Crop, Moscow Flyer or Kicking King on the stud’s ‘Living Legend’s team and learn the history of horseracing in the horse museum where upon entering are greeted by the skeleton of Arkle, arguably the world’s greatest racehorse in the world! You will enjoy a stroll around the Japanese Gardens and Millennium Gardens before returning to Dublin for your evening and overnight. Hotel: The Westbury, Dublin
After breakfast, your driver/guide will bring you to the world-famous Dublin Horseshow. Since it was first held in 1864, the Dublin Horse Show has become a Dublin institution–A celebration of Ireland’s affinity with the horse–from the best show horses to the best international show jumpers—the show is a great place of action! International competitions taking place include the Land Rover Puissance, The Longines International Grand Prix and a Hunt Chase! You can shop ‘til you drop with over 300 trade stands selling everything from riding apparel & tack to jewelry & home décor—no doubt, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Hotel: The Westbury, Dublin or Equivalent
After breakfast, your driver/guide will safely transport you to Ireland’s stunning north coast to the award- winning McKinley Family farm located in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. Here you’ll meet the McKinley family, your trail guides and your trusted horse. While recharging over tea and scones, you’ll hear fascinating stories and learn about life across the ages on the Causeway Coast. After a short riding assessment, mount up & enjoy a trek around the 1000-acre farm where you’ll learn details of your exciting coastal trek. Canter to the top and take in sweeping 5- county views & the coastline of Scotland, guaranteed to take your breath away—it’s a perfect start to your epic-riding holiday! After an invigorating farm trail, say goodbye to your horse for the day and head to the award-winning Bushmills Inn for the evening. You’ll find your bags waiting and a warm Irish welcome from the hospitable staff. Relax in front of a roaring turf fire while enjoying a nice pint of “the black stuff” as you mingle with new and old friends. Enjoy dinner at Bushmill’s Inn or listen to a live music session at the Inn’s Gas Bar. Retire to your spacious room for the evening in preparation for the next day’s adventures. Hotel: The Bushmill’s Inn
Start your day with a hearty breakfast before setting off to County Londonderry. Your driver will transport you to the church at St. Aidan’s where your tacked horses await. After a stop at the church’s Holy well (which is said to cure ills) your adventure begins! From the churchyard of St. Aidan’s, nestled in an ancient hazel wood underneath the towering misty slopes and steep cliffs of Binevenagh Mountain, you’ll ride across remote country lanes to the picturesque Benone Beach. With a magnificent mountain backdrop, cliff scenery and views across to Scotland & Donegal, you can enjoy a swift canter or gallop across miles of flat open beach towards the lonely Mussenden Temple regally perched above the Atlantic Ocean. The former summer library of Frederick Augustus Hervey, Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol, Mussenden Temple sits behind the ruins of the Earl’s 18th century home, Downhill House. After brief hill climb surrounded panoramic views of the land and ocean, you’ll sneak through the Bishops Gate, which was once the entrance to Downhill House and head towards Crusoe’s Coffee shop for a spot of lunch. Crusoe’s is the perfect place to rest & recharge before heading out again. As you dine, the horses will be treated to some R&R and transported to the start of your next ride. You’ll work off lunch with a leisurely rides towards the beautiful limestone cliffs of White Rocks then onward towards one of Ireland’s most famous castles–Dunluce Castle! After learning the intriguing history of the castle (especially the bit about the kitchen & staff plunging into the sea during a storm in 1639!), you’ll enjoy some refreshments before heading towards the tiny harbour town of Portballintrae and the beautiful beaches of Bushfoot Strand. You’ll cross the River Bush following the old tram trail across sand dunes and past stately Runkerry House before ending your ride at the famous Giant’s Causeway. Then you will dismount for the day, walk around the Causeway and enjoy the award- winning visitor experience before returning to the Bushmills Inn for the evening. Hotel: The Bushmill’s Inn
After breakfast, you’ll greet your horse in the picturesque smuggling harbour of Dunseverick. Crossing fields and country lanes you’ll round the headland to Portbradden, then onto breathtaking Whitepark Bay. With its stunning hidden cove and a beach so pure it shines white for miles (even the cloudiest of days) it’s perfect for a refreshing morning gallop before heading towards famous Ballintoy Harbour. Keeping off road, you’ll stop at a local eatery for coffee and tea. Here you will discover Ballintoy’s links both with the past and present with its newfound fame as a key film location in the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones.” You’ll ride through the hamlet of Ballintoy and head towards the Jamison’s Family Farm where you’re greeted with an unbelievable panoramic vista of your recent Causeway trek and views to the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Rathlin Island and across to Scotland. Your group will capture this picture perfect moment for you in an once-in-a-lifetime photograph. As your horses rest, make your way down on foot to the rope bridge for an exhilarating walk over the raging Atlantic below. Afterwards, relax and enjoy a picnic lunch at the ruins of Kinbane Castle. Hotel: The Bushmill’s Inn
This morning, you’ll saddle-up deep in the famed Glens of Antrim at Glen Ballyeamon Barn. Home to world-renowned storyteller, Liz Weir, you’ll hear a few tales of the valleys you’ll pass through on today’s ride. A short trek leads your group into Glenariff Forest Park, a 2,900-acre park and home to some of Ireland’s most spectacular waterfalls. Passing picturesque falls and rivers, you’ll make your way to the seaside via the small coastal village of Waterfoot where, tide permitting, you’ll take a brisk canter over the beach. Onward to the coastal village of Cushendall, after passing Nanny’s Caves which were once used as a Hedge School, you’ll climb a winding path to the ruins of Red Bay Castle–one of Chieftan Sorley Boy McDonnell’s earliest keeps. Next you will stop for a delicious and healthy lunch at “Upstairs at Joes” in the historic town of Cushendall and then head downstairs to McCollum’s Bar for a hot whiskey (Slainte!) or pint of “the Black Stuff” before heading out to the ancient hamlet of Knocknacarry. Your trail then leads towards the picturesque village of Cushendun where you’ll be greeted by “The Goat” and his side-kick “Little G” that keeps him company during the day before entering the famous caves of Cushendun. As you leave Cushendun, you will wind your way past Maud Cottages, a delightful row of whitewashed houses towards Cushendun Strand and its impressive viaduct that crosses the glen in several mighty spans. Here you’ll see a snapshot of Causeway Coast history as we pass cottage, manor and castles. Your path continue along the Glendun River (that’s sometimes meandering and other times a raging torrent!). Along the way, you will view stunning fauna and flora tucked amongst the ash and hazel. The glen’s summit is characterized by bright green rowans, endless purple heather and soaring birds of prey. It is here you’ll say long goodbyes to your horse, riding companions and new friends. In the evening, you’ll be transported to Dublin for the continuation of your holiday or for your return flight home the next morning. Overnight: Dublin Hotel
Transfer from your hotel to the Dublin Airport
Ride Details - Dublin Horse Show and The Lands of the Game of Thrones Ride
Dates: Contact us for dates
Riding days: 3
Maximum Daily Riding Hours: 3 – 7
Horses: Irish Vanner Cobs
Riding Ability: INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots, two point canters and gallops in open country.
Group size: 1 – 10
Non-riding Activities: tour of Dublin, County Kildare and County Wicklow, golf
Accommodations: 4**** and 5**** hotel/inns
*Price: Contact us for prices.
*This price will fluctuate with the USD/EURO exchange and will be fixed at your final payment.
Includes: 6 nights accommodations, all breakfasts and some lunches, horse, tack, guide, transfer to and from airport, entry to Dublin Horse Show, Powerscourt Garden,Irish National Stud & Gardens and Japanese Gardens and Millennium Gardens
Not Included: airfare, some lunches, all dinners
ANNUAL TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL:
Dublin Horse Show and The Lands of the Game of Thrones Ride: Gallery
Dublin Horse Show and The Lands of the Game of Thrones Ride