Ride Overview - Across Ireland Ride
A special horseback riding vacation in western Ireland! To create a total Irish immersion, we have combined the best trails around the picturesque Ring of Kerry and the windswept County Clare Burren. You will begin on the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry. You will ride past old farmhouses to the blue-green skyline of Ballinskelligs Bay. The golden sand of Rossbeigh beach will invite you to an invigorating gallop. In County Clare, your guide will lead you into the hills of the Slieve Aughty Mountains to explore castle ruins and museums. In addition to riding, a short boat ride to the Holy Island, the ruins of one of Ireland’s most important monastic settlements is planned. In between the rides, you will spend a non-riding day at 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! RIDING IN IRELAND
Ride Itinerary - Across Ireland Ride
Day 1: Saturday
Transfer from Killarney, Shannon or Dublin Airport to Killarney.
Day 2: 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 3: 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 4: Tuesday
Your morning ride will take you from Kells Station through the blanket bogs of Cnoc Bawn and Liss Bawn. The views of Caherciveen are spectacular. Lunch is served in a forest grove. Your next destinations are the fertile Inny Valley and the Tulligane Woods. Your evening accommodation is in the coastal village of Waterville (the little whirlpool). This town is nestled on a narrow strip of land between Lough Currane and the Atlantic Ocean. The first Celtic invaders are reputed to have landed near Waterville leaving many archaeological remains.
Day 5: Wednesday
You will spend an adventurous morning in the Tulligane Woods. After a picnic lunch by the Inny River, you will ride along the shores of the famous fishing lake, Lough Currane.
Day 6: Thursday
After a brisk ride to Waterville Beach, you will gallop along the shoreline. The trail travels past old farmhouses as you ride to Hogs Head and the blue-green skyline of Ballinskelligs Bay.
Day 7: Friday
After breakfast, transfer to the train station. When you arrive in Ennis, your Clare Burren guide will meet you at the train station to take you to your Bunratty Inn/B & B. The rest of the day is free to visit the Bunratty Castle, Durty Nellie’s Pub and folk village.
Day 8: Saturday
Your next ride will begin with a transfer to your guesthouse. 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 9: 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.
Day 10: 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.
Day 11: 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 12: 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. We will have our lunch picnic out on the trail, where we meet our minibus with all the supplies for horses & riders. On the 2-hour afternoon ride we will pass by a typical Celtic dolmen, which is believed to be 5000 years old! Your ride will finish on a field where the horses are happily turned out.
Day 13: Thursday
After breakfast, you will transfer to the Shannon Airport.
Ride Details - Across Ireland Ride
Dates: May 9th – 21st, May 23rd – June 4th, June 6th – 18th, June 13th – 25th, July 4th – 16th, July 18th – 30th, August 1st – 13th, August 8th – 20th, August 29th – September 10th, September 12th – 24th, October 3rd – 9th
Best Months to Ride: April, May, June, September, October. Peak season is July and August
Airport: Arrive and depart from Dublin. OR Arrive in Dublin and depart from Shannon
Begin ride: from Dublin, take train to Killarney. End of Ride, take train to Dublin. Departure from Shannon requires no trains.
End ride: train from Killarney to Dublin
Length of ride: 5 days in Killarney 4 days in County Clare,
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: $3,395.00 per person, double occupancy $3,810.00 single package
*Prices will fluctuate with the USD/EURO exchange rate and will be fixed at final payment.
**Based on Bunratty Inn availability
Includes: all lodging, breakfasts and lunches in Killarney, all meals in Clare, Killarney train and transfer to Bunratty, breakfast in Bunratty, horse, guide, tack
Not Included: airfare, transfer to and from the airports, lunch and dinner in Bunratty, entrance fees to Bunratty attractions, dinners during Kerry ride
ANNUAL TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL:
Across Ireland Ride: Gallery
Across Ireland Ride