Ride Overview - Pirate Queen’s Bay
A breathtaking horseback riding vacation around the Clew Bay in County Mayo, northwestern Ireland! Your trails will take you across ever-changing landscapes of small villages, sandy beaches, off-shore islands, country lanes, mountain tracks and local heritage sites. The secrets of the land attracted both both pirate and priest. Grace O’Malley, the famous pirate queen commanded a fleet of ships around the legend 365 islands that dot the bay. In 441 A.D., St. Patrick spent forty days fasting on the Croagh Patrick, a holy mountain overlooking the water. Your host is a Qualified Riding Instructor, a Monty Robert’s Certified Instructor and an accomplished Irish horseman whose family have been involved with horses in the locality for generations. The stable has emerged from a notable stud to a modern equestrian facility which includes American barn stabling, an indoor arena, outdoor menage and a gallop track. This is a stationary ride where you will lodge in a comfortable B & B located in the picturesque village of Westport, one of the Irish Times Reader’s, ‘Best Place to Live in Ireland.’ RIDING IN IRELAND
“Ok this ride was super awesome!!!!! We started out riding through hills, pastures with cows and sheep, a scenic road, crossed a couple of rivers and ended up at the beach for one of the best gallops I’ve ever had!!!! I loved this ride so much! The horses were awesome, had energy but still very easy to ride. A horse lovers dream.” J.S.
Ride Itinerary - Pirate Queen’s Bay
You will be transferred from the Westport train station or bus station to your comfortable B & B.
You will be transferred to the Drummindoo Stud to meet your host, your horse and the other riders. After an assessment ride in the indoor arena, you will be transferred to the village of Aughagower for the Aughagower Ride. Your trail will lead us through the villages of Curvey and Lankill. A picnic will be served on the shores of Knappagh Lake. Next, you will ride to Drumhill before returning to Aughagower via Peggy’s Boreen. After riding there is a chance for riders to visit the round tower and monastic site which dates back to the 7th century.
Today, your group will ride towards the east side of Croagh Patrick (Ireland’s Holy Mountain which has been a site of worship for over 3,000 years.). This mountain path gives you a great view of Clew Bay. You will then ride through Prospect and picnic near the ruins of a homestead which dates back to pre-famine times. Then on to Teevnacroagha where your horse will trace the footsteps of St. Patrick (Ireland’s patron saint). Your ride ends at Brackloon.
Transfer to the village of Culeen for the Culeen Ride. This ride takes us to the west of Croagh Patrick, through quiet country lanes at Kilsallagh and Kinnock and then to bog roads at Dereen where we will have some long canters. We picnic on the bog and get to see the harvesting of the bog peat at close hand. We then return via a river crossing at Bellakip to finish the day at Culeen.
Thursday : We pick up the trail again at Formoyle (our base for the next two days) for the Feenone Ride. This takes us over a mountain pass, close to a megalithic burial site (one of many in the area), through the Carrowniskey River and on to the bog roads at Feenone. Clare Island (Grainne Uaile, Ireland’s famous Pirate Queen resided there in the 1500,s and controlled all the waters of Clew Bay) and Inishturk Island can clearly be seen. We then head for Carrowniskey beach where we can canter and gallop before returning to base.
Today, you will ride to Doughmakeon for a beach ride at Carrowniskey. After you cross the Carrowniskey River and onto Cross Strand. There will be ample opportunities to gallop. Your group will picnic next to the Clapper Bridge (the bridge with the eyes). Here you can see the coastline of Connemara in the distance. There are many standing stones in the area dating back to megalithic times. Again, you will ride along the Cross Strand and Carrowniskey Beach again before returning to your base where you will say goodbye to your equine companion. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your host Padraic in one of Westport’s fine restaurants.
Depart after breakfast with fond memories of your equestrian adventure.
Note : The Itinerary of The Clew Bay Trail Ride may change slightly due to circumstances beyond our control such as bad weather, tidal variations etc. and we reserve the right to change this without prior notice.
Ride Details - Pirate Queen’s Bay
Dates: May 3rd – 9th, May 10th – 16th, May 17th – 23rd, May 24th – May 30th, May 31st – June 6th, June 7th – 13th, June 16th- 22nd, June 23rd – 29th, June 30th – July 6th, July 7th – 13th, June 14th – 20th, June 21st – 27th, June 28th – July 4th, July 5th – 11th, July 12 – 18th, July 19th – 25th, July 26th – August 1st, August 2nd – 8th, August 9th – 15th, August 16th – 22nd, August 23rd – 29th, August 30th – September 5th, September 6th – 12th, September 13th – 19th, September 20th – 26th, September 27th – October 3rd
Best Months to Ride: April – October. Peak season is July, August
Airport: Ireland West Knock, Shannon Airport, Dublin
Meeting Point: Westport Train or Bus Station
Length of Ride: 5 days
Daily Riding Hours: 4 hours
Ability level: Intermediate: Confident to trot and canter in open spaces. Comfortable with river crossings
Horse: Irish Sport, Connemara, Cobs, Irish Draught Cross
Group size: 2- 10
Non-riding activity: Westport outdoor activities
Hotel/s: Lurgan B & B or McCarthy’s Lodge
*Price: LOW SEASON $1,675.00 per person, double occupancy $195.00 single supplement
JULY/AUGUST/ SEPTEMBER $1,730.00 per person, double occupancy $195.00.00 single supplement
*Prices are based on USD/EURO exchange rate and will be fixed at final payment.
Includes: 6 nights accommodations, transfer to and from train or bus station, all breakfasts and lunches, 5 days guided riding, horse, tack, guide
Not included: airfare, transfer to and from the airport, train tickets, all dinners
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL:
Pirate Queen’s Bay: Gallery
Pirate Queen’s Bay