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.’
“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 Drummindoo Stud to meet your host, your horse and the other riders. After an assessment ride in the indoor arena, your group and horses will be transferred to the quaint village of Aughagower. This ride will take you through the village of Curvey; along the shores of Knappagh Lake; through the village of Mountbrown and along an old shepherds’ track back to Aughagower. After riding, there is a chance for your group to visit the round tower and monastic site which dates back to the 7th century.
You will be transferred to Cloona just outside of Westport for a trail that leads along the east side of Croagh Patrick (Ireland’s Holy Mountain). Next, on to Teevnacroagha where you will retrace the footsteps of Saint Patrick to the base of the mountain which has been a site of worship for over 3,000 years. You will ride cross the Owenwee River and on to the peat bog tracks at Owenwee to see the bog oak and how the peat is harvested. The day end’s with a return ride to Cloona.
You will be transferred to the village of Bouris for the Laghta Ride. This ride takes you to the west of Croagh Patrick, high up in the hills to Laghta beside deserted homesteads. You will ride across the Bunowen River to a descending trail which offers panoramic views of Louisburgh and the Atlantic Ocean. There is evidence in the landscape of the Lazy Beds (dating back to the Great Famine) where people used to grow potatoes. Finally, bog roads will lead you back to Bouris.
You will pick up the trail at the fishing village of Formoyle to cross a mountain pass and the Carrowniskey River to the bog roads at Feenone. From this point, you can clearly see Clare Island (Grainne Uaile). Ireland’s famous Pirate Queen resided there in 1500 and controlled all the waters of Clew Bay. Your trail then leads to the swept Doughmakeon Strand where you can gallop before returning to Formoyle.
Today, you will ride to Emlagh Point and Cross Strand. There will be ample opportunities to gallop today. You will also get a glimpse of Inishturk Island and Connemara in the distance. There are many standing stones in the area dating back to megalithic times. You will also visit Clapper Bridge (the bridge with the eyes) before returning to your base where you will say goodbye to your equine companion. In the evening, your group will enjoy a farewell dinner with your guide in one of Westport’s fine restaurants.
You will depart after breakfast with fond memories of your equestrian adventure.
Note: The Itinerary may change slightly due to circumstances beyond 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
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
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