Overview

Ireland is known as “The Land of The Horse”. A temperate climate and good soil conditions make it an ideal place to raise horses. An ability to cross any country has ensured that the Irish Horse is surefooted and looks after it’s rider. The Irish people have a natural affinity with the horse and this is evident in the horses they have.

The Clew Bay Trail ride takes small groups of experienced riders along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way through new and ever-changing landscapes of small villages, breathtaking sandy beaches, sea and off-shore islands, country lanes, mountain tracks and local heritage sites, stopping for a picnic along the way. ”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 majority of the trail horses have competition experience and have been trained by the family.  This combined with the spectacular Clew Bay region, quality Irish horses and excellent accommodation ensures this is a horse riding adventure holiday you will cherish forever.

Key Facts

  • Set departures on Sunday and finishes on Saturdays
  • April to October
  • Minimum 2 / Maximum 8 riders
  • Trail with progressive riding
  • 7 Days / 6 nights (5 days riding)
  • 4+ hours riding per day
  • Suits intermediate riders and above
  • Weight limit – 90 kilos

Riding Level and Horses

You need not be an expert to ride the trail as you are well taken care to ensure that each rider is matched with a suitable horse, however you should be able to ride securely and confidently at a walk, trot and canter in open country.  You must be secure in the saddle and be comfortable riding for four hours plus a day. Rider weight limit: 200lbs/ 90 kilos.

The preferred level of riding is intermediate and above.  Riders should be reasonably fit and we suggest you go riding a couple of times a week before coming on our trail.

​This is a progressive ride with the pace varying from slow to fast depending on terrain and weather conditions.

The tack used is English.

The horses breeds are Connemara Ponies, Irish Sport Horses, Irish Draughts or Irish Cobs. The size varies from 13.2hh to 16.2hh.

​All the horses have good temperaments and stamina make our horses ideal for the trail.  We normally have at least 10 horses available for the trail.

​​The group size is a minimum 2 to 8 people.  There is a guide for up to 4 riders and two guides for more than 4 riders.

Children 12 years and over are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

Helmets are strongly recommended and are available if you do not bring your own.  Boots with a heel must be worn to comply with insurance regulations and a packing list will be provided after you book the ride.

Itinerary

All the rides start on a Sunday and finish on a Saturday.  The ride includes visits to historical sights, rides along country lanes with stone walls, riding on the beaches of the Atlantic way as well as visiting quaint Irish villages.

Sunday:
Today is arrival day.  On arrival to Westport, check in to your accommodation which is where you will be staying for the trail.

Monday:
After breakfast Transfer to Drummindoo Stud to meet your host, your horse and the other riders. After an assessment ride in the indoor arena, riders and horses are transferred to the village of Aughagower for the Aughagower Ride. This takes us through the villages of Curvey, Lankill and Knappagh Beg where we picnic on the shores of Knappagh Lake, then on 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.

Tuesday:
Transfer to Cloona just outside of Westport. Today we take the Skelp 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 us a great view of Clew Bay. We ride through Prospect and picnic near the ruins of a homestead which dates back to pre-famine times. Then on to Teevnacroagha where we ride in the footsteps of St. Patrick (Ireland’s patron saint) and Brackloon before finishing the day at Cloona.

Wednesday:
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.

Friday:
Today we make our way to Doughmakeon and to ride the beach at Carrowniskey before crossing the Carrowniskey river and on to Cross Strand. There are ample opportunities to gallop today. We picnic next to Clapper Bridge (the bridge with the eyes). We can see the coastline of Connemara in the distance. There are many standing stones in the area dating back to megalithic times. We ride along Cross Strand and Carrowniskey beach again before returning to our base where you will say goodbye to your equine companion. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your host in one of Westport’s fine restaurants. (Dinner at own expense)

Saturday:
Depart after breakfast with fond memories of your equestrian adventure. You may like to enjoy further sightseeing in Ireland which we are more than happy to help with.

Note : The Itinerary 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.

Accommodation and Food

You will stay in locally run guest house accommodation for the trail.  The guest houses have been carefully chosen and located either in or close to Westport Town. The accommodation is approved by the Irish Tourist Board and all provide a quality personal service. The bedrooms, which are en-suite are both comfortable and relaxing. Full Irish or continental breakfast is available and special dietary requirements are catered for. As the accommodation is on a bed and breakfast basis this gives you the opportunity to choose from the many fine, award winning restaurants in Westport for your evening meal.

Dates and Prices 2020: Sunday to Saturday

May: 3-9 May, 10-16 May, 17-23 May, 24-30 May
June: May 31-6 June, 7-13 June, 14-20 June, 21-27 June, 28 June – 4 July
July: 5-11 July, 12-18 July, 19-25 July, 26 July – 1 August
August: 2-8 August, 9-15 August, 16-22 August, 23-29 August, 30 August – 5 September
September: 6-12 September, 13-19 September, 20-26 September, 27 September – 3 October

April, May, June                €1495.00 pp Non-rider rates €375 pp euros
July, August, September   €1545.00 pp Non-rider rates €405 pp euros

Single room supplement: €175.00 per person

EARLY BOOKING OFFER: Pay 2019 rates and receive a discount of €120.00 euros off the 2020 Trails if booked before the 31st of January 2020.

The rates are based on the Euro and subject to currency fluctuation. We use the ANZ sell rate to convert from euro to the Australian dollar. So please contact us for the most up to date pricing for your riding holiday.

Includes

  • Six nights Bed and Breakfast guest house accommodation in twin or double share rooms.  Single rooms available for a supplement.
  • Breakfast daily and picnic lunches.
  • 5 days of riding on horseback, including horses and riding equipment
  • One riding guide for up to 4 riders and two guides for more than four riders.
  • Support vehicle and transfers to all riding locations during your ride
  • Free collection from Westport Train Station or Bus Depot

Not included

  • International flights and transfers to Westport
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Evening meals and activities not mentioned
  • Drinks not included with meals, additional incidentals and tips
  • Alcoholic beverages are not included in the tour price
  • Transfers.  These can be arranged and paid locally
  • Single supplement on application

Other Information

Location
Near Westport, Ireland

Weather
Weather website: http://www.holiday-weather.com/

Activities
During the ride you will enjoy sightseeing in the local area including visits to historical sights, beach rides and through many Irish villages.

This ride is suitable for non-riders. While riders are on horseback, although there are no separate activities planned for non-riders, they can enjoy the accommodations and region independently.

Languages spoken
English

Closest Train or Airport
Dublin is the closest international Airport and Knock is the closest airport and Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Flybe fly from the UK to Knock.

If you are travelling from Dublin it is recommended to take the train from Dublin (Heuston station) direct to Westport.  Hiring a car is another alternative which is a 3.5 hour drive from Dublin. Transfers can be arranged and please contact us for further details. 

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