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from £940 or €1,070
Included – 4 half day rides (2-4 hours p day), 4 half day local site visits in minibus (2-4 hours), 5 nights comfortable en suite accommodation, all meals – from arrival day evening dinner, daily full Irish breakfast and lunch.
Excluded – Getting there, alcoholic drinks and soft drinks, tips.
Saturday to Thursday from April until mid October
International clients can fly into Shannon and then hire a car or a transfer can be arranged.
Transfers can be arranged from Shannon airport, they are E35 each way per person but we do recommend driving or hiring a car for international visitors.
Based in Clare just beside the Galway border outside a small village called Whitegate, here you can enjoy a combination of visiting the ancient Irish castles and monastic ruins with lovely guided trail rides through Irish bogs, fields and local farmland. The horses are good sturdy Connemara’s, Cobs with a couple of Irish Sport Horses. They are willing and genuinely pleasant to ride, the rides are mostly half day rides exploring the beautiful Clare landscape with one full day ride on Wednesday. Your base is a gorgeous rustic 300 year old restored farmhouse laced with antiques and now a guesthouse. Host and owners Bertie and Nicola are a lovely team and make sure you enjoy a great personal experience. Bertie is from a Galway farming family and has been around horses all his life, Nicola is German, was brought up in Venezuela and worked for American Express travel for years before falling in love with Ireland and of course Bertie a couple of decades ago…they make the perfect couple to running a professional riding holiday. On this 4 day/5 night ride you will visit the impressive Portumna Castle which was the seat of the Earl of Clanricarde and Pallas castle – one of the best preserved tower houses and castle grounds of the 14th century. You will also take a boat ride to Holy Island on the river Shannon to explore the ruins of one of Ireland’s most important monastic settlements, and you will ride to a 5000 year old Celtic tomb.
Horses –Connemara, Irish Cob, Irish sport horse and crosses. Many of them are home bred and all are specifically trained by us for trail riding. They are happy to work, have a great attitude and are suitable for different riding levels.
Level of Riding & Pace – Good novice to intermediate. You ride for half a day on this itinerary (2-4 hours in morning) so it’s fairly relaxed.
Tack – English style and we have some Western saddles (on request)
Weight Restriction – 13 stone/85Kg/185lbs
Group Size – maximum 8 guests + 2 guides
minimum 3 guests + 2 guides
All meals are home cooked with many fresh ingredients out of the organic farm garden. The full Irish breakfast and the 3 course dinner is served in the old stone farmhouse in front of a turf fire.
The tasty lunch is served as a buffet in the “Old Farm Kitchen” by the open fire. This cosy area has a rustic old world decor with countless antiques.
On the full day ride (Wednesday) you will enjoy a picnic lunch, when the riders meet the backup vehicle for the midday break.
Please Ask About
Castles and Monastic Ruins Ride – Itinerary by Day
Day 1 – Saturday – Arrive at An Sibin Riding Centre where you are staying for 5 nights. On the arrival day you can just relax or take a stroll on the well sign-posted nearby walking trails. In the evening, you will get to know all your fellow riders for this week. You will have dinner in the tastefully restored 300 year old farmhouse in the An Sibin Riding Centre by candlelight and open turf fire.
Day 2 – Sunday – After breakfast we will go out to the horses and every rider can then get used to their own horse for the next days by brushing and tacking up themselves – don’t worry there are always lots of helping hands around you! Our first ride (2 hours) takes us along forest tracks and country lanes, passed abandoned farms of the 18th century famine times. After lunch you will be driven to nearby Mountshannon harbour, from where you will visit Holy Island by boat. Pilgrims travelled to this island until the mid-19th century. You will see the ruins of five churches, early monastic cells, a pre-12th century cemetery and a round tower. After this visit you will have time for a stroll through the village and drop into the pub. Back to the riding centre for a delicious dinner.
Day 3 – Monday – On today’s ride (2 and ½ hours) you will ride into the hills of the Slieve Aughty Mountains and enjoy great views of the River Shannon. In the afternoon you will visit the Portumna workhouse museum, where the poor and destitute took shelter many years ago during the famine times. You will also visit Portumna Castle of the 17th century with it’s beautifully restored walled garden. The 4th Earl of Clanricade built this Renaissance castle and lived a lavish life here. There is time for a wee shop at some of the artisan shops or enjoy head to the pub for a pint. Relax by the peat fire and a traditional home cooked dinner back at the riding centre.
Day 4 – Tuesday – This morning’s ride (2 and ½ hours) will take you on quiet tracks through Ireland’s beautiful rural countryside. This afternoon’s visit will bring you to the secluded ruins of Pallas castle, one of the best preserved tower-houses and walled castle grounds of the Irish gentry in the 14th century. In the evening you will enjoy your dinner again at the riding centre.
Day 5 – Wednesday – Today is a full day ride. 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! The ride will finish on a field where the horses are happily turned out. Tonight is the final dinner in the comfy atmosphere of the riding centre.
Day 6 – Thursday – After breakfast it’s “slan abhaile” and time to head home…or to your next destination…
The itinerary might change due to weather conditions or circumstances beyond our control without prior notice…
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