See the ancient castles and ruins of Ireland this spring and summer.
Enjoy a combination of visiting the ancient Irish castles and monastic ruins with lovely guided trail rides through Irish bogs, fields and local farmland. On this 4 day 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. The trails each day are made up of rolling sheep dotted Irish hillsides, ancient grass lined lanes and wooded areas filled with aromatic heather and pine scents wafting through the air.
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 the horses, a combination of Gypsy Vanners, Irish Draught, Irish Sport Horses and Connemaras on a lunch trail to Williamstad House – a beautiful landlords residence of the 18th century.
2023 Dates: April 1-6, April 8-13, April 22-27, May 13-18, May 27-June 1, June 10-15, June 24-29, July 8-13, Aug. 5-10, Sept. 9-14, Sept. 16-21, Sept. 23-28, Oct. 7-12, Oct. 14-19
Rates: $1,635.00 USD per person in a shared room (Single Supplement: $185.00 USD)
Non Rider: $1,150.00 USD
- 5 nights accommodation
- 4 days of riding/tours
- All meals
- Horse and all tack
- Guiding services
- Tours and entry fees as outlined in the itinerary
- All local taxes
- Airport transfers
- Travel Insurance
- Drinks with meals
- Gratuities for the team at the end of the stay
Day 1: Saturday
Arrival in Shannon Airport and transfer (if booked) to An Sibin Riding Centre. Transfer from Shannon to Whitegate approx. two hours.
You will be staying here for 5 nights. On the arrival day you can just relax and recover from your journey, 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 for a glass of porter before returning back to the riding centre for a delicious dinner.
Day 3: Monday
On today’s ride (2 and 1⁄2 hours) you will ride into the hills of the Slieve Aughty Mountains and enjoy fascinating views over the majestic River Shannon.
In the afternoon you will get to visit the Portumna workhouse museum, where the poor and destitute took shelter many years ago during the famine times. You will also visit the impressive 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.
You will also have time for shopping in the town or enjoy another Irish pub. 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 1⁄2 hours) will take you on quiet tracks through Ireland’s beautiful rural countryside. This afternoon’s visit will bring you to the 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 is time to say “slan abhaile” and to get ready for the transfer (if booked) back to Shannon.
This itinerary might change due to weather conditions or circumstances beyond the control of the guides without prior notice.
This package includes 5 nights accommodation at the riding centre, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), entry fees and guided horse riding for 4 days and all local taxes.
The scenery was wonderful both on and off horseback. We enjoyed the tours immensely. The riding center was fantastic, the buildings reminded me of my idea of what a hobbit house would be like. Nicola & Bertie were great hosts! Their horses were fun to ride and rides also fun. Basically we enjoyed everything about the trip and would happily recommend them and you to anyone.
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