For 700 years, Kinnitty Castle has stood in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, as one of the three fortresses guarding the lands of the powerful O’Carroll family. Now, it is one of the best appointed hotels and equestrian centres in Ireland.
Kinnitty Castle has all the luxuries of modern life, within a mansion of historical and architectural importance. Each bedroom is large with its own bathroom and views of either the great lawn or Kinnitty Forest. The castle also has an elegant and beautiful dining room, in which you can enjoy your daily breakfast and dinner. Additionally, you have use of the tennis courts and a modern health club facility, located on the premises.
Dates: Year Round, Arrive Any Day.
Castle Accommodation: $2,125.00 USD per person in a shared room
(Single Supplement: $495.00 USD) Dinner supplement is $395.00
B&B Accommodation: $1,425.00 USD per person in a shared room
(Single Supplement: $130.00 USD)
Includes: 6 nights accommodation, 5 days of guided trail riding, Most meals, Horse and all Tack, Guiding Services and all Local Taxes
Fox Hunting Breaks (in season): $350.00 USD per person per day (includes horse and cap fee). Hunts include: Laos, Ormond, North Tipperary, Southwest Meath.
- 6 nights accommodation
- 5 days of riding
- Daily breakfast and lunch
- Horse and all Tack
- Guiding Services
- All Local Taxes
- Airport transfers
- Daily transfers
- Travel Insurance
- Alcoholic beverages
- Gratuities for the team at the end of the stay
Arrival in Shannon or Dublin Airport and independent transfer to the castle. Transfer time from either airport is approximately two hours.
On the arrival day you can just relax and recover from your journey, or take a stroll on the well manicured grounds, or even relax with a massage or sauna at the spa.
Today you will ride to the infamous 'Cut', above Clonaslee, an impressive mountain-top pass with a viewing point at Glen Bordowin. From the Cut, you will ride down into the valley of Glendineorgegan, the deep glen of the O'Regan's, chieftains of these parts. After an exciting gallop through the forest, you will enjoy lunch overlooking the lush green fields of Glenkeen Valley.
The ride will continue the gradual ascent to the open ground of Spink Mountain (1600 feet), from which there is a commanding view of the Bog of Allen to the north. You will descend by forest road and track to cross the Silver River by ford, ride along country lanes to the ancient ruins of Letter Abbey. This site contains the holy well of Letter Lugna, gushing with cool spring water.
Then, on to a country road to Cadamstown, a picturesque village with an old mill, where if you're lucky, local folklorist Paddy Heaney will tell you a tale or two. Following the Offaly Way to Dan and Molly's thatched pub in Ballyboy, you will experience an 'olde worlde' village pub with a special, unchanging charm and, of course, the best pint of Guinness in the Midlands - no better way to relax after a day on horseback in the Slieve Bloom Mountains.
Riding in a south westerly direction to Glenletter Valley, passing ring barrows on the way, you will follow forest paths and country roads to Letter Cross Roads, stopping at the spectacular viewing point to survey the surrounding landscape. At Letter Cross Roads, you descend into Glenregan Forest, following the Blackcurragh river from source, past Lockin Grove, Tullinsk Castle, and you will lunch at Coneyburrow bridge.
After lunch you will ride along the Old Munster Road traditionally believed to be the old road from Tara to Munster through Forelacka, passing various standing stones and ring forts and viewing a Bronze Age Tumulus site. You will finish at Kinnitty Castle.
Riding from Kinnitty Castle you will start the incline to Glendine West overlooking the Hundred Acres and 'Fidler's Rock', Of particular interest is 'The Fidler's Rock', an ancient standing stone of the late Neolithic Age. This standing stone, a quartzite glacial erratic, is part of a most unusual pattern of alignments with other standing stones and tumulus situated in the valley to the north passing through dense forest, continuing up a steep climb to Glendine Gap and arriving at a large expanse of blanket bog.
This bog is an important sanctuary and is still one of the largest continuous areas of mountain blanket peat in Ireland - it was declared a National Nature Reserve in 1985. Here heather and bog mosses dominate. And who will be able to forget the waving fields of bog cotton - as impressive as Wordworth's host of golden daffodils?
South of Glendine Gap - you savour in the breathtaking views of Arderin,(1,700 ft), the highest point in the Slieve Blooms. From Arderin three provinces, Leinster, Munster and Connaught, can be seen. Having descended into Glendine East, you will break for a picnic, walk or trot through Glendine Valley and delight in the unspoilt environment of the Slieve Bloom Trail. You then head north over Killeen river, and traversing some breathtaking terrain, where another wonderful day ends with a quick spin to Peader’s of Killoyn for a drink and view a pub full of Irish memorabilia.
From Dooley's Bridge, you will travel deep into the heart of the beautiful Glen Delour valley with its deciduous trees and green pasture. Riding east to Baunreagh you will follow the river to its source, high in the mountain along a forest track of spruce and fir, cross the waterfall and descend to have lunch at Ring House - Glen Delour. After lunch, you will continue through an array of trails and rivers to Monicknew.
Monicknew: you will follow the Slieve Bloom Trail initially through woodland, blanket bog, then high up onto the open mountain where your will finally reach the Ridge of Capard and have lunch overlooking counties Laois, Kildare, Wicklow and Dublin. You will return back to Glenbarrow Valley, the starting point, bring the horses for a drink at the foot of the Clamphole falls, walk though woods, through wonderful rock formations and deep glens.