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The Clew Bay Trail Ride takes small groups of experienced riders along the 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 Padraic Foy, is a qualified riding instructor, a Monty Robert's Certified Instructor and an accomplished horseman whose family have been involved with horses in the locality for generations. Combined with the spectacular Clew Bay region, quality Irish horses, and excellent accommodation, this program will give you a horse riding adventure holiday you will cherish forever!
You will stay in guest house accommodation.
On arrival to Westport, you will check in to your accommodation which is where you will be staying for the trail.
Transfer to Drummindoo Stud to meet your host Padraic Foy, 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 will take you through the village of Curvey, along the shores of Knappagh Lake, through the village of Mountbrown and returning to Aughagower via an old shepherd’s track. After riding, there is a chance for riders to visit the round tower and monastic site which dates back to the seventh century.
In the evening, there is an opportunity for everyone to meet Padraic for a drink and get to know each other in one of Westport’s pubs.
Transfer to Cloona just outside of Westport. Today, you will take the Skelp ride towards the east side of Croagh Patrick (Ireland's Holy Mountain) and then on to Teevnacroagha to ride in the footsteps of Saint Patrick to the foot of the mountain which has been a site of worship for over 3,000 years. You will cross the Owenwee river and on to the peat bog tracks at Owenwee to see the bog oak and how the peat is harvested before finishing the day at Cloona.
Transfer to the village of Bouris for the Laghta Ride. This ride will take you to the west of Croagh Patrick, high up in the hills to Laghta beside deserted homesteads. You will cross the Bunowen River and enjoy panoramic views of Louisburgh and the Atlantic Ocean on your descent. There is evidence in the landscape of the Lazy Beds (dating back to the Great Famine) where people used to grow potatoes. You will then ride along some bog roads and finish the day on your return to Bouris.
You will pick up the trail again at Formoyle (your base for the next two days) for the Feenone ride. This will take you 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) can clearly be seen. You will then head for Doughmakeon Strand where you can canter and gallop before returning to base.
Today, you make your way to Emlagh Point and ride the Carrowniskey Ride all the way to Cross Strand. There are 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, enjoy a farewell dinner with your host, Padraic, in one of Westport's fine restaurants.
Depart after breakfast with fond memories of your equestrian adventure.
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 it looks after its rider. The Irish people have a natural affinity with the horse and this is evident in the horses they have. The majority of the trail horses have competition experience and have been started by Clew Bay Trail Ride. The good temperaments and stamina make the horses ideal for the trail.
The itinerary of Clew Bay Trail Ride may change slightly due to circumstances beyond their control such as bad weather, tidal variations, etc. and Clew Bay Trail Ride reserves the right to change this without prior notice. Participants should be reasonably fit and Clew Bay Trail Ride suggests you go riding a couple of times a week before coming on to this trail. This is a progressive ride with the pace varying from slow to fast depending on terrain and weather conditions.
Please book one month in advance.
This holiday will take place in Ireland, around Clew Bay and Wild Atlantic Way. Clew Bay is a natural ocean bay situated on the Wild Atlantic Way in County Mayo. It contains many islands, some say there is one for every day of the year. The bay is overlooked by Croagh Patrick, Ireland's Holy Mountain where Saint Patrick spent the forty days of Lent in 441 AD in prayer and fasting for the people of Ireland, and as tradition relates, cast a spell repeatedly down its slopes to drive out the snakes and other repellent creatures from Ireland forever.
Lying just offshore, at the mouth of Clew Bay, is the magnificent Clare Island, the stronghold and headquarters of Grainne Uaile (Grace O'Malley), the legendary Irish Pirate queen who terrorized English, Spanish, and husbands alike along the west coast of Ireland in the 1500's.
Located at the south-west corner of Clew Bay, is the award-winning town of Westport which has won the "Irish Tidy Towns Competition" three times in 2001, 2006, and 2008. In 2013, it was deemed the "Best Place To Live In Ireland" and the "Best Large Town" by The Irish Times. It has a gracious town center in the Georgian Architectural style and is one of the few planned towns in Ireland. The planning of the town by James Wyatt in 1780 was commissioned by Lord Sligo of the stately home Westport House, as a place for his workers and tenants to live. Among the picturesque features of the town are it's tree-lined, flower decorated promenade (The Mall) and several stone bridges over the Carrowbeg River.
You will be served daily breakfast. For riders, five picnic lunches will be available without any extra cost.
Clew Bay is a top class activity hub and a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You can choose from walking, cycling, sailing, fishing, golf, and a host of other adventure activities.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookHorseRidingHolidays.com. All major credit cards supported.
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