Horseback Riding in Ireland

Atlantic Coast Trail


This ride takes place in the part of Ireland immortalized by the poet, W.B. Yeats. It is a fine opportunity to fulfill your dreams by riding in mountains, valleys, pine forests and on the beaches of this romantic island. Visits to historical sites and places of interest are also included.

The first four nights are spent at the Glasshouse hotel in Sligo and the last three nights are at the Strandhill Lodge and Suites.

Full Irish breakfasts are served each morning at the accommodations. A light lunch is taken either at one of the local restaurants, or a picnic en-route. For dinners you can explore the many restaurants in Sligo and Strandhill during the week. Pub lunches and dinners are an out of pocket expense

  • Overview:
    The horses are typical Irish hunters of varying sizes and are especially steady and sure-footed. The saddles are English style.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Irish Hunter, Connemara
  • Trip Pace:
  • Tack:
  • Weight limit:
    220 lbs

While riders are on horseback, there are no separate activities planned for non-riders, who can enjoy the accommodations and region independently.

Dublin Airport or Sligo town

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

You are collected from the Dublin airport or in Sligo and driven to your accommodations after a short discussion reaffirming riding abilities and requirements. Accommodations at the Glasshouse hotel in Sligo for the next 4 nights.

Day 2

After a leisurely Irish breakfast, you are taken to the riding center and introduced to the horses in the large indoor arena. Declan and Eugene, the trail guide, spend the next hour or so evaluating horses and riders and their compatibility before the short “get acquainted” ride through the surrounding pastures. After a light lunch ride to Knocknarea mountain and climb to the summit to the grave of one of Ireland’s greatest warriors, Queen Maeve (circa 3500 b.c). From this vantage point one can really appreciate the beauty of this corner of the Emerald Isle. Overnight Glasshouse hotel. After dinner (on your own) you may have an option to go to a local Irish pub to hear some traditional Irish music and sample the famous Irish craic. Most riding during the week will start at 10.30 AM.

Day 3

After a leisurely breakfast you will have some time to explore Sligo before being picked up for the ride around 12.30 PM. Today’s ride takes you from Carrowmore through Union Forest and along of forest paths into Markree Castle estate. Ride through the castle grounds and to the stables where the horses will spend the night. Transfer back to Sligo to your accommodations.

Day 4

The morning ride takes you around the grounds of Markree Castle where you can see the remains of the old houses where the Irish peasants lived in the times when the English ruled. Have a short lunch at the castle stables before riding back to Carrowmore through Ballygawley forest where you might spot some wild deer grazing. Transfer back to Sligo for overnight.

Day 5

Have a large breakfast this morning as there is no lunch stop today. Before riding, take an escorted tour through the megalithic cemetery, circa 4000 b.c. Today’s ride is an exhilarating beach ride across Cumeen Strand to Coney Island, a small island in Sligo Bay (population 7). Accommodation in Strandhill.

Day 6

Today is a chance to relax and to visit places of interest and historical significance of this ancient corner of Ireland, including a visit to Parkes castle, a 14th century castle restored by the Irish government and Yeat’s grave in Drumcliff. There is also time to see the beautiful town of Sligo and do some shopping. For those who wish, a trip to the famous Celtic seaweed baths in Strandhill can be arranged (an out of pocket expense). After dinner (on your own), visit a local Irish pub if you have energy left.

Day 7

The final day’s riding is spent mostly on beaches so starting time will depend on the tides. Ride around the Knocknarea Peninsula from Kelly’s town to Culleenamore beach along the strand at Strandhill onto Cumeen Strand and across to Carty’s beach. This is a fantastic ride along the beaches, very exilarating but also physically challenging. Lunch is taken at the famous Strand Bar in Strandhill, a surfing village. As it’s your last night meet after dinner for a final Guinness and a chance to reflect on your week’s adventure.

Day 8

After breakfast you are driven back to Sligo or Dublin airport for your onward journey home.

Itinerary Addendum


Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Due to unforeseen circumstances the outfitter is not able to offer this trail for 2021 but we are hoping we will be able to bring it back for 2022!

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $1,715
  • Non-rider Rate
  • $1,030
  • Single Supplement
  • $210
Additional Pricing Information:
Base price does not include dinners and all but two lunches Prices are based on the dollar/euro exchange and are subject to change. Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time deposit is paid.  

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Contact Biggi Hayes

The Clew Bay ride is a great way to experience authentic Ireland on horseback. The host, Padraic, is incredibly warm and extremely knowledgeable about both the area and his horses. He is great at tailoring the ride to suit your riding level and comfort. On the trail I saw the beautiful rolling green hills Ireland is famous for, dotted with countless sheep and centuries old structures. There were also stunning views of Clew Bay and plenty of cantering on the beach. Westport is an incredibly charming town with lots of great places to eat and really friendly people. The Lurgan House bed & breakfast is very comfortable after a long day in the saddle.

Millard, May 2019