Horseback Riding in Ireland

Clew Bay Ride


The Clew Bay Ride is based out of Westport, an award winning town in County Mayo in western Ireland. Clew Bay is overlooked by Croagh Patrick, a holy mountain where the saint spent forty days fasting in the year 441 AD. Said to contain an island for every day of the year, the bay is also home to Clare Island, the headquarters of Grainne Uaile (Grace O’Malley), the legendary pirate queen of the 1500’s. This ride gives you the opportunity to soak in the history and charm of this special place, while riding the horses Ireland is so famous for. Your host comes from a long line of passionate horsemen, with the ride’s base the family’s award winning stud farm, which has produced and shown quality horses for decades. From here you follow the path of Saint Patrick through forests and peat bogs, then on to the coast and over mountain passes. The route gives you ample opportunities to for good riding and also to enjoy the hospitality and culture of several different villages on the Emerald Isle.

Accommodations are at Lurgan House B&B in Westport. Its a 10 in walk from the guesthouse into the center of Westport.

Breakfast is served at your accommdations. Picnic lunches are taken on the trail.
Dinners are not included in the itinerary or price, and there are many options in the town of Westport.

  • Overview:
    The horses are Connemaras, Irish Sport Horses, Irish Draughts or Irish Cobs and all have good temperaments and stamina ideal for the trail. They are between 13.2 and 16.2 hands. The tack is English.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Connemaras, Irish Sport Horses, Irish Draughts and Irish Cobs
  • Trip Pace:
    All paces
  • Tack:
  • Weight limit:
    200 lb

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

Riders are met at the Westport Train Station or Bus Depot.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Sunday: Arrival in Westport in the afternoon. Meet your host and check into your guesthouse accommodations. Its about a 10 min talk into the town center.

Day 2

Monday: Transfer to the outfitters farm just outside of Wesport to meet your host Padraic, the other riders and your horse. After an assessment ride in the indoor arena you are transferred to the village of Aughagower for the Aughagower Ride. This takes you through the villages of Curvey, Lankill and Knappagh Beg where you picnic on the shores of Knappagh Lake, then on to Drumhill before returning via Peggy’s Boreen. There is a chance to visit the roundtower and monastic site after riding, which dates back to the 7th century.

Day 3

Tuesday: Transfer to the village of Culeen for the Culeen Ride which takes you to the west of Croagh Patrick, through the quiet lanes at Kilsallagh and Kinnock and then to the bog roads at Dereen where you can enjoy some longer canters. Picnic along the bog and you’ll get to see the harvesting of bog peat at close hand. Return via a river crossing at Bellakip to finish the day at Culeen.

Day 4

Wednesday: Pick up the trail at Formoyle for the Feenone Ride, over a mountain pass and close to a megalithic burial site (one of many in the area), through 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) and Inishturk Island can clearly be seen. From here head for Carrowniskey beach, where you can canter and gallop before returning back to base.

Day 5

Thursday: Transfer to Cloona just outside of Westport. Today take the Skelp Ride towards the east side of Croagh Patrick (Ireland’s Holy Mountain which has been a site of worship for over 3,000 years). This mountain path gives you a great view of Clew Bay. Ride through Prospect and picnic near the ruins of a homestead which dates back to pre famine times. Continue on to Teevnacroagha where you ride in the footsteps of St Patrick (Ireland Patron Saint) and Brackloon before finishing the day back at Cloona.

Day 6

Friday: Today you go on to Doughmakeon and ride to the beach at Carrowniskey before crossing the Carrowniskey river and on to Cross Strand. There are ample of opportunities to gallop today. Picnic next to Clapper Bridge (the bridge with eyes). You can see the coastline of Connamara in the distance. There are many standing stones in the area dating back to megalithic times. Ride along Cross Strand and Carrowniskey beach again before returning to base. Here you say goodbye to your equine companion before enjoying a farewell dinner in one of Westport’s fine restaurants.

Day 7

Saturday: Depart after breakfast with fond memories of your ride.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Departure Dates

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Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $2,695

  • Non-rider Rate
  • $600

  • Single Supplement
  • $440

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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