Cross-country training at Castle Leslie

Perfect for hunters and eventers, this programme involves up to 3 hours training every day with a focus on cross-country jumping. Castle Leslie, located in Co. Monaghan, Ireland, is one of Europe’s finest equestrian playgrounds and boasts an impressive cross-country course. After your ride, enjoy a variety of activities including walking, fishing or clay-pigeon shooting, and relax in your cosy room at the Lodge. All levels are welcome and itineraries can be personalised.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Centre based holidays
6 days (5 days riding) or 4 days (3 days riding)
From £1,715
Family holidays
from 11 y.o
Open to non-riders

From the horse’s mouth

  • Cross-country training at Castle Leslie
    March 2022 GEMMA aged 34
    Excellent trip as always - we love this venue and return year after year due to the high quality of the horses, the tuition, the accommodation and the food - a very rare combination to find!
  • Rider cross-country riding at Castle Leslie
    Cross-country course at Castle Leslie
  • Riders in Ireland at Castle Leslie
    Riding in front of Castle Leslie, Ireland
  • Cross-country programme and training at Castle Leslie
    A programme focusing on cross-country riding
  • Water combination and cross country jumping in Ireland
    Water jump at Castle Leslie
  • Cross country training in Ireland
    Over 300 cross-country jumps for all riding abilities
  • Jumping course in Ireland at Castle Leslie
    Jumping and flatwork lessons are also provided
  • Kayaking at Castle Leslie
    Other activities offered, including kayaking
  • Hot air balloon ride in Monaghan, Castle Leslie
    Enjoy a scenic hot-air balloon ride over county Monaghan
  • Castle Leslie riding training programme in Ireland
    Aerial view of Castle Leslie in Ireland
  • Accommodation at Castle Leslie
    Cosy up by the fire after an exciting day in the saddle
  • Castle Leslie food and accommodation
    Tea time at the Castle



- Impressive equestrian facilities, with excellent indoors/outdoors arenas and over 300 cross-country jumps
- A personalised programme to suit all riding abilities, from novice to experienced riders
- Highly qualified and competent instructors, all BHS approved
- A great selection of horses suitable for riders of all levels
  • Day 1 1 : UK - DUBLIN OR BELFAST - CASTLE LESLIE - 1 hour riding

    The Lodge at Castle Leslie
    Castle Leslie is easily accessible from either Dublin or Belfast airport.
    You can either request a private transfer from the airport, take a bus to the closest city (Monaghan) or rent a car.

    After you settle into your room at The Lodge, depending on your arrival time, you may like to take a walk around the estate. Your first assessment lesson will be at 4.15 pm: it is a good opportunity to discuss your requirements for the week ahead with your instructors.

    Your package includes half-board accommodation, with dinners (2 course meals) at Conor's Bar.

    PLEASE NOTE - The following programme is tailored for competent riders who have previous cross-country experience. However, all riding abilities are welcome to Castle Leslie and we would be happy to create an itinerary in keeping with your requirements and riding skills. Activities are weather-dependent and might change to work around weather conditions. Lessons scheduled below are just an example and we will construct an itinerary to suit your flight times and other activities you may like to do while in Ireland.
  • Day 2 2 : CASTLE LESLIE - 3 hours riding

    The Lodge at Castle Leslie
    After a leisurely breakfast, head to the stables for your 10 a.m. Estate ride (2 hrs). You will have the chance to catch of glimpse of the impressive cross-country course that unrolls across the grounds of the Castle.

    After lunch (to your own account), a jumping lesson is planned at around 3 p.m. All instructors at Castle Leslie are experienced and BHS qualified, and will be able to help refine any riding issues you may have.

    After your lesson, you may like to relax in the spa or avail of one of the many activities on offer at the Castle: clay pigeon-shooting, kayaking, fishing... Activities and access to the spa are at an extra cost, payable locally. Please contact us for a full list of activities.

    Dinner at Conor's Bar and night at the lodge.
  • Day 3 3 : CASTLE LESLIE - 3 hours riding

    The Lodge at Castle Leslie
    In the morning, another ride takes you around the stunning Castle grounds for around 2 hrs. There are over 21 miles of bridleways for you to enjoy, with good canters to be had.

    Lunch (to your own account) will be followed by a jumping lesson to consolidate yesterday's skills.

    In the afternoon, you may want to explore the surroundings, as the area teems with local attractions and opportunities for outdoors pursuits.

    Dinner at Conor's Bar and night at the lodge.
  • Day 4 4 : CASTLE LESLIE - 3 hours riding

    The Lodge at Castle Leslie
    Now that you are familiarised with the horses and the instructors, it is time to get ready for your first cross-country training session. This morning, you are likely to ride in the indoors arena, focusing on your technique and position over indoors cross-country jumps.

    The afternoon ride (2 hrs) will see you tackle Castle Leslie's renowned cross-country course! Probably one of the best courses in the country, there are jumps for all levels of riding and more than enough fences for thrill-seekers.

    Dinner at Conor's Bar and night at the lodge.
  • Day 5 5 : CASTLE LESLIE - 3 hours riding

    The Lodge at Castle Leslie
    In the morning, another cross-country jumping lesson awaits. With over 300 jumps around the Estate, you may like to try out new jumps or combinations or go over your favourite jumps again.

    Every rider knows that good flatwork is key to a successful course. This afternoon, a 1h lesson will focus solely on your skills over the flat.

    If you wish, you may book an additional lesson at any time - why not try side-saddle riding? (subject to availability, at an extra cost).

    Dinner at Conor's Bar and night at the lodge.
  • Day 6 6 : CASTLE LESLIE - 2 hours riding

    Right after breakfast, enjoy your last cross-country ride. This is your last opportunity to work on your skills and ask your last questions to Castle Leslie's instructors before the end of your training programme.

    You are transferred to the airport of your choice (Dublin/Belfast) after your ride.

Dates & prices

Price details

PLEASE NOTE - There is a minimum stay of 3 nights and longer stays are possible. Please enquire with us for availability with your preferred dates.

- Flights are not included. Rates are based on a 3 or 5-day package, with half-board accommodation in the lodge, riding activities as mentioned in the itinerary included. These packages can also be booked for 3, 4, 5 or 6 or 7 nights and incorporate the same elements, please contact us for a personalised quotation.

- This programme is based on two people sharing at the Lodge. If you sign up to the ride as a solo rider and there are no other riders likely to share your room, you will be charged a single room supplement of approx. €570/£500/$610. You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date.

- Lessons are in groups of 6 riders maximum

- Tips, extra activities and extra activities are not included

- Transfers from/to Dublin or Belfast airport are not included are payable locally:
Transfer from Dublin or Belfast (1 pax), one way: €140 (approx. £105/$140)
Transfer from Dublin or Belfast (2-5 pax) per person, one way: €60 (approx. £35)
Transfer from Dublin or Belfast (6+ pax) per person, one way: €50 (approx. £25)
Alternatively you can also take a bus from Dublin or Belfast to Monaghan and a taxi can be arranged between the station and the Castle. Please contact us for the fare.

- If there is no availability on your preferred dates, please do contact us as self-catering cottages are also available.

- Children 7-11 yo and non-riders are welcome and benefit from a discount, please see below for details.

- Non-riders are also welcome. Their programme includes 5 nights Bed & Full Irish Breakfast and a choice of a 2-course meal in Conor’s bar each night or a main course in Snaffles Restaurant. Starting from €1290/£1130/$1370 for 5 days (sharing)
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 or 2 BHS qualified instructor(s)


1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle


Double room at the lodge, half-board. Dinners are either a Conor's bar (two course meal) or Snaffle restaurant (one course meal)

Extra equipment

First aid kit

Price doesn't include


Beverage and personal extra


Transfers to and from Dublin or Belfast airport
International flights bookable on request


Tips to local team


Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.



Single room supplement
Room upgrade (please consult us)
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    21/07/2024 26/07/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
    Contact an advisor
    28/07/2024 02/08/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
    04/08/2024 09/08/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
    11/08/2024 16/08/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
    18/08/2024 23/08/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
    25/08/2024 30/08/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    01/09/2024 06/09/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
    08/09/2024 13/09/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
    15/09/2024 20/09/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
    22/09/2024 27/09/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
    29/09/2024 04/10/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
    06/10/2024 11/10/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
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    13/10/2024 18/10/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
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    20/10/2024 25/10/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
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    27/10/2024 01/11/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
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  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    03/11/2024 08/11/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
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    10/11/2024 15/11/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
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    17/11/2024 22/11/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
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    24/11/2024 29/11/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
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    01/12/2024 06/12/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
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    08/12/2024 13/12/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
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    15/12/2024 20/12/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
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    22/12/2024 27/12/2024 £1,715 €1,972 $2,127
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Equestrian info


An excellent selection of Irish draughts, Irish sport horses and cobs, ranging from 14'2 to 17'. Some are suitable to nervous riders while others will be perfect for riders looking for a challenge.

Rider weight limit: 16 stone/100Kgs/224Ibs

Guide & local team

All the instructors at Castle Leslie are all fully qualified and BHS approved.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

No particular conditions. The listed programme is tailored to competent riders with previous jumping experience, but we are able to organise holidays for riders of all abilities. Please contact us for full details.

Children aged seven years old or older are welcome to ride.


The pace of the rides and lessons will be dictated by your riding abilities. There is plenty of excellent riding for good riders, while less experienced riders will ride according to their skills.

Tacking ability and participation

Your horse will be looked after for you but you are welcome to help should you want to.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

No particular conditions. The listed programme is tailored to competent riders with previous jumping experience, but we are able to organise holidays for riders of all abilities.

Equestrian equipment

You ride in English tack.

It is compulsory to wear a helmet at all times, and it must comply with the official regulations (fixed peaks are not acceptable when cross-country jumping).
Body protectors are mandatory for jumping and cross-country jumping.

The centre has helmets and a selection of body protectors to lend, however we always recommend you bring your own. The below riding great is provided on a complimentary basis to all guests:
· Skull and Peaked hats to the correct standard (Snell E2001, SEI ASTM 95,
ASTMF1163 2004 and PAS 2015)
· Jodhpur boots
· Long rubber riding boots
· Riding Crops
· Back Protectors to the correct standard (Beta Level 3)

Travel info


Accommodation is normally in the Lodge, located close to the stables, with very comfortable and tastefully-decorated rooms. Upgrades to the Castle are available, please contact us.

Self-catering cottages are also available for groups or families at a very interesting rate.


Half-board accommodation.
Breakfast: full Irish or continental
Dinner: two-course meals at Conor's bar or one one course meal in Snaffles restaurant.


The weather in Ireland is similar to that in the rest of the British Isles, although it is more likely to rain. You should always be prepared with a good quality raincoat and dress in layers as you might enjoy a glorious sunny day followed by one which is rather more wet and cold.


Tips are not mandatory but very welcome if you are pleased with the service provided.

Packing list

- Helmets are mandatory. Your riding hat must comply with the official regulations (fixed peaks are not acceptable when cross-country jumping).

Upper Body
- The weather can be unpredictable in Ireland so we recommend bringing tops you can wear in layers, T-shirts, sweatshirts and vests etc.
- Body protector
- Half or long-sleeved cotton shirts (to provide protection from the sun) or T-shirt in a quick-drying material
- A light raincoat that you are comfortable in
- A lightweight fleece or jumper
- A swimsuit

- 2 pairs of jodhpurs or riding trousers
- 1-2 pairs of trousers suitable for dinner at the Conor's bar
- Cotton or synthetic underwear (non-irritant)

Hands and feet
- Short jodhpur boots and half chaps are the best option as they are much cooler and easier to transport, but if you are used to riding in your long boots and want to wear them this is fine.
- Lightweight shoes for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves

Other useful items
- Toiletries
- Small medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..

- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- Any liquids in your hold luggage, such as shampoo, moisturizer, over 100ml should be decanted into small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- In your hand luggage take any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your boots/ hiking shoes and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in you hand luggage is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Sustainable tourism

  1. Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.

Did you know?

On the blog

Equus Journeys’ team member Iris has been fascinated by Ireland for as long as she can remember. Countless trips around the island and almost two years living in Co. Kerry later, she has listed five reasons why you should consider Ireland for your next riding holiday. See "five good reasons to ride in Ireland" on the blog.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • GEMMA aged 34 London 4 trips
    March 2022
    Excellent trip as always - we love this venue and return year after year due to the high quality of the horses, the tuition, the accommodation and the food - a very rare combination to find!
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide