The Clew Bay Trail Ride

On this six-day riding holiday, explore the Clew Bay in Western Ireland – a beautiful ocean bay overlooked by Croagh Patrick and the Nephin mountains. You will be riding through traditional Irish villages, sandy beaches, mountain tracks and country lanes while learning all about the local heritage sites along the way. This trail riding holiday is ideal for intermediate riders looking to experience the varied landscapes that the Irish countryside has to offer, take in the views and enjoy the local culture.
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Centre based holidays
7 days / 5 days riding
From £1,952
Open to non-riders

Itinerary

Highlights

- Explore the Irish countryside and witness the rugged landscapes of Co. Mayo and the Wild Atlantic way on horseback
- Your guide Padraig is an experienced horsemanship and has spent his entire life in the area: he knows Ireland and Co. Mayo like the back of his hand.
- Ride local Irish Cobs and Connemara ponies, for a real Irish trail riding holiday experience!
  • Day 1 1: Home – Knock Airport – Westport

    The closest airport you can fly to is Knock, however transfers can also be arranged from/to Shannon and Dublin airports (check “Dates & Prices” tab). Flights are not included but can be booked on request.
    Transfer to Westport where you will check in to the accommodation that will be your home for the next 6 days.

    Please note that transfers are not included in the price (check “Dates & Prices” tab).
  • Day 2 2: Aughagower Ride - Approx. 4h riding

    After breakfast you will be taken to Drummindoo Stud to meet your host Padraic Foy, your horse, and the other riders in the group. After an assessment ride in the indoor arena, riders and horses will be transferred to the village of Aughagower. Today this ride will take you through the villages of Curvey, Lankill and Knappagh Beg where you will stop on the shores of the Knappagh Lake to enjoy a picnic lunch.
    In the afternoon you will continue on to Drumhill before returning to Aughagower via Peggy’s Boreen. Here there is a chance for you to visit the round tower and monastic site which dates back to the 7th century.

    Dinner is not included.
  • Day 3 3: Culeen Ride - Approx. 4h riding

    Today’s ride brings you and the other riders to the village of Culeen. This ride takes you to the west of Croagh Patrick (one of the highest mountains in Ireland an important site of pilgrimage), through quiet country lanes at Kilsallagh and Kinnock. There will be some opportunities to canter along the roads at Dereen Stop for a picnic lunch on the bog where you will get to see the harvesting of the bog up close.
    In the afternoon you will to Culeen via river crossing at Bellakip.

    Dinner is not included.

  • Day 4 Feenone Ride - Approx. 4h riding

    Today you will start at Formoyle. Ride 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. Along the way you will be able to see Inishturk Island, and Clare Island – where Grainne Uaile, Ireland’s most famous pirate queen, resided.
    Before finishing today’s ride, you will make your way to Carrowniskey beach where you will have the opportunity to canter.

    Dinner is not included.
  • Day 5 5 : Skelp Ride - Approx. 4h riding

    After breakfast, the ride will start at Cloona just outside of Westport and take the Skelp ride which will lead you towards the east side of Croagh Patrick – Ireland’s Holy Mountain which has been a site of worship for over 3,000 years. As you ride on the mountain, you will experience great views of Clew Bay. Continue to ride through Prospect and stop for a picnic lunch near the ruins of a homestead which dates back to pre famine times. Finally, you will be headed to Teevnacroagha where you will ride in the footsteps of St. Patrick – Ireland’s patron saint – and Brackloon before finishing the day at Cloona.

    Dinner is not included.
  • Day 6 6: Connemara’s Coastline - Approx. 4h riding

    For the final day of your trail, you will make your way to Doughmakeon and ride at the beach in Carrowniskey before crossing the Carrowniskey River. From there you will ride towards Cross Strand. Today there are plenty of opportunities to canter.
    Stop for a picnic lunch next to Clapper Bridge. From here you can see the coastline on Connemara in the distance. In this area there are many standing stones that date back to megalithic times.
    In the afternoon you will ride along Cross Strand and Carrowniskey beach again before returning to base where you will say goodbye to your equine companion.

    Dinner is not included.
  • Day 7 7: Westport - Knock Airport - Home

    Transfer to the airport after breakfast.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights or transportation to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin room during the ride.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 2 riders and a maximum of 5 international riders, plus guides.

- Single rooms can be provided at an extra charge of £280/€325/$340

-Airport transfers are not included but can be arranged from the following airports (return rate per vehicle, up to 8 people - rates subject to change):
Knock - £220/€250/$245
Shannon - £655/€750/$740
Dublin - £1045/€1200/$1180
You may also transfer from the airport to the Westport Train Station by either train or bus (please see, http://www.buseireann.ie/ and https://www.irishrail.ie/en-ie/). From the station a free transfer to the accommodation can be organised.

- Non-riders are welcome to join and benefit from a special rate of £435/€500/$530

- Accompanied young riders are welcome from 12+ yo, provided they match the riding requirements.

Note: Riders weighing more than 90 kg / 14.3 stone / 200 lbs please indicate this at time of booking so we can ensure suitable horses are available.
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 English-speaking horse guide

Inland transport

Internal land transfers mentioned in the itinerary
Transfer from Wesport Train Station to the accommodation

Accommodation

6 nights in a guesthouse - double or twin room

Meals

Breakfasts and lunches from day 2 to day 7

Additional equipment

Saddle bags

Price doesn't include

Meals

Dinners are not included

Transport

International flights
Private road transfers from/to the airport

Extras

Single room
Tips to the local team

Insurance

Visas and personal purchase
Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
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    05/05/2024 11/05/2024 £1,952 €2,245 $2,420
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    07/07/2024 13/07/2024 £1,952 €2,245 $2,420
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    25/08/2024 31/08/2024 £1,952 €2,245 $2,420
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    01/09/2024 07/09/2024 £1,952 €2,245 $2,420
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    08/09/2024 14/09/2024 £1,952 €2,245 $2,420
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    22/09/2024 28/09/2024 £1,952 €2,245 $2,420
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    29/09/2024 05/10/2024 £1,952 €2,245 $2,420
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Equestrian info

Horses

The majority of trail horses have competition experience. There are Connemara ponies, Irish Sport Horses, Irish Draughts, and Irish Cobs, all with good temperaments and stamina which make them ideal for the trails.

Guide & local team

The base for the Clew Bay Trail Ride is at Drummindoo Stud. This family business was founded by Paddy Joe and Patsy Foy in 1963. Some stallions that have resided here include the famous Connemara ''Carna Dun'', the Thoroughbred ''Fast Frigate'' and the Irish Draught ''Shuttlecock” to name but a few. Initially horses were bred, produced and sold worldwide. In 1979 they started to offer horse riding. The farm has been developed over time from a small stud to a modern equestrian facility.
Padraic Foy now leads the trails himself and his a competent, compassionate horseman, and a certified Monty Roberts instructors. When he is not riding on the trail Padraic is busy training horses and people as well as offering Horsemanship Courses and Clinics in Monty's Methods.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

To participate in this riding holiday you should be at least an intermediate rider. You should be able to ride confidently at all three paces. Overall, this trail does not present any technical difficulties, but you must be fit and able to control your horse in open spaces, and especially on the beach.

Rider weight limit: 90 kg / 14.3 stone / 200 lbs

Pace

This is a progressive ride and the pace depends on the terrain and weather. There are some opportunities to trot and canter along the way, but overall this is a moderately paced holiday, with a focus on the scenery and culture – with a fun canter down the beach!

Tacking ability and participation

You are welcome to help groom and tack/untack the horses.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You should be reasonably fit to cope with the long hours of the saddle. Riders who do not ride regularly should get back in the saddle before joining this holiday.

Equestrian equipment

English saddles and bridles. Saddlebags are provided.
Helmets are required for this ride, we recommend our riders to bring their own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

You will be staying either in or close to Westport Town. The locations are approved by the Irish Tourist Board and provide quality services. The bedrooms are standard en-suite twin rooms, both comfortable and relaxing.

Meals

Various breakfast options are available including Full Irish and continental. Picnic lunches on the trail can be tailored to individual needs and can consist of sandwiches, fruit, snacks, drinks, and more.
Dinner is at your own account. There are many options close to the B&B you will be staying at.
Special dietary requirements can be catered for, please let us know at the time of booking.

Climate

The west coast of Ireland has an oceanic climate which is changeable and can be wet. In Spring the temperatures range from 8-12c. April is particularly pleasant. In summer (May-July) the highest average temperatures are 18-20c, whilst in Autumn (Aug - Oct) the temperatures range from 14-18c. September is considered to be mild and temperate. The coldest months are January and February and sometimes temperatures drop below zero. Snow is rare, but there can be heavy rainfall at any time of year.

Tips

Tips are appreciated but not expected. You should give what you feel is appropriate and you feel comfortable with.

Packing list

We recommend that you bring a waterproof jacket and layers of clothing to cope with changing weather conditions. Hard hats which we can supply and boots with a heel must be worn to comply with insurance regulations.

Head
- A riding helmet is mandatory. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable.
- Sunhat: cap for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding

Upper Body
- Thermals in case of cold weather (long or short-sleeved T-shirts)
- Short or long-sleeved cotton shirts (to provide protection from the sun) or T-shirt in a quick-drying material
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent (plus a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm Goretex-style jacket (water-proof and breathable)

Legs
- 2 pairs of jodhpurs or long leather trousers
- 1 change of trousers for the evening.
- 1 pair of waterproof over trousers
- Cotton or synthetic underwear (non-irritant)

Hands and feet
- 1 pair of comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps or long boots.
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Other useful items
- Small bumbag to be worn whilst riding
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle
- Backpacks are not to be worn whilst riding. Everything should be kept either in pockets or in a bumbag: lip balm, sun screen, small camera, glasses, rope etc.
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Toiletries
- Small plastic bags for your rubbish
- Ear plugs (may be useful)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Vitamin C tablets
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 10cm wide bandage
- Painkillers
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

General information
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes 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.