Northern Ireland Getaway

Explorer the rugged coastline of Northern Ireland on a horseback holiday. Start off in the Antrim Plateau, riding along gentle hills and valleys which will later lead you to the most stunning beaches. As you canter along the golden sands, enjoy the unique views out to Scotland. After a full day in the saddle, you will be greeted by friendly local hosts at your B&B. A short but sweet riding holiday for guests wanting a first taste of the Irish “craic” and hospitality!
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Centre based holidays
4 days (3 days riding)
From £1,560
Open to non-riders

Itinerary

Highlights

- Visit Dunluce Castle and learn about its intriguing history.
- Ride on Northern Ireland’s famous UNESCO world heritage site – the Causeway Coast!
- Ride along famous scenarios that are setting to Game of Thrones’ episodes
  • Day 1 1: Home – Dublin airport – North Coast - No riding

    Fly to Dublin airport. Flights are not included but can be arranged upon request.
    You will be transferred from the airport to the accommodation (not included, see “dates and prices”) or we can you arrange public transport to the starting point of the ride. The rest of the day will be spent at leisure. You may stay and relax in your room, or go on a walk to get acquainted with your surroundings.

    Overnight at the B&B.

    Please note that dinner is not included.
  • Day 2 2: North Antrim Hills - Approx. 4/5 hours riding

    After breakfast, you be transferred to the stables where the local team will welcome you and give you a full tour of the premises. After choosing your horse and undergoing a brief riding assessment, you will set off on your first adventure.
    Today you will be riding out into the wilderness of the North Antrim Hills, and enjoying the landscapes of the Irish countryside. After stopping for a picnic lunch, you will ride past an old peat bank which you may explore before making your way back to the stables.

    Transfer to the B&B and freshen-up before heading to town to have dinner.

    Please note that dinner is not included.
  • Day 3 3: White Park Bay & Ballintoy - Approx. 6/7 hours riding

    Today your adventure begins on the coast of Ballintoy. After tacking up your horse, you will follow old off-road tracks taking you to Whitepark Bay beach, a 3-mile long beach on the famous Causeway Coastal Route. The white sand invites you to trot, or canter along the shoreline and, if possible, you may even dip your feet in the ocean. After a great morning spent at the beach, you will make your way to the Fulerton Arms pub for lunch.
    You will look out over Ballintoy harbour which many will recognize as the backdrop for several Game of Thrones episodes.
    In the afternoon, you will ride towards Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge, from where you will be able to enjoy breathtaking views of the North Coast.

    Transfer to the accommodation.

    Please note that dinner is not included.
  • Day 4 4: Whiterocks Beach – Dunluce Castle – Dublin Airport - Approx. 4/5 hours riding

    After breakfast, you will set off to explore the Whiterocks beach where you will be able to enjoy some splashy trots and canters. The landscape provides you with great views of the iconic Dunluce castle, Donegal and the Western Isles of Scotland.
    After a great beach ride, you will arrive at the castle ruins in Dunluce. Enjoy a tour of the castles and learn about its intriguing history. You will have a snack before riding on to Portballintrae. Upon crossing the River Bush make your way to the world famous Old Bushmills Whiskey.
    After the second beach ride of the day, you will follow an old tram trail which will lead you to Northern Ireland’s famous UNESCO world heritage site – the Causeway Coast. This riding holiday comes to an end as you help load up the horses.

    Enjoy a relaxing tea at the Causeway hotel before leaving to the airport.

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.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 4 riders and a maximum of 10 international riders, plus guides. The ride may go ahead with 2/3 riders upon the payment of a supplement - €200/£170/$220 per person.

- Rates are per person sharing a double/twin room in a standard guesthouse/B&B. Single rooms can be arranged upon request for an extra €170/£150/$180.
There are upgrades available to both 3* hotels, or 4* hotels and spas, please enquire to know more.

- Transfers from/to Dublin airport are not included but can be arranged upon request for an extra €770/£680/$850, per car (4pax), return rate.
- Transfers from/to Belfast airports are also possible for an extra €125/£280/$125, per car (4pax), return rate.
There are other ways of getting to the North Coast (bus/train), please enquire to know more.

- Non-riders are welcomed and have a special discounted rate of £230 per day (includes accommodation, transfers to ride locations so they can be explored by foot, breakfast and lunch).
Extra activities are available - Yacht tour, golf courses, fly fisinhing, SPA treatments, Whiskey tour - please contact us for detailed rates.

- Accompanied young riders are welcome from 7 yo, provided they match the riding requirements.

Rider weight limit is 95kg/15 st/209 lbs. If you are over this limit, please contact us.
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

Accommodation

Double room - guesthouse

Meals

Full board from breakfast on day 2 to afternoon tea on day 4 (excl. dinners)

Additional equipment

Saddle bags

Extras

Ticket to Giants Causeway & Dunluce Castle

Price doesn't include

Meals

Dinners from day 1 to day 4 are not included in the price

Transport

International flights
Airport transfers

Extras

Tips to the local team

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement
Accommodation upgrades
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    07/07/2024 10/07/2024 £1,560 €1,794 $1,934
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    01/09/2024 04/09/2024 £1,560 €1,794 $1,934
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    08/09/2024 11/09/2024 £1,560 €1,794 $1,934
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    27/10/2024 30/10/2024 £1,560 €1,794 $1,934
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    03/11/2024 06/11/2024 £1,560 €1,794 $1,934
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    10/11/2024 13/11/2024 £1,560 €1,794 $1,934
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    17/11/2024 20/11/2024 £1,560 €1,794 $1,934
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    24/11/2024 27/11/2024 £1,560 €1,794 $1,934
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Equestrian info

Horses

There are around 60 horses available on this riding holiday. They are a mix of Irish Cobs, Irish Drafts, Sport Horses and Connemaras. All horses have a good temperament and are both fit and surefooted.

There are both horses and ponies available, ranging from 12hh to 16.2hh.

Guide & local team

The local guides are experienced and professional. They are very familiar with all the trails and take great care of the horses and guests.

Please note that all guides have first aid training.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

To take part in this holiday, you must be an intermediate rider or above. You are able to walk, trot and canter comfortably and also mount/dismount with the help of a mounting block.

Rider weight limit is 95kg/15 st/209 lbs

Pace

There will be walking, trotting and cantering – especially at the beach.
Please note that according to the group’s ability and preference the pace of the ride may be adjusted.

Tacking ability and participation

You are very welcome to help groom and tack/untack the horses during the trail ride.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You should be comfortable at all three paces.
The terrain is diverse, but mainly smooth and pleasant, giving you the opportunity to ride free from strain and enjoy the scenery.

Equestrian equipment

English tack. Saddlebags are provided.

Please note that helmets are mandatory. There is a small selection but we recommend you bring your own.

Travel info

Comfort

On this riding holiday, you will be staying in a B&B. The selected B&Bs are based on quality guest house style accommodation in coastal locations. They are all owned by local families.
There are upgrades available to both 3* hotels, or 4* hotels and spas, please enquire to know more.

Meals

Breakfast will consist of traditional full Irish Breakfasts, alongside cereals and continental options. Lunch is a mixture of picnics (sandwiches, traybakes, crisps, fruit, scones, tea, coffee) and meals in local restaurants. Please note that dinners are not included.

Special dietary requirements can be catered for, please let us know at the time of booking.

Climate

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

Tipping is not compulsory but will be very much appreciated if you enjoy the services provided by the team.

Packing list

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
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun and dust

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 (riding trousers or jeans)
- 1 pair of waterproof over trousers)
- A swim suit may be useful (if upgrading accommodation)
- Cotton or synthetic underwear (non-irritant)

Hands and feet
- 1 pair 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
- Swiss army knife or equivalent (in checking-in luggage!!)
- 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

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided with a capacity of 60-80 litres. We recommend taking a backpack or similar
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (passport, camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals

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.