The Connemara Trail, horse riding, Wild Atlantic Way Connemara, 7 Days Guided Hotel
This ride will introduce the rider to the Gaelic richness of the Irish countryside passing by small thatched cottages and villages built around a stately manor or castle ruins. Ride through the wild bogland and rocky moutainsides of the Connemara region, and area renowned for scenery which changes with every passing cloud or ray of light. Rivers, lakes, moutains and the sea provide an unspoiled and beautiful contrast to the russet boglands.
Price includes: (per person sharing)
- 6 nights in selected Hotel accommodation
- 6 days of horse trekking
- A horse riding expert guide all along the trail
- A delicious full Irish breakfast every morning
- 6 picnic lunches
- 6 evening meals at your Hotel
- Transfers to and from the trail starting and end point from Galway
- Full information pack supplied upon booking
Price doesn’t include:
- Tips and gratitudes
- Items of a personal nature
- Airport transfers
- Single supplement available as an optional extra
- Available April to September. Departure every monday.
- Price for July & August is euro 1895.00 per person sharing
- Subject to availability and terms and conditions. Please see our website www.connemarawildescapes.ie for more information and details.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the above.
Meet at 10.00am in Galway at the Meyrick Hotel and drive to the starting point of the long and impressive ride to Maam Cross. After meeting your horse or Connemara pony we mount up and begin to ride on country lanes, passing stone wall fences where sheep cattle graze, enjoying the rolling green hills in the distance before reaching the moutains. The scenery changes dramatically as the horses climb into the hills. Watch for hidden stone houses of the “Ferocious O’Flahertys” while riding. These are the houses where they lived after being banished from Aughnanure Castle as they were at constant odds with forces of Galway.
A long trot on a graveled road brings you to the edge of Oughterard where riders follow the river out of town for a rest and picnic lunch. After lunch, ascend a long hill to reach the edge of the bog that appears to be only a grassy meadow. After crossing the soggy boglandn the route continues across the rocky hills with great views of the colorful valleys and pristine lakes below. Riding out of the hills onto the abandoned Galway-Clifden railway line where there may be the opportunity for a canter. Turn the horses loose by a beautiful lake near Maam Cross and return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Today is a beautiful seven hours’ ride from Maam Cross to Ballynafad, a few miles from Ballynahinch. The ride begins by crossing the bogland, on a small road that Willie had built. In the middle of the bog is a small crop of limestone rock where a small copse of hazel trees grow. Hidden amongst the trees is an old limekiln, where the stone would have once been burnt to produce lime for whitewash and fertilizer. Enjoy a picnic lunch on a small village green before riding through beautiful forests ans a moutain with the most glorious views over the Twelve Bens and moutains lakes. Late in the afternoon stop for a refreshing cup of tea before a canter along the old railway line. Leave the horses grazing in Ballynafad and drive to Clifden for the night.
Today’s six-hour ride offers great variety in beautiful scenery. The morning begins by crossing a winding stream and passing small fields with sheep and one of the oldest cemeteries in Connemara. Ride through the grounds of Ballynahinch Castle built in the th century, ancestral home of Humanity Dick; a local landlord, MP and one of the chief forces behind the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. After long trots and canters on the old railway line, stop for a picnic lunch near a small cottage. In the afternoon, ride through Roundstone bog, where Alcock and Brown landed on the first flight in a by-place across the Atlantic. Pass extensive peat bogs and the harvested piles of the dried peat that are stacked by the roadside awaiting collection. In the early evening riders reach Ballyconneely and the sea. Turn the horses loose for the evening and drive to Clifden for dinner and overnight.
Today is a full day on the fantastic Mannin Beach. The day is free to canter along the wide white sand beaches and swim with the horses if the conditions are right. Keep and eye out for the seals that are usually found in these sheltered waters. Mannin Bay is a regular hauling out and breeding site for common seals which can be seen with some difficulty lying almost motionless as they wait for the ride to lift them away. Leave the horses in a field nearby and drive back to Clifden for dinner and overnight.
Today’s route follows the coast. Lunch is eaten in at the foot of Errisberg, the moutain that we rider over in the afternoon. The horses graze loose close to where the riders eat lunch. After lunch, the ride climbs over the moutains abovethe village of Roundstone. The views in the moutain are spectacular, overlooking the sea and the Connemara moutains. After leaving the horses, return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Spend the day at Willie’s Darfield Horse museum. Riders can trail ride around the museum, or test their skill on the cross country course. The event course has fences to suit all levels, from beginner to the advanced riders so everyone will have the opportunity to look around the museum, which is dedicated to the Irish horse and pony breeds and is the only one of its kind in the world. Riders stay in Loughrea on last night and, if required, are returned to Galway City on Sunday Morning. Accommodations are available at the Loughrea Hotel & Spa, Fairhill Hourse and The Old Rectory on Saturday night of Trails.
Departure after breakfast.
End of your stay
Hope to see you back in Connemara and Ireland very soon.
Participants must be able to:
• Gather, tack and untack the horses
• Mount and dismount
• Ride comfortably in a group of riders
• Be flexible – the outfitter does not run on a strict schedule
• Be independent – there is little direction or instruction given while on the ride
Please note there can be novice riders.
Horses and Tack:
Your host maintains approximately 200 horses, each very fit, willing to walk out and well suited for the terrain. These Irish Hunters and Connemara ponies of varying sizes are known the world over for their fantastic jumping ability, gentleness, intelligence and stamina. There is a horse to suit every rider’s needs whether a beginner or experienced rider.
English tack is utilized. There are no saddle bags available, but there are D-Rings on the front of the saddle providing loops that a rain jacket or sweater can be tied to with leather thongs or string. Water is not provided on the trail and it is suggested a waist pouch with a water bottle be worn.
As the horses live outdoors during the summer they are not groomed. However, riders are welcome to bring a small brush if they wish to groom before riding.
Depending on the size of the group, it will take at least an hour on the first day to select horses and get organized. After gathering the horses, riders are asked to select a bridle and spend a brief time speaking with the outfitter about the size, temperament and preferences for a mount. Once a horse is chosen for the rider, he is asked to lead the horse to the tack trailer, select a saddle, saddle the horse and check the stirrup length and girth tightness. At lunch stops, the horses are untacked and are released to graze. After lunch, the horses are caught and tacked up.
In the mountains riders are advised to follow the guide rather than their own path. The mountains can be quite boggy and rocky and the guide has years of experience in seeking a trail through them. The same applies on the beach, please stay behind the guide so they can set the pace and route.
Each day will consist of approx 5 hours riding. The trail is suited to all levels of riders.
Please note, however, to bring either rain jackets and trousers, or long duster coats – riding capes are not permitted.