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Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the Sea

Do you dream of galloping at full speed along the seabed out to an island? Come and realize your dream with Ursula and Raymond whose equestrian center has a fantastic location with a lovely view of the sea and the kilometer-long beach.

At low tide, the surface is perfect for riding and you do not have to worry about holes and bumps. On the way, you will pass sunbathing seals and once out on the island, you can jump stonewalls and take other more natural jumps.

This part of Ireland is wild and beautiful and each day brings new and exciting adventures. You ride between 4-6 hours each day at a good pace. Some days you will have a picnic lunch and other days stop by a cozy pub.

You can choose from between forty horses, Irish warmbloods, thoroughbreds and ponies. All the horses are alert and happy and love to stretch out in a gallop along the long beaches, so it's easy to find a suitable horse.

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The Program

Preliminary day-by-day program - Subject to tidal and wheather conditions the duration, departure time, route, lunch arrangements and order of these rides changes slightly from week to week. These are the rides: 

We have added a few dates in April and September where the Hotel is closed on two days so the package will be a bit shorter. Arrival Wednesday, departure Monday after breakfast

Day 1. Monday -  Arrival afternoon to the equestrian center.

Day 2. Tuesday - Familiarization lesson and beach and  bog ride
After getting to know your horse with a riding lesson you will go for  a 2-3 hour beach and bog ride. It combines the coastal and the rural experience: riding by the sea and riding in the Irish countryside. The first part of your ride takes you along sandy Trawalua beach. Then you will follow quiet lane ways and century old bog tracks at the foot of rugged Benbulben Mountain. Lunch is  on the farm.

Day 3 Wednesday - 4.5 hour Mullaghmore Coastal Ride
After an exhilarating ride on Trawalua beach, follow the boundary of Classiebawn Estate to Mullaghmore. This little fishing village boasts a picturesque 19th century stone built harbour. The ride takes you along the headland with some breathtaking views of majestic sea cliffs and the Castle, a signature view point of the Wild Atlantic Way. It was here that Lord Mountbatten, great grandson of Queen Victoria, was killed by a bomb planted on his boat by the IRA in 1979. On days with a serious swell, top big wave surfers from all over the world come here to take on a wave of up to 50 foot. On our way home we are rewarded with another stretch of beach riding and we can cool the horses down in the waves. On this trail we take a lunch break in the Pier Head pub overlooking the harbour. 

Day 4 Thursday: 5.5 to 6 hour Gleniff Horseshoe Ride or Day excursion to Strandhill/ Sligo with optional seaweed bath, surfing or hiking.
Today you have a choice of two options: you can take a day off to relax and do some sightseeing  or  you can venture inlands on our longest and toughest ride of the week. 
OPTION A: This is a looooong ride with spectacular views, but also lots of walking on tarmac roads! A few miles inland from the coast you will ride in the barren Gleniff Horse Shoe valley (voted no.1 attractions in Ballintrillick by Trip Advisor) nestled beneath Benwiskin Mountain. The valley is steeped in history and legend. Set in a spectacular cliff face is Diarmuid and Grainne’s cave. Legend has it that this was the lovers’ hiding place on their flight from Fionn Mac Cumhaill. Barium Meal had been mined in the Dartry Mountains until the middle of the 20th century. You will have your break and snack at the old barytes mill site (voted one of top picnic places for families in Ireland) at the base of the Gleniff Horseshoe before you return home along quiet country laneways. The ride offers breathtaking views of 10 town lands and the Atlantic Ocean. You will sleep well tonight! 

OPTION B: After a nice lie in and breakfast, we will collect you and bring you via Sligo town to the village of Strandhill. This bustling seaside village invites you to roam its beach, stroll around the few little shops, eat in one of the hip eateries and taste Ireland’s best ice cream. A hotspot for surfing, you can either watch or participate (we can arrange a surf lesson for you in advance) in riding the ”white horses”. Alternatively spoil yourself with a seaweed bath or treatment at Voya’s seaweed baths (2 week advance booking essential, price not included in package). Towering over the village is Knocknarea mountain which can be ascended from the village via a track with self guided information points along the way. On top you will enjoy spectacular views over Sligo and Donegal Bay and admire the huge mound that is the grave of Queen Meave, an ancient warrior queen, said to be buried here standing up and looking her enemies in the eye.  We provide you with a map and packed lunch for your hike. When you are done exploring Strandhill we will collect you again and bring you to the hotel. Alternatively you could also spend the day in Sligo, shopping and sightseeing . 

Day 5 Friday: 4 hour O’Connor’s Island Ride
This is our signature experience, it is any rider’s dream; discover the unspoilt and expansive beaches on horseback! It combines some brisk riding on the vast strand near Streedagh beach where 3 Armada ships sank in 1588 and a scenic stroll over the island with a picnic among the horses or a stop off in the village cafe for some sumptuous food( tides will determine what options works best). Any riders dream; Feel the thrill of crossing an Atlantic channel to O'Connor's  Island , Seals and migratory birds can often be spotted in the lagoon. You will enter the magic world of our private island and see the ancient homestead of the family. Follow the narrow paths as you traverse the contours of the large sand dune system, where scenic viewing points pop up between the sandhills. 360 degrees of  stunning views on the horizon, no matter where your eye roams – its beautiful. This area of special conservation is rich in biodiversity, only the toughest plants survive exposure to the salty winds here , so it is reminiscent of the wild flower meadows in the high alps. Our dry stock cattle herd roams the island and you might meet some school horses on their holidays by the sea. Your horse can enjoy the salty island grass while you relax, have a snack among the horses and explore the sites of ancient farm life on the island. Departure time  depends on the tide.

Day 6 Saturday -  5 hour O’Connor’s Island Ride
Dernish Island was once the home to 6 families. This little island is now only a weekend home and populated by cattle and wildlife mostly.  Get a sense of island life in a bye-gone era. Change your point of view and see Donegal bay, Trawalua beach and Classiebawn castle from across the channel. Seals and migratory birds can often be spotted in the estuary. The shallows around Dernish island invite for a hearty canter or even a spot of galloping. Depending on weather, tides and subsequent departure times this ride is with either with a picnic lunch or lunch in the quaint Jam Pot cafe. 

Day 7 Sunday - Departure on  after Breakfast.

Accommodation and Food

You will stay in a cozy little hotel about 5 minutes by car from the equestrian center. You will be picked up and dropped off each day. The hotel has a fantastic location with lovely views of the sea. You will stay in double or single rooms with ensuite shower / toilet. Some evenings you will be treated to live music in one of the local pubs. There is a nice spa area and an indoor pool, massages and treatments can be booked on spot.

Safe deposit box: Yes, in reception
A/C: No
Hair Dryer: Yes
Towels and sheets: Yes
Fridge: No

Breakfast is plentiful with bread & butter, cereal, yogurt, juice, tea / coffee.

Lunch is usually pic nic that you carry in saddle bags. Sandwiches or rolls  (ham / cheese/ salami abd salad/tomato/ churney/mayonaise)- can be vegan or vegetarian, glutenfree or lactosefree if needed. There's also a piece if fruit (apple/mandarin or orange), a chocolate bar or nuts and raisins. For drink its a bottle of still water. Pub lunch is guaranteed once during the week, sometimes twice depending in how tides fall for the rides and if the pub is open for food that day.
For pub lunch people can order themselves to a maximum amount of €15, typically its burger/ fish and chips, panini and salad, pasta, ciabattas etc.

In the evenings during the week, you can eat both lamb, chicken and a selection of seafood. In the evening there are several pubs to visit if you are willing and able. Full board is included (except dinner first evening) excluding drinks.


There are about 40-50 horses and ponies. Given Ireland's mild climate you can ride outside all year round. There are no traditional stables, the horses are taken into a barn where you brush and tack them. The horses are Irish Hunting Horses and Irish Cobs. They have a very good temperament.


Sligo has an abundance of top-class courses and with the the superb scenery, the excellent value for money, accessibility and the supporting services, it can certainly be argued that County Sligo ought to be on of the world’s best destinations for golf enthusiasts. Within a 50 km radius from the riding centre there is 6 golf courses, for example Strandhill Golf Club, The County Sligo Golf Club and Donegal Golf Club. 


Travel Information

Ability descriptionLevel, trail ride 2-3 >>

Included in the price: 6 nights, 5 days riding, full board (excl. drinks).

Not included: Flights, transfers, insurance, dinner first night, drinks and extras not mentioned. 

Travel: Book flight/rental car >>
Flight: To Dublin. 

Onward journey, by train or bus, cheaper to buy tickets in advance.
Train: From Dublin to Sligo is 200 kilometers (125 miles) and takes about 3.5 hours by train. The train starts from Connolly Street Station. To get train times and prices, visit
Bus: Direct buses from Dublin Airport or Busaras (store street) to Sligo and it takes approximately 3.5 hours. To get the bus times and fares, visit
Also possible to continue with bus from Ballyshannon or Sligo all the way to the stables, Sligo-Derry Bus (No. 64 or 480).

Transfer: Book in advance with HorseXplore and pay on spot.
From Sligo train or bus station to the hotel.
Price: 40 EUR / car (maximum 4 people) each way. Paid on the day directly to the driver. 

Currency: Euro
Credit card: The hotel accept credit card, not the riding center.
Tipping: Not expected.

Wifi: Yes
Electricity jack: 3 pin socket, limited amount of adapters available.

Group size: Min. 2 max. 10
Age limit: 10 years old, there are good ponies available.
Child discount:  Up to 15 years old. Check under Dates and prices for the current discount.

Closest village: The hotel is located in Mullaghmore village with restaurants and pubs. For shopping is Sligo 20 km away.
Beach: Yes, 5 minutes walk from hotel.
Pool: Yes, the hotel has heated indoor pool.

Riding equipment to borrow: Helmets and boots in all sizes, limited number or raincoats, half chaps and rain trousers.
Saddle bag: Yes
Special diet: Yes, inform in booking

Feedback from our travellers

Dates and prices

"Book on request" means that we cannot confirm your booking immediately, but we will get back to you as soon as possible with a booking confirmation, normally within 24 hours on weekdays.

DateDaysName of tripPrice from
27/05/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the Sea
Fully booked
EUR 2,157Book on request
03/06/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the Sea
Fully booked
EUR 2,157Book on request
10/06/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the SeaEUR 2,157Book on request
17/06/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the Sea
Fully booked
EUR 2,157Book on request
24/06/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the Sea
Fully booked
EUR 2,157Book on request
01/07/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the SeaEUR 2,157Book on request
08/07/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the Sea
Fully booked
EUR 2,157Book on request
15/07/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the SeaEUR 2,157Book on request
22/07/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the Sea
Fully booked
EUR 2,157Book on request
29/07/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the Sea
Fully booked
EUR 2,157Book on request
05/08/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the Sea
Fully booked
EUR 2,157Book on request
12/08/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the SeaEUR 2,157Book on request
19/08/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the Sea
Fully booked
EUR 2,157Book on request
26/08/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the SeaEUR 2,157Book on request
02/09/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the SeaEUR 2,157Book on request
09/09/20247Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the SeaEUR 2,157Book on request
11/09/20246Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the SeaEUR 1,905Book on request
18/09/20246Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the SeaEUR 1,905Book on request
25/09/20246Ireland, Sligo – Trail Ride by the SeaEUR 1,905Book on request

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