West Coast Trail

7 Days  |  From £1860pp

Ireland ( Best airport: Dublin / Knock)

This six night trail ride is perfect for small groups of experienced and adventurous riders, allowing you to explore some of the most spectacular scenery on the west coast of Ireland as well as your host’s private island. Explore quaint villages, sandy beaches and rocky coastline and immerse yourself in the lush splendour of the north west of Ireland known as the Wild Atlantic Way. This region packs as much scenery, myth and folklore into its borders as any visitor could hope for and you’ll be hosted by the O’Connor family who have lived here for generations.

The Riding

Explore sandy beaches, a tidal lagoon, a private island and the rocky coast line of Mullaghmore Headland. The Gleniff Horse Shoe Mountain ride and the rural trails at the foot of Benbulben Mountain invite for a hack through the wonderful west of Ireland countryside.

On the stopovers during your day ride, you will have a picnic or a pub lunch. Each day’s riding starts at the farm and returns back to base. There is plenty of opportunity to enjoy some brisk beach riding. On one of the days (usually Thursday) riders have the option to not ride midweek for one day and explore Sligo or
Strandhill or go hiking or surfing that day ( price for surf lesson not included). Taxi service to Sligo or Strandhill and back; packed lunch and maps for hiking will be provided if you decide to go for this option.

Level of Riding and Fitness

Riders need to be comfortable at all paces, able to mount and dismount unaided and in control of a responsive horse when riding in open country or on the beach. You should be fit enough to enjoy 5 days of riding with around 4-6 hours in the saddle each day. The weight limit is 90kg.

Guides and Group Size

Your hosts are the O’Connor family who have been running this farm and stables for  generations. Your guides are friendly and experienced adults and experienced horse riders. The group size is between 1-6.

The Horses

All the horses at this destination are Irish-bred. A lot of them have been born, reared and trained on the farm, your hosts see their horses as lifelong partners and all the horses are selected primarily on the basis of their good temperament. All the horses get solid foundation training, based on a combination of natural horsemanship and the German training scale. Elements of the philosophy of ease (école de légèreté) are incorporated into the horse’s schooling.

All the horses lead a life as close to nature’s way as possible, living in a herd on 100 acres of summer pasture. They know each other well and are familiar with their place in the pecking order, which makes them even safer and easier to ride. After the day’s work, the horses go out to the fields and can be horses, have a roll in the mud, have a bit of horseplay and a social life with their friends. All horses are seen regularly by the horse dentist and chiropractor if needed. Saddles are checked and fitted every year by a master saddler. The horses and ponies come in all shapes and sizes. There are plenty of animals to choose from ranging from a patient easy-going cob to a challenging sport horse.

Island Trail - Horse Riding Holidays in Ireland

Accommodation and Dining

You’ll be staying at a local hotel close to the stables. Situated right beside Mullaghmore Harbour, the traditional family run Pier Head Hotel enjoys a fantastic view of Donegal Bay. The Pier Head Hotel is a modern three star hotel complete with en-suite rooms, restaurant, two bars, a swimming pool and spa. Transfers between the stables and the hotel are included.

Breakfast is provided by the hotel and you can choose between a full cooked breakfast or continental options, accompanied by tea, coffee and juice. Lunch is either a pinci at a picturesque spot on the trail or sometimes a pub lunch at a local free house on the trail. Dinner is provided by the hotel and there are many traditional Irish or European options. Traditional Irish food includes hearty roasts of local lamb, beef or pork, plenty of seasonal vegetables and traditional local cheeses and breads. Mullaghmore’s close proximity to the coast means that seafood and fresh fish is abundant and excellent. One evening’s dinner is not included and we highly recommend you experience a meal in the local seafood restaurant in Mullaghmore.

Get a free West Coast Trail mini-brochure in PDF format.


West Coast Trail

7 days / 6 nights / 5 days riding

Children: £1760 (15 years and under)

Single room supplement: £220

Flights & Airport transfers

Do not book flights until you have received the Booking confirmation email from saddletravel.com.

Please plan your flights to/from as follows:

Please aim to arrive in the afternoon on the first day. Check in at the hotel is available from 3pm.
Please book your departure flight on the last day after 11am

Airport Transfers

Bus No. 30 offers an around-clock direct connection from Dublin airport to Ballyshannon. Bus No 23 offers a connection from Dublin Airport to Sligo. A taxi from either Ballyshannon or Sligo to the hotel costs around €35 euros.

Price Includes
  • 6 nights in en suite room in 3 star hotel
  • Breakfasts, tea and coffee
  • Lunches (packed lunch or pub lunch while on the trail)
  • Dinners x 5 (one night dinner is not included and we recommend you visit one of the fantastic seafood restaurants in the area.)
  • Transfers each day between the hotel and the stables
  • 5 days of horse riding
Price Excludes
  • International flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Tips
  • Dinner on one of the nights