Elaine Travel Tuesday
Back in the Saddle
This week we are getting adventurous as we head into the great outdoors and get back in the saddle in more ways than one. I’m starting out in Limerick in lovely Ballyhoura country
Ballyhoura Horse Trekking
Great for all the family – I’ve brought my dad to ranches in the USA and now we can’t travel so far this is a good substitute. The stables caters for kids doing kids clubs but visitors are welcome and it was a great way to put in the afternoon. Ballyhoura Horse Trekking
prices: €20 for kids €30 for adults For a 1 hour trek or lesson.
€50 for the 2 hour trek for experience riders
Thomastown Co Limerick
We stayed at Ballyhoura Mountain Lodges https://www.ballyhouramountainlodges.ie/we went trekking at the Ballyhoura Horse trekking with John Joe and Clare who brought us through the mountains to the spectacular views of East Limerick.
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If you’d rather get into the saddle of a bicycle and you are fit and ready for adventure then trailriders.ie is the activity for you.
Ballyhoura MTB Trails
The Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails are the largest trail network of its kind in Ireland and provides many options for off-road cycling in the mountains. Forest road climbs lead you into tight twisty singletrack with loads of ups and downs, tight turns and technical rocky bits. The trails range from a moderate 6 kilometre Greenwood loop to the demanding Castlepook loop, over 50 kilometres in length!
The trails are laid out as ‘stacked loops’ – this means that each loop leads onto the next and rejoins it on the way back. The loops are waymarked in one direction – just pick the colour of the loop.
The trail system, designed by one of the world leaders in the sport, is a challenging, one-way system constructed to give a challenging and rewarding ride. Please ensure you are equipped fully to undertake this adventure sport and respect other trail users at all times.
There are 5 loops altogether: Greenwood Loop, Mountrussell Loop, Garrane Loop, Steamhill Loop, Castlepook Loop
Trail riders at Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails
Front Suspension €37 (group discount €32)
Full Suspension €65
Car park is €5 worth
Deebert House Hotel Kilmallock, Co Limerick
Not too far from Ballyhoura is the Limerick town of Killmallock which is steeped in history with lovely shops and buildings to explore – it’s a good base for walkers too.
I met the lovely Margaret O’Sullivan who talked me through this medieval town. I had no idea that it was steeped in so much heritage and history. Her mother runs the Deebert House B&B next door and she has been hosting guests for fifty years.
They offer a 2 night special with 2 night’s bed and breakfast, 1 evening meal and a packed lunch from €120.00 per person sharing.
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Staying in the lovely Munster Vales I popped into the Fethard horse country experience…in County Tipperary
Check out my video of my time in the Munster Vales to see Deebert House Hotel and Fethard Horse Country Experience and much more…
Fethard Horse Country Experience The skeleton of the famous Sadlers Wells race horse is on display with lots of other interesting artefacts such as horse shoes belonging to some of the most famous race horses – including Istabraq. The story of the norman conquests is on display and the big part horses played in the development of the region is documented and the it is all set in amongst the city’s medieval walls. Tours are organised to Coolmore Stud which is a very interesting visit for any horse racing fan. While I was in Kentucky I visited the sister stud a couple of years back…
Fethard Horse Museum is Adult – €7.50
OAP / Student – €6.50
Child 7 – 16 years old – €3.50
Child 6 and Under – Free
Family Ticket (2 Adults & 2 Children) – €18.50
Location: Fethard , Co Tipperary
This is a wonderful place to learn about the history of horses in Ireland and it’s in the middle of Fethard town in County Tipperary. Steeped in History the town has wonderful historic buildings and is under the gaze of the famous mountain sleivenamon where Finn Mc Cool was meant to gather all the women in the island of Ireland –
Anybody who is interested in horse racing will find a visit to Coolmore Stud fascinating –
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Waterford Greenway is a spectacular 46km off-road cycling and walking trail along an old railway line between Waterford and Dungarvan. Take in the amazing scenery while you travel across eleven bridges, three viaducts and through the unforgettable 400m long Durrow Tunnel on this route that accompanies the River Suir to the Irish Sea.
Prices for tours with The Greenway Man. http://www.thegreenwayman.com/
After all that exercise you’ll need to find somewhere to eat! I’m ashamed to say this was my first time in Dungarven and it is a fabulous cool city with lovely restaurants along the waterfront – we stopped by cooks which has a special doggie menu which was rather cute.
Places to eat in Dungarven Cookhouse 360 Castle Street, Dungarvan
They have a special Canine menu for doggies – great atmosphere and food at a reasonable price.
The Park Hotel is part of The Flynn Group which is in a great location in the middle of the town and they have a wonderful leisure center and pool to tire the kids out.
The Park Hotel, Dungarvan
Autumn/Winter package: Sweet Treats
Enjoy 2 Nights Bed and Full Irish Breakfast each morning
Dinner on one Evening
Sweet treats in your room on arrival
From €115 per person sharing
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Horse Trekking has been a busy activity for Europeans and Americans who come over every summer to soak up the Wild Atlantic Way but this year things are different and stables are seeing a big increase in families coming in small groups to ride together and this is fabulous so I did just that with granddad again and we took in a couple of wonderful stables and the views of Connemara are breathtaking.
There are lots of fabulous Riding centers and opportunities in the west to ride Connemara Ponies. I took my son and dad to Moycullen Riding Center which is only twenty minutes outside Galway City. Sandra and Tom made us feel very welcome and they took us for a trek into the lovely countryside with views of Lough Corrib. http://moycullenriding.com/
After such a wonderful experience we had to follow it up with something special so we checked into the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel in Clifden. There’s lots to do in Clifden and the drive out to it is spectacular taking in the views of Connemara National Park. A stop off in Kylemore Abbey or Roundstone is perfect to enjoy the area or see the site where Alcock and Brown landed in 1919 on the first transatlantic flight.
There is a new monument in the town and lots of great places to eat – we had lunch in Mannions pub and I walked past Lowry’s which is great for traditional music when the pubs open again.
The Abbeyglen Castle Hotel is a special place and a member of Original Irish Hotels Group
Abbeyglen over night rates in September are from Euro145 per person ,
Stay includes Full Irish Breakfast and at 630pm each evening they have a complimentary glass of bubbles beside the turf fire and they give a short informal talk on the history of Abbeyglen Castle and the local area.
To book visit www.OriginalIrishHotels.com or call
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I mentioned my home town of Howth last week but there is a wonderful number one activity on trip advisor and it’s Shane Howth hikes and bikes and I couldn’t finish without mentioning the new phenomenon of electric bikes which are just what you need to trekking up Howth head. I usually only cycle in cities that are flat and living on the hill has put me off cycling but not anymore…
Shanes Howth Adventures see website here https://www.shaneshowthadventures.com/en
Cycle to the most breath taking views in Ireland without getting out of breath. Our e-bikes are great fun and trusty on the tarmac or the trails. We mix the insider tracks and tales of this truly amazing peninsula on a 3 hour tour while taking you to unrivalled panoramic views away from the crowds surrounded by nature and beauty. We travel on grass and loose gravel paths on and off road. Experience unique and panoramic perspectives on this stunning Dublin bike tour. Now also a favourite with locals.
If the date you are looking for is not available for the Panoramic e-Bike Tour you can contact us to arrange a private tour. Prices start at €55 pp
Meet in Howth at 11:00 to the left hand side of Howth Yacht Club, at the entrance closest to the Lifeboat Station, on the Middle Pier, Howth Harbour, Howth, Dublin. D13 E6V3