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A Taste of the North Coast

Get up close to the North Coast

Taste of the North Coast

At a Glance

Taste of the North Coast

Description: Enjoy white sand beaches, rugged coastlines, verdant countryside and Irish hospitality!

Duration: 4 – 5 Hours

Includes: Guided ride through Irish countryside, tea, coffee and scones, riding on the beach at a spectacular coastal location

Cost: From £140

At a Glance: Taste of the North Coast
Description: Enjoy white sand beaches, rugged coastlines, verdant countryside and Irish hospitality!
Duration: 4 – 5 Hours
Includes: Guided ride through Irish countryside, tea, coffee and scones, riding on the beach at a spectacular coastal location
Cost: From £155

 

Ride Details:

Our “Taste of the North Coast” trek offers a little taste of everything that makes the north coast of Ireland world famous: white sand beaches, rugged coastlines, verdant countryside and Irish hospitality!

This ride is available daily with times to be prearranged with the Bespoke Equestrian Ireland team. This experience can also be spread over two days if so wished.

*There are 2 options for this ride which depend on clients start time. See the detailed itinerary below.

Part 1: You will come to the centre for an assessment ride, select a suitable horse and ride in the North Antrim Hills with views over 5 counties, taking approximately 2 hours.

Part 2: You will travel to the coastal town of Ballycastle or Ballintoy village (depending on your start time) where you will spend approximately 2.5 hours in the saddle riding on the North Coast, looking over the sea to Scotland and beyond.

This ride is suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced riders.

Detailed Itinerary:

This coastal riding adventure begins at the McKinley family farm located in the beautiful County Antrim countryside. This magnificent hilltop farm is surrounded by 1,000 acres of rolling hills, lush with grass and dotted with white, fluffy sheep. As you make your way up the long, scenic driveway, it soon becomes clear; this isn’t any ordinary “Irish Farm”.

Option 1 – 7am start at our Centre:

On arrival Mr. McKinley, members of the Bespoke Equestrian Ireland (BEI) team and “Lana” the resident farm dog will greet you with a warm, genuine welcome!
We’ll head to the barn for a stable tour and to meet the team of horses where, if you wish, you can assist with grooming and tacking.

After a brief riding assessment and selection of horses, we’ll hit the hills and trails around the farm, where you will get more acquainted with your mount as you ride in the North Antrim Hills and take in views over 5 counties. After an invigorating ride, we’ll load up the horses while you can enjoy Mary McKinley’s fresh-baked scones and tea/coffee, while listening to fascinating stories & history of the area from your host.

After enjoying the traditional hospitality, we will travel 10 miles to the coastal village of Ballintoy. Here, we will tack up the horses and follow the old off road track with splendid views of the coast, to the breath taking white sand beach of Whitepark Bay, a 3-mile long beach on the famous Causeway Coastal Route. Whitepark Bay is a beautiful stretch of pristine beach located on Co. Antrim’s north coast near the picturesque village of Ballintoy. With a beach so pure it shines for miles (on even the cloudiest of days) it’s the perfect backdrop for a refreshing trot, canter or gallop!

We’ll take our time playing on the beach & in the ocean before cantering over the smooth sands! If we’re lucky the famous “Sunbathing Cattle” will be on the beach basking in the sun’s warmth.
You will spend your time romping and capering along the 3 mile stretch of pristine, resplendent white sand and explore the rolling sand dunes of the area below the backdrop of the rugged surrounding cliff faces which were once home to some of the earliest human settlers in Ireland. Savour the taste of the tantalising sea air, feel the blustering and energising wind on your face and the radiant rays of the Irish sunshine on your back on this invigorating ride.

As we ride back towards our starting point,  we will be looking across at to the cliffs surrounding one of Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, the Carrick-a-Rede Ropebridge. From here we will take in the vista of this spectacular coastline hugging the wild Atlantic Ocean, looking out over the sea to Rathlin Island, the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland and the Western Isles of Scotland, before finally stopping and saying farewell to the horses and team after experiencing a taste of the Causeway Coast from a whole new persepctive.

Option 2 – Flexible starting time:

On arrival Mr. McKinley, members of the Bespoke Equestrian Ireland (BEI) team and “Lana” the resident farm dog will greet you with a warm, genuine welcome!
We’ll head to the barn for a stable tour and to meet the team of horses that you’ll be riding on the coast. After selection of your horses and a riding assessment you will get to know your horses by riding in the North Antrim Hills taking in views over 5 counties.

We’ll load up the horses, enjoy some tea and scones with your hosts before travelling the 8 miles to Ballycastle. Here on the edge of this quaint little seaside town stepped in folklore, myths and legends and close to the 14th century ruins of the old Franciscan monastery at Bonamargy Abbey.
We will unload our horses looking over Ballycastle bay, Rathlin Island and to the Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland.
On mounting, we will make our way down onto the beach where the Margy river, known locally for its Salmon fishing, flows into Ballycastle bay and meets the blue waters of the Atlantic.

We will take our time playing on the beach and in the ocean before walking trotting or cantering (depending on rider’s abilities) across the white sand.
We will continue to ride towards the imposing basalt rock headland known as Fairhead, given its name from the folklore and story of Deidre the beautiful golden-haired maiden who, at her wedding banquet, was danced over the cliff edge to her death by a rival lover’s faithful servant.

We will then leave the beach and follow a quiet, paved road with its sea wall defence, mainly used by walkers, to where it ends at Marconi’s cottage. Here in 1898, Guglielmo Marconi sent the world’s first ever radio signal across the sea to Rathlin Island.

As we make our way back, watching out for seals and marine life, we take in views of the rugged cliffs of Fairhead, which were used as a Game of Thrones filming location, and along the beautiful Causeway Coast and towards Donegal on the Wild Atlantic way. We will return to the beach and ride to the other end, crossing the Margy to get a photograpgh of the sculpture of the Silver Swans, representing the myth of the Children of Lir who were turned into swans and fated to swim the sea below Fairhead for 999 years.

Savour the taste of the tantalising sea air, feel the blustering and energising wind on your face and the radiant rays of the Irish sunshine on your back on this invigorating ride.

Finally, we will begin to make our way back by the coastal path, overlooking the beautiful location and dismount for the day where you can say your goodbyes to your mount and the BEI team.
You can now carry on basking in the scenery of the stunning North Coast or continue on your journey of the Causeway Coast.

*Ride routes may vary due to availability of beaches, weather or other circumstances. Alternatives beaches are available.

 2020 RATES 

This ride is available all year round. Contact us for booking.

4 Persons – £155pps

2 and 3 persons – £165pps

1 person – £250pps