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Gardens, Equine Legends and the Dublin Horse Show

Gardens, Legends and the Dublin Horse Show

At a Glance: Gardens, Equine Legends and the Dublin Horse Show
Description: This experience gives a taste of Dublin city, Dublin Horseshow, the majestic Powerscourt Gardens & Estate, our National stud and exclusive riding access on the Causeway Coast.
Duration: 7 Days, 6 Nights
Includes: See the details further down the page
Cost: Custom Curated

Ride Details:

This 7-day custom-curated riding holiday gives a taste of lively Dublin city, the world-famous Dublin Horseshow, County Wicklow’s majestic Powerscourt Gardens & Estate and stunning Co. Kildare, the heart of Ireland’s horse country!

This holiday combines luxurious accommodations, stunning scenery and exclusive riding access to iconic sites along Northern Ireland’s magnificent Causeway Coast.

Ride Details:

This 7-day custom-curated riding holiday gives a taste of lively Dublin city, the world-famous Dublin Horseshow, County Wicklow’s majestic Powerscourt Gardens & Estate and stunning Co. Kildare, the heart of Ireland’s horse country!

This holiday combines luxurious accommodations, stunning scenery and exclusive riding access to iconic sites along Northern Ireland’s magnificent Causeway Coast.

 

Upon arrival at Dublin Airport, collect your bags and head to the arrivals hall where you’ll be welcomed by your driver/guide and safely transported into Dublin’s city centre.

An icon in a city of greats, The Westbury Hotel surrounds its guests in luxurious style, placing them at the very center of the city’s social and cultural riches. An iconic Dublin hotel, The Westbury occupies a prime position between Trinity College and St. Stephen’s Green, Europe’s grandest garden square–perfectly located for exploring the most exciting sides of Dublin. At its front doorstep lies Grafton Street–renowned for its color, street artists and luxury shopping; whilst Dublin’s ‘Creative Quarter’, a vibrant network of streets filled with lively bars, restaurants and quirky stores runs behind the hotel.

The afternoon is at your leisure—relax at the hotel or explore this vibrant city. Take in sites such as Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, experience the Connoisseur Tour at Guinness Storehouse or treat yourself by indulging in a Dublin institution: a sumptuous afternoon tea in the Gallery of the Westbury Hotel!

This evening, head out and experience one of Dublin’s many fabulous restaurants or perhaps take in an Irish Cabaret—complete with ballad band, champion Irish dancers and a three-course traditional Irish dinner.

Hotel: The Westbury, Dublin

 

 

After a leisurely breakfast, escape the bustle of the city and head south for an exciting day in the Irish countryside.

Your first stop today is County Wicklow, “The Garden of Ireland”, 40- minutes from Dublin where you’ll visit the world famous, Powerscourt Estate, home to the world’s most spectacular gardens.

Set against the backdrop of the Sugarloaf Mountain, Powerscourt Gardens are a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statuary and ornamental lakes with secret hollows, rambling walks, and walled gardens, with over 200 varieties of trees and shrubs. Inspiration for the garden design followed visits to ornamental gardens at the Palace of Versailles, Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna, and Schwetzingen Castle near Heidelberg. From the ornate Italian gardens, to the formal walks of the Rose Garden and kitchen gardens, there is plenty to see and explore.

Next, you’ll head towards Glendalough (the Glen of Two Lakes) one of the most important sites of monastic ruins in Ireland where you’ll visit St. Kevins Church and the Round tower– but first stopping for lunch at The Wicklow Heather, idyllically situated in the picturesque village of Laragh deep in the Wicklow Mountains.

From Glendalough you’ll head to Irish National Stud & Gardens—one of Ireland’s true treasures. This world-renowned stud farm is the home of equine royalty—stallions can be seen and admired alongside mares, frolicking foals and athletic yearlings. See retired equine stars like Vintage Crop, Moscow Flyer or Kicking King on the stud’s ‘Living Legend’s team and learn the history of horseracing in the horse museum where upon entering are greeted by the skeleton of Arkle, arguably the world’s greatest racehorse in the world!

Enjoy a stroll around the Japanese Gardens and Millennium Gardens before returning to Dublin for your evening and overnight.

Hotel: The Westbury, Dublin

After breakfast your driver/guide will bring you to the world-famous Dublin Horseshow. Since it was first held in 1864, the Dublin Horse Show has become a Dublin institution–A celebration of Ireland’s affinity with the horse–from the best show horses to the best international show jumpers—the show is a great place of action!

International competitions taking place include the Land Rover Puissance, The Longines International Grand Prix and a Hunt Chase! You can shop ‘til you drop with over 300 trade stands selling everything from riding apparel & tack to jewelry & home décor—no doubt, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

 

 

 

 

After breakfast, your driver/guide will safely transport you to Ireland’s stunning north coast to the award- winning McKinley Family farm located in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. Here you’ll meet the McKinley family, BEI guides & the trusted team of BEI horses.

While recharging over tea & scones, you’ll hear fascinating stories and learn about life across the ages on the Causeway Coast. After a short riding assessment, mount up & enjoy a trek around the 1000-acre farm where you’ll learn details of your exciting coastal trek. Canter to the top and take in sweeping 5- county views & the coastline of Scotland, guaranteed to take your breath away—it’s a perfect start to your epic-riding holiday!

After an invigorating farm trek, say goodbye to your horse for the day and head to the award-winning Bushmills Inn for the evening. You’ll find your bags waiting and a warm Irish welcome from the hospitable staff. Relax in front of a roaring turf fire while enjoying a nice pint of “the black stuff” as you mingle with new and old friends. Enjoy dinner at Bushmill’s Inn or listen to a live music session at the Inn’s Gas Bar. Retire to your spacious room for the evening in preparation for the next day’s adventures.

Hotel: The Bushmill’s Inn

 

Thursday

Start your day with a hearty breakfast before setting off to County Londonderry. Your driver will transport you to the church at St. Aidan’s where tacked horses await. After a stop at the church’s Holy well (which is said to cure ills) your adventure begins!

From the churchyard of St. Aidan’s, nestled in an ancient hazel wood underneath the towering misty slopes & steep cliffs of Binevenagh Mountain, you’ll ride across deserted country lanes to the picturesque Benone Beach. With a magnificent mountain backdrop, cliff scenery and views across to Scotland & Donegal, you can have a swift canter or gallop across miles of flat open beach towards the lonely Mussenden Temple regally perched above the Atlantic Ocean.

The former summer library of Frederick Augustus Hervey, Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol, Mussenden Temple sits behind the ruins of the Earl’s 18th century home, Downhill House. After a brief hill climb with panoramic views of the land and ocean, you’ll sneak through the Bishops Gate, which was once the entrance to Downhill House and head towards Crusoe’s Coffee shop for a spot of lunch. Crusoe’s is the perfect place to rest & recharge before heading out again.

As you dine, the horses will be treated to some R&R and transported to the start of your next ride on Bennnevenagh mountain
Here you will work off lunch with a leisurely ride through the forest to Bennevannagh Lake, high up on a plateau with magnificent panoramic views looking out over the spectacular North coast, Lough Foyle, the Donegal mountains, Derry city, the Antrim Hills and south to the Sperrin mountains.

We’ll dismount for the day and return to the Bushmills Inn for the evening reflecting on the beauty of the spectacular landscape where we have just spent the day.

Hotel: The Bushmill’s Inn

 

 

Friday 

Today we will start our ride at the White Rocks beach so named because of the white chalk cliffs and caverns set back from the water’s edge. The west end of the strand is adjacent to the sea side town of Portrush and backs on to one of the top grass links golf courses in the world, the famous Royal Portrush Golf Club, host to the British Open which is part of the 2019 Masters Competition. The White Rocks beach also looks out over the Skerries (a small group of islands off the coast of Portrush) and the iconic Dunluce Castle, Donegal and the Western Isles of Scotland. While riding here there is the opportunity to ride along the edge of this famous golf course for photographs or to get photographed with your partners if they happen to be playing on this fabulous course.

We’ll ride on to Dunluce Castle and take a tour of the castle learning some of its intriguing history (especially the bit about the kitchen & staff plunging into the sea during a storm in 1639).

While here, we will we will have some refreshments at the Dunluce Castle Cottage tearooms, before riding on to the tiny harbour town of Portballintrae on route to the Giants Causeway.
As we ride through Portballintrae and on to the Giants Causeway we will cross the River Bush and follow an old tram trail across sand dunes and past the stately Runkerry House before arriving at this world heritage site.

Here we will finish our ride for today, loaden up the horses and have something to eat before checking out the new world class visitors centre. Afterwards, we will give you a ticket to allow you to explore this unique heritage site and take in the natural wonder before returning to your accommodation.

Hotel: The Bushmill’s Inn

Saturday

Today after riding in the forest overlooking Ballycastle, the Sea of Moyle and across to Scotland we will be taking an old disused coach road through the hills into the Glen of Glendun one of the famed Nine Glens of Antrim. Arriving in the Glen of Glendun we ride under an impressive viaduct that crosses the glen in several mighty spans.

We’ll follow the Glendun River (that’s sometimes meandering and other times a raging torrent) as we make our way to the picturesque village of Cushendun. viewing stunning fauna & flora, riding through ash and hazel in this beautiful Glen characterized by bright green rowans, purple heather and soaring birds of prey.

The scenic village of Cushendun was designed in 1912 by Clough William Ellis at the request of Ronald John McNeill, 1st Baron Cushendun. The village’s Cornish appearance was deliberate–designed to please the Baron’s wife, Maud, who was born in Cornwall, England. After Maud’s death in 1925, he erected a row of whitewashed, quaint cottages in her memory—affectionately known as Maud’s Cottages.

Riding on Cushendun strand we will pass the ruins of Carra Castle before making our way to the famous Cushendun Caves, an impressive system of caves formed over 400-million years ago. More recently, the caves doubled as the caves of ‘Storm’s End’ in the HBO hit series, Game of Thrones.

An unusual character of Cushendun is “Johann the Goat”, a bronze sculpture situated close to the mouth of the River Dun. Johann lived in the harbour area for many years, grazing the riverbanks and welcoming visitors bearing apples or carrots. In 2001, he was the last animal to be culled during the foot and mouth outbreak. His statue remains a memorial to the farmers in the district who lost their livestock. Today, another goat carries on Johann’s tradition and can be seen resting beneath the feet of Johann’s sculpture or grazing along the banks.

Our day and riding holiday finishes here in this idyllic village in the fabled Glens of Antrim where the Glen of Glendun meets the Atlantic Ocean.

It is here you’ll say long goodbyes to the BEI horses, riding companions and new friends. This evening you’ll be transported to Dublin for the continuation of your holiday or for your return flight home the next morning.

Overnight: Dublin Hotel

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