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Signature North Coast Horse Riding Experience

Enjoy the full BEI experience

7 Days of World Class Riding Experiences

At a Glance: Signature North Coast Horse Riding
Description: Our signature ride caters for your every need from the moment you land in Dublin Airport to the moment you leave and enjoy quality accommodation and some of the world’s best horse-riding opportunities
Duration: 7 Days, 6 Nights, 5 Days Riding
Includes: See the details further down the page
Cost: From £3090

Ride Details:

This exciting 7 Day, 6 Night riding holiday is made up of everything that makes the north coast world famous: white sand beaches, rugged coastlines, verdant country sides, enchanting forests, mountainous trails and Irish hospitality! You’ll spend 5 days riding on the magnificent Causeway Coastal Route stopping at key iconic locations & sites along the way. There are no other treks in Ireland that include such spectacular sites and scenery– this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime riding holiday with service to match.

Each day we will ride for 5 to 8 hours with several breaks throughout the day, but you are welcome to vary the amount of time that you ride and we will happily arrange for you to be transported to where ever or to whatever you wish to do.

This ride is for Intermediate to Advanced riders. Not suitable for beginners.

Ride Details:

This exciting 7 Day, 6 Night riding holiday is made up of everything that makes the north coast world famous: white sand beaches, rugged coastlines, verdant country sides, enchanting forests, mountainous trails and Irish hospitality! You’ll spend six days winding in and around the magnificent Causeway Coastal Route stopping at key iconic locations & sites along the way. There are no other treks in Ireland that include such spectacular sites and scenery– this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime riding holiday with service to match.

Each day we will ride for 7 to 8 hours with several breaks throughout the day, but you are welcome to vary the amount of time that you ride and we will happily arrange for you to be transported to where ever or to whatever you wish to do.

This ride is for Intermediate to Advanced riders. Not suitable for beginners.

Sunday

Welcome to Ireland! After being collected at Dublin airport you can spend the afternoon and evening at your leisure—relax at the hotel or head out and explore this vibrant city! Take in sites such as Trinity College or St. Patrick’s Cathedral, take a tour at Guinness Storehouse or treat yourself to a Dublin institution: a sumptuous afternoon tea in one of one of Dublin’s fine hotels. 

Afterwards, retire to your room for a relaxing evening or head out and experience one of Dublin’s many wonderful restaurants or the night life at the vibrant Temple Bar area. Why not take in an Irish Cabaret—complete with ballad band, champion Irish dancers and a three-course traditional Irish dinner.

Our BEI team can help you plan your itinerary, secure bookings and give you recommendations on how best to enjoy your time in the capital. 

Overnight: Dublin City Hotel

Monday

After breakfast, you will say goodbye to Dublin City. Our experienced tour guide we will take you to Northern Ireland and to the world-famous Causeway Coastal Route—120 miles of rugged coastline and breathtaking scenery that has aptly been described as “One of the World’s Top 5 Road Trips”!

The coastal route is dotted with historic castles and a changing canvas of natural landscapes–incredible fishing villages, quiet beaches, rolling green hills with lush hedges, mountain streams and rugged coastlines with majestic cliffs—all overlooking the sea.

From Belfast the coastal journey will take you through the seaside town of Carrickfergus, which sits on the northern shores of Belfast Lough. We’ll drive past Carrickfergus Castle, one of the finest Norman castles in Ireland before continuing north towards the hamlet of Magheramourne and past the Magheramourne Quarry, an abandoned limestone quarry that Game of Thrones fans may recognize as the set/location for Castle Black (The Wall of Westeros) and HardHome.

We’ll make our way past the seaport town of Larne and holiday resort town of Ballygally before entering Glenarm (‘Glen/Valley of the Army’) –The first of the Nine Glens (or valleys) of Antrim—it is here we’ll stop for lunch at a tea room on the grounds of Glenarm Castle.

Throughout its long history, Glenarm has been a Norman stronghold, the power base for Irish warlords and one of the most important ports in Ireland. Today the village enjoys a much slower pace of life and is filled with rich heritage and nature, immaculately preserved Georgian streets paved with history, a pristine river that’s teeming with wild salmon and walks with stunning panoramas of the Glens and the coast of Scotland come together to make up charming Glenarm Village.

Glenarm Castle was the ancestral home of the Earls of Antrim. Today you can stroll the grounds of this beautiful estate or take a tour of its famous walled garden. The Glenarm Castle Walled Garden is one of Ireland’s oldest, dating from the 18th century and originally created to supply the estate with fruit and vegetables. Today, the garden is filled with impressive flowers and specimen plants to interest the keenest garden enthusiast. This hidden delight is a treasure trove of horticulture gems–exciting herbaceous borders, beautiful water features, wonderful orchards and floral displays. A stroll around the immaculately kept gardens is perfect for stretching your legs before enjoying lunch in the Glenarm Castle Tea Room.

We’ll continue north on the coast before heading inland towards 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 green grass and dotted with white, fluffy sheep. As you make your way up the long, scenic driveway, it soon becomes clear that this isn’t any ordinary “Irish Farm”.

You’ll be met with a genuine, Irish welcome by Mr. McKinley, members of the BEI team and “Lana” the resident farm dog! Before meeting the horses, we’ll make our way to the loft above the stables for introductions, homemade scones and to hear exiting details of the week’s adventure.

We’ll head down to the barn for a quick tour and meet the team of horses and if you wish, you can assist with grooming and tacking. After a short riding assessment, mount up and head out towards Mount Orra, with views guaranteed to take your breath away

Our afternoon trek takes us high into the foothills of Orra Mountain (Slieve An Orra), .  specifically chosen for its historical significance and breathtaking views. Orra Mountain is best known as the site of a ferocious battle between rival Irish clans in 1583, but on the top of the mountain there is a memorial erected in the honor of 7 US airmen who lost their lives there in October 1942, when their WWII B17 crashed on the mountain during heavy cloud cover.

A memorial has been erected at the site in their honour. From mountain’s peak it is possible to see the Inner Hebrides off the Scottish coast, all the way to the majestic Mourne Mountains in County Down.

When we return to the farm, your driver will be waiting to transport you to your hotel. Take your own time in the evening to relax at the hotel or head out and enjoy a local restaurant.

Overnight: County Derry

Tuesday

Enjoy a hearty full Irish breakfast before setting off to begin your adventures in County Derry. Your driver will transport you to the seaside village of Castlerock where tacked horses await. Depending on the high tide times, we will start of riding on Castlerock beach and follow the beach to the adjoining Downhill beach riding on the sand below the towering basalt cliffs and towards the lonely Mussenden Temple regally perched 120-feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Inspired by the Roman Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, Rome, Mussenden Temple was used as a summer library for Frederick Augustus Hervey, Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol and sits behind the ruins of the Earl’s 18th century home, Downhill House.

As we round the cliffs and headland arriving on to Downhill beach with its magnificent mountain backdrop, cliff scenery and views across to Scotland & Donegal, we’ll take a swift canter or gallop across miles of flat open beach crossing the river on to Benone strand, with miles of more sand beach to cover before we arrive at Magilligan Point from where the ferry leaves to take vehicles and foot passenger across Lough Foyle to Co Donegal., We will tie up our horses and stop for some refreshments at the Point Inn before riding back across the golden sands, through sand dunes stopping to view the waterfalls cascading of the majestic cliffs of Bennnevanagh mountain.

We’ll leave the beach and, after a brief hill climb, with panoramic views of ocean and land, will sneak through the Bishops Gate, which was once the entrance to Downhill House towards the seaside town of Castlerock. We’ll stop for lunch at a local coffee shop & restaurant, Crusoe’s, renowned for its unique Panini’s and homemade soups, to rest & recharge before heading out again.

We’ll transport the horses to Bennnevenagh mountain and work off lunch with a leisurely ride through the forest to Bennevannagh Lake, high up on the plateau with magnificent panoramic views looking out over the North coast, Lough Foyle, Donegal, Derry city, the Antrim Hills and south to the Sperrin mountains.
We’ll dismount for the day and drive back to the hotel for the evening to relax and reflect on the beauty, experiences and the spectacular landscape of the day.

Overnight: County Antrim

Wednesday

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 you must explore this unique heritage site and take in the natural wonder before returning to your accommodation.

Overnight: County Antrim

Thursday

Today after riding in the forest above Ballycastle, 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.

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 finishes here in this idyllic village in the fabled Glens of Antrim where the Glen of Glendun meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Today after riding in the forest above Ballycastle, 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..

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 finishes here in this idyllic village in the fabled Glens of Antrim where the Glen of Glendun meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Overnight: County Antrim

 Friday

This morning we’ll saddle-up deep in the famed Glens of Antrim, at Glenariff Forest Park, a 2900-acre park, home to some of Ireland’s most spectacular waterfalls. Our ride takes us to Lara Lodge where we will dismount and take a walk up to view the water falls before returning to Lara Lodge for tea and refreshments.

Afterwards, we’ll make our way through the beautiful Glen of Glenarriff, known as The Queen of The Glens to the seaside coastal village of Waterfoot where, tide permitting, we’ll take a long trot or brisk canter over the beach before transporting horses and riders to the coastal, scenic village of Carnlough.

Carnlough, known for its picturesque limestone harbour, whose name means ‘Stone of the Lake’, lies at the bottom of Glencoy, ‘The Glen of the Hedges’ (Gleann Cloiche), the 2nd of the Nine Glens of Antrim. Carnlough’s recent fame comes from its appearance in Game of Thrones and for sports fans, as the birthplace of Brendan Rodgers, former manager of the Premier League Liverpool F.C.

Before resuming our ride, we will have lunch at the historic “Londonderry Arms Hotel”.

The “Londonderry Arms Hotel” was originally built as a coaching house in 1848. Through a series of inheritances and deaths, the Londonderry Arms Hotel was eventually passed to Lady Londonderry’s distant cousin, Sir Winston Churchill. Today the hotel is owned and operated by one of the longest running hotelier families in Ireland, the O’Neill family.

This ivy covered, boutique hotel is filled with history & charm and the perfect place to stop for lunch. Enjoy a creative menu of locally sourced ingredients: Specialty Sausages, Steamed Local Mussels or an Irish Farmhouse Cheeseboard to name a few.

Before you leave, be sure to stop by the hotel’s “Arkle Bar” named after the famous Irish Steeplechaser and the Arkle Club, a club formed in the 1950’s for enthusiastic fans. To recognize the hotel’s support for the Arkle Club, Tom Dreaper, Arkle’s longtime trainer and Pat Taafe, the horse’s jockey, presented a horseshoe that the famous horse wore when he won the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1965. Today, the shoe proudly hangs in the bar for tourists and fans to see–some say touching the shoe brings good luck!

After lunch, we will ride  on the beach before joining a private farm track on the edge of the village that will take us out high on to the hills above Carnlough for some final sightseeing and pictures, enjoying one last look at the magnificent Antrim coast and the distant coastlines of Scotland.

You will be taken back to your accommodation and tonight we will gather for a farewell dinner, hosted by the McKinley family, to celebrate our tour and finish off with a memorable evening in a local pub with traditional music. Here, you will strengthen your connections with the place and its people as we introduce you to the regulars and you enjoy the music, dance and the local craic. The perfect way to finish an exceptional week with us on the North Coast of Ireland.

 

Saturday

After an enjoyable evening socialising with the BEI team and a good night’s sleep, it’s time to leave the North Coast of Ireland after having connected with this area in a very special way and taken part in one of the world’s greatest horse riding experiences.

Slán Abhaile

Locations where we ride:

Downhill Beach Binevenagh Mountain
Orra Mountain Benone Beach
Mussenden Temple Downhill Demesne
Castlerock Whiterocks Beach
Dunluce Castle Portballintrae-Bushfoot Strand
Giant’s Causeway Whitepark Bay
Ballintoy Village Glendum
Vanishing Lake Glendun River
Waterfoot Beach Cushendun
Cushendun Caves & Strand

What’s Included in the Trip:

Night Boutique Dublin Hotel x 1 5 Nights 3* and 4* Hotels x 5
Daily Full Irish Breakfast Lunches at local eateries x 5
plus refreshments
Transport from Dublin, Ireland to North Antrim Coast and return Daily Ground and Luggage Transport on the North Coast (To and From Hotel each day)
Horse Hire All Tack & Equipment
Lunch at Glenarm Castle Private Historical/Tour Guide (En route on coast)
Knowledgeable, Sociable and Safe Trekking Guides Daily Horse Transport Around Coast
Informative presentation of the local history and heritage of Northern Ireland highlighting our close connections with Scotland.

 

Farewell Gathering with Dinner & Irish Music

 

Optional Add-ons

1. A local private driver guide will be available after horse riding each day to allow you to go touring and sightseeing. Along with the help of our BEI team, your driver can take you to Gaelic sports matches, cultural activities and events or to local pubs so as to give you the opportunity to become immersed in our local community and culture.

2. Hire of photographer for the day

3. Itinerary planning and ideas for non-riding partners, such as Golf, fishing, helicopter tours, sightseeing, genealogy. Check out our Out of Tack page and our itinerary planning website at www.premierexperiencesni.com

2019 Rates and Dates 

£3090pps to join a group ride starting on any of the below dates:

Sunday March 3rd to March 9th

Sunday March 10th to March 16th

Sunday March 17th to March 23rd

Sunday March 24th to March 30th

Sunday March 31st to April 6th

Sunday April 7th to April 13th

Sunday April 14th to April 20th

Sunday April 21st to April 27th

Sunday April 28th to May 4th

Sunday May 5th to May 11th

Sold Out – Sunday May 12th to May 18th

Sunday May 19th to May 25th

Sunday May 26th to June 1st

Sunday June 2th to June 8th

Sold Out -Sunday June 9th to June 15th

Sunday June 16th to June 22nd

Sold Out – Sunday June 23rd to June 29th

Sunday June 30th to July 6th

Sunday July 7th to July 13th

Sunday July 14th to July 20th

Sunday July 21st to July 27th

Sunday July 28th to August 3rd

Sunday August 4th to August 10th

Sunday August 11th to August 17st 

Sunday August 18th to August 24th

Sunday August 25th to August 31st

Sunday September 1st to September 7th

Sunday September 8th to September 14th

Sunday September 15th to September 21th

Sunday September 29th to October 5th

Sunday October 6th to October 12th

Sunday October 13th to October 19th

Sunday October 20th to October 26th

Sunday October 27th to November 2nd

*The above group rate is based on a minimum of 2 riders. In the event of only one rider being booked in, the ride can still take place however an additional supplement of £510 will be added to bring the price up to the one person rate below. Check out our T&Cs for more details:

Flexible starting dates

This ride is also available to start on the date of your choice at the following rates:

4 Persons – £3090pps

2 and 3 persons – £3360pps

1 person – £3600pps 

​Single Room Supplement of £60 per night applies.