Signature 7 Day Castles, Causeway, Coast and Countryside ExperienceEnjoy the full BEI experience
A luxurious 7 Days of World Class Riding Experiences
At a Glance
Signature North Coast Horse Riding
This luxurious 7 Day, 6 Night riding holiday is perfect for those wanting something special. It is made up of everything that makes the north coast world famous: white sand beaches, rugged coastlines, verdant country sides, enchanting mountainous trails and Irish hospitality!
It mixes our best Hotel accommodation with spa treatments, complimentary branded clothing, hire of a photographer for a day, transport to and from your airports, private drivers during the day and in the evening to make the perfect high end equestrian holiday. 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.
Duration: 7 Days, 6 Nights, 5 Days Riding
Includes: See the details further down the page
Cost: From £5400
|At a Glance:||Signature 7 Day Castles, Causeway, Coast and Countryside|
|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 Hotel 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|
This luxurious 7 Day, 6 Night riding holiday is perfect for those wanting something special. It is made up of everything that makes the north coast world famous: white sand beaches, rugged coastlines, verdant country sides, enchanting mountainous trails and Irish hospitality! It mixes our best Hotel accommodation with spa treatments, complimentary branded clothing, transport to and from your airports, hire of a photographer for a day, private drivers during the day and in the evening to make the perfect high end equestrian holiday. 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 7 hours with several breaks throughout the day, but you are welcome to vary the amount of time that you ride (perhaps with shorter rides each day) 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.
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
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.
Welcome to the Stables
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 “Sheba” 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 into the North Antrim Hills, 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, catch up with the BEI team before your driver arrives 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
Enjoy a hearty full Irish breakfast before setting off to begin your adventures. Your driver will transport you to the iconic Downhill beach where your first glimpse of Downhill beach offers panoramic views of the ocean and landscape where miles of open sand, waterfalls and iconic views await. Enroute, we will pass the ancient trees of Mussendun before the journey continues past the ruins of Downhill House which was Frederick Augustus Hervey, Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol’s, 18th century home.
Marvel at the architecture and expanse of the flamboyant Georgian ruins before your gaze is taken by 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.
It is time to meet your trusty stead again at the entrance to the beach. Downhill beach is best known for its magnificent mountain backdrop, cliff scenery and views across to Donegal. As we enter the beach, we can stop at the foot of the cliff where Mussendun Temple is located for an ideal picture opportunity before taking 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 enjoy. As we pull up at the end of the beach, we stretch our legs, stop at the washrooms and give the horses a rest before riding back across the golden sands, through sand dunes, stopping to view the waterfalls cascading of the majestic cliffs of Bennnevanagh mountain and enjoying some time in the spray of the Atlantic.
On leaving Downhill beach we will ride through Downhill forest to the site of St Mary’s Church with its legend of the magical cow which could produce unlimited amounts of milk as long as it was kept by the right person and to hear some of the complexity of Irish history and of why this Catholic church was destroyed after the Siege of Derry by retreating forces loyal to the Catholic King James II.
Our ride finishes back at Downhill, where we load the horses and enjoy a relaxing lunch after an exhilarating ride.
After lunch you will be taken for a guided tour of this beautiful area, starting of with Mussendun Temple before travelling on to some off the beaten track locations such as St Aidan’s Church nestling at the foot of the mountains overlooking Lough Foyle. St Aidan’s is the site of a Holy well and is also the burial site of St Colombus, soil from his grave is well recognised as having healing properties for skin complaints. Then on to Gortmore viewing point with superb 360% views over the North west of Ireland before taking in further viewing points as you follow the coast line back to your accommodation for the night.
Overnight: County Antrim Coast
Today we will start our ride at the Whiterocks 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, 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 which was used for the 148th Open Championship in 2019. Stop for photographs or to get photographed with your partners if they happen to be playing on this fabulous course.
Enjoy some beautiful trots, canters and time in the sea in the most beautiful of surroundings.
After conquering the beach, it is time to storm the 13th Century Castle ruins at Dunluce. Ride along the epic coast line leading us to Dunluce Castle before taking 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 have some snacks before riding on to the tiny harbour town of Portballintrae on route to the Giants Causeway.
As we ride through the quaint coastal village of Portballintrae we will begin to see the rugged headlands surrounding the Giants Causeway. We will cross the River Bush, on its way to meet the Atlantic after being used to create the world famous Old Bushmills Whiskey. It’s time to enjoy our second beach of the day! Breath in the fresh sea air as you trot and canter across the sand and in the gentle swell of the sea. The ride continues as you follow an old tram trail across sand dunes and past the stately Runkerry House before arriving at Northern Ireland’s most famous UNESCO world heritage site.
This unique world heritage site is our destination for today’s ride. Here we will load up the horses and finish off our adventure with a relaxing meal in the Causeway Hotel. After the meal, make the most of the opportunity to visit the famous hexagonal rock formation and allow the memories of 3 unforgettable days of riding, your trusted stead and all the people you have met along the way to permeate through your thoughts.
Overnight: County Antrim
We will begin the day in the idyllic seaside village of Ballintoy on the coast! Follow an 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.
Afterwards, we’ll make our way over sandy dunes and across lush farmlands for lunch at the village of Ballintoy. Expect good, straightforward locally sourced main dishes such as seafood chowder or Irish stew,
After lunch we will ride in the hills above Ballintoy, overlooking Ballintoy Harbour which was mainly associated with salmon fishing. In its heyday, cartloads of salmon made their way round hilly roads to catch the train at Ballycastle and onwards to Belfast. Game of Thrones fans will recognize Ballintoy Harbour as the setting for the Iron Islands and Lordsport in the Isle of Pyke. Like most places along the North Coast, the views from these hills are spectacular and offer some amazing photo opportunities. We look down on Ballintoy’s most distinctive site, the white Ballintoy Parish Church, perched on a hill overlooking the vast Atlantic.
Ballintoy Parish Church was built in 1813, in replacement of the original church built in the early 17th century. It is one of the most scenic churches in the country and is often pictured with the stunning view of Rathlin Island in the background. Many notable landed families are buried in the church’s cemetery including The Stewarts of Ballintoy, Downing Fullerton and members of the Stewart-Moore family.
We will now make our way towards the final destination of our journey and as we ride, we will be looking down on to the cliffs surrounding one of Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge, before finally stopping and saying farewell to the horses and team after a full day of off-road riding.
Overnight: County Antrim
Today we will transport the horses and saddle-up in the hills above Ballycastle close to Loughareema known locally as the Vanishing Lake, an area surrounded by Irish myths and legends.
Your day begins at Watertop Farm, owned by the McBride family, which was once a bustling ceili house. Trot and canter your way through this unique landscape as you make your way to the Old Coach Road, which was once one of the main roads out of the Glens of Antrim in days gone by.
Allow your guide to regale stories to you including the one of the coachman and horses lost in a terrible storm or the coach road doctor who comes to people when they need him the most! Your journey will take you on towards the Vanishing lakes. Take in the natural wonder of this mystical lake which sits on a leaky chalk-bed with a “plug hole” that often becomes jammed with peat causing the lake to fill, especially during heavy rain. When the plug clears, the water flows quickly underground. A passerby who is not aware of the lake and its disappearing act would never even know it existed in the first place.
Continue your ride on the Old Coach road to the edge of the famed Glen of Glendun, one of the 9 glens of Antrim. Take in the surrounding beauty of the Glens and the sea of Moyle in all its glory. Avail of the photo opportunities and enjoy a few snacks before we begin our journey back to the lorry.
We will load up and travel 5 miles down the glen to the scenic village of Cushendun. 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.
Savour every minute as you walk, trot and canter along the strand at Cushendun with your trusted horse and the guides whom you have spent the week with. Enjoy your last time in the waters of the Atlantic before journeying through the ancient beech trees surrounding Cushendun’s old Church and manor house on your way back. As you dismount with a smile on your face, the sense of accomplishment, the memories, the bond with your horse and the bond with the people of the area you have made will never leave you as you once more, take in the beauty of the wild and rugged landscape.
At this stage it is time to get together with those people you have met during the week at our stables. Here we will enjoy some quality time together, recounting memories of the fantastic week that has passed. Enjoy a few traditional drinks and local produce as you strengthen your connections with the place and our people. We will say our final goodbyes and look forward to the time when our paths cross again.
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.
Overnight: County Antrim
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.
Locations where we ride:
|Sheans Horse Farm stables||North Antrim Hills|
|Foothills of Orra Mountain||Benone Beach|
|St Mary’s Church||Downhill Demesne|
|Downhill forest road||Whiterocks Beach|
|Dunluce Castle||Portballintrae-Bushfoot Strand|
|Giant’s Causeway||Whitepark Bay|
|Ballintoy old road and cliff path||Watertop|
|Vanishing Lake||Old Coach Road|
|Cushendun wooded path||Cushendun harbour|
|Cushendun Caves & Strand|
What’s Included in the Trip:
|Night Boutique Dublin Hotel x 1||5 Nights 3* and 4* Hotels|
|Daily Full Irish Breakfast||Lunches at local eateries x 5
|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)|
|Complimentary BEI branded jacket||Hire of photographer for a day|
|Lunch at Glenarm Castle||Private Historical/Tour Guide (En route on coast)|
|Knowledgeable, Sociable and Safe Trekking Guides||Spa treatments|
|Private driver use during the day and in the evening for touring||
Tours of Dunluce Castle and Giant Causeway
|Informative presentation of the local history and heritage of Northern Ireland highlighting our close connections with Scotland.||
Farewell Gathering with Dinner
2023 Rates and Dates
Every Sunday year round (Riding starts Monday):
Flexible starting date of your choice:
*The above rates are based on a minimum of 4 riders (Can all be from your booking or a combination of other bookings)
Check out our T&Cs for more details.
If there are less than 4 persons booked on the ride, the price you pay will be:
Every Sunday year round (Riding starts Monday):
2/3 persons – £5900pps
Flexible starting date of your choice:
2/3 persons – £6100pps
Single riders are welcome to ride individually, or can also avail of the above rates as long as they join one of our existing bookings.
Contact us to discuss price and availability.
If an additional person joins the ride for the full 5 riding days, we are happy to give a refund where applicable in event of someone having overpaid.
*Prices are based on two people sharing a room. A Single Room Supplement of £50 per night applies for those who require a single room.
1. Itinerary planning for non-riding partners such as for Golf, fishing, sightseeing, genealogy. Check out our Out of Tack page and our itinerary planning website at www.premierexperiencesni.com