Jen Chiswell and her husband, Keith, just completed the Castle & Estate Ride in Ireland – well, Jen did the ride, anyway. Keith, meanwhile, made the most of the fantastic range of activities available for non-riding guests!
They also got some incredible footage and photos, and sent in some great feedback, too. We thought we’d share it with all of our globetrotters to prove beyond doubt what an UN-MISSABLE holiday the Castle & Estate Ride truly is!
‘Wow! I had no idea how amazing all the extras would be. Definitely a selling point. The accomodation was brilliant. After having travelled for eight weeks in Europe before we arrived and having stayed in a variety of accomodations, this was by far the best. The room and bathroom were huge and luxurious. The restaurant upstairs matched any fine dining we had done previously, and we are foodies. The activities we organised for Keith were excellent, and run by professionals doing their jobs so well. You could not wipe the smile from Keith’s face after the clay pigeon shooting, so I decided I’d join in for the falconry, and just wow! Brian the bird handler brought golden eagles, hawks, owls and falcons. His level of expertise and the love he has for his birds was inspiring. We learnt so much and were able to interact with them all, including flying the Harris hawk to and from the top of the castle – it was just brilliant.
All the staff in all the areas were interactive and fun. Lovely Kevin in the bar kept Keith company with pints of Guinness and banter while I was riding, and Conor in the restaurant every night was delightful. The staff even organised to have our many weeks’ worth of travel-worn washing done for us.
Oh, and the horse riding! I had no idea I would be receiving private lessons. Now I’m not entirely sure that everyone is that lucky, but the equestrian team were fun and professional, and so supporting in a learning environment. I had an absolute ball. Truly.
Miss Bumble – I rode her more than a few times and well, she was a favourite. Big, confident and free moving, we often led the group rides on the estate. On one ride we galloped leading the group for a mile, and it felt like the two of us were one body, one mind. I’ll never forget the freedom of those moments. Tigger I also rode a few times. He was my jumping teacher, and what a fabulous job he did with me. Jessica took care of me out on the smaller jumps of the cross country course. That was a very big deal for me. What a good girl. And Betty – my last estate ride on my last morning. She galloped freely with all the bigger horses. I never had a moment when I didn’t feel connected to any of my horses.
We both had the best time. For me, when Keith said he wished we could stay longer when I was supposedly the reason we were there… well, that just made it even more special. I’d encourage riders with non-riding partners to put this experience at the top of their list.’
Stories like this fill us with so much joy! We’re so honoured to be able to provide holidays that are memorable and fulfilling for riders and non-riders alike.