So you’ve taken the plunge! You’ve booked that fairytale riding holiday and you’re counting down the days until your Castle & Estate Ride in Ireland. Your riding (or non-riding!) partner is keen to come along and you’re both wondering about what activities are on offer.
Well, wonder no more! You can stay right inside the estate and be kept entertained with a multitude of options – think an on-site spa, cinema, picnics by the lake, clay target shooting, archery, kayaking, fishing, hiking, hot air ballooning, a horse and carriage ride, fishing, or even falconry. Or, if you feel like venturing further afield, you’ll be spoilt for choice outside the estate walls. To get you started, we’ve put together a little off-the-horse guide that promises to keep you blissfully busy both in and out of the saddle.
Just outside the estate gate is the picture perfect village of Glaslough. Translated, the name means ‘calm or green lake’, and it is indeed encircled by sparkling lakes and shade dappled woodlands. The village itself is charming, with historic stone buildings, quaint shops, art, antiques and cosy cafes an easy walk away from your accommodation at the Castle. As a special treat, be sure to call in to the Glaslough Chocolate Company for a taste of the most delicious artisan chocolate, hand-made on the premises.
Paddy McQuaid Bike Hire in Glaslough has all the local knowledge you’ll need to help you make the most of the many surrounding bike trails.
10 minutes’ drive south of the estate is the town of Monaghan, and 15 minutes north, you’ll find the city of Armagh. Entrenched within both of these historic towns are enough cathedrals, museums, forts and castles to satisfy the curiosity of even the most enthusiastic historian, and plenty of food and watering options to boot. Click here for some recommendations.
Some adrenaline junkies prefer their horsepower multiplied! Just a 12 minute drive away from the estate you’ll find a purpose-built facility where visitors can experience the thrill of motor sport behind the wheel of a rally car, a super car, or even a souped up Nomad buggy! Check it out at Rally School Ireland.
Happy to drive a little further? A 40 minute drive will bring you to the shores of Lough Neagh, the largest lake by area in the British Isles. This whole area is spectacularly scenic – the perfect place for a nice meandering afternoon drive. For something a little faster paced, head 40 minutes in the opposite direction to the town of Inniskeen and Irish Country Quads. Among other things, this adventure activity centre offers the ultimate ATV experience in the Irish countryside. You’re likely to get a little muddy, but don’t worry, protective clothing is provided!For the Golfers
If you enjoy a hit of golf, Rossmore Golf Club is a challenging parkland golf course just 15 minutes from the estate, and the renowned Concra Wood Golf and Country Club is just a 20 minute drive away, too.
So rest easy, globetrotters – riders and non-riders alike. As you can see, you’ll be extremely well catered for on your Irish adventure.
Keep counting down the days – your Castle & Estate Ride will be here before you know it and you’re going to LOVE every minute!
This article was written by Bernadette Kelly, a loyal Globetrotter since 2010, with 16 rides under her belt spanning Africa, South America, Iceland, Europe, the UK, and Australia.
Image credits: Glaslough Village, Dancing in my Wellies.