Enjoy riding through the Killarney National Park, exploring the highlands, riding over mountain passes, beside lakes, galloping along miles of golden beaches and walking over Irish bog lands. Experience the renowned charm of the region and the tranquillity of some truly impressive and beautiful scenery. The Irish bred horses are willing, reliable and safe allowing you time to take in the sights. Knowledgeable, experienced guides lead all the trails and riders are split by ability so no-one's enjoyment is spoilt and everyone meets up for dinner in the evenings. Accommodation is in comfortable twin bedrooms in B&B's along the way. Dinners are not included in the package. 

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from LP of BRIGHTON on 13/06/2016

Ride Summary
We were riding for a long time each day, so a lot of stamina was needed.
What was your overall impression of the holiday

Unicorn Trails sales staff
Professionalism     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Friendliness     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Speed of response     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (X) Fair     (   ) Poor
Efficiency     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Knowledge     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Other(please specify)     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Culture     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Flora/Fauna     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Concern with Environment     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Language skills     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Additional Comments

Horses and Tack
Condition of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Condition of Tack     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments
It would have been nice to see the horses have more access to water during the day.
Meals
Meal Quantity     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Quality     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Punctuality     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Accommodation
Camping Equipment     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Hotels/Lodges/Inns     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hygiene standards     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Miscellaneous
Transfer arrangements     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other office staff     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Other ride staff     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Weather     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
The trip was as I expected from the description beforehand
Was there anything you should have known and were not told?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
It would have been nice to know that riding helmets could be borrowed (I did know this beforehand, but only after specifically checking). More information on how to get to the stables from Killarney would have been helpful.
What could we do to improve this ride?

How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
7
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
We were riding for a long time each day, so a lot of stamina was needed. On the first day, there was a lot of trotting and on the second day a lot of cantering, so although the riding didn't have a high degree of technical difficulty, high levels of stamina were needed.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
There was an excellent choice of holidays and I had a very enjoyable time.
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
    (X) NO     (   ) YES
Any other comments:

Unicorn comments:
Day 1
Day of arrival/ check-in for all riders. There are no formal plans and no riding on this day as riders will be checking in at different times throughout the day. (Check-in before 6pm, if later you must advise the stables). All clients are required to check-in to meet with one of the family, to discuss experience level and general trail ride information. You will then be taken from the stables to your overnight accommodation in the Killarney area. Your hosts try to keep all riders at the same location each night so if you don’t bump into any others on Saturday you will easily identify then people in riding clothes at breakfast on Sunday morning. Overnight in Killarney town.

Day 2
With riders, horses and all luggage ready for transfer, the day begins with a short trip to the base of Seefinn Mountain, where the first day's ride starts. When horses and riders have been introduced, the ride will head off over the Windy Gap, viewing the splendour of Caragh Lake and the valley beyond. The ride will then continue on to Coomasaharn Lake enclosed by Horseshoe Mountain, followed by a scenic ride over an Irish Bog, finishing for the day at a stable in Mountain Stage.

The overnight stop for Sunday and Monday nights is by the quaint village of Glenbeigh. (Glenbeigh comes from Gleann Beithe, the Glen of the Birch Trees). Surrounded almost entirely by mountains, Glenbeigh offers a famous friendliness and humour which is nowhere better found than in this tranquil and charming region of Kerry. The beauty of the area is breath-taking, with the River Behy and Rossbeigh Strand close by. History is evident throughout the locality and such a destination as Winn’s Folly Castle is well worth a visit.

Day 3
After breakfast riders are collected and returned to the stables of the previous evening to begin Monday’s ride. The day will be spent on Rossbeigh beach, galloping along stretches of golden sand. You will pass by a tower built more than a century ago, which guide marks for ships entering Castlemaine Harbour. The panorama is of Dingle and the Iveragh Penninsulas to the North and South. Lunch will be on the beach. In the afternoon there will be some more galloping, returning from the beach via the Cliff Road.

Day 4
After breakfast departure will be from Glenbeigh, not Killarney. There is a public bus from Glenbeigh to Killarney each morning at 08:30am approximately (time varies from season to season).

Please note that alternate accommodation may be used for last-minute bookings depending on availability.

Alternatives to transfers: 

You can take a train from Dublin to Killarney for €81.50 return and from Cork for €49.50 return (Please note that these are approximate rates and may vary slightly) www.irishrail.ie 

You can take a bus from Shannon for €34.50, Cork to Killarney €31.50, Kerry Airport to Killarney €8.50 (Please note that these are approximate rates and may vary slightly) www.buseireann.ie

Reading List
We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you. Click on the links for more information.

Round Ireland With A Fridge - Tony Hawks
Culture Shock! Ireland - Patricia Levy
Bushmills Irish Pub Guide - Sybil Taylor
The Dubliners - J.Joyce
Mother Ireland - Edna O’ Brien
Barrytown Trilogy - R. Doyle
Woodbrook - David Thomson

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

There is a wide variety of Irish bred horses and something to suit everyone, from schoolmasters to very forward going horses. All are ridden in English tack and riding helmets are available.

Rider requirements

Riders must comfortable at all paces and have experience of riding out.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 15 st/209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Accommodation is in comfortable twin en-suite bedrooms in B&B's along the way. Evening meals are not included.

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

General information:

Visa are not required for U.K. or other European nationals. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on travel insurance, passport and visas, health and vaccinations, legal issues and emergency issues. They can be reached on 0207 008 0232/0233 or at www.fco.gov.uk.

The British Embassy in Ireland is at 29 Merrion Road, Dublin 4. Tel: +353 (01) 2053700. Email: management.dubli@fco.gov.uk.

The Embassy of Ireland in the U.K can be found at 17 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7HR. Telephone: (020) 7235 2171.

Climate Summary

Spring, summer and autumn is generally a good time to visit and the days are sunny and warm. Be aware that it can rain at any time!

Climate Chart

Health

No special health precautions are required for visits to Ireland, for further details please see your local doctor.

For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org

Electricity

Voltage and plugs are the same as the UK.

Packing List

Light summer clothing is needed on summer departure dates, also waterproofs! You need a riding helmet or broad rimmed hat which must stay on firmly and sunglasses with string. Two pairs of riding trousers, half chaps are recommended, riding gloves, jersey, warm jacket (Spring and Autumn), shorts, long sleeve shirts, T-shirts, waterproofs, sun block, camera on a shoulder strap with a pouch which can be secured to your belt, binoculars lightweight riding boots. Don’t forget waterproofs!

Saddlebags are provided but typically only suited to carrying the following items, due to space:
- rain coat and waterproof over pants
- water bottle
- extra sweater
- camera
- small bag with personal items.

No ponchos, plastic or cycling capes allowed. Clients will not be permitted to wear these for riding.
Please note that Killarney Riding Stables do not provide any of the above items.

Programmes

Set dates are available between early May and early October are available, lasting 4 days, 3 nights, with 2 days riding. Tailor made dates for groups of 4 or more.

Departure Dates

2019: Every Saturday from 11 May to 12 October.

Pricing
No single supplement is charged if the rider is willing to share with someone of the same sex, and a sharer can be found.


No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20194d/3n2double pp549
20194d/3n2single supplement129
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20194d/3n2double pp595
20194d/3n2single supplement139
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
20194d/3n2double pp695
20194d/3n2single supplement159
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20194d/3n2double pp6,279
20194d/3n2single supplement1,449
Recommended Reading

‘Around Ireland with a Fridge’ – Tony Hawks; ‘Culture Shock! Ireland’ –Patricia Levy; ‘Irish Pub Guide’, ‘Dubliners’-J.Joyce; ‘Mother Ireland’ –Edna O’ Brien; ‘Barrytown Triology’- R. Doyle and ‘Woodbrook’ –D. Thomson. For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit www.thelongridersguild.com also a fantastic place to acquire your equestrian travel books is www.horsetravelbooks.com

Other Activities

Angling, shooting, golf, tennis, boating, sailing, surfing, mountaineering, hill climbing, walking and cycling can all be enjoyed within this wild and beautiful peninsula. This is not included in the package.

Other Country Information

Ireland is a land of almost mythical beauty, often wild and windswept it is said there are fifty shades of green in the landscape but none of them are jaded. The Irish seem to have been put on the earth to restore faith in humanity, their charm and delight in spinning a good tale will entertain you for hours.

The pub culture in Ireland is part of the national identity. The folk music traditional has been unhindered here and live, spontaneous music is actively encouraged- you will often stumble across a raucous singalong fired by Guiness and whiskey. The ban on smoking in public places is now in force in Ireland and, with fines of up to €3,000 for ignoring it, a lively sub-culture can now be found on the pavements outside Irelands plentiful watering holes huddled against the often biting wind.

They are famed for their love and skill with horses, in racing Irish trainers and jockeys are among the best in the world, and the wild ponies of the Connemara in Galway crop up in many myths and legends in Irish folklore. In some areas you will often see kids messing around on horses with nothing but a headcollar and a handful of mane.

Ireland is on GMT and they use imperial weights and measures, so inches, feet, pounds and stones. The international dialling code is +353.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Kerry (KIR), Cork (ORK) or Shannon (SNN)
Transfer:
2019: Prices are approximate and each way per vehicle: Kerry €26 1-3pax €40 4-8pax, Cork €140 1-3pax €160 4-8 pax and Shannon €180 1-3pax €200 4-8pax. Transfer times are approximately as follows; Cork 2 hours, Shannon 2-hours and Kerry 15-minutes. Payable on site.
Flight Guide:
London - Cork, Kerry or Shannon return from £50 with Ryanair
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