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Horse Riding in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland offers a diverse mix of riding locations, from dramatic coastline and quiet loughs, to lush woodland and private estates. There are numerous riding centres for the novice and experienced, as well as a wide range of equestrian events to participate in.

Map of Northern Ireland

Beech Grove Stables

Grid Reference: J330460

90 acres of rural countryside in which to ride off road, also includes a cross country course for horses and ponies with approx 32 purpose built natural fences. Cost: £15 per day.

Benone/Magilligan

Grid Reference: C717363

Riding allowed on a year round basis. In the summer season riders are restristed to acess to before 11.00 and after 19.30 hrs. The beach offers a ride of approximately 9kms from Benone to Downhill and back. It is advisable to check with the CUlture Arts Tourism section at Limavady Borough Council prior to visiting tel: 028 77760300. Please note that west of the Benone is Magilligan Training Camp which has restricted access. Riders are asked to clear up after their horses.

Cairnwood

Grid Reference: J459775

Car park for permit holders

Cam Forest

Grid Reference: C839154

Forest road with ride lengths up to 35km in length. There is an area for parking off the main road, which can facilitate 3-4 trailers approx. The trail is accessed via a horse gate, kept locked and keys are held by permit holders only. The cost of a daily permit is £7.00 and an annual permit is £70. There is no longer a designated horse trail however the Forest provides 35 km of open path, and permit holders are free to ride in most parts of the Eastern Half of the forest. There will be signs erected informing horse riders where not to pass beyond a particular point. The speed limit of 20mph for other users in the Forest has been re-emphasised and other users will be expected to give horses priority in this Eastern Section.

Castle Archdale Forest Park

Grid Reference: H185590

Facilities include car park, camp site, picnic and BBQ area, tea room, walking trails and an exhibition centre

Castle Ward

Grid Reference: J572494

Car park, toilets, picnic tables, tea room A permit costs £5 per day or £35 annually. The park is open to the public so it is advisable to ring ahead and go during off peak times. For the more adventourous riders who like to stay over the weekend or for a few days, the National Trust also offers overnight facilities for both horse and rider.

Delamont Country Park

Grid Reference: J511511

Permit required for access. The park is open every day of the year from 9.00am to 5.00pm in winter and from 9.00am to dusk in summer.

Florencecourt Forest Park

Grid Reference: H179348

Forest path. Facilities include car park, toilets and signage, picnic areas and walking trails.

Glenariff Forest

Grid Reference: D210202

6.4km on forest path. This trail offers a small area for trailer parking for one or two trailers, off the Glenariff road (main road between Ballymena and Waterfoot) There are no toilet facilities at this parking area. The main forest car park is not usually used by equestrians, however should you require additional parking facilities please contact North District Forest Service Office (+44(0)28 2955 6000) as there is a main car park with toilet facilities which has been used in the past for organised rides.

Gortin Glen Forest Park

Grid Reference: H485822

5km of stoney forest path. Car park, signage, camp site, picnic and bbq area, tea room, walking trails, mountain bike trails, horse riding trails.

Gosford Forest Park

Grid Reference: H964405

6.5km on forest path. Permit holders only; £7 daily permit and £70 annual permit. Facilities include a ar park with capacity for at least 20 trailers, there is plenty of room for turning. The trails are signed and the forest also has caravan and camping site, picnic and bbq area, walking trails, tea house and shop.

Grey Abbey Estate Toll Ride

Grid Reference: J591681

This privately owned, one-way 6.5km trail is open on a membership basis. Opened annually from March 1st to October 1st inclusive. Toll ride membership is open to BHS Gold members & BHS Approved Riding Schools. Each member will have access to the trail from 1st March until 1st October every day 8.30am –8.30pm, Sunday 12.00 noon- 8.30pm.

Helens Bay

Grid Reference: J458821

Sandy beach & tarmac road.

Directions and permits available from the warden. Riding permits are free of charge but still required,contact the warden Horses are permitted along the beach and on the road within the country park, but not on the pedestrian area of the park.

Loughgall Country Park

Grid Reference: H909519

6km on forest path. Permit holders only; £6.50 per day or £50 per year. Car park with horse box park is available. The bridle path meanders through woodland, open countryside and a golf course, with a selection of surfaces from bitmac to grassland and forest track.

Mourne Country Park

Grid Reference: J376311

This approx 6 km horse way marked riding trail starts and finishes at the dedicated lorry/trailer park. Taking on average just under an hour to complete, the trail consists of Victorian built paths, which can be muddy in places. The Golf Club has kindly offered their visitor’s locker rooms to Toll Ride members, which has toilets and even a shower! Their bar and restaurant facilities are also available to Toll ride members, as long as you boots aren’t mucky and you’re not wearing jeans with holes, apparently jodhpurs are fine! To become a toll member contact www.bhsireland.com

Newcastle Beach South

Grid Reference: J319379

Open all day Oct- April.

Access denied - May-Sept10.30am to 6pm.

Restrictions apply to area from Slieve Donard Hotel to Newcastle.

Horse riding is not permitted in front of hotel.

Portstewart - East Strand

Grid Reference: C812368

No permit required. Restrictions apply between 1 May and 30 September: Horses are permitted on the East Strand between the Arcadia and the end of the Promenade up to 11.00 am and after 7.00 pm. No galloping is permitted on this beach. Car parking available for 5-10 trailers with ample turning room. Toilets are located close by.

Portstewart - West Strand

Grid Reference: C812368

Riders are permitted only before 9.30am within May-August. Sand dune area must be avoided. In winter months all-day riding is permitted. The ride length is 3.5km on sand surface. Facilities include Car park (parking is only available on the beach itself), toilets (toilets usually are not open before 9.30am)

Rostrevor Forest

Grid Reference: J186181

16km on forest path. Car park, signage, caravan and camping site, walking routes and a tea house (These facilities are not located close to the Horse riding trail)

Tollymore Forest Park

Grid Reference: J344328

12km on forest path. Car park, signage, caravan and camping site, picnic and BBQ area, walking trails and fishing

Tyrella Beach

Grid Reference: J475363

Blue flag zone closed to horses between10am and 6pm within May-Sept. Open all year. Warden service - summer season only, paid admission for vehicles.

No permit is required. Carpark and toliet facilities available.

White Rocks Beach

Grid Reference: C855409

Restrictions apply between 1 May and 30 September: Horses are permitted on this beach up to 11.00 am and after 7.00 pm for any purpose.

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