31 Jan 2020
Feed your sense of adventure in Northern Ireland, home to all kinds of unique mountain to sea experiences.
Warm, engaging and big-hearted, Northern Ireland is a land built by a giant spirit. With magic packed into every square inch, it’s overflowing with surprises.
From urban quarters to the greenest glens, every step reveals landscapes and experiences that inspire, whether it’s music trails in Belfast, whiskey tasting on the Antrim Coast or kayaking on the spectacular Strangford Lough.
Embrace a Giant Spirit by heading high into the heart of the Sperrin Mountains to a family farm, where you can encounter the real Northern Ireland character and enjoy the distinctive experience of seeing sheepdogs at work.
At Glenshane Country Farm in County Londonderry, watch spellbound as farmer Jamese McCloy directs his dogs to herd hundreds of sheep to wherever he wants them to go with just a whistle, a whisper or a gesture.
Like his father and grandfather before him, Jamese has been tending to sheep for decades, with the help of highly trained border collies, Moss, Jess and Tess, themselves from a long line of sheepdogs.
Help Jamese open gates to lead the flock into traditional wooden pens. Make friends with the dogs, reach over to touch the sheep’s springy wool, and if the weather is poor take shelter in the viewing gallery to see Jamese and the dogs at work.
From the farm you can see the Mourne Mountains 70 miles in the distance and enjoy the sight of Slemish Mountain in neighbouring County Antrim, where St Patrick shepherded as a boy.
Down at sea level, the vast stretches of the unspoilt County Antrim coastline are perfect for a tailor-made beach trots, canters or gallops with the wind in your hair and water at your horse’s feet.
Coastal Canters with Sheans Horse Farm let you pick what kind of horse you want – a cool, calm Irish cob, or an athletic sports horse with more zip – and whatever pace you like.
Then ride at some of most breathtaking sites along the iconic Causeway Coastal Route – Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Giant’s Causeway and plenty of Game of Thrones® filming locations.
Relax with a picnic lunch at historic Dunluce Castle, or marvel at the splendour of the eighteenth-century Mussenden Temple, perched over the Atlantic Ocean.
On these giant adventures you’ll meet people from the area who will welcome you warmly, while Danny McKinley or one of his passionate guides will be keen to share the history and stories from this famous coastline and beyond, with plenty of wit and humour thrown in.
The hoof prints of your horse in the wet sand might be washed away in minutes, but the memories of the giant spirit of Northern Ireland will last a lifetime.
Shean's Horse Farm, County Antrim
Dunluce Castle, County Antrim
Coastal Canters at Shean's Horse Farm
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