Call of the West of Ireland Trail running and culture
This is an example of a fully guided trail running or hiking tour in the west of Ireland
Discover Ireland’s spectacular rugged Wild Atlantic Way with your local guide Rachel. The coastal cliff trails will take your breath away. You will explore some of Ireland’s hidden golden beaches, deserted abbeys and castles and run up historic mountains. As well as running in stunning landscapes, this tour is all about immersing yourself into Irish culture. Rachel will invite you into her home, you’ll meet her Mam Marjorie and bake Irish scones together, pull your own pint of Guinness in the local pub and enjoy our traditional music and stories.
- Running along Ireland’s most spectacular hidden trails
- Local fun, energetic guide, speaking English, French and Spanish
- Getting off the beaten track and experiencing the local Irish lifestyle
- Discovering Europe’s highest and most stunning cliffs
- Learning about Irish whiskey, baking, dancing and local traditions
- Walking some of Ireland’s most spectacular undiscovered trails
Day 1: Ballina
Your local guide Rachel will be waiting for you at the bus station in Ballina. You will be transported to your hotel to settle in. The Twin Trees hotel is idyllically located within walking distance of the pubs and restaurants in Ballina town and has a fully equipped gym and spa facilities for you to enjoy during your stay. We’ll all join for dinner in the renowned Dillons restaurant that offers a great menu and cosy atmosphere. You will then have the option to continue the evening in one of the many traditional bars and enjoy a few pints of Guinness and a chat with the locals.
Day 2: Carrowteige
Height gain: 400 metres
Terrain: Bog, beach, country roads, single track
Wake up your taste buds to a delicious wholesome breakfast before we get on the bus to travel along north Mayo’s Wild Atlantic Way to discover Carrowteige, one of the most spectacular undiscovered coastal trails in Ireland. It’s a feast for the eyes, with golden sandy beaches, rugged cliffs jutting into the Atlantic, and of course lots of friendly sheep. At the finish line on a hidden treasure beach, we’ll enjoy a delicious picnic, all prepared by Rachel’s Mam, Marjorie, using only the best of local products. On the beautiful coastal route back, we’ll stop off in Mary’s cottage for tea and homemade scones before we explore Downpatrick head and the sea stack of Dun Briste.
We’ll step back in time and visit the local abbeys and historical coastal village of Killala where General Humbert and his French army landed in 1798. After a magical day out, you’ll have time to relax back in your hotel’s Jacuzzi before we meet for dinner in Crockets on the Quay- you should try the fish and chips!
Day 3: Strandhill & Knocknarea
Height gain: 350 metres
Terrain: Beach, boardwalk, country path, trail
Today, we are off to explore Sligo’s surf coast and cultural delights. After a short drive, we’ll start off with a coached strength and conditioning beach warm up session before going to Knocknarea. This is a short but intense run up to discover Queen Maeves grave, which is one of Ireland’s largest cairns dating back to 3000BCE. The views from the top at 307 metres over Sligo, Donegal and North Mayo are just exquisite.
On the coastal drive back, we’ll stop off at Augrim beach for a stroll, dip in the sea, a shot of local Gin and an artisan picnic. To top it off, you can enjoy an Irish coffee or pint of Guinness in the Beach Bar while looking out onto Benbullen mountain and the rugged surf coast of Sligo. After a stop off at Easkey to visit Rosie’s pottery, it’s then onto the surf town of Enniscrone where you have the option of indulging on a seaweed bath- you deserve it!
Dinner will be in Cot & Cobble, just a short walk from your hotel, they also do a fantastic Irish coffee!
Day 4: Achill Island
Height gain: 1200 metres
Terrain: Bog, beach, single track, rocky, mucky
Get ready to be awestruck as we visit Ireland’s largest island. Start off with a visit to the musical bridge for a warm up along the Nephin drive route to Achill island. Discover Europe’s highest cliffs and most stunning beaches. Trial one is 14km and takes you on a historical journey of the old famine trail. Starting at the beach, we’ll run past the crashing waves and follow the sheep path to meander around the cliffs edge to take in the stunning panoramic views. The second trail will take you to discover Europe’s highest cliffs, a watch out tower from world war one and the reward of looking over to Clare Island and the rugged coastline of Mayo, Sligo and Donegal.
Today’s picnic from Marjorie’s kitchen will include homemade brown bread, smoked salmon and to finish off, a shot of local whiskey. After a long day out, you’ll be happy to put your feet up at your hotel and enjoy a relaxing dinner and local beer.
Day 5: Leisure day
Today, you can a sleep in relax over a late breakfast. This is a free day where Rachel can locally organise a number of outdoors and cultural activities such as fishing, kayaking, Stand Up Paddling, cookery class in Marjorie’s kitchen, (Rachel’s Mam) or you can learn about the unique styles of Irish Whiskey in one of Rachel’s Whiskey Appreciation Sessions.
You can also take the day to relax back, enjoy a spa treatment, or visit the local museums, abbeys and castles. There will also be bikes to rent and you can enjoy a self-guided tour along Ballina’s Greenway to visit the Connacht Whiskey Company, Belleek castle, Rosserk and Moyne Abbey. Rachel will give you recommendations on a selection of local restaurants where you can go to eat at your own leisure.
Day 6: Belleek woods trail
Height gain: 200 metres
Terrain: Gravel path, single trails, tree route crossing
After breakfast, Rachel will take you on a run through Ireland’s largest urban woodland, Belleek woods. This is a mixed woodland with conifer trees such as Norway spruce, Scots pine silver fir, beech, oak and ash. There are many historical features such a hermitage, ice house and a wall built during the famine in Ireland (1845) as a relief scheme. Belleek woods is a habitat for animals such as badgers, foxes, rabbits, the red squirrel as well as the kingfisher, cormorant and otter which can be seen along the riverbank.
For the afternoon, you will have the several options of activities to choose from or you can just relax back and enjoy the friendly Ballina atmosphere.
Day 7: Departure
After overindulging on your last Irish breakfast, you will be transferred to Ballina bus station/ train station where you can meet your connecting flight
PRICES for 2019
Included in price:
- 6 nights Bed & Breakfast in the Twin Trees Hotel with a fully equipped gym, swimming pool and spa facilities
- Four dinners on evenings 1,2, 4 and 6
- Three specially prepared picnic lunches on the days 2, 3 and 4
- Local fun and energetic guide
- Organised off the beaten track spectacular trail runs
- Afternoon cultural visits on the trail running days
- Co-ordination of extra activities
- Rachel’s Irish Adventures technical sports t-shirt
- Complimentary transport on days of trail running
- Evening meals on days 3 and 5
- Lunch on days 1, 5 and 6
- Drinks, extra consummation
- Extra activities outside of itinerary
- Rachel’s Whiskey Appreciation Session €30
- Cookery lesson with Marjorie €50
- Seaweed bath €25
Book Now and Pay Deposit
Contact Rachel to book this adventure!