About Slieve Aughty Centre 2017-07-26T09:42:54+00:00

About Slieve Aughty Centre

How it all began…

In 1978, Esther and Hugo Zyderlaan moved to Ireland from Holland, seeking to live sustainably on the land. The first piece of land they bought consisted of 8 rugged acres with a small shed and a partially crumbled wall, the site where The Three Towers now stands. The first development on the land was Esther’s passion: the organic garden. The 2nd thing the Zyderlaan’s did was purchase a few goats and set up a small but successful dairy. They sold yoghurt and cheese in the Galway Market where Hugo now holds one of the oldest stalls still in operation.

In the beginning family and friends came and stayed and Esther’s daughter developed a talent and passion for horses. The family farm house, which the Zyderlaan’s built by hand, housed the first guests and continued to do so until 2006. In the mid 1980’s, the decision was made to stop the dairy operations and concentrate on horses. Esther gradually purchased more land and was awarded a grant from the Irish Horse Board to build her first set of stables. In 1986 the Slieve Aughty Riding Centre was born.

Steadily, the business grew and a need for more accommodation was recognised. Esther began developing her idea to expand to non-equestrian customers and her vision of a retreat where people could connect with nature and healthy living started to expand. The design for The Three Towers Eco House & Organic Kitchen was created and construction began in 2006. Soon after, the economy took a turn for the worse and the project came to a halt. For the next three years Esther worked tirelessly to keep her business afloat and after many sleepless nights, discovered that the 75% grant aid programme available from GRD (Galway Rural Development). After a tough application process, Esther was awarded the grant aid in 2012 and work on the building continued.

With its doors open to weddings, parties, workshops, organic dining and corporate events, the centre provides a rural escape for friends, families, groups and couples of all ages.

Today Slieve Aughty Centre is an eco-friendly equestrian and activity leisure  centre set on 17 acres of rugged Galway land. Guests have miles of trails for walking, cycling, horse riding and exploring nature as well as a stunning location for rejuvenation, relaxation and celebration!


Latest News

Howl-o-Ween Festival 2017

The ghosts and goblins return to Slieve Aughty Centre October 28th for another fright-filled festival with pumpkin riddles, witches and monsters to find along the walks, arts and crafts, face painting, dress up, pumpkin soup and more.

For the daring, take a walk to Bloody Mary’s haunted house and face the mirror from legend.  For the wee ones check out Ruby the Witch’s cauldron in the Enchanted Forest, which can be reached on foot in 10 minutes or aboard a quiet, gentle pony (pre-booking advised, children must be at least 5 years of age to ride a pony).

Special events include the annual charity ride on Monday October 30th as well as a fundraising dinner “Eat Together” that evening, all to raise funds for Syrian Refugees in collaboration with Anne O’Rourke and TIAFI.  Tuesday October 31st is the Kids Fancy Dress and Disco form 5-8 PM.

Entry is €7.50 per person, €35 family pass.  Complimentary tea, coffee or apple cordial and a little treat included.

Find out more…  

Looking for things to do with kids and family this easter?

Come to Slieve Aughty for a fantastic family day out!

Pet the ponies and other animals, make and do in the craft room, play family games and visit the playground.

Go for a walk to the Enchanted Forest and stop off at the look-out tower on the way. Sample some delicious pancakes in the restaurant and relax in the cafe/bar with a glass of wine or mug of organic coffee.

Entry to the festival is only €5 per person and you can learn more about it here.

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