Donkey or Pony Walking Holidays


walking kids

A Post to Post walking holiday is a green holiday designed for the active traveller who likes to explore on foot and take time to observe his or her surroundings. Trails are wide, hard packed gravel or pavement, characterised by gentle slopes, and your pony or donkey can carry all your belongings (soft bags only).

The donkey's steady pace brings you deep into the Slieve Aughty Mountains, passing bogs, forests and farms and stopping at picturesque lakes. OS maps accompany you and the local people are happy to share the history and legends of each area. None of the trails are more than 10 miles in length, although longer routes are possible if desired. We recommend a reasonable level of fitness and good sturdy hiking boots and rain gear for the Post to Post Walking Holiday.


A Post to Post walking holiday begins on Wednesday. Depending on your arrival time, a short walk can be taken in the afternoon, or simply relax after your journey at The Three Towers Eco-House, where you will spend your first 2 nights. We've got loads of literature to fill your thirst for knowledge about Ireland's flora, fauna, and local history. This is also a good time to take some photos.

Start your day with 9.00am breakfast, followed by an introduction to your pony or donkey and some instruction and practice in handling him or her. We'll show you how to put saddle bags on and off, familiarize you with our maps, Leave No Trace and emergency procedures. After lunch, explore the self-guided nature trails with your pony or donkey for a few hours to get acquainted and enjoy the peaceful beauty of our surroundings.

Your week on the trail begins with a 3 hour walk to Cartron House B&B. The winding roads pass beside farms bordered by stout walls and the Duniry River. At Cartron House, your host Ann Gardiner will be happy to share the history of the area and direct you to Marble Hill, a spectacular ruin, if you would like to walk further. Be sure to give your lunch containers to Ann, who will clean and repack them for the next day.

Tuesday is a long walk along narrow country roads where the most traffic you will see is a flock of sheep accompanied by a few farmers. You will stop at Nia O'Malley's place beside picturesque Lough Attorick, Nia will make you feel at home and share the history of this remote area where she grew up.

Nia will give you a route based on your ambitions. Explore the forest roads above Lough Attorick, a wild and remote lake nestled in a gentle valley. Stop on the shore of the lake for a picnic, and you can go with or without your donkey today. As you'll be staying at Nia's again tonight, you can also just relax with the hens, dogs, cats, horses and donkeys for the day.

This is the longest walk of your journey and follows quiet rural roads past wild landscapes speckled with a few farmhouses and quaint cottages. Here the Slieve Aughty Mountains consist of bogs filled with fragrant purple heather and other flowers and shrubs unique to this type of landscape. The trek ends in the hills above Mountshannon Village overlooking Lough Derg, a beautiful lake frequented by birds and other wildlife. Here you can relax over a home cooked meal and reminisce about the week's adventures.

Your final walking day brings you back across the Slieve Aughty Mountains. Don't forget your camera to capture the breathtaking panoramic views of Lough Derg and the surrounding countryside. We collect you and the donkey Tuesday afternoon in the sleepy town of Woodford, the first shop you will have seen all week, for a relaxing evening at the centre.

Wednesday is departure day. This is a great time to get some final photos of your pony or donkey as we are sure he or she will have earned your affection.

Note: The Walking with a Pony or Donkey Holidays are subject to changes due to weather, desires of guests and other factors. Slieve Aughty Riding Centre makes every effort to meet the needs of all guests and animals in its care.


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donkey walking children ireland