Ideal for just hors­ing around

Harefield Gazette - - TRAVEL -

And if it is a trip for the whole fam­ily you are look­ing for, then the Old Sta­ble Mews – lo­cated a lit­tle fur­ther into the es­tate – or the Vil­lage Cot­tages in Glaslough are beau­ti­fully fin­ished and can com­fort­ably ac­com­mo­date large groups.

Whether you are vis­it­ing for a re­lax­ing break or a fun-filled week­end, you cer­tainly will not be bored at Castle Les­lie. Ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude af­ter­noon tea in the castle, kayak­ing or boating on the lake, fish­ing, clay pi­geon shoot­ing, hot air bal­loon­ing or, of course, horserid­ing at the eques­trian cen­tre.

It was soon time for our first es­tate ride with our guide, El­iz­a­beth.

We sad­dled up, on the hand­some Paddy and lovely Blue, and can­tered off to ex­plore the 1,000-acre es­tate in the best way poss-ible – peer­ing be­tween the ears of a horse.

The eques­trian cen­tre boasts 56 sta­bles and a huge in­door and out­door arena. There are 25 miles of bri­dle­ways to ex­plore on the es­tate and more than 200 cross coun­try jumps – plenty to keep riders of all abil­i­ties and lev­els oc­cu­pied.

At the end of an ac­tive day there are many ways to un­wind at Castle Les­lie.

You can re­lax with a mas­sage in the Vic­to­rian Treat­ment Rooms, while away the hours with a good book in front of a rag­ing fire, or even en­joy an evening of de­li­cious del­i­ca­cies in Snaf­fles Res­tau­rant.

We opted for the evening of overindul­gence and deca-dence in the res­tau­rant – and we were not dis­ap­pointed.

Our six-course meal, paired with wine, was packed full of flavour, and each plate was pre­sented so beau­ti­fully it looked al­most too good to eat.

Af­ter a day of ac­tiv­i­ties, a fine meal and a few glasses of the afore­men­tioned Rioja, it was time for a good night’s sleep. But, we still had another day of fun ahead of us.

Af­ter a hearty Ir­ish break­fast there was time for a brisk walk around the es­tate and vil­lage. Glaslough is a pretty lit­tle place, un­spoiled by moder­nity and quin­tes­sen­tial of ru­ral Ir­ish life.

Fol­low­ing a quick shop­ping trip to the Glaslough Cho­co­late Com­pany (what girl can re­sist hand­made Ir­ish truf­fles?) we headed back to The Lodge for our sec­ond ride.

This time we set out with a group of other riders and a rain shower meant we were not quite so lucky with the weather. Nev­er­the­less, our guide once again en­sured we had a great hack around the es­tate and the sun even shone for us as the down­pour fi­nally eased.

For any­one look­ing for a re­lax­ing re­treat that is not too far away, Castle Les­lie Es­tate is highly rec­om­mended – it is 80 min­utes from Dublin but a mil­lion miles from any­where.

n EQUINE DE­LIGHT: Ex­plor­ing the es­tate on horse­back is an ex­hil­a­rat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence n Amy’s trip was pro­vided by Castle Les­lie Es­tate, in Glaslough, County Mon­aghan, Ire­land (email: info@castle­ n To make a reser­va­tion call +353 (0) 47 88100 or email reser­va­tions@ castle­ Pack­ages start from €140 per per­son. n Amy’s car hire was pro­vided by car­rentals. lo­cated at Dublin Air­port, with prices start­ing at £10 per day.

n HIS­TORIC: The Castle Les­lie Es­tate has been in the Les­lie fam­ily since 1664, and open to hol­i­day­mak­ers since 2006

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