Ideal for just horsing around
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: firstname.lastname@example.org). n To make a reservation call +353 (0) 47 88100 or email reservations@ castleleslie.com. Packages start from €140 per person. n Amy’s car hire was provided by carrentals. co.uk 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