Here at Lios Lara we aim to offer safe, enjoyable equestrian activity all year round. With so many horses and ponies to choose from, Lios Lara Riding Stables can accommodate riders of all ages and abilities. Whether it be a family wanting to pass some time together or a small child having their first pony ride – we have something for everyone.
Who are we:
Born out of a young girl’s childhood passion for horses, Lios Lara Riding Stables is a family-run equestrian centre. Suitably qualified with a BA Hons in Equine Business, Annie O’Neill’s grá for horses, once a hobby, has now evolved into a thriving business. Supported by parents Julie and Mick and partner Tinso, also a keen and experienced horseman, Annie’s Coaching Cert, BHS Stage 2 Teach and BHS Stage 3 Horsemanship with Distinction guarantees her expertise in providing each and every customer with a unique experience with horses tailored to their individual level of riding ability.
What we do:
Lios Lara’s facilities cater for every equine enthusiast from the pleasure rider to the competitive. Providing either long or short term livery, Lios Lara provides riding lessons to both adults and children, in groups or individually, as well as a full trekking service amid the woodlands and hills of the beautiful Beara Peninsula which take in breathtaking views of the area. For younger riders Lios Lara hold pony camps, one day workshops, fun competitions and shows, mini-treks, children birthday parties, breaking and schooling service.
Lios Lara’s mission is to promote and encourage good Horsemanship in a safe and fun atmosphere, allowing students to work at their own pace while achieving individual goals. At Lios Lara we foster a caring and inclusive ethos where all who pass through our yard are respected and treated equally at all times. Annie’s qualifications include an Irish Pony Club B+ Test (Distinction), Occupational First aid, Safe guarding 1 and 2 and Garda vetting. All staff and volunteers over 18 are Garda vetted and hold Safe Guarding 1 as a minimum. Our stables are fully insured for all its activities.
Trek Beara’s woodland and hills while overlooking beautiful Bantry Bay, Bere Island and Ardnakinna Lighthouse.
Junior and beginner camps. These camps are open to riders who have some experience just coming off the lead rein and beginners.
*Thursday 15th and Friday 16th 2pm to 5pm – Full
*Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd 2pm to 5pm – Full
*Thursday 29th and Friday 30th 2pm to 5pm – Full
10am to 1pm
*Thursday 5th and Friday 6th 2pm to 5pm – Full
*Thursday 12th and Friday 13th 2pm to 5pm – Full
*Thursday 19th and Friday 20th 2pm to 5pm – Full
Cost of camp for the 2 days is €50 per child. We will require a non refundable deposit on each camp €20 per child. This will be accepted from now until the 30th of june. It is very important that deposits are put down to secure places. There will be a maximum number of 12 in each camp so that we can ensure all camp riders and staff are in a safe environment whilst covid remains an issue.
Camp will run for 3 hours, fun filled with riding lessons, grooming and tacking up, stable management, and fun and games. Please bring correct footwear for horse riding and all riding equipment. For those that own their own grooming kits please bring them to camp
Pony Camps are fantastic learning experiences for all horse enthusiasts and here at Lios Lara our camps offer an added opportunity for any tourist visiting the area to make new friends whilst equine learning and having fun. We run various pony camps during the seasonal holidays, ranging from Beginner/Lead rein camps, Intermediate and Senior Camps, to Adults Camps.
Beginner Camps – average 3.5 to 4 hours for 2 days, usually with a morning and afternoon option.
Intermediate / Senior Camps – 3 full days including an intense 1 full day workshop for adults.
Who thought learning could be so much fun as you’re taught to ride in beautiful Beara by fully qualified instructors! Matched to ponies of suitable standard and size (Camp Riders may also request certain ponies if available) all lessons are geared specifically towards varying groups and standards and held in a fun, relaxed and safe environment.
In Beginners, campers learn safety around horses, controlling their ponies, trotting and pony games. Advanced camp riders learn more technical riding on both flat and jump, all lessons offering the opportunity to play pony games. Trekking factored in during all camps.
Through the morning and afternoon, campers will have an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the care of horses and ponies in a safe environment. Stable management can be so much fun!
Adapted to standards and ages of the group, topics covered include:
• Fun with ponies , horse sense and grooming
• Day to day Care and feeding
• Hoof Care and Shoeing
• Tack & Saddlery
• Horse Health and basic first aid
Plus much more…
What to bring to Camp;
Lios Lara has a selection of hats and boots that campers can borrow. If you have your own, wellies are ideal or any boot/shoe with a flat sole and definite small heel. No runners please.
Riders are more than welcome to bring along their own equipment. A member of staff will check it first to make sure it is up to the latest safety standards.
Wear comfy clothes; jodhpurs, leggings, fitted jeans, or tracksuits bottoms (not too baggy). Warm clothing is a must during winter and spring; in the event of the occasional downpour (!) rain jacket and rain trousers are recommended as well as a change of clothes. During summer months, you might want to pack sun screen.
Bring a packed lunch and don’t forget plenty of drinks as this horse riding can be thirsty work!
Any medication should be reported and given to a member of staff accompanied by detailed instructions written and signed by the guardian.
Lios Lara Riding Stables, located at Tir na Hilan, near Castletownbere, is tucked into the sides of the Slieve Miskish Mountains which sculpt the beautiful Beara Peninsula. We are situated at the starting point of the Beara Bridle Way and on the route of the famous Beara Way.
On route to Lios Lara, you will pass Derreenasagart stone circle which beholds one of Ireland’s most impressive views onto the harbour’s mouth at Berehaven as well as Tir na Hilan raised ring fort.
You will also enjoy stunning views onto one of Europe’s deepest harbours, Ard na Kinna lighthouse, Dunboy and its Puxley’s mansion.
After your visit to our stables why not ramble through Castletownbere where you can enjoy quality West Cork food in our quaint cafés, restaurants and bars; local seafood and chocolate brownies a must! Beara is home to many art galleries and craft shops; browse to your heart’s content and choose a special item to remind you of your visit to Beara.
Castletownbere is an international fishing port and you are likely to hear Spanish, Portuguese and a host of other languages being spoken in bars and shops mingling alongside the soft West Cork brogue of the locals.
Castletownbere Festival of the Sea occurs during the first week in August. The regatta takes place on the Bank Holiday, and there are many events held during the week, including live music in the town square each evening.
The Beara Arts Festival also takes place each August where art exhibitions, drawing, writing and music workshops, and performances take place.
Some local attractions:
Ferry over to Bere Island; steeped in military history the island was home to four Martello towers and a Signal tower as part of a chain of British coastal defence.
Play golf at the 9 hole Golf Club, Castletownbere.
Fish on land and on sea, or take sightseeing boat trips of the harbour.
Rib it out to the famous nautical landmark, the Bull Rock, from Garnish.
Swim in one of Beara’s many safe inlets or the beach at Ballydonegan, gorgeous Allihies.
Ride over water to Dursey Island on Ireland’s ONLY cable car, and only European cable car that goes over sea water. Visit Dursey Island, popular with bird watchers and nature enthusiasts.
Without disturbing the peace of the Buddhist monks who run the DZOGCHEN BEARA RETREAT CENTRE, have a look at the breathtaking views from their cliff top meditation room.
Kayak with seals in Adrigole.
Learn local history with Beara Baoi Tours.
Ask at Lios Lara for more detailed information.