You should find the answer to most questions here.
If you have any further queries do not hesitate to contact us, we would be delighted to hear from you.
What is the concept?
We rent out a four-berth horse-drawn caravan with cooking and sleeping facilities on a self-drive basis.
Our visitors come to us and take a horse and caravan out for short breaks of 3 nights to explore and enjoy the Wicklow countryside. The tours are looped so you start and finish from our farm.
The price we charge includes the rental of horse and caravan, the provision of bottled gas for the gas-lamps and cooker, bedclothes and fodder for the horse and a 24/7 on call service if you need assistance at any point.
Not included in the price is the cost of food – this is a self-catering holiday.
(TOUR 1 – Not included is the overnight stop fee, the payment due to the farmer for letting the horse graze on their field and the use of their shower and toilet facilities. Of course, we do not charge this extra fee when you are parked at our farm.)
Do we need horse experience?
No – over 70% of our new visitors have no horse experience at all.
Obviously, people booking this kind of holiday are prepared to get their hands dirty and bring with them a commitment to learn about and work with a horse and also bring a healthy amount of practical common sense.
Once you have completed the comprehensive ‘horse instruction’, we will talk with you and will match you with a horse suitable for your route and for your horse experience or lack of it.
Our training is such that we have confidence that our visitors will be capable of working their horse and enjoying their holiday and we try to impart this same confidence to our visitors as well before they leave our base.
It is also possible to add a guide/driver at an additional cost if you would prefer an escorted caravan tour. Please contact us for further details and pricing.
What is actually inside a caravan?
The Horse Caravan includes:
- Our caravans have daytime seating for four and night-time sleeping accommodation for four in two double-beds or in one double-bed and two single-bunks (one over the other).
- There is a small kitchen area with a twin-burner butane gas cooker with grill. Cooking pots, a frying-pan, a kettle and a teapot are stored under the sink with the water container.
- Crockery and cutlery for five is stored in the top of four pullout drawers.
- There is hanging space for full-length clothes as well as four shelves for storage.
- Bedding is kept in the boxes under the seat-cushions at the fold-down rear table.
- We provide duvets and pillows as well as the appropriate bed-linen but not towels.
- There are no toilets in the caravan – our visitors avail of facilities in our yard just 100m from the caravan field
- Two gaslights provide gentle lighting at night.
All our caravans have the same design and are equipped with similar contents. We make special provision for families with three children under 15 by offering extra bedding and an extra bunk to allow two adults and the three children to occupy a caravan at no extra charge. On the outside, the caravan has seating for two drivers in front and provision for storing horse-fodder, the gas-bottle(s) and horse-harness at the back. The gas-bottles must always be switched shut whenever the caravan is in motion and before the occupants go to bed at night. The caravan is pulled by one horse harnessed to a pair of shafts connected to the caravan via a rotatable platform. The wheels are pneumatic, being adapted car parts.
It should be noted that the design of horse caravans varies quite substantially depending on the operator. Some caravans, for example, have candles for lighting where ours have gaslights.
Are dogs allowed?
Yes, we happily welcome dogs to our farm so they can enjoy the horse caravan holiday with you.
We have dogs of our own so the horses are used to their company on a daily basis.
A point to consider, is whether your dog will be comfortable sharing your attention with a horse for a week!
As you will be sharing our farm and the overnight stop with other visitors, we ask simply that your dog is well behaved.
All dog owners are responsible for the safe control of their dog and are liable for loss or harm caused by their dog.
When are caravans available for rent?
Our season is from late spring to mid-autumn (mid-fall) and our arrival days are Wednesday and Saturday.
We normally make caravans available to our visitors at 4 PM (16:00) on the day of arrival and ask that the caravan be vacated at 10 am (10:00) on the day of departure. These times can be varied by prior arrangement.
It takes the best part of a day to teach and train our visitors on the essentials of caring for and driving the horse and mark their route and directions to follow with the caravan.
For precise details on the season opening and closing dates, the starting days, and tour options please look at our Price List.
How and when are we to get to the caravan base at Cronybyrne?
Our visitors usually arrive at our base around 16:00 or 4 PM. We are flexible in this and try to adapt to our visitors’ needs. Some people arrive much earlier, some much later and we are happy to cater for this, so please just inform us of your plans.
We have a transfer arrangement with local taxi companies which transport our visitors to and from Dublin, Dublin Airport, Dublin Ferry-port, Dun Laoghaire Ferry-port or any nearby accommodation provider. Visitors booked on a transfer from Dublin Airport should note that they should find their driver in the terminal in which their flight lands (1 or 2). The driver will wait at the opening from the baggage claim/customs in to the arrival hall and will hold a card with your name. In order to book the airport transfer we need the flight number, terminal number and arrival time. The driver will stop on route to allow you to do some food shopping as we have no grocery facilities on the farm.
It is also possible to travel to our farm by public transport, both by bus and train. From Dublin airport or Dublin city you can travel with Bus Eireann bus number 133 to our local village of Ashford. In Ashford you can shop for supplies in the CENTRA shop approx 100m from the bus stop. We can organize a taxi to bring you from Ashford to the farm once we know you have arrived there (you can ask a member of staff in the shop to call us). This taxi run costs approx €25.
Alternatively, you can travel with the Dublin/Rosslare train to the village of Rathdrum. You can shop for provisions in the village and we can organize a taxi to bring you to the farm once we know you have arrived there.
For those planning to travel to us with a rental car, you can find directions and a map on our Find Us page. Please note that there are no shopping facilities on the farm so it is advisable to shop en route. We offer parking on our farm but please be advised that it is at your own risk.
What should we bring with us?
Active wear and Jeans and pullovers are the most suitable clothes. Hiking boots or rubber boots/wellies are very strongly recommended but good outdoor sports shoes can be a good alternative. A set of rain gear is also advisable, but with changeable Irish weather don’t forget the t-shirts and shorts either!
For nights sitting by the campfire we recommend cosy jumpers and fleeces and nice woolly socks to wrap up warm under the stars.
We recommend you bring: a torch or head torch, an adapter for your electrical appliances, sun cream.
What can we store at the caravan base?
We have an unsecured room to store luggage of low value and an area beside our private house to park cars but only on the strict understanding that luggage and cars are left here at the visitors’ risk.
How can we obtain food?
Our base at Cronybyrne is in the middle of the Wicklow countryside. There is no food available in our vicinity on foot so it is necessary to bring sufficient food supplies to last for your full stay. Those using the transfer arrangement will have an opportunity to shop for food, etc. in that the driver will stop at a suitable supermarket to facilitate shopping.
In our yard we provide 2 communal fridges which you are welcome to use during your stay and we lend out cooler boxes with ice packs which you can have directly in the caravan.
There is a large BBQ and campfire area in the horse caravan field and we can sell charcoal and wood from our reception office or you are welcome to collect fallen firewood when exploring the farm.
Good, clean and fresh drinking water from our well is available for free and each caravan has a water container you can fill from our taps on the farm.
We are within a 10 to 15 minute car/taxi drive from some excellent restaurants including The Wicklow Heather and Bates Restaurant and some cosy pubs serving food such as Lynham’s and Jacob’s Well so there is ample choice in the area if you would prefer not to cook.
A number of fast food and take-away restaurants nearby offer food for delivery at a small fee.
What actually happens after we arrive?
We bring you to your caravan, show you how it works and provide you with bedclothes.
Depending on your arrival time and other factors, we brief you on the attractions and features of the area and give you a marked map and written details of the route you will follow with your horse and caravan. We also complete all outstanding paperwork.
You spend this first night of your holiday in your caravan, parked in our field.
On the morning after your arrival, we do the ‘horse instruction’. This consists of your learning and practicing how to catch, look after, harness, yoke and drive a horse. Using plenty of time, you will get to know and work with the horse allocated to you.
Eventually you will be ready to go on the road; normally around midday and in plenty of time to get to your overnight stop (TOUR 1) or complete the looped route and return to our farm (TOUR 2 & 3).
On return to the farm, you park the caravan back in the field, unharness your horse and give him a nice cooling shower and then release him to his companions in the field. We also love to hear feedback of how your horse caravan adventure went.
Your 3rd night is spent in the caravan on our farm and and we ask you to vacate your caravan on the following morning by 10:00. Again we are happy to be flexible in this timing when possible – so please just let us know beforehand.
Where do we stop at night?
For those booked on TOUR 1, the first night is spent sleeping in the caravan on our farm, the 2nd night is spent in the caravan at a nearby overnight stop (extra overnight stop fee to be paid directly) and the 3rd night is spent in the caravan back at base on our farm.
For all other Tours, all 3 nights are spent sleeping in the caravan on our family farm with a choice of day excursions and looped trips with horse and caravan, donkey walking, hiking and taxi tours.
Where can we go?
Here we calculate distance in “horse hours” !
Taking into account rest-stops and harness checks, the average travelling time on route is 3 hours at 1 horse power.
You will find your day is fully filled with the catching, grooming and harnessing of your horse and packing up in the morning and the unharnessing and showering of you horse and setting up camp in the evening.
How can we book?
Once you know the date for which you want to book, e-mail, phone or write to us and we will hold a caravan booking provisionally for ten days in your name. We can fully confirm your booking on receipt of a 50% payment which can be made through PayPal on our Prices Page or via Bank Transfer ( please email for bank details). We expect you to pay the remaining 50% either 2 weeks before you travel or on your arrival in Euro cash. We do not as yet have a facility to accept credit or charge cards on the farm.
Many visitors come to us via Travel Agents and Tour Organisers. These companies feature us on their websites and brochures and invite the public to book a holiday with us through them. Because they ‘package’ the holiday with local, access and foreign transport, with transfers and accommodation combined with an expertise in their trade, they are an excellent choice when intending to book a holiday.
What kind of people enjoy a horse caravan holiday?
About 70% of our visitors have never handled a horse before coming to us.
Our ‘horse instruction’ is obviously designed to handle this situation and since we have been doing this successfully since 1969, it works!
Our horse caravan holiday has two main features –
- Building a good working relationship with a horse and
- Exploring and enjoying the Wicklow countryside in carefree and non-hectic fashion.
Anyone wishing to combine these two features is a prime candidate for our type of holiday. We offer a full service in French and German as well as in English on our base and on the telephone.
We find that our visitors consist of an unusually broad cross-section of people. We have visitors with and without children, visitors from all continents, visitors of all ages – in this context, please note that there must be at least 2 people aged 18 or over in charge driving the horse and caravan. We welcome couples, single families, groups of 3 or 4 families and small groups of friends.
What does it cost?
Our prices vary between high season and low season and for full price details visit our Horse Caravan Prices Page.
**Please note we will require a cash refundable caution deposit as a surety for each caravan taken out. This deposit may be forfeit for damage to our property, for damage to other persons’ property, for the caravan not being returned to base at the agreed time or for leaving the caravan in a disorderly or dirty state where extraordinary work is needed to clean it. **
Please refer to our price lists for the amount of the refundable caution deposit.
What about telephones, electricity, currency, etc.?
- The caravans are run with gas for lighting and cooking so there is no electricity connection. We provide electrical charge points/wall sockets in all common areas for you to charge mobile phones and cameras etc.
- We have a free WiFi connection in the common room but please do bear in mind that it is Irish countryside WiFi, so not particularly fast and with a monthly limit.
- Ireland has adopted the standard GSM cellular mobile phone system and good coverage is given with the exception of some narrow valleys in the more mountainous parts of County Wicklow.
- The standard for electricity supply in Ireland is 230 Volt 50 Hz. AC as it is elsewhere in Europe – but not on the caravans; they only have butane gas.
- The Euro (€) is legal tender here; 1€ = 100 Cent.
- Banks are located in Wicklow, Arklow and Rathdrum and are open Monday to Friday for slightly shorter hours than other businesses.
- Pharmacies are also located in these towns as well as in Ashford.
What about insurance?
The caravans and horses are insured against damage to them but only starting from a specific amount, the ‘excess’. As a consequence we will require a cash deposit as a surety for each caravan taken out. This deposit may be forfeit for damage to our property, for damage to other persons’ property, for the caravan not being returned to base at the agreed time or for leaving the caravan in a disorderly or dirty state where extraordinary work is needed to clean it up. We may offer you an alternative: You make us a non-refundable weekly waiver payment, you leave no deposit and we accept the risk of damage to the caravan.
Please refer to our price lists for the amount of the deposit and for the amount of the non-refundable weekly waiver payment.
Please take out a third party holiday insurance and an accident insurance before you leave your own country as we cannot arrange this here. Sometimes our visitors’ own household insurance cover can be extended by them to cover their holiday risks – visitors must check this themselves as they are responsible for ensuring that they are properly covered. Our insurance does not cover our visitors against claims against them for any damage they may cause to other persons or their property.