Dunfanaghy Stables

Visit Centre Website

About the Centre

If you’re looking for the holiday of a life time then look no further than Dunfanaghy Stables, situated at Arnolds Hotel on Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way. Dunfanaghy Stables is open 7 days per week, from Easter until Halloween each year. We have lots to offer equestrian lovers, from first time riders who want a leisurely beach trek to more experienced riders who want to explore our rugged coastline, pristine beaches and wild mountain paths.

The Dunfanaghy stables have been part of the Arnold Family Hotel for over 30 years and are hugely popular with visitors from all over the world who love the benefit of friendly hospitality and comfortable accommodation so close to the Dunfanaghy stables. The fresh sea air in Dunfanaghy really has everyone working up an appetite and Arnolds is there to cater for all with the finest locally sourced produce and home baked breads, scones, desserts and jams. After dinner you can soak up the atmosphere with local musicians playing traditional Irish music in the bar and enjoy a taste of the rich local culture.

About The Horses

Dunfanaghy Stables have a variety of horses and ponies which range from little Shetland ponies for the tiny tots to Irish Hunters, hairy legged Irish Cobs, Kerry Bog Ponies and Connemara Ponies, all of which are sure footed when crossing the mountain paths and willing on the beaches. The Dunfanaghy stables are approved by the Association of Irish Riding Establishments, the British Horse Society and the Irish Tourist Board and managed by John and Helen McDaid along with their daughter Niamh. John is a third generation Master Farrier from Moville, County Donegal and Helen is an approved instructor with the British Horse Society and the Association of Irish Riding Establishments. The horses are well cared for and trained by Helen and Niamh at the Dunfanaghy stables which includes stamina training to enable them to deal with long distance rides. All levels of riders from beginner to advanced are welcome with qualified and experienced staff always on hand to assist.

About the Facilities and Accommodation

A warm welcome awaits you at the Arnold Family Hotel situated in the heart of Dunfanaghy village, overlooking the spectacular scenery of Sheephaven Bay. It is an ideal location for a family holiday and for anyone who wants to stay close to the action whilst still enjoying a friendly and relaxing horse- riding holiday experience. We are ideally located so that you can enjoy the wide variety of activities in our area including golf at Dunfanaghy 18 Hole Links Course, cycling, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, yoga, fishing and much more. Many of the county’s most popular tourist attractions are also close by including, Horn Head, Ards Forest Park, Glenveagh Castle and National Park, the Wild Atlantic Drive and Fanad Lighthouse. A variety of three, five and seven-day horse riding packages in partnership with Dunfanaghy Stables are available to choose from, as well as daily one-hour beach treks. Arnolds Hotel is now fourth generation family owned and managed overlooking the stunning Sheephaven Bay. There are 30 en-suite bedrooms, restaurant and bar and a relaxing cocktail lounge. The Garden Patio is just the perfect spot to chill out after a day in the saddle. Arnou, our daytime café, overlooks the bay serving delicious snacks, speciality teas and coffees and home baked treats. Complimentary car parking is available at the side of the hotel.

Directions to Centre

By Car

Dunfanaghy is on the N56 in North-West Donegal, a 30-minute drive north from Letterkenny. For driving directions and travel information on how to get to Arnolds Hotel Dunfanaghy, please go to “getting here” section on the hotel website www.arnoldshotel.com

By Air

Donegal Airport (CFN) is just a short 40-minute drive from Dunfanaghy on the N56 with daily direct flights from Dublin International Airport offering convenient UK, European and U.S. connections.

Derry City Airport is a 60-minute drive from Dunfanaghy. BMI and Ryanair operate flights from the UK and Europe on a daily basis. There are also two airports in Belfast – Belfast International Airport and the City Airport, both of which can be reached within a two hour drive of the hotel with direct flights to the UK, Europe and United States.

By Bus

There are Direct Coach Transfer services to Dunfanaghy from Belfast with Patrick Gallagher Coaches and to and from Dublin City Centre, via Dublin Airport, with John McGinley Coaches – both stop directly outside Arnolds Hotel for your convenience. Bus Feda operates daily coach service from Dunfanaghy to Galway, Sligo and Glasgow.

About The Activities

Horse Riding Activities

  • 2, 3, 4 and 5 Day Trail Rides around the spectacular beauty of Sheephaven Bay
  • Hill and Mountain Trail Rides along the Old Famine Track and the old County Donegal Railway Track
  • Full Day Rides
  • Half Day Rides
  • Hourly Beach Rides
  • Lead outs for Children and Adults Killahoey Beach
  • Horse Riding Lessons - Beginners to advanced from BHSAI Instructor
  • Sand Arena - Dressage/Flatwork/Jumping

Non-Riding Activities

  • Arnou Café & Gourmet Burger Bar - Café by day, Burger Bar by night!
  • Restaurant, Garden Bistro & Whiskey Fly Bar in Arnolds Hotel.
  • Dunfanaghy 18 Hole Links Golf Course just a two minute drive away.
  • Water Sports on the the magnificent beaches around Sheephaven Bay.
  • Walking - Horn Head 7 Mile scenic coastal walk, Ards Forest Park plus more.
  • Two local Wild Atlantic Way Points – Horn Head and Marble Hill just a five minute drive.
  • Fishing - Lake and Deep Sea Angling.
  • Bike Hire available locally - Cycle around the scenic beauty of Sheephaven Bay. 
  • Residential courses in Photography, Painting and Creative Writing.
  • Local Heritage Centres - Famine Museum Dunfanaghy, St. Columb’s Churchill.
  • Glenveagh National Park & Doagh Castle also nearby.

Specialising in

  • Short Treks
  • Trail Riding (1 location)