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CORNWALL TO IRELAND 2018

At the end of June 2018, I set off on another adventure. This time I was accompanied by my partner, Vlad, horses Oisín and Dakota, and Spirit, my wolfdog. We set off from our home near Bodmin Moor in Cornwall and rode 400 miles up through the South West of England and across South Wales to Pembrokeshire. 


There we caught a ferry over to Ireland and then spent several months riding 600 miles from the southernmost point at Mizen Head, up to the northernmost point at Malin Head. Along the way we collected folk tales and fiddle tunes from the places through which we passed, and used the journey to raise money for the Conquest Centre near Taunton, and the Red Horse Foundation in Stroud. To find out more about this journey, please purchase my book Fiddler on the Hoof.

Photos from the journey can be found below.

Dakota packed and ready to leave 

Vlad and Oisín taking the lead

Approaching Horsebridge

Leaving the Bowyers' with a newly shod Dakota

Burrow Mump, Burrowbridge

Vlad on Burrow Mump

Sunset over the Sumerset Levels

Vlad exausted at the end of a long day's ride

Dakota takes the lead

Dakota meeting a goat for the first time at Maggie Bombley's

A disgruntled Spirit sporting some very fashionable paw protection

Leaving Maggie Brombley's

Somewhere on the outskirts of Bath

The yurt at the Red Horse Foundation

Crossing the River Severn near Gloucester, finally!

Vlad in his element at Perrygrove Railway

Oisín sampling some cider left over from a wedding at Perrygrove Railway

John Crofts working his magic on Dakota in Wales

Sunset over the Black Mountains

Hot air balloons over the Black Mountains

On the way to Abergavenny, Wales

A kind lady let us sleep in the shepherd's hut in her garden when we failed to find the bothy at Grwyne Fawr Reservoir

Dakota looking out across Wales

A rest stop on our way down from the Black Mountains

Looking back at the Black Mountains

Enjoying one of our days off with Jacqui and Phil

Exploring Brechfa Forest

Vlad and Oisín in Brechfa Forest

Vlad in his element fixing a tractor at Plad Dwbl

Leaving West Cork Equine Centre on our first day in Ireland

A road with an optimistic speed limit near Clonakilty

We tried our hardest to break the speed limit!

With Jane Scully near Baltimore

Oisín and Vlad on the 'start' line at Mizen Head

Dakota, Spirit, and I on the 'start' line at Mizen Head

The road from Mizen Head

Looking across Dunmanus Bay to the Sheep's Head peninsula

An old graveyard

Some curious donkeys watching our progress

A mountain road in West Cork

Heading into the Shehy Moutains

Arriving in Kilgarvan

Writing up the day's events and sheltering from the rain in Kilgarvan

Leaving Kilgarvan

Heading towards Moll's Gap

The 'tolkenian dwarf'

Tired horses having a lie-in in the Black Valley

The Black Valley

Coming down from the Gap of Dunloe

Horses at Kate Kearney's Cottage

Vlad and our kind host, Eric near Castlemaine

Looking across to the Beara Peninsula from Inch Beach

Vlad and Oisín on Inch Beach

From Castlegregory we followed the beach for nine miles to Derrymore

The horses quickly became accustomed to flapping flags and bunting because many houses were kitted out to show support for their local teams

Beautiful mules near Broadford

Micheál's first day on the road. Oisín was not impressed

A 'gate' in County Clare

Making Micheál a pack blanket from an old hessian sack and some straw

Micheál modelling his new blanket

Back on the road after two weeks off at mum's in Mountshannon

More curious donkeys

Joe Cooley's house, Peterswell

A wall in Galway

Our bed for the night in Mount Bellew

A rainbow before the storm: on the shores of the Shannon near Drumshanbo

Chatting with the locals in Drumshanbo

Micheál in County Leitrim

On the road to Kiltyclogher

With fiddle players Ben and Maurice Lennon

With Cockney Jogger, Paul, and his lovely family

With Catherine and Michael

Spirit very making herself at home in Wendy and Francie's kitchen

On the Inishowen Peninsula, Donegal

We made it to the North Pole!

Spirit making herself at home in Toni's kitchen

Dakota and I on the 'finish' line at Malin Head

Vlad and Oisín on the 'finish' line at Malin Head