This weekend i decided i needed a break (shocking), I have visited Drumcoura City before for western horse riding lessons and it is a lot of fun, so i thought i would try out their accommodation options!!
My cousin and i booked into the glamping pods, a meal in the saloon bar and also a western riding lesson on Sunday morning. My cousin is extremely confident in English riding and i had done some when i was a child, i also visited Drumcoura around two years ago and done two lessons... Still crap myself every time i get onto a horse and they never listen to me, but its all good fun at the end of the day.
Drumcoura is set is the beautiful Ireland countryside, with a small town called Ballinamore about a 5-minute drive away. Drumcoura offers glamping accommodation, a gun range, fishing and western horse riding. Each pod has a picnic table with an umbrella for those sunny days, there is also a BBQ available which you can move beside your pod. We used it as a fire pit to make smores, you do need to get your own BBQ materials etc, for this we drove into Ballinamore where you will find a Supervalue. The Saloon bar is on-site and offers amazing food *I would recommend booking as it can be very popular*. The surrounding area offers beautiful walks, and the lake in front of the property is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset. Check out their website for more details and how to book - Drumcoura City
We set off on Saturday lunchtime to Drumcoura and the sun was shining, we got the most beautiful Autumn day for our trip, it was about a 45-minute drive from my cousin's house to Drumcoura City. The drive was i guess what you would call the scenic route, and we got beautiful views of Ireland's countryside.
When i called to book, Fiona had told me to park down at the pods, check-in was at 3 pm and we could arrive before that and enjoy a nice walk around the area or head to the saloon bar for lunch etc. It was extremely easy to make the booking, i simply called the number on the website and got Fiona, she took my horse riding booking, accommodation booking and restaurant booking! It was really handy you could book all three with the one phone call. Fiona is the friendliest person you will ever meet, even the welcome we got on Saturday was lovely!
When we got there it was close to checking in, there was a lesson in the arena and we watched for a while, this made us extremely excited for our lesson which was booked for Sunday.
We asked in the yard for Fiona, and Ron her husband called her, they live right beside the yard so she arrived in literally a minute.
Fiona checked us in and showed us the tea and coffee hut and also the showers/ toilets.
The Pod - *I really want to build one at home*
The pod was spotless! Seriously guys, whoever cleans them needs to come to sort my room!!
Fiona gave us a rundown of the pod and the heater and left us to it. Checkin lasted about ten minutes and we paid her there and then. The pods are 55 Euro per night, so splitting this between two people i think is a very reasonable accommodation option.
This is the weirdest thing to talk about but i can't get over how clean the shower/ toilet block was! There were other guests staying so, it's not like it wasn't getting used, but every time you went in it was immaculate. Another personal touch i liked was that there were heaters in this area, no one wants a cold arse when your nipping to the loo at 2 am!!
Fiona also spaced guests out, because she had pods available she was able to have a guest staying in every other pod, with Covid-19 this was a nice touch. The pods are far enough away from each other tho if this couldn't be done.
As it is the end of September the temperatures here in Ireland had dropped! I believe they were as low as 0 Celcius... Boy did we feel the drop, as soon as the sun went down it got chilly! The pods do have a heater, we had an issue with ours and after speaking with Ron they should normally leave the Pod very warm to the point where guests open the window. Sadly ours wasn't working, we settled that we either couldn't figure out how to work it, or it was broken. After speaking to Ron the next day he said you simply press one button to turn it on and that it must have been broken.
*The heater issue was sorted first thing the next morning, yea it was a chilly night but the duvet was plenty warm! It was more the chill in the air that was uncomfortable and even then it wasn't that bad. Im used to camping outdoors most weekends so it didn't bother me. We told Ron the next morning and he mentioned it to Fiona, she apologised and asked why we hadn't called her about it. Don't ask me why we didn't!! She told us she would have come down to look at it, get us more blankets or even move us to one of the empty pods. So honestly i can't fault Fiona and Ron for the heater not working, we should have gone and told someone!! The heater dilemma would not stop me going back and honestly i didn't mention it on my Facebook review or Tripadvisor review as i don't think it's fair. These things happen!* The issue was sorted the next morning, and i even told Ron and Fiona, i wasn't complaining about the heather, it was more a heads up for future guests, as i do understand some people would have seen this as a major problem and probably been would have been very dramatic about it. That's just not me.
The beds in the pods were incredibly comfy! I was so surprised at how comfy they were. If Fiona or Ron are reading this, i would love to know where you got the pillows because mine almost came home with me.
To be honest the pods are exactly what they seem to be, there cute, small, cosy and very comfy to hang out in. They are on the smaller side of glamping pods i have seen, but then again there only for two people. How much room do you need? Under the beds have great storage for your bags or shoes. There is a porch where you can leave boots etc and inside the pod, there is a bedside locker between the bed with three drawers, two mugs on top and a small mirror beside the heater for checking your make up.
I think here a great tough to Drumcoura City and by the sounds and looks of it, they have proven to be extremely popular.
Food, glorious food...
We walked about and explored the area for a while, we didn't have long as our dinner reservation was for 5.30 pm.
I don't even know where to begin with dinner! It was the most amazing meal, we were starving which probably helped. I had the DC burger (i think, ignore what my burger looks like in the picture, it was supposed to have bacon and lots of other stuff but i just wanted cheese..) and Sarah had a BBQ burger, we also ordered potato skins and a Ceaser salad. This was a tight feed for two, considering the burgers came with fries and we shared a bowl of the texas nachos for a starter! The diet was certainly out the window this weekend when we ordered a chocolate Brownie and Eton Mess for dessert!
We paid roughly 70 euro for our meal which i do think was reasonable, every dish was beautifully presented and tasted as good as it looked!
The staff were quick and polite, they were continually checking on us, due to Covid it is strictly table service. I have been out to eat in some places and your waiting half the night to order another drink or get someones attention to ask for ketchup. This was not the case here. Each customer was greeted at the door and brought to their seat, i didn't see any issues around the Covid-19 social distancing etc.
We headed back to the pod and got into our pj's, we chilled there for the night and the temperature kept dropping to the point where it was pretty cold. It got to about 11.30 pm and we were definitely losing the feeling in our toes, so we ended up curled up on one of the beds playing crazy 8 (card game). Honestly, the whole heater not working made it even more fun, we were a laugh and joking, chatting and hanging out. My cousin and i were so close growing up and over the years, but sadly we don't see each other as much now, this was the perfect weekend to catch up, switch off and just chat. I laughed so much!
We had booked a lesson for 10 am on Sunday morning, so we woke and got packed up and ready for the day. We loaded the car up and moved it closer to the stables, i just wanted to leave the front of the pod free for the ladies cleaning or just to let Fiona know we had checked out. *Check out was super simple, just left the key in the door any time before 11 am*
Paul *the ranch hand* not sure of his proper job title is, but he met us in the yard and chatted us about our stay. We had been talking to him some the day before as he was out on his horse Dollar. Paul also has the most beautiful 6-month-old pup that will become your best friend and want you to play fetch with him.
Ron soon joined us and got us ready for the lesson, he recommends you wear a hard sole sho, so a boot or something of the sort. Definitely not trainers, as the horses may not feel it as well when you are pressing to get them to move. We all know i had my cowboy boots on, and let's are honest, if i didn't have to wear a helmet, id has had my cowboy hat on!
*There is a small form to complete, simple really, name, address, medical info, next of kin and riding experience - 2 minutes*
The lesson was awesome, Ron taught us everything, from the very basics all the way up to cantering. He teaches you the lingo, he makes you laugh and the lesson is just good fun.
We learnt how to turn the horse, reverse the horse, canter, trot, open and close a gate without getting off the horse, sidestep the horse and others bits and bobs. It's defiantly a jam-packed hour. To finish the lesson, we were taken out on a trail ride through a small forest area behind the Pods. It was beautiful and made you feel like a proper cowboy. There is something to be said when your sitting on a horse (mine was called Ted) riding through the forest and Ron tells you to go into a trot or Jog as the cowboys call it.
I would highly recommend Drumcoura City for a mini staycation, i cant wait to visit again.
Things are hard at the minute, here on the island of Ireland there are areas locking down again or restrictions being put in place.
I have worked the whole way through this pandemic, been restricted in visiting my dad, lost my grandfather and watched my brother and his friends lose a dear friend. It definitely hasn't been an easy few months so this weekend was just what i needed.
I switched off, relaxed and just enjoyed the company of my cousin and the beautiful scenery around me.
*My network provider didn't have much signal down there, so this was great i couldn't scroll Instagram or Facebook! Exactly what i needed.
I feel like im writing a school report..... So in conclusion...
It was a wonderful night away, i hope those of you living on the Island of Ireland take the opportunity to stay in the glamping pods, eat in the saloon bar and have a lesson with Ron. It was one of the best experiences and i will definitely be back for lessons and a night away. I love America, i should be there at the minute, so i thought i would go to the most American place here in Ireland. Drumcoura City did not disappoint!! I hope this has done it justice.
**I feel it is important to mention that there were hand sanitising stations when entering every building (Shower block, teat/coffee hut, restaurant, stables etc). I felt very safe in regards to Covid-19**