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About Slieve Aughty Centre 2017-07-26T09:42:54+00:00

About Slieve Aughty Centre

How it all began…

In 1978, Esther and Hugo Zyderlaan moved to Ireland from Holland, seeking to live sustainably on the land. The first piece of land they bought consisted of 8 rugged acres with a small shed and a partially crumbled wall, the site where The Three Towers now stands. The first development on the land was Esther’s passion: the organic garden. The 2nd thing the Zyderlaan’s did was purchase a few goats and set up a small but successful dairy. They sold yoghurt and cheese in the Galway Market where Hugo now holds one of the oldest stalls still in operation.

In the beginning family and friends came and stayed and Esther’s daughter developed a talent and passion for horses. The family farm house, which the Zyderlaan’s built by hand, housed the first guests and continued to do so until 2006. In the mid 1980’s, the decision was made to stop the dairy operations and concentrate on horses. Esther gradually purchased more land and was awarded a grant from the Irish Horse Board to build her first set of stables. In 1986 the Slieve Aughty Riding Centre was born.

Steadily, the business grew and a need for more accommodation was recognised. Esther began developing her idea to expand to non-equestrian customers and her vision of a retreat where people could connect with nature and healthy living started to expand. The design for The Three Towers Eco House & Organic Kitchen was created and construction began in 2006. Soon after, the economy took a turn for the worse and the project came to a halt. For the next three years Esther worked tirelessly to keep her business afloat and after many sleepless nights, discovered that the 75% grant aid programme available from GRD (Galway Rural Development). After a tough application process, Esther was awarded the grant aid in 2012 and work on the building continued.

With its doors open to weddings, parties, workshops, organic dining and corporate events, the centre provides a rural escape for friends, families, groups and couples of all ages.

Today Slieve Aughty Centre is an eco-friendly equestrian and activity leisure  centre set on 17 acres of rugged Galway land. Guests have miles of trails for walking, cycling, horse riding and exploring nature as well as a stunning location for rejuvenation, relaxation and celebration!

 

Latest News

Go Post to Post in 2018

We are excited to be offering a new post to post trail riding holiday opportunity in partnership with Connemara Equestrian Escapes!  

Find Out More

This week-long riding holiday offers trail riding, cross country jumping, meals, accommodation, visits to cultural sights, transport, and memories!  Spend three days exploring the rugged Slieve Aughty hills, forests and rivers and/or try out the walls, ditches, logs and water complexes on the centre’s challenging cross country course, all from the comfort of The Three Towers Eco House and Organic Kitchen at Slieve Aughty Centre.  Then travel by private mini-bus to Connemara for another 3 days of riding among the stunning forests and shores of Lough Corrib, Ireland’s largest lake.

Available beginning Monday, April 16th.

 

Gifts that don’t cost the Earth

I love Christmas.  The lights, music, laughter, time off work and with family, the tree, decorations, food, etc.  But as I get older I can’t help but think that the gifts have become more important than all these other things.  Does the season of giving have to mean that we give more plastic useless stuff that carries a heavy price to our planet?  I thought it meant giving of ourselves?  Our time, love, thoughts, even charity.  I find I’m more inclined to value the time with family – it’s precious and that is where the memories are made.

I received a very thoughtful newsletter the other day, in which the writer said, “We are coaxed into consumption, it is promoted everywhere we look… There are so many more worthwhile reasons to live our lives”  This push to consume keeps us distracted from thinking about the bigger picture, it gives us a temporary buzz, and keeps the economy rolling.  But our planet cannot support endless consumption.  Eventually, we will run out of “stuff” to make more stuff – then what happens?

I don’t know about you, but I want my child to grow up to appreciate the Earth around him and what it provides, which is everything.  I’m asking myself this year, what can I give that isn’t “stuff”?

Here’s some ideas:
1.  Buy a Slieve Aughty Centre gift voucher or hamper!  Have a look.
2.  Buy a handmade bag made from Syrian refugees (Esther has them for sale and they are gorgeous)
3.  Donate to a charity (how about TIAFI?)
4.  Take the kids for a day out.  Ideas include the park, zoo, aquarium, swimming pool.
5.  Volunteer your time for those less fortunate.
6.  Make or bake something.
7.  Plant a tree.
8.  If you are going to buy, buy from sustainable sources, fair trade products and local shops.

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