My wife and I will be visiting the southwestern portion of Ireland this Spring and are in need of suggestions for the best places for sheep herding demonstrations and falconry demonstrations. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.
We went to Killary Sheep Farm on the Killary Fjord. Loved it! It’s near the Wild Atlantic Way in Connemara.
Thanks to both responses so far! Please continue to share your recommendations.
We did the Kissane Sheep farm and it was a highlight of our 2 week trip. I absolutely fell in love with the working dogs! Honestly, one of the dogs belonged in Hollywood, such a character! It poured rain the whole time we watched the herding demonstrations, but not one in our group went inside, nobody wants to miss one minute of the demo. Was a great time, especially for dog lovers.
Ditto on the dogs at Kissane! After the demo, the dogs jumped into the tour van with us briefly,
and were running around making friends. Our group included a dog-loving 11 year old, who was especially thrilled.
We will be sure to visit the Kissane sheep herding farm! Are there any other falconry locations? We would really like to visit the one at Ashford Castle except it will be quite a bit out of our way. Are there any more that are farther south?
Another vote for Kissane and the Hawk Walk at Ashford Castle. Both were trip highlights in 2018.
Recommend checking the Kissane website for demo times on the day you wish to visit; as I recall, the scheduling was somewhat random from day-to-day.
As for Ashford, although it was a splurge for us, we elected to each "fly" our own hawk. We were glad we did. It's a unique experience and I know I wouldn't have been happy as a mere spectator on the walk. Our guide [Tommy] was superb and asked if he could take over the camera that I was trying to manage "1-handed". He got memorable shots we couldn't possibly have obtained on our own.
PS - Just noticed your update as I was posting this. If Ennis is still on your itinerary, it looks like a "doable" day-trip if you can't find a similar falconry spot. Did you book lodging for Kilkenny? We found a great nearby B&B that we can highly recommend.
I understand the geographical issues, but you don't want a falconry demo. You want to fly your own hawk! The Hawk Walk at Ashford Castle was my favorite thing in Ireland (I found the Book of Kells underwhelming).
IIRC, if you pay extra the "Hawk Walk" at Ashford Castle has an Eagle Owl that they bring out for the extended time Walk:
But I don't see mention of the Eagle Owl at the page. Though I see a pic of her here:
I found two other "Hawk Walks" in the Dublin area (since I'm going to be there with friends). One at a local Castle and one at a local Nature Preserve. The one at Ashford looks better but haven't been to any of them (yet).
Another vote for Kissane. We loved our time there
We also did the hawk walk at Ashford and we still talk about it 3 years later. Worth the detour for sure.