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Ireland's First Equine Concierge at Cashel Palace, Shares her Ultimate Summer Guide to Tipperary & Horse Country

Cashel, Ireland (April 22, 2024): Summer 2024 presents an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich equine culture of County Tipperary, Ireland. Julie McGrath, the country’s first Equine Concierge at the Cashel Palace Hotel, curates exhilarating adventures for guests across Tipperary’s Thoroughbred Trail and shares her top recommendations for summer travelers ranging from thrilling horse races to exclusive access to the world's most prestigious racing and breeding facilities. 


Cashel Palace is a luxury hotel in the heart of County Tipperary, two hours from Dublin. Its owners, the Magnier Family, have been at the heart of Ireland’s rich tapestry of thoroughbred racing and breeding legacy for generations, with their world-renowned Coolmore Stud just mere miles from the hotel. This passion for all things equine is expressed throughout the property and passed onto guests through an exciting program of equestrian experiences. 


McGrath has something to enchant every equine enthusiast, from the vibrant atmosphere of this summer’s racing events to the tranquil charm of exploring the county's lush landscapes on horseback. In addition, McGrath, a native of Tipperary, shares her top local recommendations for non-equine experiences, from historical landmarks to the best pubs to grab a beer. County Tipperary promises an unforgettable summer experience for those seeking to delve into its rich equine heritage and local history and culture. 

Top Five Equine Experiences in Co. Tipperary

1. Racing Royalty Experience 


The Racing Royalty Equine Experience offers guests of Cashel Palace an exclusive look behind the closed doors of the Magnier family’s breeding operation at Coolmore Stud and the training facilities at Ballydoyle. During this exclusive equine excursion, guests are immersed in world-famous racing royalty and follow in the tracks of legendary breeders, trainers, and thoroughbred horses. Guests gain unprecedented access to the hallowed grounds of Ballydoyle Racing and Coolmore Stud, the globally renowned partnership that has produced some of the world’s greatest champion racehorses, and learn about the incredible history of these thoroughbred institutions.


Begin the day at Ballydoyle, taking in impressive vistas, the equine therapy center, and seeing the state-of-the-art gallops as if through the eyes of champion trainer Aidan O’Brien. Indulge in a gourmet taste of Tipperary’s Golden Vale with a selection of local delights within your handcrafted picnic hamper and the opportunity to visit Fethard Horse Country Museum. The afternoon will take you through the hallowed gates of Coolmore Stud. The tour commences with a guided stroll through the farm to facilitate an up-close visit with the famous stallions. It is followed by an inspiring visit to the restricted-access Legacy Museum, where you will learn the story of Coolmore Stud.

2. Fethard Horse Country Experience & Coolmore Tour


Located in the heart of the Golden Vale, the Fethard Horse Country Experience offers visitors the opportunity to discover the region's rich culture, heritage, and history. Part of Ireland’s Ancient East, this interactive experience examines the relationship between the people, the land, and the horses, revealing how they are all inextricably linked. Spread out over two floors within the 17th-century Tholsel building, the engaging nature of the exhibition makes it an enjoyable and informative activity for all ages.

This immersive experience sets the scene for your private tour of Coolmore Stud Farm, situated in the heart of the Golden Vale on over 7,000 prime acres of Ireland’s finest limestone land, providing the perfect environment for breeding and raising thoroughbreds. Accompanied by your dedicated Equine Concierge, you can enter through the hallowed gates of Coolmore Stud and experience life at one of the world’s largest and most successful thoroughbred racehorse breeding operations. Learn about the farm’s incredible history and racing legacy while getting up close and personal with champion stallions.

3. Crossogue Equestrian Horse Riding Experience 


Horse riding, trekking, or cross-jumping can be enjoyed throughout the countryside for a half or full day with lunch and/or dinner. Horse lovers of all levels and ages are welcome as beautiful backdrops, and nature will surround riders in a relaxed setting. The team at Crossogue gets to know each guest and their skill level before choosing the best horse for their visit. Juan Elguezabal


4. Attend Ireland’s Prestigious Derbies & Races at Curragh

With five prestigious races run in the flat season, all hosted in the Curragh (the home of racing), a one-hour drive from Cashel Palace, Julie McGrath recommends Derby Trials Day at Leopardstown on Sunday, 12th May, which the hotel is a sponsor. This features top-class racing and will showcase the upcoming talent in horse racing along with well-established horses. It also includes lively entertainment, a brilliant atmosphere, and fun for the whole family. Other top races include Irish Guineas Weekend from May 25-27, the Irish Derby Festival from June 28-30, the Irish Oaks Festival on July 20 & 21, and the Irish Champions Festival on September 14 & 15. McGrath can coordinate VIP tickets and transportation to and from the races for hotel guests.

5. Brunch in Fethard’s Newest Equine Inspired Restaurant, Sadler’s 


Culinary enthusiasts, history buffs, and equestrian fans can now dine with local jockeys and trainers at the brand-new Sadler's Restaurant. Opened in April 2024 in the historic town of Fethard, Sadler’s is led by the culinary team behind Cashel Palace's Michelin-starred Restaurant Bishop's Buttery; guests can expect exquisite but casual dining. Its menu emphasizes local produce and traditional Irish cuisine with a modern twist. Conveniently located for visitors exploring the town or the broader attractions of Tipperary, Sadler’s is a celebration of Fethard, with motifs of local equine and agriculture culture on display, from bridals of champion racehorses to dishes named after local producers. The restaurant seeks to provide an inviting atmosphere for brunch and lunch, with plans to extend its service to include dinner, catering to locals and tourists alike.

Top Five Local Experiences for History & Culture

1. Rock of Cashel


The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland's most spectacular and cherished landmarks. It is a testament to the enduring spirit of its people and a must-see destination for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the country's rich cultural tapestry. Nestled atop a majestic outcrop of limestone in the heart of the Golden Vale, the Rock of Cashel is an iconic symbol of Ireland's rich historical heritage. This awe-inspiring site boasts the country's most impressive collection of medieval structures, each steeped in centuries of history and legend. Once a seat of kings and a center of ecclesiastical power, it holds legends of St. Patrick's conversion of King Aenghus and the coronation of High King Brian Boru. Today, visitors marvel at its Gothic cathedral, ancient chapel, and rare Romanesque frescoes. It is one of Ireland’s most spectacular and – deservedly – most visited tourist attractions.

2. Hiking in The Glen of Aherlow


The Glen of Aherlow in Tipperary is a haven for walkers, offering a range of low-level loops and challenging mountain trails amidst the stunning Galtee mountains and lakes. Walking and trekking holidays have become the top choice for Irish and international visitors, providing a perfect opportunity to immerse oneself in nature while enjoying fresh air and exercise. The Glen of Aherlow boasts an abundance of natural wonders, including mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, and scenic landscapes, making it an irresistible destination for walkers of all levels. A highlight of any hike is the chance to visit sacred sites such as St. Pecaun’s, St. Sedna’s, and St. Bereherts Well, along with Kyle, where the ethereal realm converges with the natural world, adding a spiritual dimension to your outdoor adventure.

3. Tipperary Museum of Hidden History 

Completely re-imagined and redesigned, the new museum brings Tipperary’s rich hidden history vividly to life through character stories. This multi-sensory experience is a must-see in Ireland’s Ancient East. It is also one of the largest museum collections in Ireland. Visitors can immerse themselves in stories of castles, conquests, courage, superstition, murder, and death. Explore tales of two worlds, from rural life in 19th-century Tipperary to the Big Houses of the Suir Valley. Come face to face (literally) with Oliver Cromwell. Learn about one man and his boat and meet a host of heroes from the world of sports and entertainment. Walk through the intriguing and immersive galleries with museum professionals for an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience. Meet Joe Channon, a third-generation farrier (based in Clonmel). Joe will demonstrate the ancient craft of a farrier. Guests can experience the rich traditions, techniques, and raw materials in this unique hands-on experience.

4. Beekeeping at Galtee Honey Farm, home of the Native Irish Black Honey Bee

Nestled at the edge of the picturesque Glengarra Wood in the Galtee Vee Valley, the bees are placed throughout the countryside where the three counties of Tipperary, Limerick, and Cork meet. It was established by Micheál Mac Giolla Coda in 1970. While a forester of Glengarra Forest, he also grew up with beekeeping. He decided to continue the family tradition and to breed the Native Black Honey Bee of Ireland, which was once under threat of extinction. Visit the honey farm and hear the story of the Native Irish Black Bee, its history, and its heritage. Taste six Irish honey varieties from Galtee Honey Farm while learning about Irish honey, pollen, propolis, mead, and beeswax. Dressed in bee suits, guests are welcome to open a hive of bees and handle a ‘frame’ if they wish. They will also gain insight into how the bees are managed at Galtee Honey Farm and learn the history and heritage of Irish beekeeping.

5. Michelin Dining at the Bishop’s Buttery, Cashel Palace 


The Bishop’s Buttery is Cashel Palace’s Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant, serving exceptional Irish cuisine focusing on Tipperary's rich larder. An extraordinary room to enjoy extraordinary food, provenance, heritage, and impeccable service takes center stage here. Modern comforts are married with a dramatic vaulted ceiling, smooth original flagstones, and a large central fireplace to recall the room’s days as Cashel Palace’s original kitchen. Led by the land and locality, Executive Chef Stephen Hayes and his considered menus celebrate the best of Irish produce. Combining classical roots and contemporary flair, seasonal dishes are matched by an outstanding wine list.

Top Recommendations to Grab a Local Beer

1. The Guinness Bar at The Cashel Palace 


The Guinness Bar at Cashel Palace holds a rich historical significance, intertwining the legacy of Archbishop Arthur Price and the iconic creation of the Irish stout by Arthur Guinness. The original Guinness brewery was founded with a £100 bequest from Archbishop Price, so it seems fitting that Cashel Palace’s elegant Guinness Bar celebrates this important piece of brewing history, marking a pivotal moment in brewing history. The bar's ambiance invites patrons to immerse themselves in the warmth of the fireside, enjoying the company of friends and indulging in their preferred tipples. Adorned with the names of esteemed guests who have graced Cashel Palace over the years, the atmosphere resonates with tales of the past. 


2. T.J. Ryan’s Main Street Cashel


Step into a slice of history at T.J. Ryan’s Irish pub, a cherished establishment steeped in the heritage of the 17th century. As you enter, you'll be greeted by the comforting crackle of an open fire and enveloped in the nostalgic embrace of old-world charm. The pub is warm and cozy with an open fire, old-world charm, and friendly and helpful staff to ensure you enjoy this traditional pub’s unique atmosphere. Indulge in light fare, freshly brewed coffee, and an assortment of teas throughout the day, perfect for savoring amidst the cozy ambiance. 


3. McCarthy’s Bar, Fethard


Established by Richard McCarthy in the 1840s, McCarthy’s Hotel provided the services of a spirit merchant, restaurant, hotel, undertaker, draper, grocer, baker, hackney service, glass, delph, and china shop and if you still couldn't get what you want - hire a few horses to take you elsewhere. Continuing in this tradition, the present proprietor, Vincent Murphy (Jasper), is the fifth generation, and he has a pub and undertaker business that he runs with his family. A hidden gem perfect for those seeking an old-fashioned, quiet drink, approximately 20 minutes from Cashel. It's a wonderful place to experience the genuine warmth of Irish hospitality at its finest.

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About Cashel Palace:

Set within a magnificent Palladian manor, built in 1732, Cashel Palace has been meticulously restored to create a truly desirable destination hotel in the heart of Ireland and opened its doors in March, 2022. Optimally located between town and countryside, the five-star property epitomizes the finest of Irish hospitality set in the shadow of the iconic Rock of Cashel in Tipperary. A proud Relais & Chateaux member, Cashel Palace’s dining offering delivers a deep connection to the local Golden Vale. In 2023, Cashel Palace was awarded Best Hotel and Guesthouse Restaurant for the Bishop’s Buttery in the Irish Restaurant Awards, while being recognized in Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List and Travel + Leisure’s It List. For more information, visit

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