As much as you think you can gather information about a place online there is no substitute for actually being there. That was my experience during a brief visit (“Familiarity Trip” in travel industry terms…) to our second hotel on the Ireland trip – the Mount Falcon Estate. We will be at the estate Monday and Tuesday nights during our week in Ireland this coming October.

The estate is just outside the town of Ballina in County Mayo on the West coast of Ireland. I was met by Operations Manager Alan McKnight upon arrival and he was ready to show me all that our group could take advantage of during our stay. The 100 acre site has a variety of activities and options for our group.

The main estate house is the location of our rooms and as you’d expect it’s centrally located and the hub for our meals and of course the in-house pub. It is also the location of the spa and leisure/fitness center.

A comfortable lounge, above, and the cozy pub below.

Accommodations are first class.

The estate takes the “falcon” part of its name seriously as they have a small staff of falconers and a variety of birds of prey on the property. I was able to take a “Hawk Walk” with Daniel and Phoenix – a Harris’s Hawk. During the walk guests don the falconer’s glove and the hawk comes in for a landing and a bite of chicken. This was an especially memorable experience and will be available to us.

Above, falconer Daniel with Phoenix… not to be outdone by me with Phoenix, below.

My visit also included a look at the estate’s original cellar where we will likely partake in a whiskey tasting. It’s an especially cool venue. The estate also has a full practice range in case we want to settle any scores from our rounds in the area.

Alan McKnight in the cellar.

This is possibly the nicest property we’ve stayed at on any of our TurfNet member trips. The food, service, accommodations, and setting are outstanding all around. It is also a short taxi ride into town for anyone wanting a bit more nightlife than what’s onsite.

For traditional Irish music and a lively scene at night, head for Rouse’s Pub in Ballina.

Normally we have any non-golfers on the bus to the golf course and they then use the bus to explore the surrounding area while we play golf. One thing was clear to me – there is no way I would be getting the non-golfers on the bus during our full day there with all the activities in house at Mount Falcon Estate! I also moved our tee time at Carne Golf Links up to allow us to return there for a possible early afternoon activity.

There is still time to sign up and join us on this special trip to Ireland! Let me know if you’d like more information or have any questions about the trip.