MINDFUL TRAIL RUNNING RETREAT
LA DANCHERE, FRANCE
Mindful Wilderness Trail Running Retreat
HOTEL & LOCAL GOURMET FOOD | WILDERNESS TRAIL RUNNING | COASTLINES & VALLEYS | SEAWEED BATHS | MINDFULNESS | COOKING LESSONS | RUNNING FORM WORKSHOP |
Discover Ireland’s spectacular rugged Wild Atlantic Way with your local guide Rachel & TeamLeader Holly. The coastal cliff trails will take your breath away. You will explore some of Ireland’s hidden golden beaches, deserted abbeys and castles and run up historic mountains. As well as running in stunning landscapes, this tour is all about immersing yourself into Irish culture. you’ll meet her Mum Marjorie and bake Irish scones together in the cookery class, pull your own pint of Guinness in the local pub and enjoy our traditional music and stories.
Running along Ireland’s most spectacular hidden trails
Local fun, energetic guide, speaking English, French and Spanish
Getting off the beaten track and experiencing the local Irish lifestyle
Discovering Europe’s highest and most stunning cliffs
Learning about Irish whiskey, baking, dancing and local traditions
Walking some of Ireland’s most spectacular undiscovered trails
Learn not only how to trail run & go on an Adventure more consistently, with more ease and flow, but also reconnect with how the Wilderness feeds your SOUL. During the retreat we’ll explore what it exactly you need to breathe new life into running and daily life. Don’t have a running routine? No problem! After our week together in Ireland applying the principles of mindful Trail running Adventures, you’ll return home with a renewed love of Life, sky-high confidence in your ability to pursue lofty dreams and goals, and brimming with energy and vitality".
Day 1 Ballina
Your local guide Rachel will be waiting for you at the bus station in Ballina. You will be transported to your hotel to settle in. The Twin Trees hotel is idyllically located within walking distance of the pubs and restaurants in Ballina town and has a fully equipped gym and spa facilities for you to enjoy during your stay. We’ll all join for dinner in the renowned Dillons restaurant that offers a great menu and cosy atmosphere. You will then have the option to continue the evening in one of the many traditional bars and enjoy a few pints of Guinness and a chat with the locals.
Day 2 Carrowteige
Height gain: 400 metres
Terrain: Bog, beach, country roads, single track
Wake up your taste buds to a delicious wholesome breakfast before we get on the bus to travel along north Mayo’s Wild Atlantic Way to discover Carrowteige, one of the most spectacular undiscovered coastal trails in Ireland. It’s a feast for the eyes, with golden sandy beaches, rugged cliffs jutting into the Atlantic, and of course lots of friendly sheep. At the finish line on a hidden treasure beach, we’ll enjoy a delicious picnic, all prepared by Rachel’s Mam, Marjorie, using only the best of local products. On the beautiful coastal route back, we’ll stop off in Mary’s cottage for tea and homemade scones before we explore Downpatrick head and the sea stack of Dun Briste.
We’ll step back in time and visit the local abbeys and historical coastal village of Killala where General Humbert and his French army landed in 1798. After a magical day out, you’ll have time to relax back in your hotel’s Jacuzzi before we meet for dinner in Crockets on the Quay- you should try the fish and chips!
Day 3 Strandhill & Knocknarea
Height gain: 350 metres
Terrain: Beach, boardwalk, country path, trail
Today, we are off to explore Sligo’s surf coast and cultural delights. After a short drive, we’ll start off with a coached strength and conditioning beach warm up session before going to Knocknarea. This is a short but intense run up to discover Queen Maeves grave, which is one of Ireland’s largest cairns dating back to 3000BCE. The views from the top at 307 metres over Sligo, Donegal and North Mayo are just exquisite.
On the coastal drive back, we’ll stop off at Augrim beach for a stroll, dip in the sea, a shot of local Gin and an artisan picnic. To top it off, you can enjoy an Irish coffee or pint of Guinness in the Beach Bar while looking out onto Benbullen mountain and the rugged surf coast of Sligo. After a stop off at Easkey to visit Rosie’s pottery, it’s then onto the surf town of Enniscrone where you have the option of indulging on a seaweed bath- you deserve it!
Dinner will be in Cot & Cobble, just a short walk from your hotel, they also do a fantastic Irish coffee!
Day 4 Achill Island
Height gain: 1200 metres
Terrain: Bog, beach, single track, rocky, mucky
Get ready to be awestruck as we visit Ireland’s largest island. Start off with a visit to the musical bridge for a warm up along the Nephin drive route to Achill island. Discover Europe’s highest cliffs and most stunning beaches. Trial one is 14km and takes you on a historical journey of the old famine trail. Starting at the beach, we’ll run past the crashing waves and follow the sheep path to meander around the cliffs edge to take in the stunning panoramic views. The second trail will take you to discover Europe’s highest cliffs, a watch out tower from world war one and the reward of looking over to Clare Island and the rugged coastline of Mayo, Sligo and Donegal.
After a long day out, you’ll be happy to put your feet up at your hotel and enjoy a relaxing dinner and local beer.
Day 5 Belleek Woods Trail
Height gain: 200 metres
Terrain: Gravel path, single trails, tree route crossing
After breakfast, Rachel & Holly will take you on a run through Ireland’s largest urban woodland, Belleek woods. This is a mixed woodland with conifer trees such as Norway spruce, Scots pine silver fir, beech, oak and ash. There are many historical features such a hermitage, ice house and a wall built during the famine in Ireland (1845) as a relief scheme. Belleek woods is a habitat for animals such as badgers, foxes, rabbits, the red squirrel as well as the kingfisher, cormorant and otter which can be seen along the riverbank.
For the afternoon, you will have the several options of activities to choose from or you can just relax back and enjoy the friendly Ballina atmosphere.
Day 6 Departure
After overindulging on your last French breakfast, you will be transferred to the Airport/train station where you can meet your connecting flight/Train
This retreat is right for you if:
You’re comfortable trail running five days in a row. Our shortest run is 50 minutes, but most are between sections, water breaks and photo ops). You have some experience running on trails. You’re OK with running on trails with loose dirt, rocks, mud. You’re OK with getting your shoes wet in small streams. You’re comfortable on high and exposed, and at times narrow, trails. You’re game for running in the rain! (Don’t worry about what to wear; we provide you with a comprehensive packing list). You don’t mind sharing a room (single travellers are matched with roommates) You have (or are willing to acquire before the retreat) trail running shoes.
Meet Your Retreat Leader & Trail Running Guides
Holly Wheeler is a Mindset & Running coach, Fell & Trail running Athlete, Qualified Proctor Gallagher consultant, Author, Writer and Speaker who inspires women to be the best version of themselves in training and multiply their confidence, success, & running performance.
She is also a Trail running pioneer & advocate whose mission is to educate, inspire and guide runners on a path to balanced health through mindfulness, stress reduction, natural running form, self-care and sustainable training practices. Her personal Life challenges fuelled her commitment to support women’s journey of self discovery through running, travel and mindfulness and success Coaching. Since founding The Running Queens in 2018, the company has grown to offer Luxury trail running & success coaching retreats in Four countries.
Rachel Nolan just adores the outdoors
Born and bred in North Mayo, she’s blazed a trail around the world in recent years. She’s learned languages, ran races, forged friendships and made memories, but to Rachel, there’s just no place like home.
And she believes with a passion that the secret gems of Mayo and Sligo along the Wild Atlantic Way are next to none when it comes to challenging your body and mind, and living life to the absolute MAX.
Spontaneous, energetic, with an insatiable thirst for adventure, you could find Rachel anywhere. Running up Nephin Mountain overlooking Loch Conn, sea kayaking among the rugged, cliff-lined coastline of the Wild Atlantic Way, biking hard in the Ox Mountains by night, or exploring the underwater sea caves at Downpatrick Head? That’s just in one day!
An ultra-distance endurance racer, qualified Krav Maga self-defence instructor, personal trainer, and extreme explorer, the
only thing Rachel enjoys more than pushing the boundaries is encouraging others to push them with her.
Feel Great with Holly & Her Team!!
Supplying you with confidence, health, Wellbeing , success and performance...
Our Goal is to help you Grow in MIND BODY & SPIRIT! We will be providing you with confidence, success, health training and coaching to get you placed in the right mindset, with the right balance of knowledge and mentoring to create sustainable habits in your running & lifestyle!
"THE STRONGEST FACTOR FOR SUCCESS IS BELIEVING YOU CAN DO IT, BELIEVING YOU DESERVE IT, BELIEVING YOU WILL GET IT"
ABOUT TRAIL RUNNING IN LA DANCHERE
The wave-rich Sligo and Mayo coastlines harbour many of the hidden gems of the Wild Atlantic Way. Blessed with breath-taking seascapes, stunning landscapes, vibrant towns and villages and over 5,000 years of ancient history, this is not just a place to visit, but a place to feel alive.
Difficulty level: 2-3 Moderate
Average running per day: ca. 15-16 km (9-10 miles)
Total Running distance: ca.48 km (30 miles) / 24 hours walk (4-day version)
Altitude between: 135 m and 600 m (440-1970 feet)
Positive gradients: ca.1200 m (ca.3900 feet)
Downhill gradients: ca.1000 m (ca.3280 feet)
Itinerary and security: the day by day program can be modified or even reversed. However, these changes are rather rare for reasons of safety due to natural phenomena: volcanism, early or late snowfall, bad weather, flooding rivers, exceptionally unfavorable weather ... The guide knows the terrain well and is sole master in interpreting the whims of all-powerful nature on this volcanic earth under these high latitudes, and to make the necessary decisions.
We will be staying in the gorgeous Twin Trees spa Hotel !
6 nights Bed & Breakfast in the Twin Trees Hotel with a fully equipped gym, swimming pool and spa facilities
It is essential that vegetarians specify what is banned from their menu, such as those suffering from food allergies (lactose, gluten, etc.). It is important that you advise us of your special food requirements at the time of booking. If the list is long or there is danger with certain allergies, please send us the details by email to so that the team.
Four dinners on evenings 1,2, 4 and 6
Three specially prepared picnic lunches on the days 2, 3 and 4
The weather in Ireland can be summarised in one word: wet! Prepare for wet weather so if we’re treated to sunny, dry conditions (which does happen!), then it’s a bonus. Especially when we’re running along the southern coast, it can be cool and windy, and rain is highly likely. The average daytime temperatures are in the low- to mid-fifties, though it can reach the 60s on a sunny day. In the packing list we’ll supply for you, we highly recommend lightweight rain pants and a waterproof-breathable rain jacket. It won’t be raining the whole time, but for those times it is raining, you’ll be glad to have the right gear! .
Want to join likeminded Fabulous People with the same Passions
Want to get back to Nature & Love Wilderness!
Love travel & Freedom
Feel stuck & want to create sustainable habits in their their life & Running
Love trail Running
Want to experience the beautiful South West Ireland Coastline