Horses have a rich history in the United Kingdom having long been revered and seen as a British symbol of strength and courage. And whilst horses don’t play as prominent a role in everyday life as they used to, they still do their part.
Many people immediately think about horse racing when the topic of our equine friends is broached. After all, events like the Grand National, Cheltenham Festival, and the prestigious Royal Ascot are among the biggest attractions in the nation. The Cheltenham Festival alone draws over 250,000 fans over its four-day run.
Of course, countless other fans from around the globe also tune in on their televisions or mobile streaming services offered on the best horse racing betting sites UK.
Still, horses do a lot more than just run around on oval tracks. For instance, they are the ultimate form of transport for anyone who wants to explore the English countryside and take in some of the most amazing scenery. Anyone who wants to mount a horse and take off on a well-needed and peaceful break has countless riding tours to choose from.
So, let’s explore some of the best places to go horse riding in the UK!
Here are our recommended top destinations for horse riding in the UK
Follow the trails of Robin Hood through the iconic Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. One of the most popular packages includes two nights of accommodation, breakfast, and five opportunities to explore on horseback. You can choose your itinerary according to skill level which makes it ideal for riders of all experience levels. Beginners can learn the basics while the more experienced riders can participate in dressage and jumping.
New Forest may have once been William the Conqueror’s personal hunting grounds, but it is now one of the trendiest horse riding locations in the UK. It is a quiet area that is now home to deer, ponies, sheep, and all sorts of other wildlife that inhabit the countryside.
Guests don’t only get to take in a 360-degree perspective of New Forest National Park, they can explore it on horseback. This is suitable for all riding skill sets as the riding program is tailored to the individual. After a day of bonding with your horse and sightseeing, you can relax in comfort at the New Forest Lodge or check out some of the local attractions.
The Lake District
The mere fact that so many horse-riding establishments operate in the Lake District is a testament to the region’s beauty. One of the most well-known equestrian centers gives visitors the opportunity to ride heavy horses like Ardennes and Clydesdales. You can take a quick lesson and then go off to see the local sights, or you can stay for a couple of days and get a few good rides in. Experienced riders who want the ultimate adventure can go out on a week-long trail ride through Whicham Valley and far beyond.
As a point of interest, one of the more unique horse establishments in the Lake District has rescue horses that act as therapy animals for those who suffer from various conditions like ADHD, autism, or physical limitations. The Meditate with Horses program is the perfect way to connect with animals, nature, and maybe yourself.
The beaches and sandy coastline of Suffolk are prime destinations for horse riders. You can enjoy seaside accommodations in a B&B while soaking in the most magnificent vistas the UK has to offer. A standard three-night novice package includes two lessons from a BHS Qualified instructor, a long ride through the forest, and two extended beach rides.
Experienced riders will receive a lesson and then three extended beach tours. Of course, visitors can customize their own horse-riding vacation packages if they want to.
Scottish Castles Trail Ride
This is one of the most epic horse-riding experiences available in the UK. However, this particular excursion is more geared toward experienced riders although novices are more than welcome. It’s just that a week on horseback can be grueling if you’re not used to it. Even if you only spend 5 hours per day mounted.
The main package includes six nights in four-star accommodations with full board. A team of experienced guides will lead you and your horse to several historic locations starting with New Lanark Village which is a World Heritage Site. Other stops along the way include the John Buchan Way, Traquair Castle, and the awesome Buccleuch Trail.
Complete your horse riding holiday with a trip to the racetrack
According to the British Racehorse Authority, the United Kingdom is home to 59 horse racing tracks. This means that there is a good chance that there is a racetrack close to your preferred horse-riding destination.
If your horse holiday takes you to Suffolk, which is often called the capital of British horse racing, then make a point of visiting Newmarket Racecourse. This historic venue dates back to 1636 and it is the very site on which Charles II became the only reigning monarch to ride a winning horse. Other popular tracks include:
- Epsom Downs
- Hamilton Park
- Sandown Park
Enjoy your horse riding holiday in the UK
The United Kingdom serves up loads of horse riding adventures. One of the coolest things about horse riding is that it is very easy to learn.
Of course, there’s just something special about bonding with such a beautiful animal. A horse riding vacation is good for the heart and good for the soul.