All horse lovers will agree that spending time with their equine companion is the highlight of the day. Is there anything better than trotting along immaculate beaches or galloping freely into the sunset? In the summer or on a crisp winter afternoon, a horse ride is what you really need to unwind.
Luckily, the UK is rich in splendid bridleways and riding routes. From mesmerising coastal paths to wild and lush green spaces, British horse riders are truly spoilt for choice. That said, we have put together a list of some of the most scenic bridleways in the country. It has been no easy task – but we are confident both you and your equine companion will enjoy them.
Bodmin Moor, Cornwall
In search of an itinerary that combines nature and history? Bodmin Moor in Cornwall has it all. Over the years, artists and writers have been inspired by its untouched beauty. The route also takes you past Bronze Age stone circles and prehistoric settlements, offering you the chance to gallop back in time.
Bodmin Moor is not recommended for new starters, but there are riding schools in the area to help wannabe equestrians develop their skills and confidence. In this respect, it is always wise to be covered by riding school insurance, which will protect both teachers and learners in the event of a misadventure.
Holy Island, Northumberland
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is a heavenly location for you and your horse to explore. With its pristine, sandy beaches, you can sweep across the shore at a gentle pace while admiring the majestic and picturesque Lindisfarne Castle in the background.
Keep an eye out for the many seabirds and seals that dot the island and its surroundings. If you and your equine companion are brave enough, you can also take a dip in the icy waters of the North Sea.
The Pennine Bridleway
There is no question that the Pennine Bridleway truly deserves to make this list. With 200 miles of stunning landscape and riding to enjoy, there is the opportunity to make some special memories with your horse.
Extending from Derbyshire to Cumbria, and cutting through the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales, the route is packed with incredible scenery and challenging hills. Furthermore, it is the UK’s first National Trail, specifically designed for horse riders, walkers, and mountain bikers.
Great Windsor Park
Fancy a royal canter? Great Windsor Park is only accessible with an annual permit, but it may be worth splashing out to indulge in a proper regal experience.
From 800-year-old woodlands to deer parks, this 5,000-acre estate enshrines many gems that make each outing a memorable moment. Brimmed with coffee shops here and there, you can stop for a drink and break up those long, tiring gallops.
Gallow Hill, Scotland
Scotland never disappoints when it comes to unspoilt nature and mind-blowing views. Gallow Hill, in particular, is a special place to take your horse for some exercise.
On one side, the many hills make for an intense workout and help build stamina. On the other, panoramas of the sea from the top of the hill truly repay the effort and hard work. Surrounded by thriving countryside and beautiful woodland, there is no place like Gallow Hill!
Murthwaite Green, Lake District
Close to the coastal village of Silecroft in Cumbria, Murthwaite Green is just a short ride away from its five miles of beaches. The location is ideal for both first-time and experienced riders, who can enjoy its shallow water and golden sand.
It also allows you to ride at the pace you feel most comfortable with. Are you just starting out? A nice, relaxing walk would be perfect. Are you a bit of a jockey? Shoot along the shore and charge through the shallows. Make sure you bring some spare clothes – you’ll need them by the end of the ride!
The New Forest
Are you a lover of both flora and fauna? Saddle up and explore the forest’s wild vegetation, restful streams, and free-roaming ponies. Is there a more suitable location for a peaceful horse ride?
With plenty of unique tracks and bridleways, you can take in a myriad of enchanting views. There are also many pubs and restaurants along the way, as well as accommodation that offers all-important livery facilities.
The Cotswold Hills
Last but certainly not least, the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (CAONB) provides horse riders with an endless choice of itineraries. From tranquil lanes and bridleways to pretty villages with honey-coloured cottages, the Cotswold Hills offer a variety of amazing routes.
You can venture through ancient paths and open fields while admiring spectacular views of the Brecon Beacons. All in all, it is a brilliant location for you and your equine companion to enjoy.
There is nothing like sharing a special moment with your horse. What do you think? Will you visit one of these wonderful routes in the near future?