Riders who intend to visit Central Scotland will be pleased to learn that there are a number of excellent riding centres offering rides, hacks and lessons for visitors to enjoy. There are also some amazing places to stay in this area too. Here we take an in depth look into where the best riding centres and accommodation are located plus what they have to offer.
Glenmarkie Riding and Trekking Centre Blairgowrie Perthshire
Glenmarkie Riding Centre is located in Glenisla, which is part of the Angus Glens. This area offers some of the most amazing views in Scotland for riders to enjoy and is perfect for those who wish to pursue any kind of outdoor activities. Glenmarkie offers visitors riding lessons, pony parties, pony camps and riding holidays that are well organised, competitively priced and memorable in every way.
Riding and Trekking
Riders who decide to take part in riding and trekking at Glenmarkie will not be disappointed as the centre offers rides that take in some of the most beautiful trails in the country. Riders will follow woodland trails, ride up hills, across dales without venturing onto main roads making these rides not only exciting but safe too.
Glenmarkie provides a selection of ponies for its visitors to choose from or alternatively riders may bring their own mount if they prefer. Riders of all ages and abilities are catered for here, while a number of treks are available.
- One Hour Trek £25.00
- 90 Minute Trek £32.00
- 2 Hour Trek £40.00
- 3 Hour Trek £60.00
- Half Day Picnic Trek £85.00
Further Activities and Facilities
Summer Pony Camps for the kids are available at Glenmarkie for children aged seven years through to the age of seventeen. Camp activities include lessons, trekking and pony care and can be booked for three day or five day stays. Camps are supervised plus food is provided but campers will need to bring their own tent along. Ponies may be hired or riders may bring their own. The cost of the camps ranges from £155.00 to £275.00.
Riders may book thirty minute, forty five minute or one hour lessons. Those wishing to bring their own horse when taking riding lessons may book their mount into the horses B and B which costs £14.00 per night including hay and bedding.
Parties are available here for children aged three to twelve years with a maximum of eight kids to a party. A party table will be set up in the barn along with drinks, plates and balloons, while visitors who book a party at Glenmarkie will need to bring their own food along. Each Pony Party costs £75.00.
Accommodation Near Glenmarkie
The Old Cross Inn
The Old Cross Inn is a family run business located in Blairgowrie close to the Glenmarkie Riding Centre. The Old Cross has been an inn since 1865 and was fully refurbished in 2004 in keeping with its Victorian heritage, while the rooms here were updated again in 2009. All the accommodation at The Old Cross Inn is en-suite offering comfortable beds with tastefully chosen bed linens, TV's, hospitality trays, while some rooms also offer great views too over countryside.
The Old Cross Inn offers a number of different packages including Bed and Breakfast, Bed Breakfast and Evening Meal or even Room Only bookings. The inn boasts an amazing bar and restaurant that features a fantastic menu including a separate children's menu for the kids. The Old Cross Inn caters for functions too including weddings, funerals, parties for adults or kids or any type of party you wish to book. Buffet menus are available to view at the website.
Ballathie House Hotel
Ballathie House Hotel is approximately five miles from the Glenmarkie Riding Centre making it the ideal place to stay when visiting the area. Those who are seeking luxury need look no further as Ballathie is a four star hotel oozing class plus has an award winning fine dining restaurant all set in rolling countryside with amazing views.
There are three choices to consider when booking a room here as Ballathie offers rooms in the main house, riverside rooms and sportsman's lodges. All rooms here are tastefully decorated in keeping with the hotel style, offer many period features, while at the same time contemporary luxury visitors especially like. All rooms offer internet access, TV's, hairdryers, bath robes, trouser press and hospitality trays.
The riverside rooms are just across the way from the main house overlooking the River Tay. First floor rooms have balconies, while ground floor rooms feature their own patios. There are twelve rooms in the sportsman's lodge, some self-catering with kitchen facilities, while other guests may still wish to make use of all the dining facilities in the main hotel. The Ballathie caters for a range of events too, while offers and special break packages are featured at the website.
- Glenmarkie Riding Centre
- PH11 8QB
- Tele 01575 582293
Blair Castle Trekking Centre Pitlochry Perthshire
Blair Castle dates back to 1269 and offers many great attractions for its visitors to enjoy one of which is pony trekking. The pony trekking centre reopens in April 2015 after its winter closure offering treks throughout the Atholl Estate where beautiful scenery is at a premium. Riders will traverse woodland areas, cross amazing streams and rivers while enjoying spectacular views and interesting wildlife.
Riding and Trekking
All levels of ability and age groups are catered for here for those who wish to join a trek at Blair Castle, while the centre opens every day but Tuesday. Treks offered include
- One Hour Beginners Trek £30.00
- Two Hours Trek for Experienced Riders £45.00
- Private Pony Treks for one, two or three hours costing £160.00, £240.00 and £360.00 respectively
Further Activities and Facilities
Those who wish to take to the saddle for longer can book a day ride at Blair Castle. Rides are for up to six people and cost £100.00 per person. A picnic lunch can be included for an extra £10.00. In order to join in a day ride participants must be age twelve or over.
Kid's Pony Rides
Children's pony rides are held on Sundays from 1. 30pm to 3pm and cost £5.00 per child. Participants are not required to book in advance.
Why not take a vintage tractor ride when you have finished your trekking. This ninety minute ride gives visitors the chance to relax and let someone else do the driving while they admire the beautiful farmland and countryside of the estate. Animals such as red deer, ponies and cattle may all be seen at close quarters, while advance booking ensures no chance of disappointment for visitors.
Further outdoor activities available at Blair Castle include walking, cycling, fishing and ranger led walks to see the wildlife on the estate.
Accommodation on or near Blair Castle
Those who would like to stay on the estate can choose between a number of self-catering options. These include caravan parks, pods and woodland lodges. The caravan park offers two and three bedroomed accommodation, while booking is facilitated online. The pods are located in woodland close to the caravan park and are ideal for those who love to stay overnight in the great outdoors offering comfortable accommodation with the freedom of the open air on the doorstep.
The woodland lodges are great and offer stylish accommodation that is both comfortable and practical. There are five lodges offering either two or three bedrooms, while their Scandinavian styling gives that airy modern feel. The lodges feature open plan living with a lounge and kitchen area offering all the mod cons, while TVs and DVD players are also available too. Outdoors there are patios with furniture where guests can relax and dine alfresco in comfort.
Pine Trees Hotel Pitlochry
Pine Trees Hotel is just a twelve minute drive from Blair Castle therefore makes a great place to stay for those visiting the trekking centre at Blair. This four star Victorian mansion is set in ten acres of beautiful woodland and countryside so offering superb countryside accommodation to those who stay here. The gardens alone offer an amazing setting where animals such as red deer may be seen wandering around, while five minutes in the car and visitors are in the Cairngorms National Park too!
Sumptuous surroundings, opulent décor and fabulous real log fires welcome guests here, while its central location means that the hotel is ideal for those who wish to explore central Scotland. All their twenty nine rooms are en-suite and include single, double or twin rooms, some with four poster beds for those looking for that romantic getaway. TVs DVD players, hospitality trays, toiletries, Wi-Fi and sofa beds feature in most rooms, while visitors need to know that the hotel does not have a lift.
Dining at Pine Trees Hotel is an experience with amazing foods and menus offered for all guests to consider, while much of the seating offers superb views over the gardens. The Pine Trees bar caters for all tastes, while the hotel also offers a range of superb breaks that may be viewed at the website.
- Blair Castle Trekking Centre
- Blair Castle
- Blair Atholl
- PH18 5TL
- Tele 01796 481207
Wellsfield Farm Equestrian Centre Denny Stirlingshire
Wellsfield Farm is one of the biggest riding schools in Central Scotland and offers a wide range of equestrian services and activities for visitors to the area to enjoy. All instructors here are BHS approved, while there are some fifty horses and ponies housed here offering riders a huge choice when it comes to choosing their mount. Wellsfield Farm is also an official pony club centre.
Riding and Trekking
Wellsfield offers horseback rides and hacking along bridal paths as well as great horse riding holidays for participants to enjoy. Riding for kids' age three and up is offered all year round seven days a week. The lead ride is fifteen minutes long leaving the yard to trot up through the wildlife trail and then returning to the yard. Shetland ponies are available for the little ones to ride with bigger ponies for older kids. The rides cost £7.00 while all rides are led by an experienced instructor.
Further Activities and Facilities
New visitors are required to demonstrate their riding skills by way of a half hour assessment when wishing to book lessons here. Joint lessons or private lessons are offered at Wellsfield with joint lessons including up to six people while private lessons are on a one to one basis. Lessons are available for children age five and over and riding hats are supplied for those who don't have one.
Farm Park birthday pony rides and parties are available along with the use of the Fun Barn for the day too. Parties cost £50.00 for up to ten children although there is an extra charge of £5.00 per child for the pony rides. Pony rides are best booked before the day to ensure that all party guests can be facilitated.
Accommodation at and near Wellsfield Farm
Wellsfield Holiday Lodges
These great four star rated holiday lodges offer superb self-catering accommodation for those who wish to stay on the farm to take up any of the activities offered including equestrian. The interiors of the lodges offer all the home comforts such as leather suites, TV's CD players, a fully equipped kitchen, complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits, toiletries and towels, while electricity used comes in with the price.
Wellsfield Lodges have private parking alongside the buildings, outdoor decking and a covered veranda. Lodges also come complete with items we might otherwise forget such as sewing kits, bin liners, kitchen roll, clothes brushes and first aid kits, while there is a superb on site coffee shop where guests may partake in breakfast, lunch or snacks throughout the day. There is free Wi-Fi available in the reception area and some of the lodges allow pets. Please check with staff which lodges are animal friendly.
Castlecary House Hotel
Castlecary House Hotel is centrally located in Scotland making it the ideal accommodation for those visiting Wellsfield Farm. This three star hotel which deserves a higher rating in our opinion offers free on-site parking, free Wi-Fi and offers event and conference facilities too. Packages range from day through to residential packages. Please visit the hotel website for further details.
There are three categories of rooms available at Castlecary namely comfort rooms, club rooms or junior suites. Comfort rooms are small and cosy but still offer all amenities we require for a perfect stay such as 32" LCD TV's, Wi-Fi and en-suite walk in luxury showers. Club rooms are slightly larger offering en-suite bathrooms with shower plus garden views. These rooms also feature a work desk and two seater sofas. Junior suites boast a 40" LED TV, luxury bathroom with spa tub.
Castlecary has two fabulous eateries in the guise of Cameron's Restaurant and the Poachers Bar. Cameron's serves traditional Scottish fare and offers a huge menu with a separate menu for children. Those who prefer to keep things informal will enjoy dining in the cosy Poachers Bar that offers good old fashioned pub meals including sandwiches, snacks, salads and mains such as lambs liver and onions. The hotel hosts many events throughout the year, while guests who stay here are assured of a fabulous welcome.
- Wellsfield Equestrian Centre
- Wellsfield Farm
- Stirling road
- FK6 6QZ
- Tele 01324 822800