Horse riding is a fantastic way to keep fit, meet friends and generally enjoy the outdoors whether it's by booking lessons to learn how to ride or by joining in treks, hacks and trails in the great outdoors. Here we take a look at places in Southern area of Scotland that not only offer these services but also a short break or holiday too, where they can be found plus what they are offering in more detail.
Mains of Taymouth Country Estate Aberfeldy Perthshire
Those riders who are looking for that added bit of luxury when taking their riding holiday or break need look no further than the Mains of Taymouth Country Estate in Perthshire that is ideally located for travelling to Edinburgh and Glasgow too on the edge of Loch Tay. This magnificent country estate offers a golf course, restaurant, accommodation, beauty treatments and for horse lovers superb riding stables.
Riding and Hacking
The stables at Taymouth are an integral part of the estate and not only provide riding lessons but also exciting treks along Loch Tay and the surrounding area. The views in this area of Scotland are breath-taking meaning that riders can lose themselves in the scenery here that consists of rolling hills and amazing lochs. What better way to enjoy your holiday than engaging in your favourite pastime in one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland.
Taymouth offer hacking and trekking for all age groups and abilities. Tracks here are amazing as they venture through picturesque woodland, mountains, lochs and rivers, while riders can feel at ease and safe as they are accompanied by qualified staff that will endeavour to make their trekking experience memorable. The stables offer ponies and horses to suit all abilities, while rides and treks offered last from half an hour through to two hours. Those wishing to book riding lessons or treks to enjoy during their stay will find an enquiry form at the stables page of Mains of Taymouth website.
Further Activities and Facilities
Pony and family rides are also available to book at Taymouth and are suitable for children as young as four, while having mum or dad accompanying them on a family ride just adds to the excitement and their feeling of security. There are six horses and ponies available to ride including a cute Shetland pony named Sparky. Naturally riders will need to come fully equipped to ride including wearing a riding hat.
Accommodation on Mains of Taymouth Estate
So, now we know what to expect in terms of riding here but what kind of accommodation can we expect to find? All accommodation is offered on a four/five star self-catering basis and comprises of houses, cottages and lodges. There are forty three places to choose from that are equipped and decorated to a very high standard therefore after a day in the saddle guests can relax and enjoy their holiday in the lap of luxury.
Those in five star houses can expect to find a hot tub, while all accommodation here includes
- Washing Machine
- TV & DVD Players with Sky Channels
- Wi Fi
Guests who stay in this award winning accommodation will not be disappointed and we all know that where we rest our heads at night can make or break our holiday therefore prefer to have the best there is if possible. The Farmhouse on the estate sleeps twelve people plus one cot while offering six en-suite bedrooms over two levels. The farmhouse also boasts a wet room, hot tub and a private garden with outdoor seating.
This beautiful accommodation offers a spectacular kitchen with state of the art equipment, a snug complete with Wii and games, central heating, TV's in all rooms with a 42 inch set in the lounge, while linen, travel cots, high chairs and safety gates are all provided too. All prices and booking forms are available at the website.
- Mains of Taymouth Country Estate
- Near Aberfeldy
- PH5 2HN
- Tele +44 0 1887 830226
Tower Farm Riding Stables Edinburgh
Tower Farm has been an equestrian centre for forty three years therefore knows a thing or two about what riders want from their riding stables or centre. The centre is ABRS approved and offers a comprehensive range of equestrian activities to suit most abilities and ages of rider. Tower Farm plays host to many events throughout the year and is ideally located for those who are visiting the Edinburgh area.
Riding and Hacking
Pony rides are available on Saturdays and Sundays for children from the age of eighteen months up to ten years. Children under the age of five will need to be accompanied by an adult who is required to walk alongside the pony and child, while a suitable riding hat and clothing is essential for the comfort and safety of the child.
Common rides take place all year round and a deposit is required when making a booking to participate in any of the common rides listed. Destinations for common rides include Hawick, Lanark, Selkirk, Dumfries and Galashiels to name but a few, while a rider registration form may be downloaded from the website.
Riders will love the scenery they will take in when embarking on one of these superb rides. Spectacular views of Edinburgh that include famous landmarks such as the castle or the Forth Bridge can be seen, while their beach rides along Portobello Beach are amazing! A beach ride costs £50.00 for the day if you hire a horse or £25.00 if you have your own mount.
Further Activities and Facilities
Riding lessons are offered at Tower Farm for riders of all ages and abilities. An introductory session is advised for new riders at the farm where they will be given a guided tour of the centre, view the horses plus obtain information on how to be safe so enjoy your riding experience. Types of lessons include
- Beginner Plus
- Intermediate Minus
- Intermediate Plus
Group lessons and ride outs are also available as well as braid rides and restricted rides that are organised according to the groups riding ability.
Why not book a party at the farm? Packages include varying lengths of rides, grooming sessions and riding. The farm has an on-site coffee shop where children may eat and celebrate the day with food and a birthday cake, while picnic benches are also sited here and there offering an alternative. The type of party visitors want is decided mutually according to the participant's ages and abilities when it comes to riding.
Tower Farm offers both a newly resurfaced indoor arena and a floodlit sand covered outdoor arena. Jumping competitions are held at the farm throughout the year and a full livery service is also supplied for those who wish to make use of them.
Accommodation near Tower Farm
Those looking for a luxury stay when visiting the Edinburgh area would do well to consider this fabulous five star hotel that sits only a couple of miles from Tower Farm Riding Stables. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and a golf course Prestonfield, which was built in 1687, offers free parking to its guests, while public transport into the city is only a short walk away.
All the fabulous rooms and suites in this hotel are furnished tastefully with authentic antiques, while the word sumptuous is best used to describe the feeling experienced when entering the rooms for the first time. Five star opulence is the name of the game here with rooms boasting a seating area, a desk and amazing views over the gardens and surrounding countryside.
Rooms also feature plasma TVs, Wi-Fi, DVD players, CD players, mini bars, hospitality tray, fruit and flowers, hair dryer and hair straighteners. The en-suite facilities are superb here and feature Venetian glass mosaic and marble fittings, robes, slippers and complimentary toiletries. Prestonfield really has thought of everything when it comes to offering a home from home luxury stay.
Dining here is a marvellous experience with delicious breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas or dinners offering a superb range of traditional Scottish and fine dining fare. Weddings and other events are catered for, while Prestonfield was voted Scotland Best Hotel 2015! This accolade speaks for itself! Further information regarding services and bookings may be accessed at the Prestonfield website.
- Tower Farm Riding Stables
- 85 Liberton Drive
- EH16 6NS
- Tele 0131 664 3375
Seacliff Stables East Lothian Edinburgh
Photographs taken by Nicola Hailstone Photography on behalf of Seacliff Stables.
Seacliff Stables near Edinburgh offers some of the most amazing coastal views for riders in the area to enjoy. Seacliff also own a good range of horses meaning there should be a mount available for most rider's ages or ability. Seacliff caters for all types or riders from total beginners through to those with plenty of experience and gift vouchers are available to buy from the Seacliff Stables website that may be put towards paying for lessons or rides.
Riding and Hacking
Riders may take a ride past Tantallon Castle or the famous Bass Rock when booking a ride with Seacliff Stables. This family run business offers superb competition horses for experienced riders to ride, while all rides take place on private land away from busy roads. Half hour rides are available for small children offering kids a great riding experience.
Further Activities and Facilities
Children who love to ride horses love nothing better than spending time with them so why not book a pony day experience for your child to enjoy at Seacliff. Children will learn all there is to know regarding caring for a pony and looking after them while also spending time in the saddle too.
- Two Hour ride £55.00
- Adult One Hour Ride £30.00
- Teens One Hour Ride £28.00
- Kids age 8-12 One Hour Ride £25.00
- Kids Under Eight One Hour Ride £20.00
Accommodation near Seacliff Stables
Nether Abbey Hotel
The Nether Abbey Hotel is ideally located for those riders visiting Seacliff Stables offering quality stylish accommodation for guests who choose to stay here. All rooms here have been refurbished to a very high standard in recent months along with the lounge and the bar meaning all areas in this hotel are brand spanking new.
The rooms in this nineteenth century house are superb being stylish but filled with character befitting its era. Most of the in-room furnishings are designer made specifically for the hotel with even the throws on the beds being hand woven therefore are real quality! All rooms boast flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi, en-suite facilities with complimentary Molton Brown toiletries.
Nether Abbey boasts a great bar and lounge, high tea is served between 3pm and 5pm, offers hog roasts and also caters for weddings and large events which are held in their renovated music room. Food served here is sourced locally with fresh baked bread and succulent Scottish steaks being the norm. Whether it's an informal sandwich or a celebratory meal guests require they are guaranteed to be served here at Nether Abbey hotel.
- Seacliff Stables
- Nr North Berwick
- East Lothian
- EH39 5PP
- Tele 07768 627 547
Eskdalemuir to Hawick Trail
This trail is one of the oldest in the area as it was built by The Romans who wished to link the two towns. Over the years the trail became very overgrown therefore was impassable for horse riders, walkers and bikers. A new route was eventually carved out that mirrored the original trail by the South of Scotland Countryside Trails who then linked it with a drove road that formerly passed through the area to Hawick.
The best time of year to travel the road is from spring to autumn as the trail is remote in parts but it does seem to be suitable for most experienced riders who are confident on their mounts. This route is great for those staying in the area at Wiltonburn Farm, while Eskdalemuir is a quiet place offering just a small café and a shop.
The route from Eskdalemuir to Hawick links onto the Hawick Circular Riding Route which in turn links onto other routes riders may wish to consider. There are a number of things for riders to consider before riding the route such as
- Check your horses shoes and equipment
- Pack food and water for the journey
- Check the weather forecast
- Map out your route before you set off
- Tell someone which route you intend to take and how long you expect to be
- Take a list of local emergency numbers
- Join BHS who offer riding insurance as part of their membership
Edinburgh and Lasswade Riding Centre
Located on the outskirts of Edinburgh this great riding school caters for riders from the age of two upwards, complete novices and more experienced riders therefore has something to offer all ages and abilities when it comes to all things equestrian. The centre has over fifty horses of varying ages and sizes, indoor and outdoor arenas are available and Shetland ponies that are great for the littlest riders are also an option for riding here.
Riding and Hacking
Hacking is most suited to the more experienced rider who is able to trot or canter with their horse. Hackers will negotiate woodland areas and streams, while beach rides are available weather permitting. Trekking on the other hand is suited to riders who are just starting to learn to ride with the pony being led by an experienced rider in order to help newcomers and small children gain in confidence. Even those who are competent walking their pony are best suited to joining a trek rather than a hack.
Further Activities and Facilities
Border Common Rides
These rides are between five and twenty five miles long so are aimed at the more experienced rider, not for the faint hearted. Correct riding gear must be worn including a suitable riding hat, while booking forms are available from the website.
Private or Group LessonsRiders may book private lessons whether they are beginners or more competent, while dressage lessons and jumping lessons may also be taken privately too. Group lessons offer amore social aspect when it comes to lessons with many riders preferring to be taught along with a group of friends or colleagues. A maximum of fourteen riders at any one time may join in a group lesson and the riding centre will even provide a mini bus that will travel to any specific meeting point in order to pick your group up. Favourable discounts are also offered to groups making joining a group lesson much more affordable.
Riders may wish to book a birthday party at the centre with parties catering for adults and children alike. The package includes learning about ponies, grooming and a pony ride, while a party food box is also provided in with the package. Those who wish may also arrange to be picked up from home in a mini bus.
Further details regarding charges can be found at the Edinburgh and Lasswade Riding Centre Website.
Accommodation near Edinburgh and Lasswade Riding Centre
Mount Ceres Guest House Lasswade
Mount Ceres Guest House is centrally located in Lasswade making it the ideal place to stay for those visiting Edinburgh and Lasswade Riding Centre. This beautiful Victorian villa is newly refurbished to a very high standard and offers all the modern conveniences that make staying away from home truly memorable.
Rooms here are beautifully decorated in subtle tones, are all en-suite offering state of the art power showers with complimentary toiletries along with two hand wash basins, one for the ladies and one for the menfolk. On entering the room guests will be pleased to see a welcoming complimentary bowl of delicious fruit, biscuits, hospitality tray, flowers, flat screen TVs and hairdryers.
Breakfast at Mount Ceres is served in the guest house conservatory every morning offering a lovely view over the gardens for visitors to enjoy while they dine. A full Scottish breakfast is on the menu along with a Continental option for those who prefer it. You may think that staying in such a lovely guest house will break the bank but you would be wrong as rooms here start at a mere £35.00 per guest per night, while discounts are available when staying for three nights or more. No wonder this amazing guest house wins an "exceptional" rating from customers of booking.com!
- Edinburgh and Lasswade Riding Centre
- Kevock Road
- EH18 1HX
- Tele +44 (0) 131 663 7676
Wiltonburn Farm Hawick
Wiltonburn Farm is located on the Scottish Borders in Hawick and is around one hour and fifteen minutes' drive from Edinburgh. Wiltonburn is a four hundred acre farm that is both arable and sheep rearing and offers a family room and a double room for those who wish to book a bed and breakfast stay in the area. The great thing for horse lovers is that Wiltonburn also welcomes riders who wish to stay here. Guests may bring their own horses or hire a horse from nearby stables if they wish meaning combining their favourite pastime with a holiday break is totally catered for.
Riding and Hacking
Wiltonburn Farm offers stabling for up to three horses plus grazing is facilitated too. Riders will have a superb time enjoying the trails in the area that consist of a network of trails some three hundred and fifty kilometres long. The views along the trails are nothing short of magnificent while the peace and quiet offered is just the ticket for those wishing to get away from it all.
Why not ride the ninety five kilometre Buccleuch Country Ride during your stay? There are seven different routes incorporated into the ride offering stunning views of the borders area. The trail is well signposted as every so often it is marked out by white and blue horse shoes. Some of the trails can be difficult to ride therefore it is best to research the area first before embarking on a ride taking into consideration your experience and ability. The trail between Eskdalemuir and Craik to Hawick that follows an old Roman road is a great trail for seasoned riders and offers fabulous views. (See below for trail details)
Wiltonburn Farm staff will furnish guests with details of where best to hire horses if they do not have a mount of their own, while there are a number of riding centres and stables in the area where visitors can book, lessons, treks, trails and hacks.
Accommodation at or Near Wiltonburn Farm
Staying on a large farm that offers amazing views is just one perk of holidaying at Wiltonburn. Rooms offered at the farm are beautifully decorated in pastel colours while offering all the modern conveniences that will make your stay perfect. The Family Room boasts a double and two single beds plus en-suite shower and costs £35.00per night per adult. The Double Room offers a king sized bed and en-suite bathroom with roll top bath.
Visitors to Wiltonburn may also hire a cottage if they so wish. These cottages were once farm workers homes but now are available for guests to book. The cottages offer spectacular views and sleep up to five people in three bedrooms. Guests will need to provide their own bed sheets and towels, while duvets and blankets are provided. Electricity is provided by coin meter and pets may stay by arrangement. Further details regarding booking and prices can be found at the website.
The Bank Guest House Hawick
The Bank Guest House is located in the centre of Hawick in a building that was once used by the Royal Bank of Scotland but that has now been converted, refurbished and tastefully decorated to a very high standard. The Bank is a fabulous Bed and Breakfast that offers superior accommodation for its guests to enjoy.
Rooms here are very spacious plus are decorated in a contemporary fashion but that is in keeping with its Victorian history. All rooms feature large beds, exquisite soft furnishings and sofas, flat screen TV's, audio equipment, iPod docking stations, iron plus ironing board, en-suite facilities and complimentary toiletries. Guests who stay at The Bank will not break the bank in terms of cost as a double room here starts at £65.00 per night which is very competitively priced!
Breakfast is served in the dining area and The Bank offers a full Scottish breakfast for those who desire it. All their ingredients are sourced with care with foodstuffs gained from organic sources when possible. The central lounge boasts comfy leather sofas along with a DVD library that guests are welcome to peruse. The bank has free guest parking plus great storage facilities that can accommodate bikes and fishing equipment too.
- Wiltonburn Farm
- Scottish Borders
- TD9 7LL
- Tele 01450 372414