There are some fantastic trails in the Highlands of Scotland where riders can spend hours, days or even weeks pursuing their favourite pastime. The highlands offer plenty of places to stay so that visitors can combine their holiday with riding through exquisite countryside and rolling hills. So, which trails suit which level of rider and where are they located? Here we take a look at some of the best centres who offer hacks and trails so that visitors may book their stay accordingly.
Loch Lomond Pony Trekking Balloch
Loch Lomond Pony Trekking offers pony trekking activities and rides that are both memorable and well supervised by qualified staff. The centre is located at the Southern end of Loch Lomond near Balloch and is well situated for riders travelling both from the north and south of the area on the A82. Drivers travelling to the centre should use Sat Nav postcode G83 8QY.
Riding and Hacking
Those wishing to join a trek or hack at the centre must first be assessed in the arena to determine their riding ability. Treks available here focus on the enjoyment of the ride so that riders can take in the spectacular scenery of the area therefore are leisurely so suitable for all comers including family groups. Children must be twelve years of age to take part in a trek plus must be able to walk the horse unaided as there are no treks that are led available here.
Treks will take the rider into the moorland that lies on the Southern edge of Loch Lomond. Once the trek arrives at the destination riders will enjoy breath-taking views over the loch. Riding through the glen is also enjoyed too, while trekking through the woods is an unforgettable experience. Why not enjoy your stay in the area by booking a trek with Loch Lomond Pony Trekking.
Riding hats are provided and participants must come dressed appropriately for the trek in sensible riding boots and clothing. Staff who supervise the treks are all trained in first aid and are qualified with a BHS certificate. Riders wishing to book a trek must fill in the registration form provided for download at the website.
Further Activities and Facilities
Vouchers are also available to buy and are offered at £40.00 for a seventy minute session. Vouchers can be used against a trek for anything up to a year after purchase and are a great way to treat a family member who wishes to ride to see the amazing scenery around Loch Lomond. There are many great hotel and accommodation reviews on Trip Advisor that recommend places to stay in the Loch Lomond area too.
Loch Lomond Pony trekking in conjunction with Loch Lomond Shooting School offer activity packages that include such pursuits as archery, crossbow, air rifle and clay pigeon shooting. Here riders can combine other activities they enjoy with their riding if they so wish or simply stick to horse riding it's really up to them to decide.
Accommodation near Loch Lomond
Cameron House on Loch Lomond
Cameron House Hotel is situated on the shores of Loch Lomond offering spectacular views over the loch along with first rate services we come to expect from a five star rated hotel. Located within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs Park Cameron House is the ideal place to stay for those embarking on a riding holiday as it sits only a short distance from Loch Lomond Pony Trekking Centre.
Cameron House is huge offering fabulous rooms, a roof top swimming pool with amazing views over the loch, a golf course and no less than four amazing restaurants for guests to choose from. Rooms here are sumptuous offering Egyptian cotton sheets, TV, DVD player, hospitality tray, en-suite bathroom with complimentary Arran Aromatic toiletries and bath robes. The hotel even has its own ten seater motor cruiser that does trips around the loch or can be privately hired by guests who stay at Cameron House.
Dining here is a real experience as the hotel boasts a Michelin Star restaurant, a superb grill, a boathouse seafood restaurant and last but not least a fabulous bar that also looks over the scenic loch. Rooms from standards through to executives may be booked here, while free Wi-Fi is available in all areas of the hotel.
Loch Lomond Arms Hotel
The Loch Lomond Arms Hotel is located just nine miles from Balloch in the Loch Lomond National Park in the picturesque village of Luss. This hotel is a traditional coaching inn that is some two hundred years old but don't let that put you off as this amazing hotel offers all the modern conveniences guests expect from a first class hotel. All the rooms here, there are fourteen in all, are tastefully decorated plus each one is unique offering a different experience for each guest who stays here.
Loch Lomond Arms Hotel offers its guests a real taste of luxury as the refurbished rooms were created by an interior designer of note and furnished with antiques. Each room is named after a Scottish clan and offer feather duvets and pillows, flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi, hospitality tray, hair dryer, safe, en-suite bathroom and complimentary Arran Aromatics toiletries. Types of room include superior, four poster, doubles, twins and singles.
Dining here is really comfortable as this inn offers a traditional pub plus restaurant atmosphere along with tasty seasonal dishes and a filling full Scottish breakfast. Sunday lunch is also served here, while there is a spacious outdoor seating area for those who like to dine alfresco weather permitting. Interested in staying at the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel? Why not take a look at the special packages featured on their website.
- Loch Lomond Pony Trekking
- Tullichewan Farm
- Upper Stoneymollan Road
- G83 8QY
- Tele 07745 277 320
Duncryne Equitation and Trekking Centre Gartocharn
Duncryne Equitation and Trekking Centre is located in the village of Gartocharn near Balloch and is ideally suited for visitors to the area who would like to go pony trekking during their break. The centre is featured on the Visit Scotland website and offers trekking and riding lessons for all abilities of riders to enjoy.
Riding and Hacking
Treks and hacks here take riders over rolling hills to Loch Lomond where they can experience the magnificent views of the area. Even beginners can participate in a trek at Duncryne with children from the age of four years up accommodated too. The centre will also cater for larger groups or families, while Duncryne will try to accommodate all riders' needs therefore contacting the centre in advance to discuss any requirements is advised.
Further Activities and Facilities
Maybe you would like to take a few riding lessons during your holiday stay in the Trossachs/Loch Lomond area. Private lessons, semi private lessons and group lessons are offered to all comers and are conducted by a qualified riding instructor. The centre offers a great range of horses and ponies for riders to choose from, while sessions begin at £15.00 rising to £30.00 depending on how long the session lasts plus whether it is private or not.
Jumping lessons here are offered on a private or semi-private basis ensuring riders get plenty of one on one attention from their instructor. From experienced jumping enthusiasts through to complete novices all are welcome, while jumping clinics are also offered too. Why not join in the two day course offered to riders of all levels of ability. One hour private jumping costs £30.00 while one hour semi-private costs £25.00.
Pony Parties and Camps
The Duncryne Equitation Centre also offers pony parties, none residential pony camps and a full livery service. There are a number of packages offered for the pony parties including bronze, silver and gold. The bronze party includes a trek, the silver a trek plus a grooming session, while the gold also includes party games. Time wise anything up to four hours is facilitated.
A none residential pony camp lasts for a week or rather from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. The package includes great horsey activities and games including how to care for a pony, two hours riding, trekking and jumping for those who are able. There are also competitions held throughout the week culminating in a final competition on the Friday.
Gift vouchers are also available to buy and can be used against the hiring of a pony, spending a day with the ponies or spending a day with show jumping horses. Whatever it is you would like to do when it comes to riding in this area Duncryne has it. After all what can be better than trekking through the most beautiful scenery in the world? Bed and Breakfast accommodation is also available nearby in Gartocharn.
Accommodation near Duncryne Equitation
Tullie Inn is located close to Balloch railway station therefore is the ideal place to stay for those visiting Duncryne Equitation Centre as it is just four miles or a ten minute drive away. The interior decor is just as outstanding as the exterior having a nautical themed decor in keeping with its location close to lochs and the beautiful national park. Rooms offered here are en-suite, well decorated and comfortable with types of room including family suites, doubles and singles. All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, TV's hospitality trays and hair dryers, while breakfast choices offered include a full Scottish or continental.
The Tullie Inn has a great restaurant and bar serving delicious meals snacks and drinks including a selection of wines and cocktails. The menu here is seasonal with the winter menu offered at the moment while during the summer months there is a garden menu that is served outdoors in the bar and grill. Those interested in special offers such as their "dine out" offers may wish to take a look at the Tullie website.
Special events are also held at the Tullie and feature
- Kid's cookery classes
- Cocktail master classes
- Whiskey, beer and wine tastings
- Sunday night quizzes
Saturday evening is disco night too with a resident DJ who plays a great assortment of music genres from soul and disco through to funk and 80's classics. Live sports matches are also shown at the inn with details regarding fixtures available at the website. There really is plenty to do here for riders who wish to relax or be entertained after riding the hills and glens during the day.
- Duncryne Equitation and Trekking Centre
- Little Duncryne Farm
- G83 8NG
- Tele 01389 830425
Trekking in the Trossachs and Loch Lomond
There are so many amazing rides to enjoy when visiting the Trossachs and Loch Lomond that visitors are spoiled for choice. Many of the rides are located on Forestry Commission Land with some well suited to beginners and others more for the experienced rider. Whichever trek it is that suits you we are sure you will find it in this area of breath-taking scenery. This beautiful national park covers seven hundred and twenty square miles of rolling countryside for all visitors to enjoy and respecting the area is paramount if the park is to remain so.
Riders will traverse through forests, woodland trails, mountainous areas and rugged moorland, while it is the lower lying areas that are more suited to the less experienced riders. The Southern Trossachs offers some quiet country lanes and paths that are more easily negotiated, though hillier treks while offering spectacular views are more tailored to those with more experience who have been riding for a while.
Rules and Regulations When Riding in These Areas
Naturally with the Trossachs and Loch Lomond being an area of natural beauty it plays host to many visitors and tourists, while not all travellers in the area are riders therefore when out riding we need to look out for walkers or cyclists who may be in the locale. Riders should always take note of any signposts and their instructions, while riders should always be suitably attired and wear a riding hat. As long as riders respect the countryside plus other users of the countryside along with being aware not to ruin the environment everyone will be able to enjoy the area for years to come.