Cattle driving the UK, England

Cattle drive across the moors of Devon

A ranch holiday in England - bring out your inner cowboy in the vast moors of Devon! Get ready for a traditional cattle drive in the stunning Dartmoor National Park, in the South-West of England. Ride western style on beautiful well-mannered Quarter horses that will carry you safely across Dartmoor, riding for miles in spectacular scenery, crossing streams and rivers along the way. Different options are available depending on the time of the year, with stays of 3 or 6 nights. A fabulous horseback holiday for riders looking for an intensive ranch experience and willing to try their hand at cattle driving.
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Cattle Drive
7 days, 5 days riding
From £1,195
  • Horseback rider doing some cattle work on a Devon ranch
    Cattle drive holiday, Devon, England
  • Rider rounding up cattle in England
    Try your hand at cattle work in Devon, England
  • Riders on a cattle drive in England
    Enjoy a cattle drive across Devon
  • Rider enjoying a great canter in western tack in Devon
    Enjoy riding your host Phil's fantastic Quarter Horses
  • Group of riders heading home after a cattle drive in England
    Heading back home after a great day in the saddle
  • Rider cutting cattle on horseback in the United Kingdom
    Cutting cattle and rounding up the herd, western style.
  • Herd of cattle and riders rounding them up
    An exciting cattle drive in England, Devon
  • Riders and loose horse enjoying a break in Devon
    Enjoy a riding adventure in Devon, England
  • Horseback riders riding in Dartmoor, Devon, England
    Dartmoor horseback adventures with Equus Journeys
  • Horseback riders on holiday in the UK
    Embark on an exciting and fun horse holiday in the UK

Itinerary

Highlights

- A traditional cattle drive just a stone's throw from London, easily accessible from anywhere in Europe
- Sensitive, forward going horses who love their job
- Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Dartmoor National Park with no fences or roads to slow you down
- A wonderful mix between authentic US ranch activities and cosy British evenings in one of the country's most beautiful Natural Parks!
  • Day 1 1 : HOME - EXETER - MELDON'S FARM

    Fly to Exeter airport or take a train to Exeter St David's station, where Phil will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel (approx. 45 min). You can also make your own way by car, in which case you should plan to arrive from 2.00 pm onwards.

    You will meet with your hosts at the hotel and will discuss the week ahead. You are welcome to make your own dinner arrangements for the night. The hotel has a good selection of traditional English food (fish & chips, bangers and mash, beef and ale pie, etc), and there are other restaurants in the area.

    Please note - the following itinerary is not fixed & likely to change on a daily basis depending on weather conditions and what work needs to be done.
  • Day 2 2 : MELDON'S FARM - CATTLE DRIVE - 4-5 hours riding

    You will be collected from your hotel between 9.30 and 10.00 a.m.

    The type of country you will ride over has some breathtaking scenery through woodland, along valley bottoms, across rivers, through rock clitter (rock strewn areas) and over hill tops, where you can look down on everything around. You will participate in your first cattle drive and help sort out the cattle, riding between 4-5 hours each day.

    During the day, you stop for a well-deserved pack or pub lunch. After a day under the American flag, British tea and biscuits will be waiting for you!

    You will be driven back to your hotel at the end of the day, where you will make your own dinner arrangements.
  • Day 3 3 : MELDON'S FARM - CATTLE DRIVE - 4-5 hours riding

    The type of work you will be doing on your round-up adventure will be dictated by the season:
    • In May, the cows and autumn born calves are moved from their winter quarters up on to the moor for the summer.
    • In June, some spring calving cows need to be brought down to the farm to run with the bull for the summer.
    • In July, the cows and calves need to be brought back to the farm for weaning.
    • In August, the cows that have been running with the bull for the summer are driven back to Dartmoor.
    • End of September and through October, the freshly calved cows need to come down to better grazing near the Farm as winter approaches.
    • End of October, all cattle need to be gathered off the moor by 1st November.
  • Day 4 4 : MELDON'S FARM - CATTLE DRIVE - 4-5 hours riding

    If you have chosen the 3 night holiday, you will be driven back to the train station or airport.

    Your routine will be very much governed by the weather, which can be changeable, occasionally preventing us from going on the moor. During any stay guests are free to take a day out of the saddle, if they wish, and explore the area, try out the granite way cycle route, go fishing, or just relax for a bit.
  • Day 5 5 : MELDON'S FARM - CATTLE DRIVE - 4-5 hours riding

    Enjoy another day working with the cattle on experienced Quarter Horses. The land around the ranch is absolutely stunning, make sure to look up and take in the breathtaking scenery of the National Park!
  • Day 6 6 : MELDON'S FARM - CATTLE DRIVE - 4-5 hours riding

    If there is time after the cattle drive, you will have the opportunity to try various western riding games (lasso, barrel racing, etc).
  • Day 7 7 : BACK HOME

    After a hearty breakfast, you will be driven back to the train station or airport to meet your flight or train.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights are not included.

- Rates are per person based on two riders sharing a twin or double room, and on a half-board basis.

- Groups are 2-8 riders international riders, plus guides.

- Transfers to and from Exeter are not included and are £80/€87 per booking (ie £40 each for two people booking together).

- There is a single supplement payable if you end up in a single room (c. £150); it will be refunded to you if later someone to share the room is found.

- Shorter programmes available on request.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide

Logistics

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider

Accommodation

Double room in hotels or B&Bs

Meals

Half board accommodation (breakfast and lunch)

Additional equipment

First aid kit

Price doesn't include

Transport

Return airport transfers

Extras

Tips to the local team

Insurance

Visas and personal purchase
Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement

Extras

Trip extensions or additional activities
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    23/08/2020 29/08/2020 £1,195 Full
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    27/09/2020 03/10/2020 £1,195 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • March - April 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    29/04/2021 05/05/2021 £1,280 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • May - June 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    13/06/2021 19/06/2021 £1,280 Open Book now
  • July - August 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    11/07/2021 17/07/2021 £1,280 Guaranteed departure Book now
    22/08/2021 28/08/2021 £1,280 Open Book now
  • September - October 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    02/09/2021 08/09/2021 £1,280 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The herd of 14 horses comprises a mix of Irish hunters and Quarter Horses, fit and sure-footed. They know their job extremely well and are forward enough for more experienced riders to have some fun!

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

This trip is for experienced riders not afraid to get their hands dirty! You have to be comfortable at all paces in some open fields, reasonably fit, and must be quick to react.

Rider weight limit: 90 kg / 14.2 stone / 200 lbs

Pace

The horse walks at much the same speed as the cattle and often anticipate the cattle movements. The riders work as a team with most flanking at the sides of the herd with just a couple at the rear, and one or two at the head. Each rider will have a position and a job to do, depending on their ability.

Tacking ability and participation

Horses will be ready for the riders to get on every morning and will be taken care of during the ride. You are welcome to help if you wish.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

A good level of fitness is required, as you will be in the saddle for 4-6 hours. You must be able to mount from the ground.

Equestrian equipment

Western tack. Some English saddles are available.
Saddlebags are provided.

We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit?

Travel info

Comfort

You will stay at a comfortable, old-style inn on the edge of the National Park. All rooms offer tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryers, flat screen television, towels and complimentary toiletries.
Accommodation is on a half-board basis, with dinner to your own account.

Meals

Full English breakfasts
Pack lunches or pub lunches en route. Alcohol not provided.
Dinner to your own account at the hotel' pubs or surrounding pubs.

Climate

The British weather can be quite unpredictable and you should be ready for rain and sunshine in the same day!
Summers are cool, usually 20°C on average.
Winters can be very rainy, but are never too cold.

Guide and local team

Phil and his wife Mandy will welcome you into their lives with open arms.

You will be guided by experienced Dartmoor guides. They know the moor like the back of their hands and will take you across the stunning scenery through the safest and most scenic paths, passing Bronze age stone circles, medieval villages as well as more modern historical sites. They are quick to share stories of legendary Dartmoor ‘characters’ and scary ghostly tales!

Tips

At your discretion

Packing list

Head
- Helmets are mandatory. Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Waterproof jacket - indispensable!
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Waterproof riding pants might be a good idea
- Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps to protect against thorns. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for the evenings
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun or rain whilst riding


Other useful items
- Small bumbag to be worn whilst riding
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle
- Backpacks are not to be worn whilst riding. Everything should be kept either in pockets or in a bumbag : lip balm, sun screen, small camera, glasses, rope etc.
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Toiletries
- Toilet paper and a lighter to burn it after use
- Swiss army knife or equivalent (in checking-in luggage!!)
- Small plastic bags for you rubbish
- Ear plugs (may be useful)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 10cm wide bandage
- Painkillers
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

General information
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Visa & Health

Formalities

USA: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/UnitedKingdom.html
Your passport must be valid for duration of your stay (six months remaining validity recommended).
Tourist visa not required for stays under 90 days

CANADA: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/united-kingdom
Canadians must present a passport to visit the United Kingdom, which must be valid for at least the expected duration of their stay in that country. This requirement may also apply when travelling to Northern Ireland from other parts of the United Kingdom, and vice versa. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Tourist visa: Not required (for stays of six months or less)






Health

Good medical care is widely available. You may be required to pay medical fees in advance. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses in case of illness or injury (including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation).
You can dial 999 to reach either the police, fire and ambulance departments.
Along the coastal areas, this number will also put you in touch with Britain’s voluntary coastguard rescue service, the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.
Calls are free from any public or private phone, but they should be made only in real emergencies.
Read more at https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/plan-your-trip/en-caso-de-emergencia#7jbHxflZxGce9mVR.99

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Budget and money

Britain’s currency is the pound sterling (£), which is divided into 100 pence (p).
Scotland has its own pound sterling notes. These represent the same value as an English note and can be used elsewhere in Britain. The Scottish £1 note is not accepted outside Scotland.
There are lots of bureaux de change in Britain – often located inside:
• banks
• travel agents
• Post Offices
• airports
• major train stations.
It's worth shopping around to get the best deal and remember to ask how much commission is charged.
Read more at https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/plan-your-trip/dinero-en-gran-bretana/moneda#C1qUYcFFUI93qfRV.99

Did you know?

Did you know?

Visit Devon and you'll find that there is more to this spectacular and diverse county than you might have thought. Situated in the South East of England Devon is home to baeches, cities and vast open countryside, it is one of the most beautiful counties in the British Isles. If you want to try your hand at Western riding on American Quarter Horses, without even having to step on a plane to America, then Devon is the place to unleash your inner cowboy and cross the wild and rugged landscape of Dartmoor. In the Dartmoor National Park the heather-strewn high ground and untouched secluded valleys make this a fantastic back drop to ride across. If you’re lucky, you may even get the chance to see wild Dartmoor ponies. Horse riding on the open moor is an exhilarating experience and gives a totally different perspective to this breathtaking area; you may even find yourself helping round up some cattle.