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 £1,920
  • 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



- 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!

    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

PLEASE NOTE: The following departures include one night camp out - 5th of May and 28th of August.

- Flights or transportation to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.     

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

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 2 riders and a maximum of 8 international riders, plus guides. 

- If you sign up to the ride as a solo rider and there are no other riders likely to share your room, you will be charged a single room supplement of approx. £160/€180/$190 in 2023, or £180/€205/$215 in 2024. You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date. 

- Transfers to and from Exeter (downtown location or airport) are not included and are approx. £150/€175/$185 per car, return rate (ie £75 each for two people booking together). You can also take the train from Exeter to Okehampton. Trains run every hour from 07.00 to 22.00. The line has proved very popular and Okehampton Station is only 10 minutes from the farm. The train fare from Exeter to Okehampton is only £4 one way (£8 return), and the transfer rate from/to Okehampton station is £20/€25/$30 per booking. Click here for train tickets/schedule.

- Shorter programmes available on request.

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


1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider


Double room in hotels or B&Bs


Half board accommodation (breakfast and lunch).

Additional equipment

First aid kit

Price doesn't include


Dinners (except camping night), beverages and personal extras


Return airport transfers
International flights or transportation to the meeting point


Tips to the local team


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



Single room supplement


Trip extensions or additional activities
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    14/07/2024 20/07/2024 £1,920 €2,208 $2,381
    Last seats
    Book now
    11/08/2024 17/08/2024 £1,920 €2,208 $2,381
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    28/08/2024 03/09/2024 £1,920 €2,208 $2,381
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now

Equestrian info


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!

Guide & 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!

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


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


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.


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.


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.


At your discretion

Packing list

- 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

- 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)
- Toiletries
- 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!

Sustainable tourism

  1. Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.

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 beaches, cities and vast open countryside, and 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 this Devon cattle drive is the place to unleash your inner cowboy and ride across the wild and rugged landscape of Dartmoor.

In Dartmoor National Park the heather-strewn high ground and untouched secluded valleys offer splendid riding opportunities. 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, and helping on this cattle round-up makes this adventure all-the-more exciting.