Dartmoor trail riding holiday

The Great Dartmoor crossing

In the very heart of Devon in the South-West of England, Dartmoor National Park is one of the most beautiful gems of the country. On this incredible trail ride through Dartmoor, explore awe-inspiring granite tors, wild valleys and untamed rivers, spotting the occasional herd of wild ponies and their playful foals. Ride off the beaten track where there are no roads or fences to slow you down. A wonderful riding holiday in England for experienced riders looking to get away from it all.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
8 days, 6 days riding
From £1,250

From the horse’s mouth

  • The Great Dartmoor crossing
    May 2019 Robert Jeff
    Excellent excursion. Vigorous romp across spectral Dartmoor on muscular working horses, spelled by sojourns in flavorful inns and pubs. The most significant factors, apart from the innate appeal of Dartmoor, are, first, the quality of the horses and, second, the lack of regimentation. We were invited to pass at will,... Read all
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Itinerary

Highlights

- Excellent off-road trekking in one of the most scenic regions of the UK
- Sensitive, forward going horses who are trained in both English and Western riding
- Spot herds of wild ponies and their foals
- Two special departures allow you to explore Chagford (August) or Widecombe (September) fairs
  • Day 1 1 : ARRIVAL TO EXETER

    Fly to Exeter airport or take a train to Exeter St David's station, where your host 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 within walking distance.
  • Day 2 2 : RIDING ACROSS THE MOORS - 4-5 hours riding

    Your host Phil will pick you up from your hotel to take you to his farm, located just a few miles away. The farm hosts a range of activities, including real cattle drives (please see our Cattle Drive programme if that is something you'd be interested in).

    Today's ride will allow you to try out the horses. You will ride through the moor, on open land, admiring some geological and historical features of the land along the way. After a break for your picnic, you circle back to the farm to enjoy warm scones and a cup of tea.

    You will then be transferred to your hotel for the night. Dinner at the pub or at a local restaurant, to your own account.
  • Day 3 3 : MELDON FARM - TWO BRIDGES - 4-5 hours riding

    Today will offer good opportunities for long canters. The moor is calling - it'd be rude not to answer! You will also cross to Lych Way, the legendary "Way of the Dead". Nothing too sinister, as its name simply comes from the fact that the inhabitants of the local farms were expected to travel to Lydford to bury their dead and attend services. After a few canters, you finally reach your destination for the night, a hotel in Two Bridges perched on the banks of the West Dart River (or similar), right in the heart of the National Park.

    Dinner to your own account.
  • Day 4 4 : TWO BRIDGES - WIDECOMBE - 4 hours riding

    Today's destination is Widecombe, located 25km away. You ride east through green fields, before reaching your hotel for the night. Widecombe is a quaint, typical English town; make sure to explore it with an evening stroll before or after dinner!

    Dinner to your own account and night at a B&B
  • Day 5 5 : FAIR DAY / RIDING - Depending on chosen programme

    On normal dates, if you wish, you are welcome to take a break from the riding today and explore the Park, the local brewery or visitor centre. If you feel up for it, Phil will take you on a trail ride in the area.

    Chagford Fair departure - you ride out from the valley over the hill of Hameldown, enjoying splendid views over the area. Your ride takes you to Fernworthy reservoir, that boasts a rich abundance of wildlife and points of archaeological interest such as ancient stone cairns or hut circles. You reach Chagford on time for your dinner. Stay at the Three Crowns Hotel or similar, dinner to your own account.

    Widecombe Fair departure - there will be no riding today as you explore the traditional fair. On the 2nd Tuesday of September, the town comes alive with the event that attracts thousands of visitors come to see livestock, dog shows, displays of local produce, rural arts and crafts, etc. Dinner to your own account.
  • Day 6 6 : FAIR DAY / RIDING - Depending on chosen programme

    Widecombe Fair/normal departures - you ride out from the valley over the hill of Hameldown, enjoying splendid views over the area. Your ride takes you to Fernworthy reservoir, that boasts a rich abundance of wildlife and points of archaeological interest such as ancient stone cairns and hut circles. You reach Chagford on time for your dinner. Stay at the Three Crowns Hotel or similar, dinner to your own account.

    Chagford Fair departure - there will be no riding today, instead you will have some time to relax and enjoy at visit to Chagford Agricultural and Horticultural Show. The Chagford Fair offers a unique mix of farming, crafts and horticulture and some equestrian classes too. Dinner to your own account.
  • Day 7 7 : BACK TO THE FARM - 4-5 hours riding

    Today's ride will take you back from your starting point, Phil and Mandy's farm. You ride for about 25 km through the moorlands, enjoying your last day on horseback against the dramatic backdrop of the Dartmoor, with a stop at High Willhays (621m). You say goodbye to your horses before sharing some scones and tea with your hosts.

    You are transferred to your hotel for the night and one last meal with your group.
  • Day 8 8 : 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

2020
CHAGFORD SHOW - WEEK 15TH-22ND AUGUST
WIDECOMBE FAIR - WEEK 4-11TH SEPTEMBER (Fri-Fri)

- Flights are not included.

- The above rates are per person based on two riders sharing a double or twin room, on a half-board basis.

- Groups are made of 2-8 international riders

- Transfers to and from Exeter are not included and are £80 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. £175); it will be refunded to you if later someone to share the room is found.
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

Meals

Dinners

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
  • May - June 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    15/05/2021 22/05/2021 £1,350 Open Book now
    26/06/2021 03/07/2021 £1,350 Full
  • July - August 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    14/08/2021 21/08/2021 £1,350 Open Book now
  • September - October 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    10/09/2021 17/09/2021 £1,350 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

You need to be a competent rider, capable and in control in all paces in open spaces.
Rider weight limit: 90 kg / 14.2 stone / 200 lbs

Pace

The pace of the ride is dictated by the terrain, there will be opportunities for cantering when the terrain allows.

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 in comfortable hotels and B&Bs. Accommodation is on a half-board basis, with dinners 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 hotels' 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?

Dartmoor National Park is one of the last great wilderness areas in the UK, protected by National Park status since 1951. The large and untamed countryside, wild open moorlands and deep valleys offer splendid riding opportunities. Its landscapes are unlike any other, as they are populated by lofty granite (Dartmoor includes the largest granite area in Britain!), singular tors (hills topped with outcrops of bedrock) and bogland. On this trail ride, you will ride across the ancient woodlands, sturdy clapper bridges and lovely rushing streams and enjoy ethereal landscapes that seem straight out of a fairytale.

Did you know? Fox Tor Mires in Dartmoor was supposedly the inspiration from Great Grimpen Mire in “The Hound of the Baskervilles”!

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • Robert Jeff Encinitas, California 1 trip
    May 2019
    Excellent excursion. Vigorous romp across spectral Dartmoor on muscular working horses, spelled by sojourns in flavorful inns and pubs. The most significant factors, apart from the innate appeal of Dartmoor, are, first, the quality of the horses and, second, the lack of regimentation. We were invited to pass at will,... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide