Welsh Valley Trails riding holiday in Wales - Far and Ride
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Welsh Valley Trails, Wales




Programmes


• Border to Coast Trail

• Welsh Prince Trail

 

Horses



Type of horses:

Hardy breeds which are native to the UK such as cobs

Nature of horses:

Fit, friendly, forward going and happy.

Height of horses:

14 - 15.3hh

Weight limit:

92kg / 14 st 7 lbs / 203 lbs

Tack type:

English saddles and simple snaffle bridles. Saddle bags are provided.

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

Nestled against the English/Welsh border is this fabulous trail riding centre which has been operating since 1989. Trails head out across some of the best riding country in mid Wales with old green lanes, open hills for cantering and traffic-free country lanes. Cross bracken-covered ridges and mountain streams; wind through old oak woodlands and conifer forest, beneath rocky crags and along leafy valleys; follow old trails over heather moorlands and discover the beautiful and wild riding networks of the Cambrian mountains and Radnor hills.

Your horses live out all year round, working for seven months of the year and enjoying a five month break over the winter months. They love their job and relish their happy, healthy lifestyle. They are all a mixture of hardy breeds which are native to the UK and individually matched to their riders.

There are two trails to choose from, both of which are mobile routes where you stay in different places along the way. The epic Border to Coast trail crosses straight through Wales to finish on the beach, whilst the Welsh Prince Trail is a circular trail through the surrounding hills and valleys.

On the Border to Coast trail you have to carry your belongings with you and you will be supplied with a specially designed expedition bag alongside your normal saddle bags (which carry your picnic lunch and water). On the Welsh Prince trail your luggage is transferred by vehicle.

On both trails you are responsible for caring for your own horse. You will groom, tack-up, un-tack and feed your horse each morning and evening and ensure their comfort and happiness. Your guides are on hand to advise but it's expected that you are already familiar with tacking up English style. You also need to be able to mount/dismount unaided and be able to lead your horse on foot across tracks which may be slippery or steep.

NB. Your guides do not allow inflating air-jackets to be worn, or backpacks/camelbaks - your saddle bags are spacious enough to carry a drink, lunch and camera etc.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

You stay in B&B's or Inns along the route. They are all basic, quirky, characterful, family-run establishments that offer a warm welcome.

Singles will always be allocated a single room and must pay the single supplement.

All meals are included. The meals are all homemade using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. Breakfast is always taken at your accommodation, whilst dinner is either at your Inn/B&B or a local restaurant. Lunch is packed and carried with you to eat along the riding route.

Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice.

 

Activities

These are riding trails only and not suitable for non-riders.

 

Further Details

Languages: English

Health requirements: General good health

Age limit: Children aged 14 years and older are welcome to accompany their parents on the trails providing they are good riders.

Tuition: No

Included: Accommodation, meals, riding

Not included: Drinks, transfers, accommodation before/after the trail, tips

 

Travel Information

The closest airport is Bristol or Birmingham, but you will likely find more flights into/out of the main London airports. London Heathrow is the closest.

You can either self-drive from there, or take a train.

If you are self driving then you can make your own way to the centre - we will provide driving directions.

If arriving by train then the nearest train station is Hereford. Take a taxi or bus from Hereford train station to Hay-on-Wye which is the closest town. You will need to arrive the day before (we can supply a list of accommodation in the area if you need help). Your guides will then collect you from your accommodation in the morning of Day One so that you are ready to join the ride.

Airport: Bristol

Alternative Airport: London Heathrow

 

Programmes


Border to Coast Trail



Ride from the Welsh/English border all the way to the sands of the Dovey Estuary. This is real trail riding, covering 100 miles, crossing Wales on unmarked tracks and carrying your belongings with you on horseback. The mixture of terrain means a varied riding pace each day with lots of trotting to cover distance and canter where the terrain allows. You will have to dismount and lead your horse on some steep sections where the surface is loose under foot. On your final day you'll enjoy an exhilarating canter on the sands of Ynyslas!

Day One:

You need to arrive at the riding centre by 8.30am - we recommend arriving a day early and spending the night in Hay-on-Wye so you are ready to start riding today. Meet your guides, fellow riders and pack your saddle bags before meeting your horses.

Set off on horseback to explore the open tracks of the Begwns and Llanbedr hills, passing through the village of Painscastle where one of the biggest battles in Welsh history took place in 1198. After lunch, cross up and over Aberedw hill to arrive at the horses accommodation for the night. After feeding and untacking the horses you are transferred a short distance to your accommodation in the agricultural town of Builth Wells. 

Riding c. 16 miles

Day Two:

Enjoy your first Welsh breakfast before transferring back to the horses. Feed, groom and tack up your horse before heading out on the trail. Climb up to Pany-y-llyn lake high above Builth Wells and follow the northern stretch of the Mynydd Eppynt down to Abergwesyn where the horses spend the night. Transfer a short distance to Llanwrtyd where you overnight in a local inn.

Riding c. 22 miles

Day Three:

Feed, groom and tack up. Today's route takes you through the mid part of the Cambrian Mountains, across very remote terrain. Follow ancient monk roads, cross large river fords and eventually drop down to the historic Abbey at Strata Florida. Overnight in Pontrhydfendigaid whilst the horses are a short walk away with a local farmer.

Riding c. 18 miles

Day Four:

Ride through the small village of Ffair-Rhos and out across the deserted valley, passing the remains of an ancient village. Enjoy a peaceful ride through the Bwlchgwallter forest before crossing the bridge over Dologau waterfall and posing under the old masonry arch which was built in 1810 to mark the Golden Jubilee of King George III. After lunch follow the river out onto open moorland down into the village of Ponterwyd where you spend the night.

Riding c. 20 miles

Day Five:

Follow the old mountain road up past Dinas reservoir to cross the dam at Nant-y-moch reservoir at the base of Plynlimon - the highest point of the Cambrian mountains. On a clear day you'll get your first glimpse of the sea from here! Head downhill into the valley of Ceulanamaesmawr and follow bridleways looking out over Cardigan Bay before reaching your overnight stop.

Riding c. 17 miles

Day Six:

A shorter ride today as you drop down from the hills onto the coastal plains and the seaside town of Borth. Enjoy a trot up the high street before arriving at the beach! Time for a canter and a splash in the sea before arriving at your final meeting point. Untack the horses and enjoy a cup of tea and an ice-cream before the pick-up at midday. Transfer back to the starting point for a farewell tea and cake at c. 3pm.

You are free to depart this evening but may wish to stay an extra night in the area (to your own account).

Riding c. 7 miles



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: You must be a capable rider who is confident cantering in open spaces. You should also be fit for 6-7 hours of riding each day.
Type of ride: Mobile Trail
Total riding time: Six days (6-7 hours each day)
Departure dates: 2020:
12-17 April, 26 April-1 May, 17-22 May, 31 May-5 June, 21-26 June, 5-10 July, 26-31 July, 2-7 August, 9-14 August, 23-28 August, 30 August-4 September, 6-11 September, 20-25 September, 4-9 October
 
Pricing: 2020:

£1800 per person sharing
£180 single supplement (payable by everyone in a single room)

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.



Welsh Prince Trail



Journey through the heart of mid-Wales along unmarked tracks and trails through remote hills and valleys, stopping each night at country inns and family run B&B's.  The 70 mile route is steeped in mystery and historic tales dating back to the 1st century. Your route includes stony tracks, open hills, river crossings and green lanes as you traverse little used bridleways, old council roads and timeworn drovers routes. The pace is varied depending on the terrain but includes long trots and canters. You'll also have to dismount on occasion and lead your horse down steep tracks which may be loose underfoot.

NB. Your luggage is transported by vehicle on this trail

Day One:

You need to arrive at the start by 8:30am - we would recommend arriving the day before and spending the night in nearby Hay-onWye (to own account). Meet your guide, fellow riders and horses before setting out on your trail. 

Explore the open tracks of the Begwyns, passing the 'Roundabout', an unusual landmark built in the 19th century to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. After lunch, drop down off the Begwyns and cross Llanbedr hill and Aberedw hill to arrive at the horses accommodation for the night. Untack and feed your horses before a short transfer to the agricultural town of Builth Wells where you overnight in a B&B. 

Riding c. 16 miles

Day Two:

Enjoy your first breakfast before transferring back to the horses to feed, groom and tack-up. Todays ride sweeps back across Aberedw hill before dropping into the hamlet of Hundred House which was once regarded as a strategic location by both the Romans and Normans in the 1st century AD. From here you climb up onto Gwaunceste hill for some fabulous panoramic views. You'll pass the remains of Black Yatt, an old farmhouse built in the 18th century which was blown up in the 1960's to feature in a film about the second world war. Wind down through country lanes to Old Radnor where you untack and feed the horses before walking a short distance to a local inn to overnight.

Riding c. 16 miles

Day Three:

Catch, feed and prepare your horse before starting the steep climb onto the spectacular Hergest Ridge. Enjoy a canter around an abandoned racecourse on the very top of the hill - this racecourse opened in 1825 and held regular events until around 1880. Pass the 'Whet Stone', a traditional gathering point used for betting and bargaining. Drop down through the Parish of Gladestry and follow quiet country lanes to join part of the Offa's Dyke path across Disgwylfa hill before passing through the village of Newchurch. Enjoy the views atop Newchurch and Bryngwyn hills as you head down to the horses accommodation for the night. After feeding them you will be transferred to a local inn in the village of Painscastle - the location of the biggest and most brutal battle in Welsh history in 1198.

Riding c. 16 miles

Day Four:

For your final day of riding you head straight up onto the rugged moorland of Llanbedr hill taking in the spectacular views of the Black Mountains. On a clear day you can spot Pen-y-fan, the highest peak in south Wales. Ride along the length of Llandeilo hill where you'll pass the mysterious grave of Twm Tobacco. Look down into the hamlet of Aberedw, where the last Prince of Wales - Prince Llewelyn - took refuge in a cave hiding from the English in the early 13th century. After lunch there are some exhilarating canters on the Begwns before a relaxing stroll down the country lanes back to your starting point. You'll be back about 4pm so there's time for tea and cake before departing at c. 4.30pm.

Riding c. 15 miles



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: You should be a capable rider who is confident cantering in open spaces and trotting for long distances. You should be fit for up to 6 hours in the saddle each day.
Type of ride: Mobile Trail
Total riding time: 4 days (c. 6 hours riding each day)
Departure dates: 2020:
14-17 April, 5-8 May, 26-29 May, 9-12 June, 7-10 July, 14-17 July, 28-31 July, 11-14 August, 18-21 August, 1-4 September, 6-9 October.
 
Pricing: 2020:

£990 per person sharing
£90 single supplement (payable by everyone in a single room)

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.