UK - Cattle Herding Farm, Dartmoor
Unique experience, herding cattle across Dartmoor, the only one of it's kind currently in the UK


We GUARANTEE you won't find the same horse riding holiday at a lower price through any other source... and if you do, we promise to refund the difference!

from £535 or €620

Horse Riding Holidays UK – Dartmoor, Trail Rides & Cattle Herding


Dartmoor Trail Rides & Cattle Herding: Prices & Dates 2019

Explore the fantastic riding and scenery of Dartmoor, 4-5 hrs in the saddle, stopping for lunch, either packed or at one of many local cozy Dartmoor pubs.

2 nights
£535/€620/$685 per person sharing
£585/€680/$750 single room

3 nights
£695/€810/$890 per person sharing
£770/€895/$985 single room

6 nights
£995/€1,555/$1,270 per person sharing
£1,145/€1,330/$1,460 single room

12th – 18th May
9th – 15th June
23rd – 29th June
7th – 13th July
28th July – 3rd August
25th -31st August
15th – 21st September

The Dartmoor Crossing
This is a 7 night ride around Dartmoor, riding 15 – 20 miles each day stopping at fabulous moorland Hotels, or B&B’s. You will be guided through some of the most spectacular riding anywhere in the UK, stopping en-route for either a packed lunch or lunch at one of many welcoming moorland pubs. Each week will include a day out of the saddle to visit a local attraction or a local agricultural and equine show.

£1,250/€1,450/$1,580 per person sharing
£1,425/€1,655/$1,820 single room

18th – 25th May
29th June – 6th July
10th – 17th August (visit Chagford Show)
6th – 13th September (nb. Fri – Fri) (visit Widecombe fair)

Dartmoor Cattle Drives
Cattle driving/Pony drifting for experienced riders only (specific dates)
These stays are for experienced riders only, moving cattle and pony drifting can be unpredictable and the terrain is more varied. The pony drifting in particular can be very fast.

6 nights
£1,195/€1,390/$1,525 per person sharing
£1,345/€1,560/$1,720 single room

28th April – 4th May ‘Spring cattle turn-out’
16th – 22nd June ‘Bulling cow muster’
14th – 20th July ‘Weaning muster’
18th – 24th August ‘Calving cow muster‘
22rd – 28th September ‘Cow and calf muster’

3 nights
£745/€865/$950 per person sharing
£820/€950/$1,045 single room

Arrive pm/evening first day, depart after riding (5.00pm) on final day. Extra night B&B £60pp.

16th – 19th June ‘Bulling cow muster’
14th – 17th July ‘Weaning muster’
18th – 21st August ‘Calving cow muster’
22nd- 25th September ‘Cow and calf muster’

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.

Included – All your riding, guides, accommodation, breakfast and lunches either at the Inn, at Phil and Mandis farmhouse or local pubs en route.

Excluded – Dinners (the Inn does great pub food or you might want to visit other restaurants in the area), drinks at pubs and tips.

Cattle Herding Farm : Getting There
Drive or you could fly into Bristol airport.

If driving to Meldon Farm is not an option, there are plenty of other ways to get there, please see suggestions below.

  • Exeter Airport & Train station is close by and Meldon Farm will pick up from either at no extra charge.
  • By Bus, the nearest town is Okehampton which is on the A30, main trunk road. Again Meldon Farm will pick up from here at no extra charge.
  • Bristol airport is the next closest airport and has more airlines serving it as a destination. Transfer time is 2 hours and we advise hiring a car. We can also easily arrange a private transfer at an additional cost.

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.


Ever fancied a spot of cattle herding but don’t fancy trekking all the way to the states – here’s the perfect solution – visit family owned Cattle Herding Meldon Farm in Dartmoor which is run by husband and wife team, Philip & Mandi Heard.

This Dartmoor Work-hands riding holiday is such a unique experience and the only one of it’s kind currently in the UK. Philip & Mandi keep beef cows and sheep, plus a few ponies, which graze the farm and commons of Dartmoor where they have thousands of acres to roam over. Many towns or parishes have their own part of the moor called a common; many farms in the parish have common grazing rights attached to the land. Meldon Farm has rights to graze cattle, sheep and ponies.

The farm runs two herds of cattle. The first are Limousin x Friesian cows put to a Charolais bull and make use of the more fertile low lying land around the farm and produce fast growing high quality cattle, very popular with local cattle buyers and the second are Welsh Black Cattle. These are a docile hill breed that are excellent mothers and make good use of the poorer moorland grazing and these are the cattle that guests help to move at certain points of the year, like taking them out of their winter housing to the their first pasture of the season.

It’s a great way to see Dartmoor and get involved with a real working farm, plus all the horses have either an English or a Western saddle, so you really can get to feel like a proper cowboy for the week! Apart from herding the cattle, there’s also some lovely riding out, lasso lessons, natural horsemanship demonstrations and a variety of other things to occupy guests depending on the time of year.

There is also the opportunity to take your own horse, please ask for details and prices.


Cattle Herding farm : Horses – A mix of Thoroughbreds & Quarter horses, with one cob type.

Cattle Herding Farm : Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate plus riders only, must be able to ride forward going horses under control in open countryside.

Tack – Each horse can be ridden either in a Western or English saddle, it’s your choice on how you want to ride.

Cattle Herding Farm : Weight Restriction – 15 stone / 210 lbs / 95 kg.

Cattle Herding Farm : Group Size – Maximum 6.


Phil & Mandi use a lovely, old style Inn just 10 minutes down the road from the farm and they come and collect you in the morning and take you back at the end of the day. The Inn is run by Sue and her husband, he works as the chef in the downstairs pub and restaurant. Sue will take great care of you and you can look forward to lovely big rooms, comfy beds, fluffy towels in the bathroom and a full cooked breakfast each morning.

Afternoon lunches are either at the farmhouse or at a local pub en route and this is also the same for evening meals. Phil and Mandi will also host barbeque evenings at the farm, with scrummy sausages and burgers all locally produced, washed down with the local beer and cider, with some country music playing the background and the chance to practice the art of lassoing!

Horse Riding Holidays like our Cattle Herding Farm holiday are part of the Zara’s Planet collection of Horse Riding Holidays UK.

Please Ask About

Phil & Mandi also rent out a holiday cottage which is in Sennen Cove, Cornwall. It has spectacular views across the harbour and is recently refurbished to a high standard, think white walls, light blue soft furnishings and a wood burning stove. It’s a great option if you want to have a combination holiday of activity in Dartmoor followed by chilling out by the sea! It’s 90 miles from the farm and takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes to reach.


Autumn Cattle Clearance – Here’s an idea of what you might experience day to day on a horse riding holiday here at Meldon Farm.


Arrive at Meldon in afternoon, meet family and ride leaders, meet horses and ride out for assessment and horse suitability. Check in at accommodation in evening, where guests can use the hotel restaurant for their evening meal (not included).


Pick up at 9.30am after breakfast and off to Meldon around 10.00, mount up around 10:30, head off across Sourton & Bridestowe common checking the cattle, on past the old ice works, along the peat works tramway, across Southerly Down arriving at the Fox & Hounds Inn for lunch, where the horses are tied up outside. Home via Nodden, Sourton Tor across Prewley Moor to arrive home at approx 4:30 for afternoon tea and home-made cakes, back to hotel around 6.00.


After breakfast we head off to round up a small bunch of cattle on Sourton Common and return them to Meldon Farm for the winter.


After Breakfast we head out again for a bigger bunch of cattle, returning them to Meldon Farm, where they are sorted and housed for the winter.


After breakfast we head out again looking for any strays, taking lunch at another local Inn on the way, returning to Meldon around 4.30pm.


After breakfast we check the cows then head over to the 'Tors Inn' at Belstone via Black Down, West Mill, New Bridge, Winter Tor and Belstone Tor for lunch. We come home via Watchet Hill Scarey Tor Culliver steps, Halstock Down and Granulite Quarry arriving back around 5.00pm.


Check out of hotel accommodation, then a short ride to say farewells leaving Meldon around 4.00pm.

Itinerary is not fixed & likely to alter on a daily basis depending on weather conditions and work being done at Meldon.


Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

We have travelled the world testing a huge variety of horse riding holidays to make sure we offer you, our client, the best horse riding holiday experience possible.

Our horse riding holidays are thoroughly researched – we consider all the elements that go towards making our horse riding holidays collection the best in the world. We check the quality of the horses, if they are fit for the job, well produced and looked after. We make sure the riding terrain is good going, the countryside is interesting and, for example, on Classic Dressage horse riding holidays, the arenas are in good condition. We make sure the accommodation, whether it’s a five star hotel, a farmhouse or camping, is clean and comfortable, and offers a great night’s sleep. The food is all important too – we take the time to make sure we tell you if it’s cordon bleu, home cooked, or regional and locally sourced – above all it has to be delicious, plentiful and nourishing. Last but not least, we choose the horse riding holidays that have the best hosts, who are friendly, warm and welcoming.

It’s only when all these elements come together that we add a horse riding holiday into our hand-picked collection of horse riding holidays.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.


Please use the message box below to provide additional and any other relevant information like your riding experience and for how many people.

Also, if the above Holiday describes few different options for your Horse Riding Holiday in the area - please add a note on which choice you are referring to. Thank you.

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UK Holidays Testimonials

Chris on Cattle Herding Holiday, UK

There was a great atmosphere and it felt like a really special moment, when the cows came out of their winter housing, the first time since the autumn. We started to herd them over the tracks, across the dam and out onto the open moor. Mostly the cows know where they are going but there

Chris Cousens from Edinburgh