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UK - Dartmoor Trails, Dartmoor
This is the perfect place to visit, if you want to explore one of the last remaining wilderness spots in England.

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Horse Riding Holidays UK – Dartmoor Trails

PRICES & PRICES top

Dartmoor Trails: Prices 2020 & 2021

Explore the fantastic riding and scenery of Dartmoor, 4-5 hrs in the saddle, stopping for lunch, either picnic style or at one of the many local cozy Dartmoor pubs. 2, 3 & 6 nights options.
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2020 Prices

  • Dartmoor Trails 6 nights
    $1,278
    • GBP: 995
    • EUR: 1,095
    per person sharing
    $1,470
    • GBP: 1,145
    • EUR: 1,260
    single room
    $1,027
    • GBP: 800
    • EUR: 880
    shepherd hut self catering
  • Dartmoor Trails 3 nights
    $892
    • GBP: 695
    • EUR: 765
    per person sharing
    $989
    • GBP: 770
    • EUR: 848
    single room
    $719
    • GBP: 560
    • EUR: 616
    shepherd hut self catering
  • Dartmoor Trails 2 nights
    $687
    • GBP: 535
    • EUR: 589
    per person sharing
    $751
    • GBP: 585
    • EUR: 644
    single room
    $514
    • GBP: 400
    • EUR: 441
    shepherd hut self catering

2020 Dates

7 – 13 June
5 – 11 July
26 July – 1 August
20 – 26 September

2021 Prices

  • Dartmoor Trails 6 nights
    $1,342
    • GBP: 1,045
    • EUR: 1,150
    per person sharing
    $1,541
    • GBP: 1,200
    • EUR: 1,321
    single room
    $1,079
    • GBP: 840
    • EUR: 925
    shepherd hut self catering
  • Dartmoor Trails 3 nights
    $937
    • GBP: 730
    • EUR: 803
    per person sharing
    $1,040
    • GBP: 810
    • EUR: 891
    single room
    $745
    • GBP: 580
    • EUR: 639
    shepherd hut self catering
  • Dartmoor Trails 6 nights
    $719
    • GBP: 560
    • EUR: 616
    per person sharing
    $796
    • GBP: 620
    • EUR: 682
    single room
    $539
    • GBP: 420
    • EUR: 462
    shepherd hut self catering

Dates 2021

9-15 May
6-12 June
4-10 July
25-31 July
19-25 September

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, excluding the shepherd hut self catering option.

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.

Transfer
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 a 45 minute drive to Meldon Farm, the return transfer is £80 per car.
  • By Bus, the nearest town is Okehampton which is on the A30, main trunk road. 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.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

This is the perfect place to visit, if you want to explore one of the last remaining wilderness spots in England.

Wildlife: Naturally Diverse
Dartmoor is home to a fantastic diversity of wildlife and habitats, much of it rare and protected. The special habitats on Dartmoor are a result of the geology of the moor and the influences of people over 4,000 years. Africa has the ‘Big 5’ but Dartmoor has the ‘Little 5’ and includes the Blue Ground Beetle, Marsh Fritillary Butterfly, Cuckoo, Otter & Marsh Black Slug a giant at 20cm long…………..!

Geology
Dartmoor’s landscape is dominated by rocks. Granite is the main rock type and can be seen in many dramatic outcrops (tors) and on boulder-strewn slopes.

The granite was formed around 280 million years ago thrusting upwards under older rocks into the area we now know as Devon and Cornwall. Over a very long time, the overlying rocks have been eroded by nature to expose the granite beneath and shape the moor we see today. These processes have produced the soils and conditions to which certain wild plants are particularly suited.

The influence of farming
Dartmoor may look like a wild landscape but it has been shaped over time by the way it has been farmed. Through a very long tradition of grazing with cattle, sheep and ponies, certain plants and habitats have thrived. Habitats such as Postbridge’s wonderful wildflower meadows exist only because of the long tradition of haymaking in the area which has favoured these species to grow.

Dartmoor Ponies
A Truly Iconic Sight
There is no more iconic sight on Dartmoor than a herd of ponies grazing together, with stunning, majestic Dartmoor as their backdrop. They have been here a long time, hoof prints found on Dartmoor during an archaeological dig were found to be 3,500 yrs old & written records of ponies on the moor go back as far as AD1012. In the mid 1800s ponies were used to transport granite from the moorland quarries.

At the moment, there are about 1500, with herds of pedigree Dartmoor ponies, Heritage ponies, Hill ponies, Shetlands, Welsh, and Spotted ponies spread all across the moor. All the ponies are owned by various Dartmoor Commoners, (the farmers and residents of the Moor who have grazing rights on the open moor), and with these rights comes the responsibility of seeing that the herds of ponies are kept healthy.

It’s in this very diverse and exciting area, Phil and Mandi Heard, live and work from their home Meldon Farm. They have a keen interest in horses, especially western riding and offer guests stays that include daily ride outs, natural horsemanship and cattle herding.

Phil & 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.

THE RIDING top

Dartmoor Trails: Horses – A mix of Thoroughbreds & Quarter horses.

Dartmoor Trails: 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.

Dartmoor Trails: – 15 stone / 210 lbs / 95 kg.

Dartmoor Trails: Group Size – Maximum 8

ACCOMMODATION top

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!

And a new addition to the accommodation option is 2 Shepherd Huts, which are self catering and on site at the Farm. Each are very cosy, one has a double bed, the other two singles, (linen provided) each has a wood-burning stove (wood provided) table and chairs and seating. Outside there is a fire-pit with utensils etc for open air cooking. Guests staying in the huts also have use of the guest lodge with kitchen/diner and bathroom facilities.

COVID19 Accommodation Update

If the local hotels remain shut over the summer, there is now the option to stay safely at the farm with social distance measure in place in the 2 Shepherd Huts PLUS there will be 3 very comfortable Bell Tents erected to accommodate riders, they are large and airy and include inflatable beds. This option will also include the addition of an evening meal.

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

Cattle Drives & the Dartmoor Crossing 7 night progressive trail.

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.

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

Check-in at accommodation in the evening. Phil will meet you there in the evening to discuss your stay.

The following morning, and subsequent days, begins with breakfast at the Inn. Guests are collected and brought to Meldon Farm for around 10.00am ready to head off for 4-5 hrs across Dartmoor to a beauty spot for a packed lunch or stop at one of many local pubs, tie up the horses outside and have lunch before riding home via a different route. After arrival back at the farm, settle down to tea. coffee and homemade cakes at Meldon Farm with Mandi to chat about your day before heading back to your hotel around 5pm to chill out and enjoy your evening meal.

DESTINATION MAP top

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.

CHECK AVAILABILITY top

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

Pat on Wellow Farm Horse Riding Holidays, UK

We had a great time and as a horsey person (Riding for the Disabled Volunteer) we loved staying in the modern holiday cottage in the stable yard. The riding was superb on good horses on some of the best on and off road routes and fields in the south-west. My family from Australia will be

Pat from Norfolk, UK