For horse riding in Devon it’s got to be Dartmoor National Park. This rugged, windswept landscape has the kind of open spaces that make you want to ride until the world’s a blur, and what a place to feel reconnected with nature.
You’ll find challenging routes at every turn, dramatic scenery and the chance to feel that it’s just you, your horse and the elements. Better still, you can enjoy the feeling that your treading the same paths and trails as Dartmoor’s forefathers all those centuries ago. Don’t be daunted by Dartmoor’s size, as it can be divided into sections and each has its own advantages depending on what you’re looking for.
If you’re a first time visitor to the moor or not the most experienced rider then try starting in the south east. The area’s gentle slopes make for easy rides, and the scenery is typically beautiful as the rest of the national park. The High Moor in the south west of Dartmoor is perfect for the experienced rider as it showcases the wilderness of the area to its best.
Be careful to plan your ride so that you avoid the blanket bog in the centre! The northern section of the moor is only recommended for the most experienced of riders, as although exciting and wild much of it is difficult to access and the centre is comprised from a large bog. Also, this area is used for training by the MOD.
Many of Dartmoor’s pubs welcome horse riders, so look out for tie rails and paddocks.