14 March 2021
Mountains Exploratory Trail Ride
nights - 5 full days riding)
The weekâ€™s holiday normally
starts on a Sunday evening. If
travelling by train, we will meet you at Abergavenny station at around
5.00pm. Later on, we
will collect you from your accommodation and you will be welcomed at a
local village inn by Myfanwy, your host. Over dinner meet your fellow riders and talk about the
programme for the week ahead.
After dinner, you retire to your
accommodation to prepare for the week ahead.
(day 1 / night 2)
After a hearty Welsh breakfast, you will
arrive at the stables around 9.30am and be introduced to your mount,
who will be fed, groomed and tacked up and waiting for you. Around
10.30am we are all ready to leave.
Today is s day ride which heads for the hills
towering above Llangorse Lake (Llyn Syfaddan). Reaching 1,645 feet,
once we get to the top there is the chance for some long canters, and
you may even see some of our beautiful Welsh mountain ponies roaming
the hilltop, as their ancestors have done for thousands of years. for
lunch, we descend either to the Farmerâ€™s Arms Inn in the
village of Cwmdu, which nestles in the valley between Tretower and
Talgarth, or we visit the New Inn in Bwlch, a village located in a col
high above the Usk valley. After lunch, we ride along bridleways
between the hills, before returning to Llangorse.
day will allow you to get used to your horse and provides a foretaste
of what is to come. Tomorrow, the journey through the Black Mountains
(day 2 / night 3)
After breakfast, everyone participates in
catching, feeding, grooming and tacking up his or her horse ready for
the dayâ€™s ride ahead. There is always someone on hand to help
for those less familiar with these tasks. The first part of the ride
takes us along leafy, flower-lined lanes to the Black Mountains. We
have a steep climb of around 2,000 feet ahead of us. The trail then
drops down through a beautiful valley to our picnic lunch stop, at the
ruins of the Hermitage.
After lunch we skirt the famous Sugar
Loaf Mountain (1,955 feet), and ride through ancient oak woods. There
will be plenty of opportunities for good long canters before arriving
at Pant-y-gelli. By the time we arrive, we will have spent
approximately six hours in the saddle since leaving Ellesmere stables,
and you will be looking forward to a relaxing bath and dinner at a
|Wednesday (day 3 / night 4)
On departure, we ride along the eastern
edge of the Sugar Loaf, then follow quiet byways to the remote church
at Patrishow, where we have lunch. Dating back to mediaeval times, this
small church is renowned for its marvellous wall paintings, which
survived the austerity of Cromwellâ€™s Commonwealth to be enjoyed
by visitors today.
||Riding onwards, we enter the quiet stillness of the
Mynydd Du forest, where you should be able to find a jump or two!
Climbing upwards, we leave the forest and ride onto the bleak moorland
of Bal Mawr, before crossing into the Vale of Ewyas, with the 12th
century Llanthony Priory far below. Destroyed during Henry VIII's
dissolution of the monasteries, one tower was subsequently rebuilt as a
evening is taken at the Skirrid Inn, reputedly the oldest public house
in Wales. Once a rallying point for Owain Glyndwr, the Skirrid became
infamous as the seat of the Assize Courts where manty a foot-pad,
highwayman and sheep rustler was tried, and between the 12th and 17th
Centuries, as many as 180 persons may have met their end hanging from a
beam, as the ultimate penalty for their crimes was carried out.
Thursday (day 4 / night 5)
From the centre of Llanthony village,
where the horses have spent the night, we ride along the floor of the
Llanthony Valley (Vale of Ewyas) and pay a visit to the unique church
at Cwmyoy. The origins of this church are wrapped in mystery, but one
thing is certain, it is ancient and dates back at least to the Middle
Ages. It is unique because no part of it is square or at rtight angles
with any other part. This striking irregularity is due to the
underlying rock, which is in fact part of a huge landslide, that
continues to move to the present day.
On leaving Cwmyoy, we cross the top of
the landslip and pass between huge monliths of stone, before the steep,
stony climb to the top of Hatterall Hill (1,726 feet high). Riding
along Offaâ€™s Dyke path, originally part of an earthwork built
by the 10th century King Offa to separate his civilised Saxon kingdom
from the maurading Welsh, it now offers spectacularly views out across
Herefordshire as far as the Malvern Hills in the east, whilst westwards
are magnificent views of the mountains.
||After lunch, we follow
bridleways below Bryn Arw to Five Ways, then follow an ancient stone
path that was part of the Pilgrims' Way to St David's far to the west.
before the climb to the Gaer, an Iron Age hill fort with superb views
up the Gwyne Fawr and Llanthony valleys. From here, we follow the
hilltop above Llanthony wood, before descending down forestry tracks to
the night's stop.
Friday (day 5 / night 6)
At the start of our 20 mile ride back to
Llangorse, we climb the steep track out of the Llanthony Valley,
following forest tracks and crossing "Windy Ridge", before having a
picnic lunch in the woods.
||Afterwards, we follow a grassy carriageway to the top
of Pen Trumau (2,005 feet), followed by a long steep descent (you will
have realised by now our Welsh hills have very few flat bits!!). We
have a final long canter along the foot of Mynydd Troed before arriving
back at the stables in Llangorse.
Your horses will then need
untacking,feeding and grooming for a final time, before they are turned
out into their field for a well earned rest!
You can expect to be able to
leave on Saturday, after breakfast. If taking the train, we will
arrange for you to return to Abergavenny station in time for your
This itinerary is typical of a
week-long exploratory trail ride. However, the route and content taken
may vary slightly dependent upon weather conditions and the
availability of accommodation.
| PRICE FOR 2021 - £1656
- Price includes: horse and
tack, accommodation, all meals (breakfast, packed lunch / pub lunch,
evening meal - excluding drinks) services of a guide and transport of
luggage. Extra night's accommodation before or after the trail ride can
be arranged at £120 per rider per night (bed, breakfast and
- Single supplement for
requested single occupancy rooms applies at £10 per night.
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