Last updated 14
Mountains Exploratory Trail Ride
(6 nights - 5 full days riding)
week’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
talk about the programme for the week ahead.
After dinner, you retire to your
accommodation to prepare for the week
(day 1 / night 2)
After a hearty Welsh breakfast, you will
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
all ready to leave.
s day ride which heads for the hills towering above Llangorse Lake
(Llyn Syfaddan). Reaching 1,645
once we get to the top there is the chance for some long canters, and
may even see some of our beautiful Welsh mountain ponies roaming the
as their ancestors have done for thousands of years. for lunch, we
either to the Farmer’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
we ride along bridleways between the hills, before returning to
day will allow you to get used to your horse
and provides a foretaste of what is to come. Tomorrow, the journey
the Black Mountains really begins!!!
(day 2 / night 3)
breakfast, everyone participates in catching, feeding, grooming and
up his or her horse ready for the day’s ride ahead. There is always
on hand to help for those less familiar with these tasks. The first
of the ride takes us along leafy, flower-lined lanes to the Black
We have a steep climb of around 2,000 feet ahead of us. The trail then
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
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
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
the Sugar Loaf, then follow quiet byways to the remote church at
where we have lunch. Dating back to mediaeval times, this small church
is renowned for its marvellous wall paintings, which survived the
of Cromwell’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
or two! Climbing upwards, we leave the forest and ride onto the bleak
of Bal Mawr, before crossing into the Vale of Ewyas, with the 12th
Llanthony Priory far below. Destroyed during Henry VIII's dissolution
the monasteries, one tower was subsequently rebuilt as a hunting lodge.
evening is taken at the
Skirrid Inn, reputedly the oldest public house in Wales. Once a
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,
horses have spent
the night, we ride along the floor of the Llanthony Valley (Vale of
Ewyas) and pay a
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
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
to move to the present day.
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
Hill (1,726 feet high). Riding along Offa’s Dyke path, originally part
an earthwork built by the 10th century King Offa to separate his
Saxon kingdom from the maurading Welsh, it now offers spectacularly
out across Herefordshire as far as the Malvern Hills in the east,
westwards are magnificent views of the mountains.
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
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)
the start of our 20 mile ride back to Llangorse, we climb the steep
out of the Llanthony Valley, following forest tracks and crossing
Ridge", before having a picnic lunch in the woods.
follow a grassy
carriageway to the top of Pen Trumau (2,005 feet), followed by a long
descent (you will have realised by now our Welsh hills have very few
bits!!). We have a final long canter along the foot of Mynydd Troed
arriving back at the stables in Llangorse.
Your horses will then need
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 return you to Abergavenny
station in time for your departure.
itinerary is typical of a week-long exploratory trail ride. However,
route and content taken may vary slightly dependent upon weather
and the availability of accommodation.
FOR 2019 - £1656
- Price includes: horse and
all meals (breakfast, packed lunch / pub lunch, evening meal -
drinks) services of a guide and transport of luggage. Extra night's
accommodation before or after the trail ride can be arranged at
£80 per rider per night (bed, breakfast and evening
- Single supplement for
requested single occupancy rooms applies at £10 per night.
Ellesmere Riding Centre 2004-2019