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Ford and Etal

Horse Riding

Horse riding in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders

Horse Riding on Bamburgh Beach

Horse riding at Bamburgh Castle © Britain on View/

Splashing through the sunny surf on horseback is the kind of relaxing, back-to-Nature experience everyone should try.

It’s even better than it looks – and as much fun for horses as for people.

For the humans there is the bonus of the scenery, and Northumberland’s long, golden beaches backed by castle-studded dunes could not be more perfect riding country.

Novices as well as experienced riders can enjoy a beach hack in safety with a reputable riding school or trekking centre.

One satisfied tourist at Kimmerston Riding Centre wrote: “I can honestly say that it was the most exhilarating experience ever, riding the horses along the beach and taking them into the sea. In fact, I would go so far as to say it has been one of the most memorable weekends of my life.”

The Wooler centre run by Dickie and Jane Jeffreys offers rides on the sands near Holy Island and in the Cheviot Hills as well as live-in holidays for unaccompanied teenagers. Slate Hall, on the coast at Seahouses, specialises in beach rides – at Bamburgh, Beadnell and, of course, Seahouses.

Something different is on offer at Flodden Edge Farm, Mindrum, near the Scottish Border, where there is horse driving as well as riding.

To the west, in the uplands, riders enjoy far horizons and can follow old packhorse trails for miles. Cheviot Challenge Routes are being developed by the National Park and the British Horse Society to provide routes in five valleys, lasting one day or one week.

One indication of a riding establishment’s quality is if its instructors are qualified with the British Horse Society. Northumberland’s stables, from north to south, include:

  • Berwick Riding Centre, Murton White House Farm
  • Swinhoe Farm Riding Centre, near Belford
  • Doxford Riding Centre, Chathill
  • Titlington Hall, near Alnwick
  • Shipley Lane Equestrian Centre, north of Alnwick
  • Town Foot Farm, Shilbottle
  • Redesdale Riding Centre, Soppit Farm, Elsdon, near OtterburnKidlandlee Trail Riding, Harbottle
  • The Pegasus Centre for Riding for the Disabled, Tranwell Farm, Tranwell, near Morpeth
  • Benridge Riding Centre, Benridge Hagg, Morpeth
  • Springdawn Riding School, Sheepwash Bank, Choppington
  • Paddock Hall Equestrian Centre, Morpeth Road, Guide Post
  • Sandy Bay Trekking Centre, near Ashington
  • Gloucester Lodge Farm, Blyth
  • Ravenshill Riding Centre, Kielder
  • Brown Rigg Riding School, Bellingham
  • Plover Hill Riding School, Dipton Mill, Hexham
  • High Plains, Riding Mill
  • Slaley Pony Trekking, Reaston Hill, Swangs Lane, Slaley
  • Bradley Mill Riding Centre, Wylam, includes disabled riding
  • Sinderhope Pony Trekking Centre, near Allendale
  • Northumberland College at Kirkley Hall, Ponteland.

Horse riding on a Northumberland beach ©