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Horse Riding Trail Rides in the Yorkshire Dales

Horse Riding in the Yorkshire Dales

Malhamdale, Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn

Day 1 – Leave the trekking centre and head out across Boss Moor.  We ride across Hetton Common, sometimes with a lunchtime detour to the famous ‘Angel Inn’ at Hetton for lunch before continuing on the green lane, over Weets Top and descending into Malhamdale via Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss.

Day 2 – The return journey takes us out of Malham on the Stainforth road then past Malham Tarn (where Charles Kingsley was inspired to write ‘The Water Babies’) before joining Mastiles Lane at Street Gate and following the path the Monks used to take in days gone by to reach home, where a welcome cup of tea and piece of cake will await.

Other notes for this ride: suitable for intermediate riders or better.  Some cantering will be included.

Grassington Lead Mines and Hebden Gill

Day 1 – From the centre we ride onto the turf cutters lane known locally as Scotgate Lane, out into the wild landscape, with no habitation for many miles.  The ride passes the site of the gamekeeper’s old house, which until the mid 1990’s was still in recognisable state, crosses the road at the very top of Grassington and onto the old lead mines.  We drop down into Hebden Gill which is a very pretty route along the valley bottom with a stop at the Clarendon Hotel for a late lunch, before heading into Grassington where you will stay overnight

Day 2 - From Grassington we ride to Skirethorns Lane and out onto Grassington Moor, where often there are red grouse to see.  There is more evidence of the lead mining history, with the old railway loading bays still easily identifiable before the more traditional stone barns and hill grazing. As we cross Kilnsey Moor look out for the buzzards which are often seen in this area.

Other notes: this ride is suitable for intermediate riders and more novice riders can be taken on this ride, but should be able to rise to the trot competently.

Middleham Gallops

Day 1 – The ride begins by loading the horses into the horsebox and getting a lift to the head of Bishopdale, beyond Buckden where we ride over Stake Road before bearing right along the high ridge above the road to West Burton, and although a cliché, the people and traffic below really do look like ants. We stop at Thoralby for lunch – usually a takeaway from the village shop, although there is a pub there, before continuing on to the criss-cross farm tracks leading to the gallops at Middleham, usually reaching them late afternoon when the racehorses have finished for the day, thereby allowing us a chance to have a gentle canter.  Night accommodation is at a small family run yard, with the pub just a short walk away.

Day 2 – Fully rested from the previous day we re-trace our steps slightly and can have a good pipe-opener up the gallops, often joined by the regular Middleham inhabitants, which is good fun, and even the shaggiest pony can dream of being a racehorse.  As if that wasn’t enough, we can also use the Top Moor gallop too, before heading out across the moor to Carlton, where the villagers raised the money to buy the village pub, which is where we may stop for lunch.  A steep but scenic ride takes us from Coverdale back into Bishopdale again,  and the hidden gem of a village which is West Burton where our transport awaits for the homeward journey – but if it doesn’t, a trip to the local tearoom is highly recommended, with its home baking and generous pots of tea!.

Other notes: this ride is only suitable for experienced riders who have cantered regularly before.  Only small groups can be accommodated on this ride – maximum 4.

Semerwater and Askrigg

Day 1 – From Stake Road we follow the turf road to Semerwater, where, so the rumour goes, an old man was refused shelter from the villagers, and in a fit of pique he flooded the village, which is now Semerwater Lake – there is certainly an eerie feel to the place and the horses never want to go into the lake for a drink....  It is an ideal spot for a picnic however.  Afterwards we ride through Bainbridge and onto Askrigg where we will spend the night.

Day 2 – More drover’s roads and moorland to cross, riding along the bottom of Addleborough which is one of the bigger hills.  Semerwater is visible in the distance. We ride back along Buckden Raikes which are a spectacular legacy of the melting of the glaciers. Sometimes instead our return route takes us along the old Roman Road known as Cam High Road which drops down into Oughtershaw, a tiny hamlet at the very head of Upper Wharfedale.

Other notes: small groups best for this ride too please.

Hetton, Bank Newton/Coniston Cold and Malham

Day 1 – Leaving the yard we set off for Hetton Common, and go down the green lane to our lunch stop – the celebrated Angel Inn.  After lunch we pass Winterburn reservoir and make our way to Friars Head and onto Eshton, after a brisk canter up the Pennine Way bridlepath known locally as ‘Eshton gallops’ we drop down to Aire Bridge, and either through Bell Busk and on to the Coniston Estate where you will stay at Coniston Hotel or ride on to Bank Newton where horses and riders are accommodated at the beautifully refurbished Newton Grange.

Day 2 – The homeward route takes us through the village of Airton, where you may see some of the finest Zwartbles sheep in the country, and on to Malham, with the route taken here often via Gordale Scar or sometimes Mastiles Lane with all its ancient history.