Visit the ancient Celtic kingdom of Cornwall and experience some of the best horse riding in the country on Bodmin Moor – one of the last great, unspoilt regions of south west England and filming location for the recent Poldark TV series.
Experience mile upon mile of wild open moorland, rocky tors, bronze age settlements and smugglers tunnels, all steeped in thousands of years of history. Ride up to Cornwall's highest point, past the dramatic granite tors and enjoy a spectacular view of Cornwall from coast to hills. As well as fantastic riding, riders have the chance to explore the sights of north Cornwall with half-day excursions to the culinary village of Padstow and Tintagel Castle, steeped in legends of King Arthur.
Stay on-site at the stables in the heart of the moor, which also acted as the base for the stunt horses used in the TV series. Other days are spent discovering Poldark country on a trail that passes Ross Poldark's house or marveling at The Trippet Stones, a bronze-age standing stone circle. Whatever the route taken, riders can be sure to enjoy exhilarating canters and gallops along with fascinating history, exploring the hidden corners of one of the UK's last wildernesses.
Accommodation is in twin or double rooms with private bathrooms and breakfasts are served at the accommodation, while lunches are either a picnic on the trail or taken at a local pub. Dinners are always at local pubs or restaurants and there is plenty of opportunity to soak up the Cornish atmosphere during the course of the week. This is a fantastic way to really get under the skin of Cornwall and see the county in a way most tourists do not get to experience; getting off the beaten path on horses that are trustworthy and surefooted on the unpredictable terrain.
The ideal holiday for experienced riders keen to explore this wild and largely undeveloped area of outstanding natural beauty.
Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.
Review received from DF of Frisange on 07/09/2022
Arrival at the host's base in the heart of Bodmin Moor and check in. Meet the hosts and enjoy a traditional Cornish Cream Tea followed by a tour of the yard to meet the horses and talk through the programme for the week. Dinner is at a local pub – the St Breward Inn, the highest Inn in Cornwall - a cosy retreat. (or similar)
After breakfast riders will be matched with a suitable mount and take a slow 2 hour assessment ride out onto the Moor. Return to the stables for lunch before setting off on an afternoon ride to Alex Tor through parts of Bodmin Moor. This truly magical place is home to ancient settlements, hut circles, burial chambers and more recently, the domain of smugglers and pirates. Now it is a quiet haven, home to plentiful wildlife, breathtaking scenery, and a wildness that is difficult to find elsewhere. (2-3 hours riding) Transfer for dinner at the St Kew Inn.
After breakfast, saddle up for a full day ride beginning with some different moorland scenery and quiet country lanes. Then ride along the wooded valleys of the Camel Trail to Hellandbridge, returning through Helligan woods alongside the river Camel up to the village of Blisland. Hitch the horses on the village green outside the Blisland Inn and enjoy lunch. Afterlunch, head to Pendrift Downs to visit Jubilie Rock. This granite rock was carved in 1809-10 by lieutenant John Rogers and his men to commemorate King George III’s jubilee. It features Britannia and various Coats of Arms and is updated with new carvings on special occasions. Head back to the stables. (4-5 hours riding). Relax and enjoy refreshments before heading out to St Tudy’s Inn for the evening meal.
After breakfast, set off on the Poldark trail to see the areas, farms and settlements where the classic TV Poldrk series was filmed. Return to the stables at midday. Enjoy Cornish pastries at the farm, before taking a local taxi (cost included) out to nearby Tintagel – home to the fabled Castle of King Arthur. This quaint Cornish village is full of tea shops, antique shops and the fascinating Centre of Arthurian Legend. The Castle itself is a short walk over the new bridge to the promontory (home to the 6th century ruins). Continue the walk on to The Port William pub at Trebarwith Strand, just along the coast path (Approx. 2 miles). This pub still has a smugglers tunnel leading to the beach below, and boasts one of the best sea views in the county. (Riders can arrange a taxi from Tintagel if preferred) The group will be collected from the Port William to return to the stables at approx. 8pm.
After breakfast, head out on The Rocky Tor Trail. This trail ride leads across the moor to King Arthurs hall. This is one of the most fascinating sites on the moor, thought to be an ancient Neolithic or early Bronze Age ceremonial site. It consists of roughly fifty-six stones arranged in a rectangle with a bank of earth, from where you can take in the breath-taking moorland views reaching as far as the North Cornwall Coast. Then ride on to Rough Tor, which at 1,313 feet, is the second highest point in Cornwall. At the summit is a “Logan” rock, a huge piece of granite which will rock gently when standing om the right spot! From Rough Tor and its many Bronze Age hut circles, ride along the foot of the highest point in Cornwall at 1,375 feet – Brown Willy or Bronn Wennili in Cornish, meaning Swallow’s Hill. Continue over Rough Tor, past woodland, with Crowdy reservoir in the distance (one of north Cornwall’s main water supply reservoirs and home to a wildlife reserve). Arrive at Rough Tor Farm for a late lunch including sandwiches and traditional Cornish cream tea, with spectacular views across the Moor. Back in the saddle, ride past further stone circles and ancient signs of settlements before coming to Casehill Downs and Alex Tor. (5-6 hours riding) Enjoy an evening meal at nearby St Mabyn Inn.
After breakfast, take in different scenery on a ride along the trail to Delford Bridge for a splash through the De Lank River, before heading across Kernow Downs and out on the vast Manor Common with a view of two of the many Tors - Carbilly Tor and Hawks Tor. Visit the Trippet Stones, a bronze age standing stone circle said to be maidens turned into stone for dancing on the sabbath. Cross Manor Common up to wallhouse, a short trek through the lanes of Waterloo, and then return to Hallagenna at midday. (Approx. 3 hours Riding) Change out of riding gear and freshen up before heading off to one of the most famous and picturesque towns in Cornwall – Padstow. A vibrant fishing port and home to some of the most famous chefs in the UK – Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth. There are plenty of interesting shops, boutiques and tea rooms to browse. There are also a number of pubs, cafes and eateries to choose from for lunch (not included) – or do as the locals do and enjoy a traditional pasty or fish and Chips sitting on the quayside. From Padstow, continue by Ferry (short 5 minute crossing ) across the Camel estuary village of Rock for a final dinner at The Rock Inn at approx. 6pm. Sit on the outside terrace overlooking the estuary and enjoy some locally sourced produce. Return late evening to the stables.
After breakfast it’s time to say goodbye to the horses and hosts before transfers and departure.
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
This destination has a number of wonderful horses and ponies, who have been selected for their willing natures and surefootedness on the rough moorland terrain. There are a variety of sizes and types of horse and pony used for trail rides, all are familiar with moorland wildlife, including cattle, sheep, buzzards and the occasional fox. They will take the changing terrain in their stride, but are equally keen to explore whatever lies ahead. Explore Bodmin Moor, riding out for between 4-6 hours in different directions each day. The moor offers mile after mile of open scenery and spectacular views. Riding in this region can be both exciting and challenging, riding past the dramatic, granite Tors on a clear day can give one a spectacular view of Cornwall from coast to hills. Admire the beautiful display of green pastures, rugged distant coastlines and unrivaled flora and fauna. Each day's riding is varied, riding between the Tors and across the open commons, or passing bronze age settlements and stone circles. Pass through woodland areas dotted with streams to cross, a rocky Tor to climb, or an open common for a gallop through this beautiful countryside.
This destination is only suitable for intermediate and advanced riders who have the riding ability to confidently ride with a secure seat and are able to control a strong horse at all paces including gallop in open countryside. Riders should also be fit enough to ride for five hours or more. The minimum riding age is 12 years (subject to relevant riding ability and being accompanied by an adult). No riders under 18 years unless accompanied by an adult. Riding hats are compulsory and are available to borrow if you don't want to bring your own.
The weight limit for this ride is 251 lb/114 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
Accommodation is on-site at the riding centre in two newly converted holiday cottages which were once the original stables of the farm. Jubilee Cottage sleeps up to 6 people in three bedrooms, while Trippet Cottage sleeps up to 4 people in two bedrooms. Both cottages are spacious and boast a clean, modern decor inside, with underfloor heating and wooden flooring throughout. A modern, fully equipped kitchen is provided in each cottage (although breakfast and lunch are provided and dinners are taken at local pubs). The kitchens open out onto the dining and living area, with comfortable leather sofas, coffee table, a 32″ HD television with Freeview and DVD player. Please note that private bathrooms are not always available, please enquire. Fluffy towels and all bedlinen are also provided.
Breakfasts are provided each morning at the accommodation and are either a traditional full English or a continental option (bread, cheeses, cereal, fruit etc), and lunch is provided on two of the days. These lunches are either served at the riding stable, or a picnic whilst out on the trail. The rest of the time meals are taken in local inns and pubs allowing riders the chance to sample some traditional homemade Cornish cuisine, using fresh, local ingredients. Main courses vary from fish and chips, local fish and seafood to steak and ale pie. Vegetarian diets can easily be catered for.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.
NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures
Passport and Visa requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.
Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa.
In the US travel advice is available from: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/UnitedKingdom.html
In Canada travel advice is available from:: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/united-kingdom
The climate of south-west England is classed as oceanic and is typified by cool winters with warmer summers and precipitation all year round, with more experienced in winter. Annual rainfall is about 1,000 millimetres and up to 2,000 millimetres on higher ground. Summer averages range from 18 °C (64 °F) to 22 °C (72 °F) and winter averages range from 1 °C (34 °F) to 4 °C (39 °F) across the south-west. It is the second windiest area of the United Kingdom, with the majority of winds coming from the south-west and north-east.
This ride is based Bodmin Moor, which has a higher altitude compared to the rest of the South-West. As a result of this, be prepared for lower temperatures and more precipitation than the rest of the south west (approximately twice as much rainfall as lowland areas). Both of these factors also result in the highest levels of snowfall and the lowest levels of sunshine so pack plenty of warm clothes even in the summer.
COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.
Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in the UK and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.
In United Kingdom the supply voltage is 230V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 230V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.
There is electricity available at your accommodation each evening for charging phones and cameras. Wifi is also available in your accommodation. Mobile phone signal can be patchy.
We strongly recommend warm riding wear and good riding waterproofs as the weather in this region can be unpredictable.
Riding hat, mandatory (available to borrow)
Boots with heels are also mandatory
Comfortable warm riding wear; jodhpurs, jeans, polo shirts, jumpers, fleece shower-proof coat
Chaps full or half (optional)
Lip balm and sun cream
Casual evening wear
This is a 6 night / 7 day / 5 days riding programme available with dates on request from March to October
Low season: March
Mid Season: April, May, June, October
High Season: July, August, September
2023: Saturday arrivals on request year round.
2023 Scheduled departures: 1, 29 Apr; 6, 20 May; 3, 17 Jun; 1 Jul; 9, 16, 30 Sept; 7, 14 Oct.
Low season: March
Mid Season: April, May, June, September, October
High Season: July, August
Please note that private bathrooms are not always available, please enquire.
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2023 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,439|
|2023 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||139|
|2023 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||859|
|2023 - High season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,729|
|2023 - High season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||189|
|2023 - High season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||1,065|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2023 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,659|
|2023 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||159|
|2023 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||995|
|2023 - High season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,995|
|2023 - High season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||219|
|2023 - High season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||1,225|
|Riding days||Product item description||US $|
|2023 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,815|
|2023 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||175|
|2023 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||1,085|
|2023 - High season||7d/6n||5||double pp||2,185|
|2023 - High season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||239|
|2023 - High season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||1,339|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2023 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||double pp||19,265|
|2023 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||1,845|
|2023 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||11,525|
|2023 - High season||7d/6n||5||double pp||23,165|
|2023 - High season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||2,515|
|2023 - High season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||14,219|
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier - Du Maurier wrote her period tale of Cornish smugglers after staying at the former coaching inn on Bodmin Moor in 1930. You'll be able to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the book over dinner at the eponymous Jamaica Inn itself on Day 1 of this ride.
The Poldark Series by Winston Graham - Published in 1945, Poldark spans the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It follows the life of Ross Poldark and his efforts to restore his fortune by reopening one of the family’s derelict tin mines. Romance and betrayal are a few words to describe this gripping novel which is based on the rugged Cornwall coast.
Lots of activities for non-riders including hiking, mountain biking and even surfing nearby. We recommend non-riders hiring a car to explore the area. For Poldark fans there is lots of oppotunity to visit where the series was filmed. Most of the filming locations have either public access or may be accessed by private arrangement. One, two and three day Poldark tours to learn about Poldark’s life, loves and including some of Cornwall’s hidden treasures may be booked easily. Although many of the beaches and coves can be accessed by car, some require a good degree of stamina and mobility to walk the necessary distance from a nearby car park.
The moor is home to a plethora of plants and some rare and protected wildlife such as otters, Marsh Fritillary butterflies, bats and songbirds such as the Stonechat and Wheatear. Bodmin Moor is also the only place in the world where a rare moss, the Cornish Path Moss, grows.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants. Together, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The capital of the United Kingdom and its largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million, the fourth-largest in Europe and second-largest in the European Union. Other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the conurbations centred on Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers based in their capitals, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively. The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is now King Charles III following the passing of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned from 6 February 1952 until 8 September 2023. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain (which lies in the North Atlantic) in its centre and south; and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England's terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north (for example, the mountainous Lake District, and the Pennines) and in the southwest (for example, Dartmoor and the Cotswolds). England has a temperate maritime climate: it is mild with temperatures not much lower than 0 °C (32 °F) in winter and not much higher than 32 °C (90 °F) in summer. The weather is damp relatively frequently and is changeable. The coldest months are January and February, the latter particularly on the English coast, while July is normally the warmest month. Months with mild to warm weather are May, June, September and October. Rainfall is spread fairly evenly throughout the year. Scotland's only land border is with England, which runs for 60 miles (97 km) in a north-easterly direction from the Solway Firth in the west to the North Sea on the east coast. Scotland accounts for just under a third of the total area of the UK, covering 78,772 square kilometres (30,410 sq mi) and including nearly eight hundred islands, predominantly west and north of the mainland; notably the Hebrides, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands. Scotland is the most mountainous country in the UK. The more rugged Highland region contains the majority of Scotland's mountainous land, including Ben Nevis which at 1,343 metres (4,406 ft) is the highest point in the British Isles. The climate of Scotland is temperate and very changeable, but rarely extreme. Scotland is warmed by the North Atlantic Drift and given the northerly location of the country, experiences much milder conditions than areas on similar latitudes, such as Labrador in Canada - where icebergs are a common feature in winter. Wales accounts for less than a tenth of the total area of the UK, covering 20,779 square kilometres (8,020 sq mi). Wales is mostly mountainous, though South Wales is less mountainous than North and mid Wales. The highest mountains in Wales are in Snowdonia and include Snowdon which, at 1,085 metres (3,560 ft), is the highest peak in Wales. Wales has a maritime climate, the predominant winds being south-westerly and westerly, blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. This means that the weather in Wales is in general mild, cloudy, wet and windy. The country's wide geographic variations cause localised differences in amounts of sunshine, rainfall and temperature. Rainfall in Wales varies widely, with the highest average annual totals in Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, and the lowest near the coast and in the east, close to the English border. In July 2007, England is introducing a smoking ban in pubs and other public places, following on from the success of the scheme in Ireland. Be aware that there may be large fines for smoking in banned areas. The UK is on GMT time. Although most weights and measures are now metric (celsius, litres and kg) some imperial measures remain and distances are indicated in miles. The international dialling code is +44.