Short break in the Lake District
Lake District Trail
Lake District short break
Riding in the Lake District
Riding through a mountain pass
Riding in the lakes

Enjoy this short riding break in the Lake District; one of England's most dramatic natural landscapes. Escape the tourist trail by exploring this UNESCO world heritage site on horseback; travel over craggy hilltops and through ancient forests before refuelling with a traditional pub lunch. Riders will follow in the footsteps of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, just two of the many poets and writers who have come to the Lakes to be inspired by the dramatic scenery and slower pace of life. This trail allows riders to get a taste of the mountain tarns and wooded valleys which make up the UKs most popular national park. Riders undertaking the 3 day trail will also be able to admire England's highest mountain; Scafell Pike.

This point-to-point ride would suit those who want to enjoy spectacular views of mountains, forests and lakes aboard quality horses. Riders should be prepared for a minimum of five hours in the saddle each day covering at least 12 miles. Lunches take place in traditional, local inns where riders can experience the Lake Districts long tradition of friendly hospitality, good food and local beers, many of the pubs on this trail also have open fires or log-burning stoves to create a truly cosy atmosphere.

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 FP of Bristol on 20/08/2019

Ride Summary

What was your overall impression of the holiday
Unicorn Trails sales staff
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Friendliness     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Speed of response     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Efficiency     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Knowledge     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Other(please specify) Timing of start was not clear. On the morning I phoned the riding centre who said 9:30, so we were a     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (X) Fair     (   ) Poor
Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Culture     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Flora/Fauna     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Concern with Environment     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Language skills     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Additional Comments

Horses and Tack
Condition of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Condition of Tack     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments
Loved the horses we were given
Meal Quantity     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Quality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Punctuality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Camping Equipment     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Hotels/Lodges/Inns     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hygiene standards     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Transfer arrangements     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other office staff     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (X) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other ride staff     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Weather     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:

Was there anything you should have known and were not told?     (X) NO     (   ) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:

What could we do to improve this ride?
The greeting and goodbye at the riding stables was not so good as staff were too busy to welcome us properly.
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
The pace suited the terrain. The days were long and in poor weather more challenging. I felt comfortable on this ride, but obstacles such as rivers to cross may be challenging to some.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:

May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Any other comments:
We really wanted to go to Austrian alps, but couldn’t find anything that you offer there.
Unicorn comments:

We recommend arriving in the Lake District one day prior to the start of the trail. Half-board accommodation can be booked in a local hotel the night before for an additional cost of £125 (2019 price) please enquire with your travel advisor.

Day 1
You begin your journey at 10am, riding out through Grizedale Forest; a stunning area of the National Park. You will then ride along tracks and through the heart of the forest taking in some breathtaking views. After several hours in the saddle you will be ready for a well earned rest at the Eagles Head Pub; a 16th century farmhouse which provides the perfect place for lunch. After lunch its time to burn off some calories with long canters over Coniston Fells taking in the stunning views of the Lake. You will then drop down to the edge of the Lake where you will have the chance to cool down your horse in the shallows. After a fantastic day of riding you will be ready for your bed and will stay overnight in Coniston at Oaklands Guest House.

Day 2
On day 2, you will ride out under the foot of Coniston Old Man and the famous slate mines. There is a great history behind this area which your hosts (the Myers Family) are strongly linked to and hope you will enjoy sharing their knowledge and passion for their birth place! The slate mines that you ride past were once owned and worked by the Myers’ past generations. Your journey will now take you down into Trover and across onto Lowick Common. Here there is quiet scenery and gentle canters. For lunch you will stop off at another traditional pub, The Royal Oak at Spark Bridge where the food is great and the hospitality is excellent. If on the two day trail the afternoon is spent with a steady ride back to the equestrian centre. If completing the three day trail you will travel onto the Wilsons Arms pub to stay overnight.

Day 3
This ride can be extended to a 3 day trip with a scenic ride over Walna Scar, a 2,000 ft pass on an ancient byway that was once the main route connecting Dunnerdale and Coniston. Your breath will be taken away at the summit by the fantastic views of Scafell Pike and Bowfell. To the west on a clear day you can get a stunning panoramic view of the Isle of Man and even Scotland! For lunch you will ride into Dunnerdale for a bite to eat at the ‘Newfield Inn‘ at Seathwaite. From here you will climb out on another ancient road that brings you via ‘Broughton Mills’ and ‘Broughton Moor Forest’. After the steady climb over Walna Scar, the forest offers you the chance to burn off your lunch with a few brisk canters before returning back to the equestrian centre at 4.30pm.

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.

Horses & Riding

There is a wide range of horses to choose from at the riding centre from 15hh to 16.2hh and from demanding and challenging to schoolmasters. Horses used for the trail are all in excellent condition and are lively but obedient as well as being well-schooled. Breeds used for the trail are mainly sure-footed cobs but other breeds such as Connemara and Irish Sport Horses are sometimes used. English tack is used exclusively at this centre.

Riders should be prepared to cover between 12-18 miles (20-30km) per day on this trail with a lunch break of an hour and a half taken at a pub. The general pace is mostly walking and trotting with cantering in short bursts where the terrain allows. The ride takes in a variety of scenery and terrain such as upland fells and lowland grassland, Lakeland villages and forestry roads. There is typically one guide per four riders.

Rider requirements

Riders must be confident, competent, fit and energetic. They must be in control in walk, trot and canter in open spaces and happy riding on some steep terrain.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 198 lb/90 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Accommodation on day 1 is at a comfortable guesthouse with double and twin rooms. All rooms have towels provided. Bathrooms are either en-suite or shared depending on availability. The rooms also come with a TV, complimentary tea and coffee, kettle and hair dryer. The guesthouse benefits from beautiful views over the Coniston Fells. If completing the 3-day trail accommodation on Day 2 is at a family-owned country inn. All rooms are clean and comfortable with en-suite and include complimentary tea and coffee.

Meals along the trail are in traditional Lakeland pubs using good quality ingredients. Riders will be able to pick from a varied menu, generally using locally-sourced products such as local meat and fresh fish and game.

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the 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 on request.

General information:

European Union nationals do not require a visa for the UK. In addition a visa is not required for stays of up to six months in the United Kingdom for nationals of many countries.

Climate Summary

Cumbria is located in North West England and has a temperate maritime climate with typically warm rather than hot summers and cool to cold winters. Cumbria rarely experiences very extreme weather so can be visited throughout the year. On average the hottest month is July and the coldest is January. Rainfall on average falls fairly evenly throughout the year with April being the driest month on average and November to January the wettest.

The weather is unpredictable as with the rest of the UK and it is possible to see elements of all four seasons in one day. The region may experience some snowfall in the winter, it is advisable for visitors to check the weather forecast before they arrive in Cumbria to get a better idea of the sort of clothing they will need during their trip. Bringing hooded waterproof coats and hats will ensure visitors are prepared for any spells of wind and rain the region may experience.

Climate Chart


There are no special vaccinations required for travel to the UK. Ask your doctor for specific information.


England use 3 pin plugs, 240V, 50Hz. You will need to bring adaptors.

Film and Camera Equipment

Riders will be able to charge batteries at evening accommodation.

Packing List

•Hard hats are compulsory but if you do not have one they are available to borrow.
• Jodhpurs or similar.
• Riding boots or strong boots with a low heel
• Chaps
• T-shirts
• Warm jumper
• Waterproof coat
• Riding gloves are advisable.
• Casual clothes for the evening.
• Camera

Saddlebags are provided to carry personal belongings


Two day programme: 2 days/1 night/2 days riding
Three day programme: 3 days/2 nights/3 days riding

Departure Dates

2020 2 day Trail: on request
2020 3 day Trail: Apr 20; May 10; Jun 1, 21; Sept 20 and on request

No single supplement payable if willing to share with someone of same sex. Should you wish to book a single room, please see supplement price below.

Single supplement available from £25, payable on site

No of   
Riding days Product item description £
2020 - 2 day/1 nightper night2double pp479
2020 - 3 day/2night3d/2n3double pp719
No of   
Riding days Product item description
2020 - 2 day/1 nightper night2double pp545
2020 - 3 day/2night3d/2n3double pp815
No of   
Riding days Product item description $
2020 - 2 day/1 nightper night2double pp619
2020 - 3 day/2night3d/2n3double pp929
No of   
Riding days Product item description SEK
2020 - 2 day/1 nightper night2double pp5,965
2020 - 3 day/2night3d/2n3double pp8,945
Recommended Reading

- A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells by Alfred Wainwright which remains the most popular guide to the Lake District. The books are renowned for their depth, detail and unique style. - The Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks is a memoir of sheep farming in the Lake District and a close look at a way of life that still exists in large parts of the region


The Lake District is home to a great variety of wildlife, due to its range of varied topography, lakes and forests. Riders are likely to encounter red squirrels (the Lake District is home to the largest population in England) as well as a huge range of bird species such as red kites, buzzards, peregrines and England’s only nesting pair of golden eagles.

Other Country Information

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 Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952.

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.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
The equestrian centre
Taxi transfers from Grange Over Sands or Oxenholme train station available to arrange upon request (payable on site; Oxenholme: £40-£50 one way, Grange Over Sands: £22 one way). 1h30m direct train journey from Manchester Airport to Oxenholme
Flight Guide:
London to Manchester from £53
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