This welcoming farm, based on the island of Terschelling in the Netherlands; just a hop, skip and a ferry ride from Amsterdam is a Dutch archipelago in the North Sea and offers a choice of trails, wagon rides and even donkey rides for small children.
Guests are accommodated in self-catering, fully-equipped apartments close to the farm and can sample local specialities and ride the beautiful Freisian horses. Terschelling is famed for the large nature reserve which covers the island land and offers magnificent scenery from the blue ocean to the cranberry fields and the 30km sandy beach on the northern coast. The island is also one of the best places for bird watching as they migrate past the island.
The homebred Freisian horses are calm, well-mannered, fit for the trails and able to cope with the varied terrain. They live out together all year long in the meadows or in a large open barn. The trails are suited for all levels of riders from beginner to advanced with different routes for experienced riders. A beginners programme for new riders is also available and non-riders can take in the scenery via covered wagon. Week long stays are available all year round with no set arrival day.
Terschelling is a wonderful island to explore and can offer a host of other activities such as cycling, hiking, sailing, swimming, water sports and bird watching! This makes it a great choice for families who may have different interests and ride at different levels. You can also do a bit of 'island hopping' and visit Texel or Ameland nearby.
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 EA of Fontainebleau on 31/08/2022
This destination is very flexible and the days itinerary depends on the guests wishes. Breakfast is served in your accommodation between 8.30-11am. You can then ride in either the morning or the afternoon. The rest of the time you could explore the island, go mudwalking or oyster tasting. All riding is included but lunches and dinners are not included and can either be eaten at one of the many restaurants on the island or you can cook in the fully equipped kitchen.
The day begins with an extensive buffet breakfast including coffee, fruit, yogurt, cereal, ham, cheese, eggs and so on. After breakfast you'll head to the stables to meet the horses and head out on a ride. This could be through the forest, across a nature reserve or cantering along Europe's widest beach depending on the day and weather conditions.
During the trip you will have the chance to try several horses and find your favourite. You'll ride for 13-14 hours in total over the week enjoying the beautiful landscape through cranberry fields, woods and endless beaches. Options for bareback riding and swimming with the horses (July/August) are possible for experienced riders. In the evenings, you'll eat dinner at one the island's restaurants; try the ultra-fresh fish and seafood. You can then relax in your apartment or head to a local bar for a drink. For those who want to enjoy the peace and quiet a hot tub is available for guests to use.
Donkey walks - A donkey is a great companion for young and old while walking through these landscapes. Your donkey will happily carry your well-filled picnic basket and / or your child. You can bring your own picnic or have it provided by your hosts. Their donkey is sweet, affectionate, eager to learn, loyal and strong. There are several beautiful walking routes from 2.5 hours to a full day trip.
Covered wagon rides - Explore all over the island from West to the Boschplaat nature reserve. While you enjoy the versatile nature with forest, dunes, cranberry fields, mudflats, beach and Boschplaat, your coachman can tell you about the history and customs of the island. Wagons are accessible for disabled and wheelchair users (please indicate in advance). There are fleece blankets for when it is a bit chilly and in winter the cart is heated and you sit on warm, soft sheepskins.
Mudwalking - Stroll across the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the mudflats. Suitable for families with children aged 6 and over, this unspoilt natural landscape offers oyster tasting, mussel fishing and crab spotting.
Alternatively you can spend a day relaxing on the shores of this beautiful island or soothing any aching muscles in the hot tub.
Getting there by public transport
This is an easy journey from Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport or any major Dutch city. The NS trains are the Dutch national train service and their website (www.ns.nl/en) contains timetables and online ticket booking to Harlingen Haven station.
Once there you’ll need to walk 350m (382 yards) to the port. Tickets for the ferry can be purchased online at the ferry company Rederij Doeksen’s website (www.rederij-doeksen.nl/en) or at the port.
When you arrive at Terschelling’s port, a bus can be taken, which will get you to your destination.
Alternatively private transfers from Amsterdam Airport are also available and payable on site.
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.
There are 21 horses available for guests, all of which are Friesian horses, well adapted to the varied terrain, well-mannered and fit for the trails. The horses live in a herd year-round, making them friendly and reliable riding horses. You'll be heading out in a different direction each day which could be through the dunes, forests or along the spectacular long, sandy beach. You'll be riding in small groups of a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 6 horses, alternately in walk, trot and canter (walk and trot only for beginner riders). Your guides are local and experienced and all speak Dutch, English and German.
Beginner trails include 2 hours of riding through dunes, cranberry fields, the Boschplaats nature reserve, and beach suitable for inexperienced riders all year around. You can expect a riding pace of walk and trot and the chance to join an evening ride which includes a campfire, marshmallows and drinks. Advanced riders can choose from several itinerarys all of which include riding at a faster pace, from a 2-hour beach and dune ride to a four-hour trip to the iconic Drenkelingenhuisje (shelter for shipwrecked people) on the north-east coast of the island. During July-August, you can also try swimming in the sea on horseback in small groups of 3 people. This is for advanced riders who are happy riding bareback to the beach. A lifejacket and wetsuit is provided.
The horses here can carry between 90kg and the larger horses up to 120 kg. Based on the weight and experience of the rider, your hosts will select a suitable horse for you. All riding levels can be catered for as groups are split according to ability and beginners are paired with suitable horses. Riding hats are mandatory and are available to borrow in a variety of sizes.
The weight limit for this ride is 286 lb/130 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
You will be staying in a self-catering apartment close to your hosts farm which is located in the village of Oosterend; a unique location for nature lovers and families. The apartments include comfortable beds, a fully-equipped kitchen with stove, kettle, refrigerator, freezer and microwave. Bathrooms include a toilet, walk-in-shower, and hairdryer. Apartments also have flat screen TVs and radio/CD/DVD player and WIFI. Breakfast is included with your stay and is available in the on-site restaurant each morning.
Meals: The apartments include breakfast which is available between 8-11am each day. For lunch and dinner, you can either prepare your own in the apartment or visit one of the many restaurants and cafes on the island. One of the local specialties is cranberries which grow on the island. Try cranberry tea or cake with cranberry compote in one of the many restaurants on the island (e.g. in the Bessenschuur, Badweg 1, West Terschelling). Also delicious: around the famous Brandaris lighthouse, in the West Terschelling area, several restaurants where you can get freshly caught North Sea fish have sprung up.
This is a great location for families with children who will enjoy the presence of numerous farm animals and can also play on the trampoline. A cot and highchair is available if required. Parking is available at the apartment and there is a good bus connection to the bus stop next to the farm. The Boschplaat nature reserve, the polder, the dunes, the Wadden Sea and the North Sea is all within a 5 to 10-minute walk from the apartment. Children may also like to help with bringing the donkeys to and from the stables/pasture.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
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: British citizens and EU passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Netherlands but British citizens must be in possession of a valid passport. The British embassy is located in The Hague Address: Lange Voorhout 10, 2514 ED Den Haag, Netherlands. However the embassy is not currently open to members of the public and Consular services (including emergency travel documents) are carried out at the British Consulate General in Amsterdam. address: Koningslaan 44, 1075 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands. Telephone+31 70 427 0427
Terschelling has a maritime climate. Because the islands are separate from the mainland, the influence of wind and sea is stronger. Due to the temperature of the sea, in the spring, rainfall is limited. In the autumn, the heat from the sea then provides extra rain. Although the warm months are drier than other areas in the Netherlands, the temperature is also lower. The sea breeze ensures a cool breeze.
There are no specific health issues associated with travel to the Netherlands. You should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Dutch nationals. It also does not cover you for medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature.
Electricity in the Netherlands is 220V, 50Hz and sockets accept two round-pin plugs. Adaptors are easily available at airports.
Cameras and phones can be charged at the farm, and on each evening. Your accommodation is equipped with Wifi.
Riding hat (also available to borrow)
Rubber boots / waterproof short boots
Clothes and shoes for wearing while in the stables and on the farm
This is a 8 day/7 night programme available all year round with anyday arrivals
2022: Available year round with any day arrivals
Season A: 10 Jan - 14 Feb
Season B: 15 Feb - 31 Mar
Season C: 1 Apr - 10 Jun and 23 Sept - 14 Oct
Season D: 20 Jun - 9 Jul, 26 Aug - 22 Sept and 15 - 31 Oct
Season E: 10 Jul - 25 Aug
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2022 - Season A||8d/7n||6||double pp||829|
|2022 - Season A||8d/7n||6||single supplement||329|
|2022 - Season B||8d/7n||6||double pp||855|
|2022 - Season B||8d/7n||6||single supplement||369|
|2022 - Season C||8d/7n||6||double pp||919|
|2022 - Season C||8d/7n||6||single supplement||419|
|2022 - Season D||8d/7n||6||double pp||1,015|
|2022 - Season D||8d/7n||6||single supplement||515|
|2022 - Season E||8d/7n||6||double pp||1,199|
|2022 - Season E||8d/7n||6||single supplement||699|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2022 - Season A||8d/7n||6||double pp||895|
|2022 - Season A||8d/7n||6||single supplement||355|
|2022 - Season B||8d/7n||6||double pp||925|
|2022 - Season B||8d/7n||6||single supplement||399|
|2022 - Season C||8d/7n||6||double pp||995|
|2022 - Season C||8d/7n||6||single supplement||455|
|2022 - Season D||8d/7n||6||double pp||1,095|
|2022 - Season D||8d/7n||6||single supplement||555|
|2022 - Season E||8d/7n||6||double pp||1,295|
|2022 - Season E||8d/7n||6||single supplement||755|
|Riding days||Product item description||$|
|2022 - Season A||8d/7n||6||double pp||909|
|2022 - Season A||8d/7n||6||single supplement||359|
|2022 - Season B||8d/7n||6||double pp||939|
|2022 - Season B||8d/7n||6||single supplement||405|
|2022 - Season C||8d/7n||6||double pp||1,009|
|2022 - Season C||8d/7n||6||single supplement||465|
|2022 - Season D||8d/7n||6||double pp||1,109|
|2022 - Season D||8d/7n||6||single supplement||565|
|2022 - Season E||8d/7n||6||double pp||1,315|
|2022 - Season E||8d/7n||6||single supplement||765|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2022 - Season A||8d/7n||6||double pp||9,975|
|2022 - Season A||8d/7n||6||single supplement||3,959|
|2022 - Season B||8d/7n||6||double pp||10,309|
|2022 - Season B||8d/7n||6||single supplement||4,459|
|2022 - Season C||8d/7n||6||double pp||11,089|
|2022 - Season C||8d/7n||6||single supplement||5,069|
|2022 - Season D||8d/7n||6||double pp||12,205|
|2022 - Season D||8d/7n||6||single supplement||6,185|
|2022 - Season E||8d/7n||6||double pp||14,435|
|2022 - Season E||8d/7n||6||single supplement||8,415|
There are plenty of other activities available for guests as well as horse-riding. Sightseeing the 55 m high lighthouse Brandaris, the oldest lighthouse in the Netherlands, and dates back to 1594. It can be found in the West Terschelling area. Explore the world between ebb and flow during a mudflat hiking tour. You'll be amazed how many animals live in the mudflats. During the Oerol culture festival, the entire island of Terschelling transforms into a stage - with theater plays and concerts, and accompanying exhibitions. In the Boschplaat nature reserve in the east of the island of Terschelling, there are unique plant species, butterflies and an enormous in-house bird colony. The Wrakkenmuseum Terschelling shows various findings that come from over 150 shipwrecks discovered in the waters of the Terschelling coast. Sailing and kite surfing are popular on the island and can be booked. Finally, the Terschelling Bunker Museum, open from April to October, allows a look into four bunkers from the Second World War.
Terschelling is known for its beautiful and especially varied nature and nature reserves. The island has about 400ha of forest (mainly conifers) and there are more than 600 different plant species. Birds also love it on Terschelling and you will see them all year round. At least seventy different species of birds can be found in the Boschplaat nature reserve. Mammals are slightly less represented although occasionally young seals can be spotted on the beach.