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, you'll 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.
You'll be staying 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. You'll ride out in different directions each day; trails are varied and take in numerous local sights such as the eerie Jamaica Inn, made famous by Daphne du Maurier's eponymous novel as well as the Hitchcock film. Other days will see you discovering Poldark country on a trail that even takes you past Ross Poldarks' house or marvelling at The Trippet Stones, a bronze age standing stone circle. Whatever the route taken, you can be sure to enjoy exhilarating canters and gallops and 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 your accommodation while lunches are either a picnic on the trail or taken at a local pub. Dinners are always at local pubs or restaurants so you'll have 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 SM of Biggleswade on 24/02/2020
Pick up from either Bodmin Parkway train station or Newquay airport if required. Arrival at your host's base in the heart of Bodmin Moor and settle into your modern, comfortable accommodation with a traditional Cornish Cream Tea (scones, jam and lots of clotted cream.) There's time to meet your hosts Paul and Jen, have a tour of the yard and meet the horses and talk through the programme for the week. Dinner is at a local pub – the famous Jamaica Inn set high on the moor and reputedly haunted by highwaymen. Made famous by Daphne Du Maurier and her book of the same name, the pub is now a cosy retreat.
Breakfast will be prepared in your cottage, which also has a fully equipped kitchen. After breakfast you'll take part in a one hour riding assessment to pair you with the most suitable horse for your stay. This is followed by a mid-morning ride out onto the moor. Return to the stables for lunch before setting off on an afternoon ride through Bodmin Moor; a truly magical place home to ancient Neolithic 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. Return to base via a circular route, crossing rocky outcrops or “tors” (approx 2-3 hours riding.) Dinner will be at a local pub – The St Tudy Inn, a typical moorland pub with roaring log fires, slate floors and wonderful food.
After breakfast, you'll head out on todays ride, a scenic, challenging trail that takes you towards Delford Bridge for a splash through the De Lank River, before heading across Kernow Downs and out onto the vast Manor Common. From there you will see two of the many Tors or rocky outcrops on the Moor – Carbilly Tor (from the Cornish “carn ebilly” meaning “Colt’s Tor”) and Hawks Tor. You’ll also visit the Trippet Stones, a Bronze Age standing stone circle said to be maidens turned to stone for dancing on the Sabbath. Continuing on the trail you'll cross Manor Common and arrive at the village of Blisland, where you'll hitch up the horses on the village green outside The Blisland Inn and enjoy a lunch stop. After enjoying some welcome refreshment you'll mount up and head to Pendrift Downs to visit The Jubilee Rock. This huge 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. More recently Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee. After visiting some of the most interesting corners of the moor you'll head home (approx 4 - 5 hours riding). Dinner tonight is at another local pub – The St Breward Inn, to sample some fantastic, locally-sourced food.
After breakfast you'll saddle up for a morning ride, taking in some different scenery. You'll ride along the wooded valleys to Hellandbridge and return through Helligan woods alongside the river Camel. Up to the Moor and then return to the stables at midday before being driven to nearby Tintagel – home to the fabled Castle of King Arthur. It’s a quaint Cornish village full of tea shops, antique shops and a fascinating Centre of Arthurian legend. The Castle itself is a strong walk downhill, before climbing up onto the promontory which is home to the 6th century ruins. There are also a couple of pubs to choose from for lunch. you'll then continue onto The Port William pub at Trebarwith Strand, just along the coast. This pub still has a smugglers tunnel leading to the beach below and boasts one of the best sea views in the county. Return to base after dinner at The Port William.
After breakfast, you'll be heading out across the moor to Alex Tor, where you can take in the breathtaking moorland views reaching as far as the North Cornwall Coast. You'll then ride on to Rough Tor, which at 1,313ft, is the second highest point in Cornwall. At the summit is a “logan” rock, a huge piece of granite which will rock gently if you stand on the right spot! From Rough Tour and its many Bronze Age hut circles, you'll ride along the foot of the highest point in Cornwall at 1375ft – Brown Willy or Bronn Wennyly in Cornish, meaning Swallow’s Hill and then descend into woodland to Davidstow Moor.
From here you'll ride onto Davidstow Airfield which played an important role during the Second World War, and was home to American and Canadian troops, before a stop at Roughtor Farm for a traditional Cornish cream tea for lunch. In the afternoon the trail takes you past further stone circles and ancient signs of settlements before coming to Casehill Downs and King Arthur’s 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 around them. You'll then head home. (5 – 6 hours riding.) An evening meal can be enjoyed at the nearby St Mabyn Inn.
Breakfast and then off onto another hidden corner of the moor; riding over Casehill to Ivy downs to Hawks Tor. You'll return to base at midday before being driven to one of the most famous and picturesque villages in Cornwall – Padstow. It’s a vibrant fishing port still and home to two 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 – or do as the locals do and enjoy a traditional pasty sitting on the quayside.
You will spend the afternoon in Padstow and at approx. 5.30pm you will cross the Camel estuary by ferry to Rock where you will eat an evening meal and be collected in the evening from Rock to return to Hallagenna. Return late evening to base.
After breakfast it’s time to say goodbye to your horse and your hosts before transfers and departure.
Transfer from/to either Bodmin Parkway Railway station or Newquay airport are included if arriving at set times.The pickup time for the train is approx. 4pm and for Newquay Airport between 2.30pm & 5pm. For departure, guests will be dropped for the train between 9 & 10am and for Newquay Airport the drop will be made between 9 & 11am. Guests will be charged extra if they require other times. Arrivals at other times cost £30 per person from Bodmin Parkway station or £40 per person from Newquay Airport. Both transfer options are payable on-site in cash.
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.
You'll be exploring 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 you a spectacular view of Cornwall from coast to hills and you can also admire the beautiful display of green pastures, rugged distant coastlines and unrivalled flora and fauna. Each days riding is varied, you could be riding between the Tors and across the open commons or passing bronze age settlements and stone circles. You'll pass through woodland areas as well, 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 well-schooled horse at all paces including gallop in open countryside. You 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 compusory and are available to borrrow 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.
You'll be staying 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. Each relaxing bedroom has its own en-suite shower room. Fluffy towels and all bedlinen are also provided.
Breakfasts are provided each morning at your 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 so that you can 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 and vegetarian diets can easily be catered for.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, September, October
High Season: July, August
2020: Saturday arrivals on request year round
Low season: March
Mid Season: April, May, June, September, October
High Season: July, August
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2020 - Low season||7d/6n||5||double pp||989|
|2020 - Low season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||125|
|2020 - Low season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||615|
|2020 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,249|
|2020 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||125|
|2020 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||745|
|2020 - High season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,425|
|2020 - High season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||189|
|2020 - High season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||875|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2020 - Low season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,119|
|2020 - Low season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||145|
|2020 - Low season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||695|
|2020 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,419|
|2020 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||145|
|2020 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||845|
|2020 - High season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,615|
|2020 - High season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||215|
|2020 - High season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||995|
|Riding days||Product item description||$|
|2020 - Low season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,269|
|2020 - Low season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||159|
|2020 - Low season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||789|
|2020 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,609|
|2020 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||159|
|2020 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||959|
|2020 - High season||7d/6n||5||double pp||1,835|
|2020 - High season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||245|
|2020 - High season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||1,125|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2020 - Low season||7d/6n||5||double pp||12,269|
|2020 - Low season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||1,555|
|2020 - Low season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||7,609|
|2020 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||double pp||15,529|
|2020 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||1,555|
|2020 - Mid season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||9,255|
|2020 - High season||7d/6n||5||double pp||17,705|
|2020 - High season||7d/6n||5||single supplement||2,329|
|2020 - High season||7d/6n||5||non-rider||10,869|
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 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.