Rider Closeup
Three riders with big sky
Horse ears, climbing the hill
Happy rider with clouds in the distance
Happy rider navigating
Happy horse
Gorgeous countryside
Horse with ruins
Valley with bridge in the distance
Riders in the distance
Entwined Trees
Try this UK riding weekend break, get away from it all and join Myfanwy for 3 days in the saddle. Climbing high into the mountains descending through valleys and woods at a good pace. Let the experienced cobs show you how to cope with the Welsh mountains and tracks, while enjoying spectacular scenery. Very comfortable en suite overnight accommodations with fine food are available in the evenings. If you cannot manage a weekend, don't panic! - the Short Break Trail Ride is also available as a mid-week break subject to availability.

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 BL of JOHNSTONE on 19/07/2018

Ride Summary
Very good. Amazing horses and beautiful countryside.
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     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Other(please specify)     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (X) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Culture     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Flora/Fauna     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern with Environment     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Language skills     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Additional Comments
3 different tour leaders, one on each day. Guide on first day was very pleasant but quite young and lacked experience. Myfanwy on day 2 and Georgie on day 3 were absolutely excellent and would have a definite 100% from me in every respect.
Horses and Tack
Condition of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Condition of Tack     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (X) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments
On the whole very comfortable and well fitting tack. The saddle on the pony my daughter rode on day 3 was in need of repair but Myfanway had already noted this and will no doubt take care of it.
Meals
Meal Quantity     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Quality     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Punctuality     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Accommodation
Camping Equipment     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Hotels/Lodges/Inns     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hygiene standards     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Miscellaneous
Transfer arrangements     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Other office staff     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (X) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other ride staff     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Weather     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Overall fabulous holiday, we loved it. When we arrived Myfanwy was not there and yard manager seemed a bit harassed as she was taking another group out so was not overly friendly however this did not detract from holiday.
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?
3 day ride was amazing, countryside spectacular, I am really hooked on Wales now. My only comment - rather than criticism would be that day 1 at 28 miles was very long. I ride every day and even I found it tough going. My daughter was so shattered she opted not to ride on Day 2. Very hard one to solve as the route is a natural route with no earlier breaks but possibly if we had left 2 hours earlier and stopped for lunch sooner - lunch was at about 3 pm, that would have helped with the endurance side. Also lunch on day 1 was a bit disappointing. We stopped at an old ruin but there was no where to sit and not a lot to see, would have been better to hop off and picnic on top of the hills above. Lunches on days 2 and 3 were much more relaxed and in nicer settings. The scenery on day 1 was stunning so a hard one to solve.
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
8
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
The pace was good and horses excellent however, the length of time in the saddle means you have to be riding fit to do this holiday. Because we did a bit of cantering, stirrups need to be shorter and that with the very steep descents make it hard on the knees. But if fit then this is a fantastic holiday.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
I already have - even before Welsh holiday which led to my friend booking a Majorcan holiday through you.
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Any other comments:
Just to say thank you to Myfanwy, Georgie and the team for providing us with such a lovely short break.
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)

3 day Itinerary:

Friday
You will be welcomed at the train station by Myfanwy, your host and transferred to a local village inn. Over dinner you will meet your fellow riders and talk about the programme for the weekend ahead.

Saturday
After a hearty Welsh breakfast, you will arrive at the stables around 9:30am and will be introduced to your mount, who will be fed, groomed and tacked up and waiting for you. Around 10:30am you will be ready to leave. The first part of the ride takes you along leafy, flower-lined lanes to the Black Mountains. You have a steep climb of around 2000 feet ahead of us. The trail then drops down through a beautiful valley to your picnic lunch stop. After lunch you will skirt the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain (1955 feet), and ride through ancient oak woods. There will be plenty of opportunities for good long canters before arriving at Pant-y-Gelli. By the time you arrive you will have spent approximately six hours in the saddle since leaving the stables and you will be looking forward to a relaxing bath and dinner.

Sunday
In the morning, everyone participates in catching, feeding, grooming and tacking up his or her horse for the day’s ride ahead. There is always someone on hand to help for those less familiar with these tasks. On departure, you ride along the eastern edge of the Sugar Loaf, then follow quiet byways to the remote church at Patrishow, where you will have lunch. Dating back to medieval times, this small church is renowned for its marvellous wall paintings, which survived the austerity of Cromwell’s Commonwealth to be enjoyed by visitors today. Riding onwards, you enter the quiet stillness of the Mynydd Du forest, where you should be able to find a jump or two! Climbing upwards, you will leave the forest and ride onto the bleak moorland of Bal Mawr, before crossing into the Vale of Ewyas, with the 12th century Llanthony Priory far below. Destroyed during Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, one tower was subsequently rebuilt as a hunting lodge. The horses spend the night at Lower Henllan Farm, whilst riders all adjourn to the night's accommodation at a nearby farmhouse before going on to the restaurant for dinner.

Monday
At the start of your 20 mile ride back to Llangorse, you climb the steep track out of the Llanthony Valley, following forest tracks and crossing "Windy Ridge", before having your picnic lunch in the woods. Afterwards, you will follow a grassy carriageway to the top of Pen Trumau (2005 feet), followed by a long steep descent (you will have realised by now that Welsh hills have very few flat bits!!). Then a final long canter along the foot of Mynydd Troed before arriving back at the stables in Llangorse. Your horses will then need untacking and feeding for a final time, before they are turned out into their field for a well earned rest! You can expect to be able to leave by about 7:30pm.

This itinerary is typical of a 3 day ride. However, the route and content taken may vary slightly dependent upon weather conditions and the availability of accommodation.

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

The mounts are good, forward going cobs and cob crosses ranging from 14.2hh to 16hh. These horses are renowned for their strength, natural sense of balance and toughness that is essential for riding over this rough terrain - they are in fact made for the job.

Rider requirements

You do not have to be an expert rider for these trips but you must be able to ride at a canter over rough ground, and capable of spending 6 hours a day in the saddle. You may be asked to groom and tack up your own horse and be shown how on the first day if you are unsure.

The rides are exhilarating and challenging sometimes covering over 20 miles a day. The pace is moderate to fast with some steep scrambles, sudden descents and long canters. Should you be in any doubt about your riding ability, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. With a herd of 20 horses to choose from Myfanwy will always be able to provide the ideal mount for you.
There is a lower age limit of 12 on this ride, if however your child was born in the saddle please contact us with details of their experience. There is a weight limit of 14.5 stone on this ride.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 14st 6lbs/204 lb/93 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Local B&B's and small hotels are used on this ride. They vary from family owned guest houses to a small walkers hotel nestled deep in the Black Mountains. All the selected accommodation offer a large choice of breakfasts, including juices, cereals, kedgeree and cooked breakfasts with toast and home-made jams and marmalades.

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

Wales's overall climate is much milder than expected, considering its location, as all of the British Isles are warmed some by the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift. There are exceptions, but normally winters in Wales are damp and mild. Winter low temps central and south infrequently fall below freezing. Summers are usually pleasant and warm with sunny to part-cloudy days. Showers are possible at almost anytime, so come prepared, but its reputation as a constantly rainy and wet destination is very much exaggerated.

Climate Chart

Health

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

Electricity

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

Film and Camera Equipment

Please bring all film and batteries with you. Charging points for digital camera will be available each night.

Packing List

Hard hats are essential - but if you do not have one they are available on-site. For your own comfort it is best to be equipped adequately for this ride.
You will need:
• Jodhpurs or similar, jeans are NOT suitable
• Riding boots or strong boots with a low heel.
• Waterproof coat /long stockmans coat.
• Riding gloves are advisable.
• Riding whip
• Casual clothes for the evening.

Myfanwy can provide some seat savers but you are more than welcome to take your own.

Luggage
Please keep luggage to a reasonable amount. It will be transported for you daily by the back up team to your overnight stop. Small saddlebags are provided for your camera, etc.

Programmes

Dates available from April to the end of October upon request.

Departure Dates

2018: Any date from April to end of October upon request.

Pricing
Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.


No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2018 - 3 day trail4d/3n3double pp585
2018 - 3 day trail4d/3n3single supplement38
2018 - 2 day trail3d/2n2double pp385
2018 - 2 day trail3d/2n2single supplement25
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2018 - 3 day trail4d/3n3double pp655
2018 - 3 day trail4d/3n3single supplement42
2018 - 2 day trail3d/2n2double pp429
2018 - 2 day trail3d/2n2single supplement28
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2018 - 3 day trail4d/3n3double pp759
2018 - 3 day trail4d/3n3single supplement49
2018 - 2 day trail3d/2n2double pp499
2018 - 2 day trail3d/2n2single supplement33
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2018 - 3 day trail4d/3n3double pp6,769
2018 - 3 day trail4d/3n3single supplement435
2018 - 2 day trail3d/2n2double pp4,455
2018 - 2 day trail3d/2n2single supplement289
Wildlife

All sorts of birds can be found here, thanks to the diversity of habitats - if you know where to look, who knows what you will see!
In the west of the Park, you won't have to try too hard to see red kites wheeling overhead with their distinctive forked tail.
The uplands of the National Park are also good places to try and spot some of the rarer birds that live here - although there are no guarantees! Look out for red grouse in the heather and golden plovers and curlews in the grasslands. More common species that can fill the air with song on a summer's day are skylarks and pipits, as well as the mewing of the buzzard (which is where it gets its name bwncath in Welsh ... which roughly translates as cat-bird).

Look out for bats chasing down insects along the Brecon-Monmouthshire Canal, or common lizards basking amongst the heaths and grasslands. And don't forget the flora - from the purple haze of the heather and the carpets of Springtime flowers to the amazing insectivorous plants such as sundews and butterworts.

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 and they use imperial weights and measures, so inches, feet, pounds and stones.

The international dialling code is +44.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Abergavenny train station or you can meet at the farm if you are driving
Transfer:
Included from meeting point
Flight Guide:
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