Cooling off in the river
Riding in Dartmoor
Splashing about
Stunning scenery
Accommodation option
Dining room
Castle Inn bar

Ride over Dartmoor on this short break, riding Western style on Quarter horses over three days. Set deep in the Devonshire countryside, riders join local farmer Phil for some good-paced riding in the extraordinary scenery of the Dartmoor National Park. Covering 386 square miles, the moor is ideal for exploring on horseback.

This ride makes the most of the 3 days with 4-5 hours riding each day (including departure day), allowing for plenty of long canters and beautiful lunch stops in stunning scenery. Accommodation is offered in comfortable en-suite rooms inl ocal inns with a cooked breakfast each morning and tea and cake on return from the ride each day.

This is the ideal destination for those who want to experience the unique Dartmoor landscape but are short on time, or riders who want to try out Western riding before joining one of our longer Dartmoor rides; the Cattle Drives or Dartmoor Crossing.

Photo credit: Snelgrove Photography

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 MM of Crediton on 25/08/2022

Ride Summary
What was your overall impression of the holiday
It was a very enjoyable short break. Great to experience Dartmoor from horseback.
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
I was specific about the type of horses I hoped to be matched with and felt that I had been well matched with a horse that suited my experience.



Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
Please give more details to explain your response:
My friend and I stayed in the on site shepherds hut which was very cosy and comfortable. The kitchen / bathroom facilities provided are excellent.
Was there anything you should have known and were not told? NO
Please give more details to explain your response:
What could we do to improve this ride?
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 terrain around the farm is rugged and the horses are not suited to novice riders (as stated in the holiday information).
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
Please give more details to explain your response:
We had good customer service from Unicorn Trails, keeping us up to date with information about the trip.
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
Any other comments:
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your ride feedback and glad you enjoyed the stunning dartmoor and the fabulous hosts and horses!

Day 1
Arrive in Dartmoor in the afternoon or evening and check in to the accommodation. The hosts will meet you at around 8pm for a briefing on the coming few days.

Day 2/3
Transfer after breakfast (around 10am) to the stables where riders be paired with the horses. Head out on a trail ride of (4-5hr) across Dartmoor to a beauty spot for a packed lunch, or a stop at a local pub. After lunch, return to the farm via a different route for tea and cake. Return to the accommodation between 5-6pm.

Day 4
Departure day. Enjoy a last breakfast at the accommodation before heading out for a final ride on Dartmoor. Enjoy lunch while on the ride and return to the farm at around 4pm. Say goodbye to the horses and enjoy tea and cake at the farm before freshening up and heading home.

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 selection of fantastic Quarter Horses and Paints at this ranch. Known for their calm attitude and appetite for work, all are western trained, surefooted, and a pleasure to ride across the terrain. Heights range from 14.3hh to 16.2hh. The hosts for this ride often start and back their own horses to suit the type of work, so all must be sensible with good manners. In total there are 15 horses, all are fit, forward-going and sure footed on the Dartmoor terrain. Riders should be prepared to spend 4-5 hours in the saddle each riding day. Hard hats are compulsory at this destination and the ranch has some available to borrow but we recommend bringing your own if possible.

The tack is all Western. For those not having ridden Western before, don't worry. It is fairly easy for intermediate riders to pick up and can be a lot more comfortable than a traditional English saddle!

Rider requirements

This is a ride for intermediate riders onwards. You should be confident and in control riding at a walk, trot and canter in open countryside. The terrain involves crossing streams, shallow rivers, undulating ground and up and down steep inclines and would not be suitable for novice or inexperienced riders. The style of riding at this ranch is very much akin to ‘Natural Horsemanship’. Riders should be relaxed in the saddle and ride with soft hands.

Age range is 18 to 65. The upper age limit is discretionary depending on rider fitness and experience, please speak to your travel advisor for more information. The maximum weight is 15 Stone (95kg) Riders are welcome to help with grooming and saddling their own horses but this is not compulsory.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 210 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Accommodation is provided at a local inn or hotel depending on availability. All the accommodation has twin or double rooms with en-suite bathrooms, tv and on-site restaurant. Single rooms are available for a supplement, this is not payable if happy to share, and a sharer can be found. Guests normally stay at The Castle Inn (or similar), a beautifully traditional 16th century Devonshire pub with rooms. All rooms include towels and have Wi-Fi.

Breakfasts are provided by the hotels and B&Bs and are usually buffet style offering a choice of  continental  (pastries, cereal, yogurt, fruit) or a traditional full English; bacon, eggs, beans, toast etc. Lunch is a picnic eaten at a picturesque spot on the trail or at a local pub. The picnic usually includes sandwiches, crisps, fruit and a biscuit.

Dinner is not included but can be provided by the accommodation on request (usually traditional British cuisine such as fish and chips, burgers, pies), or at other local restaurants which the host will be happy to recommend.

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

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:

In Canada travel advice is available from::

Climate Summary

Along with the rest of South West England, Dartmoor has a temperate climate which is generally wetter and milder than locations at similar height in the rest of England. January and February are the coldest months with mean minimum temperatures around 1 °C (34 °F). July and August are the warmest months. On the highest ground, in the north of the moor, the growing season is less than 175 days – this contrasts with some 300 days along most of the south coast of the county. The weather is very changeable though so we recommend being prepared for hot days, sudden heavy rain as well as cold winds and basking sunshine at any time of year. This ride involves travelling from 800 ft up to 2000 ft, where the temperature is cooler so we recommend dressing in layers.

Climate Chart


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.

Mobile, WiFi and charging

Electricty is available at each evenings accommodation for charging camera batteries. Free Wifi is also usually available at your evening accommodation. If you want to bring a GoPro please be advised that you will have to have permission from all other guests and guides that they are willing to be filmed.

Packing List

Your hosts farm sits at 800 ft, and you'll ride up to 2,000ft where it can be quite a bit cooler than at the farm, we strongly recommend warm riding wear and good riding waterproofs, a long slicker type is usually the most practical.

Riding hat, mandatory; N.B. there is a limited supply of hats so we recommend bringing your own
Boots with heels are also mandatory
Comfortable warm riding wear, jeans, polo shirts, jumpers, fleece shower-proof coat etc.
Chaps full or half (optional)
Waterproof coat, ‘Drizabone’ slicker type is recommended
Lip balm and sun cream
Casual evening wear


This is a 3 night ride available on set dates between May and September.

Departure Dates

2023: 23 Apr; 7, 21 May; 2 Jul; 1 Oct. (ALL FULL for 2023)

No single supplement is charged if the rider is willing to share with someone of the same sex, and a sharer can be found.
No of   
Riding days Product item description £
2023 - 3 nights4d/3n3double pp899
2023 - 3 nights4d/3n3single supplement99
No of   
Riding days Product item description
2023 - 3 nights4d/3n3double pp1,039
2023 - 3 nights4d/3n3single supplement115
No of   
Riding days Product item description US $
2023 - 3 nights4d/3n3double pp1,135
2023 - 3 nights4d/3n3single supplement129
No of   
Riding days Product item description SEK
2023 - 3 nights4d/3n3double pp12,059
2023 - 3 nights4d/3n3single supplement1,339

Dartmoor is the largest and highest upland in southern Britain, exposed to strong winds and high rainfall. The soils are acidic and the area has been relatively undisturbed by intensive agriculture. These factors make the National Park especially interesting in terms of its wildlife.

Because of the climate and diversity of habitats there is a great diversity of species. Dartmoor is also an important reserve for those species that can withstand harsher conditions including some very rare plants and animals. Dartmoor is particularly noted for rare lichens, butterflies and other insects. There are also many birds of moors, heath and farmland to be found here.

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 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.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Exeter Airport (EXT), train or bus station
There is a train service to Okehampton which we encourage all guests to use as it's more sustainable and eco-friendly. Transfer to/from anywhere in Okehampton is £20 per booking. Clients can be collected at the airport at a transfer cost of £150 per booking.
Flight Guide:
Trains: London to Okehampton from £60pp return
Flights: London to Exeter flights from £130pp return
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