Discover the lush valleys and rolling mountains of the Welsh Borders on this 5 day trail ride suitable for novice riders onwards. Overlooking the Ceiriog Valley, you'll be riding through ancient woodlands, past crumbling castles and into deep valleys. You'll visit Britain's highest waterfall, the enchanting Pistyll Rhaeadr Falls explore part of Offras Dyke; an Anglo-Saxon earthwork that travels from Liverpool in the North to the Severn Estuary in the South.
You'll be staying at your hosts farm (the second highest farm in the country) on the first and last nights and at traditional Welsh inns while out on the trail. You'll wake up to incredible views and explore this undiscovered region on fit and responsive horses. Spring is one of the best times of the year to visit Wales and the greenery in this rural region is spectacular. After a long days riding, you'll spend the night in a quintessentially Welsh village, where you can sample some culinary specialties.
Your hosts have been running their farm on the Welsh Borders for decades and have an extensive knowledge of the intricate history of this region. After 3 days out on the trail you'll return to your hosts farm for the final night where you'll say goodbye to your horse and enjoy a last, lively, Welsh dinner up in the mountains before heading home the following day. The Ceiriog Valley offers the perfect destination for adventure and relaxation, deep in the heart of Wales.
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 RP of Leighton Buzzard on 25/07/2019
Arrive at your hosts farm in the afternoon, this is the second highest farmyard in Wales at 1475ft. You'll be warmly welcomed by your hosts and once checked in to your on-site accommodation, you will be paired with a suitable horse and take part in a short riding assesment, to ensure you have the perfect mount for the upcoming trail. Dinner will be either a barcecue at the farm (weather permitting) or you'll be taken out to a local pub for some traditional Welsh comfort food.
After a generous breakfast, you'll set off across the moors that surround the farmhouse, full of welsh mountain sheep, riding on old drovers tracks and bridleways. The start of this trail offers great views, out towards the Cheshire and Shropshire plains, and the opportunity for a steady uphill canter. Heading on towards the Berwyn mountains you'll be looking over the steep sided Ceiriog Valley. After a stop for a picnic lunch at the head of the valley, you'll continue into the Berwyn mountains, following a quiet lane which takes you into a hidden valley. An old drover track across the mountainside leads to views over-looking the Tanat valley to drop the horses for their overnight stop. Riders will be staying, in the Welsh village of Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant. A British film starring Hugh Grant was filmed in this pretty Welsh village, An English Man who Climbed a Hill, but Came Down a Mountain, you will be cantering up this hill during the ride.
After collecting the horses, you'll set off for the day on quiet lanes and country tracks and bridleways. This morning you will visit the Llanrhaeadr waterfall, an enchanting fall deep in the Berwyn Mountains. At 240ft high it is Britain's tallest single-drop waterfall. After a picnic lunch, you'll continue riding through the mountains and valleys towards your evening accommodation, a classic Welsh B&B where you can refuel with a hot evening meal before settling in for the night.
After breakfast, you'll saddle the horses ready for a canter up The Gyrn, subject of the film. This location offers lovely views of the Welsh borders and you'll be able to soak up the scenery with a picnic near the top. Heading homewards in the afternoon on peaceful tracks and lanes, you'll pass the local reservoir before reaching your hosts farm for your final night. This evening you'll be able to relax after your long ride. With a BBQ and complimentary drinks, you are welcome to use the hot tub in the garden, and the owners private indoor pool and sauna.
Enjoy a final home-cooked Welsh breakfast before saying goodbye to your hosts 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.
This destination has a huge range of horses to choose from, many of them homebred. All are well-suited to trail riding, used to being turned out on the steep hillsides surrounding the farm. There are ponies, cobs, sport horses and Welsh native breeds to chose from ranging in height from 14-17hh. Your hosts are experts at matching horses and riders and there are plenty of options if you wish to swap horses.
The riding on this trail can be adapted to the group's level, for novice riders there are plenty of opportunities for some nice, steady, uphill canters to build confidence. The rugged countryside in this part of the country can also lend itself to more extreme trail rides for experienced riders. Groups are generally arranged by experience and it's possible to split the group if necessary.
This trail ride is suitable for novice riders onwards. You should be able to walk, trot and canter but you do not need to be an accomplished horse rider. Your hosts have a range of trustworthy horses and are experts at pairing horses and riders. More experienced riders can also be catered for by splitting the group with the more experienced riders taking part in a more challenging trail with a faster pace. For this trail, riders will be covering between 15-20 miles per day.
The weight limit for this ride is 209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
Your first and last night will be spent on-site at your hosts Welsh farm. Rooms are basic but comfortable and will be in on-site holiday cottages or in the bunkhouse (bunkbed accommodation, maximum of two to a room) depending on availability. Both accommodation options have shared bathrooms and kitchens and are warm and comfortable. While on the trail you will be spending two nights in traditional village inns or B&Bs. Rooms are cosy and comfortable with en-suite bathrooms.
Breakfasts on this trail ride are provided at each nights accommodation and will usually include continental and cooked options such as cereal, fruit, bacon eggs, toast and yogurts. Lunch is a picnic lunch eaten out on the trail, you can expect homemade sandwiches, fruit, crisps, biscuits and soft drinks such as tea, coffee, juice, water or squash. Dinners are eaten at traditional Welsh pubs along the route. Pubs tend to have a varied menu featuring classic comfort food like fish and chips as well as Welsh specialties such as rarebit.
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 region has a temperate maritime climate with typically warm rather than hot summers and cool to cold winters. This area rarely experiences very extreme weather. On average the hottest month is July in summer and the coldest is January in winter. Rainfall on average falls fairly evenly throughout the year, the wettest month is December and driest is April. 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 area may experience some snowfall in the winter although heavy and sustained snowfall is rare.
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 every evening for charging cameras, phones and batteries. Wifi is not available at the farm which is the accommodation for your first and last nights. There is also no mobile signal at the farm. Wifi is available in the B&B accommodation while on the trail.
Hard hats are essential - but if you do not have one they are available on-site.
You will need:
• Jodhpurs or trousers suitable for riding
• Riding boots or strong boots with a low heel.
• Waterproof, lightweight coat
• Riding gloves
• Clothes suitable for layering
• Casual clothes for the evening
This is a 4 night trail with 3 days of riding available on set dates.
2019: 7 Jul, 25 Aug, 20 Sep, 10 Oct
2020: 10 May, 13 Jun
Other dates available from end of April until second week of July 2020 and from end of August until mid October 2020 - please enquire
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2019 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||double pp||725|
|2019 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||single supplement||99|
|2020 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||double pp||725|
|2020 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||single supplement||99|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2019 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||double pp||845|
|2019 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||single supplement||119|
|2020 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||double pp||845|
|2020 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||single supplement||119|
|Riding days||Product item description||$|
|2019 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||double pp||939|
|2019 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||single supplement||129|
|2020 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||double pp||975|
|2020 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||single supplement||135|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2019 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||double pp||9,069|
|2019 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||single supplement||1,249|
|2020 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||double pp||9,069|
|2020 - Trail ride||5d/4n||3||single supplement||1,249|
- Running for the Hills by Horatio Clare - The authors account of his Welsh childhood when his parents made a leap of faith in the 1960s and bought an isolated sheep farm nestled on a Welsh mountainside.
- On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin - An elegantly written tale of identical twin brothers who grow up on a farm in rural Wales and never leave home. They till the rough soil and sleep in the same bed, touched only occasionally by the advances of the twentieth century.
Wales is renowed for wildlife watching thanks to the ancient woodlands, lakes and rivers, and wide open spaces. Hundreds of red kites arrive each day at special feeding stations in Mid Wales. Then there are seasonal treats; autumn welcomes leaping salmon to the rivers, and a blaze of colour to the forests, before huge flocks of wildfowl arrive for winter.
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.