Wiltshire countryside
Open fields
A chestnut horse in Wiltshire
Avenues of trees
Winter morning ride
The Rushmore Estate Wiltshire
Childrens riding
Sunset in Wiltshire
Heading out on a ride
Wheat fields
Riding out
Wiltshire countryside
Cabin Accommodation
Wiltshire estate
winter short break
Winter cabin
St Johns House
Deer in the garden

Ride on an 8,000 acre private estate exploring the beautiful chalk Downs through ancient woodland, discovering one of England's richest traditional landscapes. This is the 6th largest nationally protected landscape in the country and one of the most rural. ​A warm welcome and personal attention is guaranteed on this break.

There is riding for all levels including beginners on beautifully turned out horses, with immaculate tack and stables. More experienced riders can ride ex-eventers (some of which have even been around Badminton!). Ride for two hours in the morning and afternoon and enjoy home-cooked meals in your accommodation as well as visiting a traditional Wiltshire pub for dinner. Accommodation is provided in either a private log cabin on-site, the hosts' B&B on-site or in a private apartment in the nearby historic manor house. Larger groups can book to stay in the spectacular and historic King John House, perfect for a special occasion. 

This destination also offers a host of sights and activities for non-riding companions who can play golf at the nearby Rushmore Golf Club, hike the beautiful Nadder Valley region and visit picturesque villages, historic churches, ancient hill-forts and charming country pubs. This is the ideal quick getaway for those short on time who want to experience riding on a historic private estate, a former hunting ground for King John. Comfortable accommodation, friendly and knowledgeable hosts and quality horses await.

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 JF of Great Doddington on 12/07/2021

Ride Summary
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments



Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
Please give more details to explain your response:
It was pretty much as I expected from the website. I have never stayed in as small a cabin but the only bit that was cramped was the shower.
Was there anything you should have known and were not told? YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
It was not clear that we were to ride for two hours a day but that changed when we got there anyway due to the weather conditions.
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:
As small numbers go on this ride it is very geared to the ability of the riders. The terrain is not challenging and the canters were mostly very short.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
Please give more details to explain your response:
I have generally been satisfied with the service provided
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
Any other comments:
Alas covid 19 intervened
Unicorn comments:

Day 1

Arrive at Salisbury train station and transfer to your accommodation, set in the grounds of the 8,000 acre Rushmore Estate. In the afternoon you'll meet the horses and your guide before being taken out for a two hour ride where you'll explore the spectacular beech avenues, watch for deer in the valleys and absorb the stunning views across Cranborne Chase. In the evening you'll enjoy a two-course homemade dinner with your host.

Day 2

After a simple continental breakfast you'll saddle up for a two-hour ride over the hills of Cranborne Chase to take in the spectacular views. You will be riding across King John’s hunting ground, over ancient Roman roads and through English woodland. You'll return to the house for lunch, lunch is not included, you can either bring your own lunch to prepare or a packed lunch can be provided and payable on site, then ride out again for another 2 hours in the afternoon. In the evening you'll head to the local village for a delicious pub dinner in the local village inn. In peak season you may need to pre-book this in advance.

Day 3

After breakfast it's time to say goodbye to your host and the horses and head home.

This is a sample itinerary and may be subject to change due to weather conditions.

This destination offers bespoke packages so if you would like more or less riding, a full board stay or half board stay please speak to your travel advisor.

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 are normally at least 10 horses available for riders to choose from. The majority of the horses have competition experience in eventing or are experienced hunters. All of the horses have good temperaments and are responsive making them ideal for the trail. The riding all takes place on the 8,000 acre private Rushmore Estate. You'll ride out in a different direction each day and the pace of the ride is adapted to suit the group's level.

Standard English tack is used on this ride and there is an upper weight limit of 14 stone/90 kg/200 lbs. Group size varies from 1 to 6 people. Children age 7 years and over are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

Rider requirements

This destination can cater for all levels including complete beginners. You are welcome to help in grooming and tacking up your horse or if you prefer this can all be done for you. Riding hats are compulsory at this stables and can be borrowed from the equestrian centre if you don't have your own.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 196 lb/89 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

There is a variety of accommodation available at this destination. Groups of 2-4 can stay in a private cabin (one twin room, one double sofa bed) complete with living room, kitchenette and private bathroom. Alternatively, you can stay in a twin or double room with shared bathroom in the main house (a limited number of single rooms are also available).

For groups looking for something special, accommodation can also be aranged in the spectacular Grade II listed King John House which offers accommodation for up to 11 people. In addition, the Butler's House, which is attached to the main house, can accommodate a further 6 people. Set in stunning, landscaped grounds, King John’s House is perfect for birthdays, a wedding anniversary, family reunion or other celebration. Please enquire with your travel consultant if you are a large group and would like to book the house.

You can expect typical British cusine for your meals; breakfast is a simple contintental breakfast (cereals, tea, coffee) while dinner is a homemade and freshly prepared two course meal. Dishes could include steak and ale pie, lasagna or fish with potatoes and vegetables. Desserts such as crumble, fruit pies, ice-cream etc will follow the main course. Tea, coffee and water are included and a glass of wine is also included with your evening meal on Day 1. Lunches are not inlcuded, you can either bring your own lunch to prepare or a packed lunch can be provided (payable on site).

On Day 2 the evening meal will be a local traditional inn in the nearby village. Your evening meal and accommpanying drinks are not included and will need to be paid for on-site.

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

The region has a temperate maritime climate with typically warm rather than hot summers and cool to cold winters. Wiltshire rarely experiences very extreme weather and can be visited throughout the year. 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, December is the wettest month whilst July is the driest.

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. It is advisable for visitors to check the weather forecast before they arrive to get a better idea of the sort of clothing they will need during their trip. Bringing hooded waterproof coats and hats will ensure visitors are prepared for any spells of wind and rain the region may experience.

Climate Chart

Climate chart for Salisbury, UK


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.

Film and Camera Equipment

There is electricity available for charging cameras and batteries in your accommodation. Wifi is available in all the accommodation options.

Packing List

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
• Sunglasses and suncream for summer time
• Camera


This programme has a minimum of a two night stay with two days of riding. Longer stays can be arranged.

Departure Dates

2021/22: Any day departures available year round

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 £
2021 - Cabin 3d/2n2double pp365
2021 - Cabin 3d/2n2single supplement105
2021 - Cabin 3d/2n2non-rider sharing159
2021 - Main House3d/2n2double pp319
2021 - Main House3d/2n2single supplement42
2021 - Main House3d/2n2non-rider sharing109
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2double pp399
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2single supplement165
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2non-rider sharing195
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2pp for 4 sharing apartment or cottage359
2022 - Cabin 3d/2n2double pp439
2022 - Cabin 3d/2n2single supplement125
2022 - Cabin 3d/2n2non-rider sharing189
2022 - Main House3d/2n2double pp379
2022 - Main House3d/2n2single supplement50
2022 - Main House3d/2n2non-rider sharing135
2022 - Main House3d/2n2Extra 2hrs riding90
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2double pp479
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2single supplement199
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2non-rider sharing235
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2pp for 4 sharing apartment or cottage429
No of   
Riding days Product item description
2021 - Cabin 3d/2n2double pp425
2021 - Cabin 3d/2n2single supplement119
2021 - Cabin 3d/2n2non-rider sharing185
2021 - Main House3d/2n2double pp365
2021 - Main House3d/2n2single supplement48
2021 - Main House3d/2n2non-rider sharing129
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2double pp459
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2single supplement189
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2non-rider sharing225
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2pp for 4 sharing apartment or cottage415
2022 - Cabin 3d/2n2double pp505
2022 - Cabin 3d/2n2single supplement145
2022 - Cabin 3d/2n2non-rider sharing219
2022 - Main House3d/2n2double pp439
2022 - Main House3d/2n2single supplement58
2022 - Main House3d/2n2non-rider sharing155
2022 - Main House3d/2n2Extra 2hrs riding105
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2double pp555
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2single supplement229
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2non-rider sharing269
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2pp for 4 sharing apartment or cottage499
No of   
Riding days Product item description $
2021 - Cabin 3d/2n2double pp515
2021 - Cabin 3d/2n2single supplement145
2021 - Cabin 3d/2n2non-rider sharing225
2021 - Main House3d/2n2double pp449
2021 - Main House3d/2n2single supplement59
2021 - Main House3d/2n2non-rider sharing155
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2double pp565
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2single supplement235
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2non-rider sharing275
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2pp for 4 sharing apartment or cottage505
2022 - Cabin 3d/2n2double pp619
2022 - Cabin 3d/2n2single supplement175
2022 - Cabin 3d/2n2non-rider sharing269
2022 - Main House3d/2n2double pp539
2022 - Main House3d/2n2single supplement71
2022 - Main House3d/2n2non-rider sharing189
2022 - Main House3d/2n2Extra 2hrs riding129
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2double pp679
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2single supplement285
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2non-rider sharing329
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2pp for 4 sharing apartment or cottage609
No of   
Riding days Product item description SEK
2021 - Cabin 3d/2n2double pp4,319
2021 - Cabin 3d/2n2single supplement1,225
2021 - Cabin 3d/2n2non-rider sharing1,875
2021 - Main House3d/2n2double pp3,749
2021 - Main House3d/2n2single supplement489
2021 - Main House3d/2n2non-rider sharing1,305
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2double pp4,725
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2single supplement1,955
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2non-rider sharing2,279
2021 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2pp for 4 sharing apartment or cottage4,235
2022 - Cabin 3d/2n2double pp5,185
2022 - Cabin 3d/2n2single supplement1,469
2022 - Cabin 3d/2n2non-rider sharing2,255
2022 - Main House3d/2n2double pp4,505
2022 - Main House3d/2n2single supplement595
2022 - Main House3d/2n2non-rider sharing1,569
2022 - Main House3d/2n2Extra 2hrs riding1,069
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2double pp5,675
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2single supplement2,355
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2non-rider sharing2,739
2022 - Private Apartments or Cottage3d/2n2pp for 4 sharing apartment or cottage5,095
Additional Night Pricing
  No of days/nights Product item description £
2021 - extra night including breakfast (Cottage/Cabin)per nightdouble pp82
2021 - extra night including breakfast (Cottage/Cabin)per nightsingle supplement52
  No of days/nights Product item description
2021 - extra night including breakfast (Cottage/Cabin)per nightdouble pp94
2021 - extra night including breakfast (Cottage/Cabin)per nightsingle supplement60
  No of days/nights Product item description $
2021 - extra night including breakfast (Cottage/Cabin)per nightdouble pp109
2021 - extra night including breakfast (Cottage/Cabin)per nightsingle supplement71
2021 - Creelyper nightdouble pp73
2021 - Dryden (additional night)per nightdouble pp76
  No of days/nights Product item description SEK
2021 - extra night including breakfast (Cottage/Cabin)per nightdouble pp965
2021 - extra night including breakfast (Cottage/Cabin)per nightsingle supplement609
Recommended Reading

- Anything by Thomas Hardy would set the tone for this ride, Cranbourne Chase (part of the estate) is mentioned directly in Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

Other Activities

This is one of the best regions in the country for accompanying non-riders with a host of outdoor activities to enjoy. Golf is available at the renowned Rushmore golf course, or walk through the Wiltshire countryside that has inspired some of Thomas Hardy’s greatest works. The mysterious pillars of Stonehenge are only 40 minute drive away and the beautiful cathedral city of Salisbury is close enough for a day trip.


More than a quarter of the estate has natural tree cover and there are 13 miles of broadleaf avenues, a herd of fallow deer and wild macaws which you may spot while out riding.

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 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):
Salisbury train station or drive straight to the Equestrian Centre
2021/22: return transfer from Salisbury train station is £20 per car (max 4 people, payable on-site)
Flight Guide:
Fly to any of the London airports or Bristol Airport
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