Black Mountain Explorer, Wales

6 NightsIntermediate to AdvancedFrom £1,040 GBP?Tour costs £1,040 GBP which is approximately $1,885 AUD

Looking for a location-based ride with a flexible itinerary? Keen for a typical Welsh experience in the famous Brecon Beacons National Park? Then THIS is the ride for you!

Now, answer me this: are you looking for a location-based ride with a flexible itinerary? Do you want to reignite your love of horses? Are you keen for a typical Welsh experience in the famous Brecon Beacons National Park? If you answered YES to any of the above questions, you should definitely consider the Black Mountain Explorer, hosted by Paul and Emily Turner.

On this ride, you’ll have the unique opportunity to call a Welsh Cob your very own for the week. You’ll be able to catch, groom and tack up your horse before spending time gazing through their ears at spectacular Welsh landscapes. Rather than being rein-fed for the week, you’ll be able to develop a bond with your horse on the ground, which is super special. 

Flexibility is the key to this itinerary – you can ride as much or as little as you like. With superb and varying bridle paths on your doorstep, you can ride all day, or morning and afternoon. Some days you’ll have a saddlebag-packed picnic lunch, while on others you’ll mooch into a typically Welsh ale house for a meal and a pint. On another day, you’ll ride in the morning and then spend the afternoon exploring the charming market village of Hay-on-Wye, popping in and out of bookstores.

With departure dates on offer from March through to September, you can use this trip as a destination ride to further improve your riding skills and confidence over open and uneven terrain. Or, if you’re going to the UK or Europe for other work or holiday ventures, you can book-end your trip with an affordable, typically Welsh ride. Need I say more?

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:Fine, fit Welsh Cobs who will surprise you with their surefootedness and superb balance. Compact, intelligent and strong, they are ideally suited to the hills and mountains that will surround you.
  • Pace:The pace is fast and varies on a daily basis, with lots of trotting and cantering.
  • Weight Limit:A maximum of 88kg / 195lbs.
  • Type of tack:English all-purpose saddles *Please be advised that this is a hands-on ride (it’s the Welsh way) which includes pitching in to help at the end of each day. Not only will you have to help look after your horse, but you’ll also be required to assist with cleaning the saddles, bridles, girths and saddlecloths at the end of every day. For those accustomed to handing your horse to a groom, this might not be the right riding holiday for you.
  • Seasons:June to September.
  • Group size:A maximum of 8 guests.
  • Time in Saddle:Between 3.5 to 4 hours per day.
  • Riding Ability:Suitable for intermediate to experienced riders. All riders MUST be competent and confident at a canter over varied terrain. If you are a nervous rider, this is not a suitable ride for you. Not sure what your riding experience is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • Accommodation:Comfortable rooms with ensuites in a charming 17th Century Welsh Longhouse at Blaenau Bach farm.
  • Ride Length:7 days, 6 nights, with 5 riding days.
  • Inclusions:

    Price includes 5 days riding, accommodation, all meals (from first day dinner through to last day breakfast, with the exception of one dinner mid-week) and luggage transportation throughout the ride.

  • Exclusions:

    Price excludes international flights, travel insurance, transfers to and from the ride, alcohol and drinks (other than water) and one dinner mid-week (usually Tuesday night) where guests will eat out at a local pub and pay for their own meals and drinks.

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

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A single supplement charge of £50 per night will apply to guests not willing to twin share a room with another guest (subject to availability). A non rider price is also available upon request.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
Price includes 5 days riding, accommodation, all meals (from first day dinner through to last day breakfast, with the exception of one dinner mid-week) and luggage transportation throughout the ride.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
Price excludes international flights, travel insurance, transfers to and from the ride, alcohol and drinks (other than water) and one dinner mid-week (usually Tuesday night) where guests will eat out at a local pub and pay for their own meals and drinks.

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments. Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.

WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN GBP?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.

Itinerary

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*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.

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  • Daily Riding Activities

    This popular and flexible riding holiday is based at Blaenau Bach farm, at the foothills of the Black Mountains, where you’ll enjoy daily hacks {that’s what the Welsh call trail riding} into the surrounding mountains each day. With everything taken care of, you’ll simply turn up, swing a leg over and relax in the knowledge that your hosts, Paul & Emily Turner will look after you.

    Staying at their farm in a beautiful traditional 400-year-old Welsh Longhouse, you’ll adventure out each day on an exciting trail ride, stopping at a local pub or cafe en-route for lunch. With home-cooked breakfasts and sociable dinners, all created with locally-sourced produce, you’ll have ample energy for the day’s riding shenanigans.

    As part of this itinerary, you’re invited to catch, groom and tack up your horse. If you’ve never had your own horse before or it’s been awhile, you’ll love that you can call your horse yours for the week. Learning to handle your horse on the ground helps to encourage a deep bond to develop a relationship with their horse throughout the week. By the time you mount up on the first day, you’ll feel relaxed and comfortable with your horse and no doubt by the time it comes to saying goodbye to your Welsh mount at the end of the week, you’ll want to take them home with you (be warned, some guests have done just that!). There is also lots of flexibility to change horses throughout the week should you enjoy the challenge of riding different horses.

    You’ll cover anywhere from 8 to 15 miles of local trails each day which will put you and your horse through your paces over the most varied of terrains – from mountain and moorland tracks, valleys and pasture land, you’ll cover some of the most beautiful parts of the Welsh countryside. You will ride up and down steep slopes, cross lofty summits, wade through rocky rivers, pass through dense woods and see the best of wilderness Wales. The home-bred nimble Welsh cobs are ideally suited to the rough and hilly ground, with fast acceleration, perfect handling and an automatic survival instinct. Running on grass and water, they’re more environmentally friendly than any machine!

    Some guests also choose to take a day or half-day off from riding and visit one of the local towns (Hay-on-Wye is always popular for bookshop browsing!) – a riding holiday centred around your relaxation and enjoyment! #winning.

    *Please note that on one night mid-week (usually Tuesday evening), Paul and Emily take a night off cooking and ask that you eat out at the local pub. There is an excellent one just at the end of the road, or you may wish to explore further afield. Wherever you choose, Paul and Emily will help with booking and transport where necessary.

  • Non-Riders

    This ride is popular for non-riding partners who can enjoy the fantastic walking or biking right from the door of Blaenau Bach, and can even meet the riding group at the pub for lunch for a more sociable experience! Throughout the day, non- riders will be free to explore at their leisure, but please don’t hesitate to ask Paul or Emily for their advice and recommendations on things to do and see in the area.

  • Transfer Information

    You will need to make your own way to our ride partner’s farm – Blaenau Bach – where the ride starts and ends, as there are no transfers available. Blaenau Bach is hidden in an unspoilt valley deep in the beautiful Black Mountains of mid-Wales, approximately 17 miles from Abergavenny, 3.5 hours’ drive or train ride from London, and 2 hours from Birmingham.

    By car: Depending on which airport you fly into, you may wish to hire a car and drive to Blaenau Bach. You’ll be able to leave your car there for the duration of the ride.

    By train: The nearest station is Abergavenny. From London Paddington, via Newport, the journey can be as short as 2 hours 20 minutes. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for timetables and fares. It is then a short taxi ride to the farm (about 35 minutes, £30-35). We recommend a friendly taxi driver named Barry, who you can call on 07854 696 747. If you tell him your arrival time, he will be there to meet you.

    By bus: National Express coaches offer a speedy and comfortable journey from Heathrow Airport (and other airports) to Chepstow, where we can arrange a transfer to the farm. The coach trip takes 2 hours, and the drive from Chepstow is a further one hour. The coach ticket costs approximately £39.70 return (price subject to change), and the transfer is £70 – we can hook you up to meet others to share the cost. Full details and a journey planner can be found at www.nationalexpress.com

STORIES FROM THE SADDLE

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