This Welsh mountain ride packs a MIGHTY punch, with either three or four full days in the saddle, depending on whether you opt for the three-day or the five-day itinerary. It’s a spirited and flexible holiday ideal for strong intermediate to advanced riders. You’ll certainly satisfy your need for speed with plenty of wild and free gallops across the spongy moors and common lands, scattering woolly sheep and wild ponies in your wake. The Hay Triangle traverses a triangular route known as the ‘Golden Horseshoe’ of the Black Mountains, climbing up the magical Llanthony Valley, and then on to the charming market village of Hay-on-Wye, famous for its endless bookshops.
The horses on this ride will make your heart SING. It’s no surprise that Wales has top-shelf horse flesh: the Welsh pony is a splendid mount, everyone knows that. And the horses on this particular ride are one step better: home-bred for the job, these Welshies have been combing the wild mountains and moorlands of their homeland all their lives.
The Hay Triangle ride is the perfect book-end riding experience to marry with another Globetrotting adventure in Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain or Portugal. OR if you’re on a family holiday or business trip and have a sneaky couple of nights to spare, you can run away to Wales to feed your Globetrotting addiction.
- 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, cantering and some gallops involved.
- Weight Limit:A maximum of 88kg / 194lbs.
- 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:April to September.
- Group size:A maximum of 8 guests.
- Time in Saddle:Between 4 to 5 hours per day.
- Riding Ability:Suitable for strong intermediate to advanced riders. All riders must be fit, have good stamina and be comfortable riding at speed over varied terrain. Not sure what your riding experience is? Watch THIS video to find out.
- Accommodation:A mixture of B&B style accommodation, some with shared facilities.
- Ride Length:3 days, 2 nights, OR 5 days, 5 nights.
3 day itinerary: 3 full days’ riding, 2 nights’ accommodation, all meals (from first day lunch to last day lunch) and luggage transportation throughout the ride.
5 day itinerary: 4 full days’ riding, 5 nights’ accommodation, all meals (from arrival dinner to last day breakfast) and luggage transportation throughout the ride.
Price excludes international flights, travel insurance, transfers to and from the ride, alcohol and drinks (other than water).
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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.
This ride itinerary is run in conjunction with the 6-night National Park Trail where guests ride away from Blaenau Bach for three days through the beautiful Black Mountains, offering endless canters and gallops, and of course stunning views!
You’ll need to arrive at Blaenau Bach farm the morning of day one of your ride where you’ll be greeted by your hosts, Paul and Emily Turner, and meet your fine Welsh mounts. You’ll then set off on a triangular route and follow the ‘Golden Horseshoe’ of the Black Mountains. After a long climb over Rhiw Trumau, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vista back over the Rhiangol valley. You’ll then head down an old coach road to the Red Lion Inn at Llanbedr for lunch.
After lunch you’ll follow the valley path in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain to Forest Coal Pit, then ride across Bryn Arw before finishing the day at the Skirrid Inn, the oldest pub in Wales, near Abergavenny. The horses are turned out, and a cup of tea and slice of delicious cake awaits! Your bags will have already been delivered to the comfortable B&B where you’ll be staying this evening, so you’ll have time to freshen up before heading back to the Skirrid Inn for dinner.
Pack your bags again Globetrotters, and after a stomach-filling breakfast in your B&B, you’ll ride up Hatteral Ridge on the ancient border between England and Wales – the famous Offa’s Dyke path which stretches from one end of Wales to the other, named after King Offa who built it in the 6th century. You will earn glorious views of the green fields of Herefordshire in England to one side, and on the other the vastness of Wales and the Black Mountains. Along the top of the ridge between England and Wales you’ll be able to unleash your inner speed demon, with endless canters to be enjoyed. Depending on the time, you may drop down into Herefordshire to visit the Goat Company farm where there is the chance to buy Angora clothes, blankets and rugs – don’t miss out on a pair of mohair socks! You finish the afternoon riding up onto the Black Hill before descending Hay Bluff and Cusop Dingle towards your bed (and horse field!) for the night in Hay-on-Wye, the town of books.
Your route back into the Black Mountains takes you into the Wye Valley, where you visit the Three Horseshoes in Felindre for lunch. After lunch, with their heads turned towards home, the horses head back to Blaenau Bach and you’ll be treated to a final exhilarating gallop across Felindre Common to finish off the ride on a huge high! You’ll arrive to a well-deserved cup of tea and biscuits to finish the afternoon off just right.
Further Notes for 5-day Itinerary
If you have opted for the 5 day, 5 night Hay Triangle PLUS itinerary which is offered on two separate occasions during 2021, this will see you arrive at Blaenau Bach on Sunday evening for dinner, you’ll ride locally from the farm on Monday, then on Tuesday morning will set off on the usual Hay Triangle ride. You’ll stay at Blaenau Bach again on Thursday night, before departing after breakfast on Friday morning.
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
What our valued Globetrotters say about the Hay Triangle ride
‘I wasn’t sure what to expect on my first riding experience with Globetrotting but I needn’t have worried! The whole experience was easy and enjoyable from the booking through to the actual holiday. The Hay Triangle ride was absolutely amazing. Although I had a soft spot for my gorgeous four-legged partner, Cariad, every horse on the ride had their own unique personality that made us love them! Our guide, Rosie, knew the area and the horses really well and took us down so many beautiful tracks. The ride was gloriously fast and fun – we tumbled back to our B&Bs every day exhausted but exhilarated. Every person and place we stayed in was friendly and made us feel like we were at home on the ride. All the food was delicious and the packed picnic lunches were lovely! I would highly recommend the Globetrotting experience and hope I’ll be able to book another ride with them soon!’
‘A fabulous ride over the Black Mountains in Wales. I loved every minute! The beautiful scenery was made even better by the great horses and fabulous company. My horse, Echo, was excellent – a perfect fit for an experienced rider like myself. I wanted to take him home with me! It was great value for money, too, especially considering the fantastic accommodation.’