The Scottish Borders Ride, Scotland

6 NightsIntermediate to AdvancedFrom £2,270 GBP?Tour costs £2,270 GBP which is approximately $4,263 AUD

{CUE} Bagpipe fanfare. Hey Outlander tragics: listen UP! Globetrotting is pleased to present The Scottish Borders Ride, a 7 day, 6 night departure designed exclusively for Globetrotters. You won’t find this ride anywhere else in the WORLD.

On this itinerary you’ll have the unique privilege to ride in Common Ridings – the oldest horse-riding festival in the world. You’ll be mounted on a nifty Irish Sport horse and ride shoulder-to-shoulder with Scottish lads and lassies, tailored in tweed, bursting with good cheer, happy to share a time-old tradition.

Now let me just segue into some Scottish history here. Common riding is an annual event celebrated in Scottish Border towns between May through to September. Common ridings commemorate the times of the past when local men risked their lives in order to protect their town and people.

The tradition of Common riding dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries, during the continual land border wars both with England and against other clans.

Long after they ceased to be essential, the ridings continued in commemoration of local legend, history and tradition. With that said, YOU get to ride in a Common Ride as part of The Scottish Borders Ride. WHOOP!

And when you’re not on a Common Ride, you’ll alternate riding days with genteel hacks through grassy glens, moorlands dotted in sheep and unspoiled coastlines. The dramatic scenery will pull you back in time to a bygone world of Clan clashes and romantic tales of damsels in distress.

You’ll be guests at Cringletie House Hotel which is hands-down amazing, bespoke while being homely. Throughout the week, you’ll be hosted by general manager, Jeremy, who will charm you with his Scottish knowledge and hospitality.

It’s a brilliant balance of riding paired with free time to explore the Borders’ historical highlights. *This is why this ride is PERFECT for non-riding partners.

Once you’ve completed The Scottish Borders Ride you’ll qualify as an honorary Scot after stepping out on a Common Ride, tossing a shot-put in a kilt, slugging a single-malt whisky and appreciating some fine pipe music. Scottish ancestry or not, Outlander fan or not, you need to make a beeline for this ride.

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:A mixture of Irish Draught Horses, Irish Cobs, Irish Sport Horses and Connemaras. *Please note, you can expect to ride a variety of horses throughout your departure, with different horses being used for the Common Rides.
  • Pace:The pace is variable, depending on the nature of the terrain, but riders will enjoy long stretches of trotting, fast-paced canters and galloping on Common Ride days.
  • Weight Limit:Maximum of 105kg / 230lbs.
  • Type of tack:English all-purpose saddles
  • Seasons:May through to September when the Common Rides through the Scottish Border towns begin.
  • Group size:Maximum of ten guests
  • Time in Saddle:This itinerary is variable depending on the individual Common Rides. Be prepared to ride between 2 to 6 hours daily. Refer to the suggested itinerary for a more accurate breakdown of hours in the saddle.
  • Riding Ability:Suitable for strong intermediate to experienced riders only. This ride is NOT for the faint-hearted - nervous riders would be out of their depth on this ride, not because of the horses, but more due to the pace of the ride. On some of the Common Rides, guests will be riding alongside 300 riders. With such a huge riding group a range of unpredictable scenarios can occur, so riders need to be alert, calm and quick-thinking. All riders need to be confident trotting and cantering over open and varied terrain including downhill.
  • Accommodation:Twin share accommodation at Cringletie House Hotel just outside the Scottish Border town of Peebles. With its very distinct architecture, the guest rooms at Cringletie ooze comfort and character while being modern and elegant, with romantic turrets to feature fireplaces. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms. The general manager, Jeremy, alongside his wife, Gwen, and team will go above and beyond to cater for your every need.
  • Ride Length:7 days, 6 nights with 6 riding days
  • Inclusions:The price includes all riding, accommodation, meals (from first day dinner through to breakfast on the last day) and Common Ride fees.
  • Exclusions:The price does not include international flights, travel insurance (compulsory), all transfers, alcohol and dinner on one night of the itinerary (a high tea is included during the afternoon on that particular day).

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

PLEASE NOTE: solo globetrotters will be required to pay a single supplement charge of £450 if we do not have another guest willing to share.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes all riding, accommodation, meals (from first day dinner through to breakfast on the last day) and Common Ride fees.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include international flights, travel insurance (compulsory), all transfers, alcohol and dinner on one night of the itinerary (a high tea is included during the afternoon on that particular day).

Accepted payment is by credit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all credit card payments.

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.

The set dates and starting times of the Common Ride days are subject to vary, depending on the location of the event. Rest assured, you’ll enjoy two Common Rides throughout your itinerary (with the exception of the September departure, which will only include the Edinburgh Riding of the Marches).

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  • Day 1

    Today is the day you’ve been waiting for Globetrotters. You’re in Scotland – tick! You’ve landed in the glistening Border countryside with a hillside lush with vibrant shades of green and peppered with welcoming villages that uphold ancient traditions. And you’re about to embark on a 6-day riding adventure through the battle-scarred landscape ripe with the region’s turbulent history. I’ve got tingles running up and down just thinking about it, does life get better than this? I think not! You’ll need to arrive at your bespoke accommodation – Cringletie House, which looks more like a castle than a hotel – around 3pm and be shown to your rooms by your host Jeremy and his welcoming and friendly staff who will be there throughout the week to offer a helping hand should you require any assistance. You’ll have about half an hour to settle in and get changed for riding, before driving approximately 15mins down the road to the Equestrian Centre, arriving at 3.45pm where you’ll be met by Suzy and her superb team of horses. Remember, you’ll be riding different horses throughout the week which is a wonderful experience in itself, so take some time to meet the different horses at the yard, as you may end up riding a few of them during your stay. After a quick safety briefing, you’ll climb on board your horse (word of warning, the horses are all rather tall, so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance or a mounting block) and head off down the road and into the rolling, wooded hills above the village of Cardrona for a short afternoon ride. There will be plenty of opportunities for bursts of speed so that you become accustomed to the powerful horse you’ve been partnered with. You’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised at how these horses will go for a fast canter, then simply be happy to wander along on a long rein straight after without any fuss. After arriving back at the stable yard, you’ll then head back to Cringletie where you’ll have time to freshen up before a welcome dinner with some flamboyant Scottish fanfare thrown in for good measure. Loosen your belts globetrotters, as the food you’ll be served throughout this week will definitely be worth the extra calories!

    Approximately 1.5 hour introductory ride.

  • Day 2

    After a breakfast worthy of royalty (seriously, you do NOT want to miss the lavish spread served each morning at Cringletie), you’ll drive across to Suzy’s other property in Manor Valley (approx. 15min drive) where you’ll find some new horses ready and waiting for your day’s adventure. You’ll explore fells, roam across moors and enjoy 360 degree views. Get ready to fall in love with the Border country of Scotland, which is just as magical and picturesque as the highlands (and much more accessible). After some exhilarating, wind-in-your-hair canters, you’ll stop for a picnic lunch (provided by our friends at Cringletie) before continuing on for the afternoon. Dinner tonight will be back at Cringletie Hotel. Approximately 3 to 4 hours in the saddle.

  • Day 3

    HIP, HIP HOORAY!…it’s your Common Ride day! Steeped in history, dressed in your tartan jacket and tie, you’ll ride shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds of Scottish horsemen and women, led by the appointed lads and lasses from the local village, in a spectacular re-enactment of a time when clans rode the borders to protect their common lands from thieves and greedy landlords. It’s going to be fast-paced and exhilarating as you gallop across fields, crossing streams and rivers and perform the task of ‘checking the stones.’ Soak up the atmosphere of the event Globetrotters, because there is nothing else like it in the world!

    *Please note, each local town’s Common Ride differs with their start/finish times, route and hours in the saddle. Rest assured, you will well and truly get your riding fix no matter which Common Ride falls during your departure.

  • Day 4

    After yesterday’s exciting extravaganza, you’ll be able to enjoy a lie in and a late breakfast (around 9am), before jumping in your car and heading to the beach (about a 90min drive from Cringletie)! Yes that’s right Globetrotters, today you’ll get to explore part of the coastline of Scotland from the back of your horse. Let’s hope the Scottish sun is shining because John Muir Country Park is an unspoilt coastline where farming land kisses the sea, perfect for endless beach canters and wading in the shallows. After your ride, you might wish to slip up into Dunbar and have a drink at Winterfield golf club perched atop the hillside, with beautiful views of the beach and surrounding national park. After which, you’ll need to zoom back to Cringletie House where you’ll be treated to a Scottish High Tea that is so much more than the traditional fare of haggis, porridge and whiskey. You’ll have to squint at the number of carbs you’ll ingest while you tuck into hot, buttery scones, ribbon sandwiches, sweet yum-yums AND a hot meal. Because of this, dinner tonight is not included. If you’re still peckish after your High Tea, we recommend an evening pub visit to the handsome town of Peebles, just 5 minutes down the road {at your own cost}. Ask Jeremy or his staff for their recommendations on the best places to eat!

  • Day 5

    Another day for a chilled-out hack in the Scottish Borders where you’ll have a chance to appreciate the Borders way-of-life from the back of a horse. You’ll fall head over heels in love with its fairytale-setting; just imagine: crumbling stone fences, blushing green paddocks and grandiose mansions perched on hillsides. Then there are the dramatic moorlands dotted in sheep and the River Tweed that squiggles through the counties.

    After a morning ride, returning for lunch at Cringletie, you’ll limber up for a stint in the mini Highland games! Seriously, could this itinerary get any more Scottish? I think not, and that’s why we LOVE it! Think, traditional heavy athletic events like tug-o-war and the caber toss, as well as Highland dance competitions, track and field events, and of course piping. Combining sport, fun and culture in a uniquely Scottish style, the Highland Games are a spectacle like no other. And YOU get to take part in it! #winning Fun fact: Did you know that Baron Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, was so impressed by a Highland display he saw at the 1889 Paris Exhibition that he introduced the hammer throw, shot put and the tug o’ war to his competition? Talk about high praise! The former two are obviously still included in the Olympics program to this day – just one of the many fascinating facts of the Highland games

  • Day 6

    Our last riding day (boo!) but don’t worry, you’ll be ending with a Braveheart finale – one last Common Ride through a charming village and its picture-book surrounds. So button up your tweed for one final HURRAH and savour every moment of this historical Scottish event. It will be a Globetrotting pinch-yourself moment as you take part in one of the oldest horse festivals in the world. Tonight you’ll enjoy a farewell dinner at Cringletie House.

  • Day 7

    Savour the last delicious breakfast at Cringletie (personal favourite – the pancakes! try the pancakes!) check out is 11am. You’ll bid a fond farewell to Jeremy and his team, say goodbye to your fellow globetrotters who have no doubt become firm friends, and head off on your merry way. In fact, now that you’ve completed the Scottish Border Ride you nearly qualify as an honorary Scot after stepping out on a Common Ride, tossing a shot-put in a kilt, slugging a single-malt whiskey and appreciating some fine pipe music.

  • Transfers

    We recommend guests to self-drive because you’ll need to drive to/from the riding centre and Cringletie House each day (approximately 15mins).  Refer to page 3 for more information.

  • History of the Common Rides

    Every summer the towns of the Scottish Borders stage the Common Ridings, one of the oldest equestrian traditions in the world. The ridings aren’t just an unforgettable spectacle of horsemanship, pageantry and community spirit, they’re a custom upheld with real fervour by locals in homage to the region’s unique identity, shaped in part by its tumultuous past.

    A Common Riding remembers the days when the men of a settlement would ride around the exterior of their village to check that its borders hadn’t been encroached. The tradition of common riding dates back to the 13th century, in the days when the Border Reivers (a historical name for robbers and thieves) plagued locals with attacks, stealing cattle and goods. In these lawless times, the leaders of a town would appoint a leader and a number of the strongest townsmen, who would then ride the clan’s boundaries to protect their common lands and prevent encroachment by neighbouring landlords and their clans. This is a tradition that continues today in symbolic form in commemoration of local legend, history and tradition with magnificent ride outs involving hundreds of horses, ridden with a passion worthy of the reivers old.

    Out of the 11 Ridings in existence today, Hawick, Selkirk, Langholm and Lauder all lay claim to be the oldest, but perhaps the true original is buried in the mists of time. Each community starts its celebration with the election of that year’s principal lass and lads, and in a colourful ceremony the Burgh Flag or Standard, is ‘bussed’ and tied to the staff by the principal lass, recalling the days when a knight’s lady attached her ribbon to his lance before battle. On horseback, they lead their followers in the festivities.

    Speaking from first-hand experience, it’s pure joy to ride alongside Scottish folk in honour of their heritage while careening through fluoro green paddocks, ancient forests and farms. While ending in the local village to wave to towns folk who join in on the festivities.

  • Non-Riders

    This itinerary is suitable for non-riders as there is a plethora of non-riding activities available to keep you entertained each day, including fishing, clay pigeon shooting, target golf, archery, walking trails and more (some of these activities will be at an additional expense). The region is ripe with history and Cringletie House is a suitable base for a number of day trips around the area. The nearby Traquair House (Scotland’s oldest inhabited house) is certainly well worth a visit, and be sure to liaise with Jeremy, your host at Cringletie, for more Scottish-inspired activities. If you’re a fan of Outlander (pick ME!) he will even rustle up a film locations map for you to peruse and visit. The non-rider price consists of all standard inclusions in the rider package (i.e. meals, accommodation, extra activities within the itinerary etc.) minus the riding element.

HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RIDE OR WHICH IS MOST SUITABLE FOR YOU?

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