The Scottish Borders Ride, Scotland

6 NightsStrong Intermediate to AdvancedFrom £2,425 GBP?Tour costs £2,425 GBP which is approximately $4,590 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 the 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. The Common ridings are an annual event celebrated in Scottish Border towns between May through to September. Common Ridings commemorate the times in the past when local men risked their lives in order to protect their town and people from invasion.

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 Riding as part of The Scottish Borders Ride. WHOOP!

And when you’re not on a Common Riding, 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 Windlestraw House, a magnificent Edwardian manor which is hands-down amazing, bespoke while being homely. Throughout the week, you’ll be hosted by the owners of the manor, John and Sylvia, who will charm you with their 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 Riding, 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 95kgs / 209lbs.
  • Type of tack:English all-purpose saddles
  • Seasons:May through to September when the Common Rides through the Scottish Border towns begin.
  • Group size:On average 6-8 guests, with no more than 10 per departure.
  • 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:You will be staying at the magnificent Edwardian Manor known as Windlestraw which overlooks the picturesque Tweed Valley. The bonus with this ride is that you can enjoy your OWN ROOM (#winning), each of which ooze comfort and character while being modern and elegant. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms. The owners, John and Sylvia, 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, single room 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

Departing FinishingAvailabilityTotal
27th Apr 20203rd May 20205 spots left
£2,425 GBP ?Tour costs £2,425 GBP which is approximately $4,590 AUD - Single Rider ?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room.Book
£1,475 GBP ?Tour costs £1,475 GBP which is approximately $2,792 AUD - Non RiderBook
7th May 202013th May 2020SOLD OUT!
£2,425 GBP ?Tour costs £2,425 GBP which is approximately $4,590 AUD - Single Rider ?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room.
£1,475 GBP ?Tour costs £1,475 GBP which is approximately $2,792 AUD - Non Rider
14th May 202020th May 2020SOLD OUT!
£2,425 GBP ?Tour costs £2,425 GBP which is approximately $4,590 AUD - Single Rider ?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room.
£1,475 GBP ?Tour costs £1,475 GBP which is approximately $2,792 AUD - Non Rider
14th Jun 202020th Jun 2020SOLD OUT!
£2,425 GBP ?Tour costs £2,425 GBP which is approximately $4,590 AUD - Single Rider ?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room.
£1,475 GBP ?Tour costs £1,475 GBP which is approximately $2,792 AUD - Non Rider
9th Jul 202015th Jul 2020SOLD OUT!
£2,425 GBP ?Tour costs £2,425 GBP which is approximately $4,590 AUD - Single Rider ?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room.
£1,475 GBP ?Tour costs £1,475 GBP which is approximately $2,792 AUD - Non Rider
27th Jul 20202nd Aug 2020SOLD OUT!
£2,425 GBP ?Tour costs £2,425 GBP which is approximately $4,590 AUD - Single Rider ?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room.
£1,475 GBP ?Tour costs £1,475 GBP which is approximately $2,792 AUD - Non Rider
2nd Aug 20208th Aug 2020SOLD OUT!
£2,425 GBP ?Tour costs £2,425 GBP which is approximately $4,590 AUD - Single Rider ?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room.
£1,475 GBP ?Tour costs £1,475 GBP which is approximately $2,792 AUD - Non Rider
8th Sep 202014th Sep 2020SOLD OUT!
£2,425 GBP ?Tour costs £2,425 GBP which is approximately $4,590 AUD - Single Rider ?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room.
£1,475 GBP ?Tour costs £1,475 GBP which is approximately $2,792 AUD - Non Rider

PLEASE NOTE: Advanced riders only on both May departure dates.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes all riding, single room accommodation (yes, you get your own room!), 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 or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all 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 – Windlestraw House, a magnificent Edwardian manor – around 2pm and be shown to your rooms by your hosts, John & Sylvia, 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 2.45pm where you’ll be met by Susy 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 Windlestraw 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 Windlestraw), you’ll drive across to Susy’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 Windlestraw) before continuing on for the afternoon. Dinner tonight will be back at Windlestraw House.

    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 Windlestraw)! 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 Windlestraw 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 15 minutes down the road {at your own cost}. Ask Sylvia or John 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 Windlestraw, 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 Windlestraw House.

  • Day 7

    Savour the last delicious breakfast at Windlestraw before you have to check out this morning. You’ll bid a fond farewell to John and Sylvia, 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

    Please be aware this is a self-driving riding holiday. You’ll need to hire a car as you’ll be expected to drive to and from your ride destination each day, whether it’s the stables (15 minutes from Windlestraw House), the beach, or the Common Ride locations, which can be up to an hour away. There is no transfer service included with this ride.

    When you’re not in the saddle, thanks to your hire car, you’ll have the freedom to explore local towns and historical attractions (i.e. Traquair House) in your down-time.

    If you’re a solo traveller, we can tee you up with another globetrotter booked on your departure date so you can share the cost of a hire car.

    Depending on your budget and where you’re flying from, you have the option of flying into either London or Edinburgh airports and hiring a car from there. Keep in mind, Edinburgh is a 1 hour drive from Windlestraw House while London is a 6 hour drive.

    Globetrotting is happy to provide a competitive quote on international flights, travel insurance, car hire and accommodation before and after your ride.

  • 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 who have their own car – the region is ripe with history and Windlestraw 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 Sylvia, your host at Windlestraw, for more Scottish-inspired activities. 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.

The Scottish Borders Ride - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Jeanine Boyd

‘As I departed the shores of beautiful Scotland I left a piece of my heart… A holiday that will be hard to top. The Edinburgh Riding of The Marches! WOW!! I loved the long gallops and the finale of riding up the Royal Mile with 299 other enthusiastic equestrians. Thank you especially to the equestrian centre and their fantastic horses and staff, and all the girls in our Globetrotting group. I’ve made some wonderful friends and created beautiful memories. BEST HOLIDAY EVER!!’

The Scottish Borders Ride - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Gerard Schmid

‘I rode with my daughter Theresa. It was a one of a kind experience that we will always treasure. We both shed a happy tear on our last day of riding. We did not want it to end! Alfie and Baxter were very honest horses and Adonis was great on the common rides. Our guides, Susanne, Helen, Gemma, and Izzy were knowledgeable and friendly. The two common ride days had all the pageantry and showed Scotland at its best.’

The Scottish Borders Ride - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Bridget Holdar

‘I would do this trip again in a heartbeat! I was nervous about going by myself but all the ladies on the trip were great. The accommodations were amazing. I felt like I was at home. The beds were very comfortable and the staff and service left nothing to be desired. The horses were well kept and cared for and our guides, Helen, Gemma, Suzanne and Mark, were great. All the staff both at the stables and hotel went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable and at home. The other little touches like the Scottish night and Highland Games were way more than I expected. Well worth the money!!’

The Scottish Borders Ride - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Lynn Waldrop

‘This was the most amazing experience! The Common Rides tested my riding abilities with long gallops across fields and up gorgeous hillsides! And to ride alongside 100-300 other riders was an experience in itself! The Irish Draughts and Sport Horses are tough, beautiful breeds that are so smooth to ride. I am usually a Western rider and practiced riding English for a month before the trip. That was the best thing I could have done because I was ready for the long riding days – all of that posting and two-point riding takes different muscles than Western! I rode Amadeus and he was fantastic!! He was beautiful and fast as the wind – the biggest and fastest horse I have ever ridden! But he was very honest and took care of me when I was a bit uneasy. I would take him home if I could! I also rode Aphrodite on the beach ride and she was amazing, too. This ride gave me more confidence in my riding skills and confirmed I have a ‘need for speed’ – I loved the gallops in the countryside!’

 

Linda Williams

‘Happy is an understatement. I was ECSTATIC with my ride in the Scottish Borders! The Common Rides were amazing and exhilarating! I have had some wild first flight runs in my 20 years of hunting, and the Common Rides rank right up there with the best of them! I want to do all of them now. The horses were beautifully braided and turned out. They knew their job and did it well. I rode Zeus, Yani and a sweet big bay whose name I can’t recall, and I loved them all. Yani was my favourite, very forward and willing. Our guides, Gemma, Izzy, Helen and Susanne were wonderful! The food, accommodation and service was outstanding. It was well worth every penny.’

The Scottish Borders Ride - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Lydia Kolbas

‘Definitely an exhilarating way to experience the beautiful Scottish countryside and to immerse yourself in the border towns’ history and heritage! The guides were ALL ah-mazing! My horse, Acropolis, was a lovely gelding and well suited to me. The Highland games and high tea were fun and magnificent.’

Scottish Borders Ride - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Mary Ann Giandonato

‘I would highly recommend The Scottish Borders Ride! The horses are all spectacular. Forward moving and fun! The accommodations were beautiful. I loved all the little extras. If you want an exciting ride full of tradition, beautiful landscapes and awesome people, this is the ride for you!’

Scottish Borders Ride - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Theresa Schmid

‘This was absolutely the trip of a lifetime! There wasn’t a single part that wasn’t amazing. Our hosts at the equestrian centre were extraordinarily friendly and skilled, able to pick out the perfect horse for each rider and confidently guide us through the countryside. The horses know their job inside out and were a joy to ride, handling challenging situations with ease.

The Common Rides are easily the most incredible horseback experience I have ever had. Riding through town among 200 or so horses, led by a pipe band and being cheered on by hundreds of people on the sidewalks was unlike anything I’ve been a part of. Going on to travel down the roads and gallop through the fields for hours, stopping for refreshments along the way at castles and picturesque villages, was truly thrilling – everything you dream of and more. The rest of the trip was balanced out by relaxing rides through stunning scenery, fun cultural activities, and delicious meals.

As an avid equestrian who craves new ways of experiencing and working with horses, I left Scotland as a more confident rider and so inspired by everything that we did. A few days into the trip I was already thinking about how and when I could do it again!’

David Moffatt

‘What a fabulous holiday! The location, quality support from the equestrian centre, supper service at Cringletie, fun off-the-horse activities (hiking, mountain biking, highland games, local sightseeing, Moffatt family history) and wonderful other globetrotters made this a memorable, enjoyable and fun experience. Our guide, Susie, was professional, attentive and super supportive. She has many great horses, great tack and an exceptional team. Helen, Mark and Jess were fabulous. I rode Amadeus on both common rides, as well as Oatley, Andronikos and Jaccamo. Amadeus, at 17 hands, was my favourite. Big, strong, fast, but very surefooted and steady. Thanks for a great experience!’

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