Reviews - Horse Riding Holidays and Safaris


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Thirlestane Castle, Scotland, Globetrotting Horse Riding Holidays

Rowena P

‘Thirlestane is a unique and special experience. Be prepared to be wowed, for your eyes to water in the gallop, and to fall in love with Scotland!’

Thirlestane Castle, Scotland, Globetrotting Horse Riding Holiday

Barbara Pingree

This was a dream come true. I had sustained injuries and resulting surgeries because of them and was unsure if this ride would be doable for me. I made the decision to go and am so happy that I did. Everything and everyone was more wonderful than I imagined.
The horses are amazing and great care is made to match the right horse and rider.
The accommodations were beautiful and comfortable and everyone was so welcoming and helpful.
I loved it so much that I am booked again for next year!

The Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland, Globetrotting Horse Riding Holidays

Madeline MacLean

‘The Thirlestane Castle ride is a must-do for any equestrian who has always wanted to explore Scotland the traditional way! The scenery is stunning, the rides are to die for, and the horses and guides couldn’t be more perfectly suited to the trip. I rode Derwin, and he is, without exaggeration, one of the best horses I’ve ever ridden. Surefooted, brave, and a joy to canter over the moors – with tons of go! Gemma was absolutely invaluable and admirably flexed with the needs of our diverse group over the course of the week. If Scotland is calling to you, this is the best way to answer!’

Hope Towle

‘I recently went on the Thirlestane Castle ride for the second time and it was once again an amazing experience that exceeded my expectations. The team treated us like family, and it was a privilege to be part of such a united group. They went above and beyond to ensure our comfort throughout the week. I had the pleasure of riding Acropolis, a beautiful dapple grey with a sweet face and kind eyes. He definitely lived up to his reputation as a steady eddy and took great care of me for the entire week. If I could I would book this trip every year without hesitation!’

Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Christina Bates

‘The Thirlestane Castle Ride exceeded all my high expectations! The accommodations, hospitality, food, horses and experiences were all first rate. It’s a rare treat to have everything come together in such high standards. Would I repeat this trip? In a heartbeat! Huge thanks to Kate and Laura at Globetrotting and the Maitlands at Thirlestane.’

Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Cheryl Wittmier

‘Nothing will compare to the first day of this trip – seeing the beautiful accommodations and going out on the first ride. I just remember coming back and feeling like it wasn’t real! My anticipation for the next day and the chance that I’d get to ride Reever again kept me fairly giddy. Reever was my idea of the perfect horse. Brave, sensible and strong, he loved his job and navigated the terrain perfectly. I felt that we made a real connection. Our guides Gemma and Susy were amazing. They seemed to pair everyone with with the right horses. I loved the whole experience and I’m already planning another Globetrotting vacation!’

Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scottish Borders, Scotland - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Emily Schilling

‘Who said dreams can’t come true?! This was my post-breast cancer dream trip and it fulfilled even my wildest dreams! I stayed in a beautiful apartment fit for a queen. Our guides Gemma and Suzy were wonderful and matched everyone so well with their horses. My horse Kingston was was so surefooted and fun. We not only galloped on the beaches of the North Sea but through the Moors! Amazing scenery and history. Our hosts Edward and Sarah and their staff made us feel like family. All the food was delicious and local. Best of all, our group of globetrotters was great! I feel like I have made life-long friends. I can’t wait to go globetrotting again!’

The Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Fiona Roderick

‘I really enjoyed the Thirlestane Castle Ride. From coming back from a ride to a fire and a cup of tea welcoming you, to having dinner with the custodians of the castle, everything was perfect. My apartment was very beautiful and comfortable. Each day I loved getting back in the saddle. The staff and the guides were superb, it was such a great experience and the countryside is spectacular.’

Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Renee Lewis

‘The Thirlestane Castle Ride was a dream.  Really – pinch me! The Castle itself was a magnificent home and a perfect base with luxurious rooms, plenty of space and incredible architecture. The closest thing to a princess I will ever be! It was so nice to have a glass of wine in the Vault, and the dinners in the magnificent State Dining Room were so special. The riding was wonderful. Whether exploring the estate grounds, galloping up the moors (with a little sloe gin warm up midway), trotting among the sheep, popping over a nice cross country fence, or running along the beach, the horses were big, solid, steady and forward. My buddies, Socrates and Titan, were just lovely – light in the hand, so surefooted and willing, with plenty of go and good brakes! The magic of our love of horses and adventure created friendships among globetrotters from Australia to the UK to the US. Thank you Kate and Laura! I will always treasure Thirlestane and I can’t wait for the next adventure.’

The Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Barbara Nissel

‘This was my first Globetrotting trip and it was fantastic. Everyone at the castle, from Edward and Sarah to the chefs and the housekeeping staff, was very professional, very warm and extremely helpful. The estate was like a fairyland, yet you felt like you were in a person’s home, and I greatly appreciated that. I rode Eva and she was wonderful. The rides were good – or better than good, they were exhilarating! I’m 65 and they stretched my comfort zone just enough to give me great confidence at the end of it all. I am now looking forward to my next Globetrotting adventure.’

The Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Diana Hendry

‘The Thirlestane Castle Ride was a dream come true. I enjoyed fresh air (a little rain), beautiful scenery, congenial companions, and tremendous fun and excitement riding over the moors on a wonderful 16 hand Irish Sport Horse named Rocco. The accommodations at the Castle were very comfortable and the staff were helpful and friendly. I could not recommend this trip more highly and I may even do it again!’

Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Hope Towle

‘Just wrapped up my first Globetrotting adventure with the Thirlestane Castle Ride in Scotland! I can’t tell you how much fun all of us had had during the week. Suzy’s horses were phenomenal in every way; Gemma, Jamie, and Izzy were lovely, accommodating guides; and the facilities were comfy and beautiful. As a beginner rider who trained almost exclusively in the arena, this ride pushed me far outside of my comfort zone, but I couldn’t recommend it enough! Adonis, my horse for the week, took great care of me, and got us both home safely each day. If you are on the fence, definitely push yourself to take this ride. And leave a few days to explore Edinburgh, even if it’s just for the food and whisky. Very much worth it!’

The Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Alicia Turner

‘If you are on the fence about booking a riding holiday or are apprehensive about traveling alone, hop off the fence and book it NOW!! I see now why Globetrotting has so many repeat customers; on my trip alone, out of eight people, four had previously been on Globetrotting rides and a fifth was already booked for a future ride. The horses were fantastic, the accommodations were quite literally palatial, the food was top notch, and the camaraderie and friendships formed were life affirming. Our guides were a wealth of knowledge, excellent storytellers, consummate professionals and wonderful conversationalists. I rode Turner the entire week and we could not have been more perfectly suited for each other. As game as he was, he was so, so rideable – he was never, ever strong in the bridle, and even though he was an incredibly keen jumper with huge scope, he always listened. This ride was a once in a lifetime experience!’

Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Christina Bock

‘I had so much fun on the Thirlestane Castle Ride, we had a good group where everyone got along famously. We were all thrilled to get to go to the Ceilidh! But it was also fun to have some quiet time to talk to the locals. The apartment at Thirlestane was absolutely perfect and the staff were incredibly helpful and kind. Susy and Gemma were super accommodating and really fun to be around. I rode Yanis the whole time, at my own request. I truly had the time of my life and I can’t wait to do it again in six months!’

Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Maddie Mckinney

‘I loved every minute of this ride! Everything was better than expected. The rooms were luxurious and all the food was super fresh. Our guides were great, and so much fun. They allowed us a lot of riding freedom while keeping us safe. I rode Alexandros, who was big and powerful and so steady. All the horses were extremely well looked after. The level of care shown is exactly what I hope to see on all riding holidays. I would most definitely do this ride again!’

Thirlestane Castle Ride, Scotland - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Doreen Heal

‘I have dreamed of visiting Scotland since I was a child. I couldn’t even fathom being able to ride through that countryside until this trip was made available. We were hosted by the most gracious family and treated as a member of the family. While it was formal, the genuine care made me feel at home. Each day brought new adventures, both equestrian and culinary. The food was fit for queens! My magnificent mount, Churchill, was steady and honest. Never a wrong step; I truly felt taken care of, and so regal! Our riding mates were delightful and now we have new friends. This trip was truly a once in a lifetime event that I’ll cherish. I cannot recommend it enough!’