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Looking for a horse-riding holiday in the UK? In the Cotswolds, you can enjoy scenic horse riding in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

The Cotswolds has a long history of horse riding and hosts three of the top equestrian events in the UK. Combine this with the Cotswolds countryside of rolling hills, picturesque villages and quiet country lanes and you’ve discovered a horse riding holiday like no other.

There’s a saddle for all abilities and a choice of terrain for all appetites; from long trails with a pub stop to fun rides. The warmer weather is made for enjoying some horse therapy. So here we share with you the best places for horse riding in the Cotswolds.

Read on to discover the best Cotswolds horse riding holidays…

Cotswolds Fun Rides

These fun rides can be booked with the TV-famous Cotswold Farm Park. Located just 15 miles outside of Cheltenham and into the rolling Cotswold countryside, you can enjoy sweeping views.

This exciting trip is hosted on the acres of a private estate owned by the UK’s most famous farmer, Adam Henson of BBC fame.

Explore further and you’ll find monthly fun group rides across ten miles of private Cotswold countryside on offer. The terrain is varied and as it is all about fun, the hack can be shortened to three miles for those just starting out.

Horse-riding holidays in the UK

The fun rides are available for one weekend each month with limited ticket availability, so advanced booking really is essential. Riders are given a time slot, which is great for minimising crowds for a relaxed experience.

Ages 14-17 can ride alone but must be signed in by an adult and a younger rider must be accompanied by an adult.

As well as the stunning countryside, there are up to 60 optional jumps along the route. Explore various routes for enjoyable terrains, including a small pool of water, woodland, and open parkland.

This horse-riding holiday kicks off in summer and is ideal for all ages, abilities, and lead-rein riders. The reduced numbers make this a super-relaxed riding experience in a very special course indeed.

A professional photographer will capture the perfect snap from your day and each rider will receive a rosette memento too!

How much does horse riding cost?

Prices can vary depending on whether it is for a group session or private. For 45-minute sessions, it is £57 for a private lesson and £31 for a group class.

But prices can depend on the organisation so be sure to check with the company first before embarking on your horse riding holiday.

Cotswolds Riding at Jill Carenza Equestrian

Jill Carenza began riding before she could walk, or so the story goes. Located just off the charming Cotswold Way walking route is Cotswold Riding and Jill Carenza Equestrian.

Three women horse-riding in the Cotswolds

The well-established stables (over 35 years) have over 50 horses to suit all abilities and sizes. For confident riders, the nearby Cotswold Escarpment and cross-country scenery provides the ideal place for a fast hack.

Or why not try out the show jumping and dressage schooling facilities? Beginners can enjoy the tuition of a slower-pace bridleway hack and the legendary pub ride.

Here you can refuel at a Cotswold pub and chat to others. This is a fantastic horse-riding holiday for beginners in the UK.

Cotswold Trail Riding

Located less than six miles from Stroud, itself only a 90-minute train ride from London, is Ongers Farm, home to Cotswold Trail Riding.

Open seven days a week and offering lessons, hacks and group rides for all abilities, Cotswold Trail Riding is very easily accessible.

Woman and horse on country lane

This is the family’s choice for horse riding in the Cotswolds, with one-hour tasters to all-day jaunts available, along bridle paths through the stunning Cotswold countryside.

For children, age 6+, activity days provide the ideal introduction to caring for horses and includes grooming as well as a ride.

Fun for adults is also catered for, with popular pub rides, taking riders through organic countryside and ancient woodland with a welcomed stop at a local pub. For some ideas on where to refuel, check out family-friendly Pubs in the Cotswolds.

What time of the year is best to go horseback riding?

According to Google Autumn in the best time to go horse-riding. The cooler months make it more enjoyable for you and the horse.

Plus, you can admire the autumnal colours around you as you explore. To experience the Cotswolds in Autumn, browse these hand-picked October half-term breaks.

Barton End Equestrian Centre

Fancy learning to ride side-saddle? Or how does an evening hack with friends sound? Here you will find a show jump arena or mini cross-country to test the best of tempers, regardless of your ability or experience.

This horse-riding holiday is the place to discover your passion or season your skills. With a busy activity calendar all year round and over 40 horses of varying abilities, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

Barton End Equestrian Centre sits quietly in one of the Stroud Valleys, near the historical milling village of Nailsworth. Nailsworth is also home to the famous Egypt Mill restaurant, regarded as one of the best in the Cotswolds!

The South Cotswolds is in fact known for its foodie scene and William’s Food Hall, the multi-award-winning deli in Nailsworth, is not to be missed when staying in this part of the Cotswolds. So, after riding across the beautiful countryside, look forward to a hearty meal.

Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre 

Visit the Venice of the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water, and enjoy a gentle hack with Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre. Explore the Cotswolds’ idyllic Slaughter villages, taking to the famous shallow waters for one of the most memorable experiences in the Cotswolds.

This Cotswolds horse riding centre, based in the very heart of the Cotswolds, offers something for all riders, but it is its unique location that sets this horse-riding experience apart.

Young children on horse riding holiday for beginners uk

Bourton is a short drive from Stow-on-the-Wold; here you can wander over the River Windrush across low bridges.

Bourton Vale riding offers experienced visitors a gentle hour-long trek to take in the villages of Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter or tuition in the beautifully maintained outdoor arena.

Has this guide inspired your next horse-riding holiday in the Cotswolds? Choose your perfect Cotswolds cottage to return to after riding through the countryside with Character Cottages.

Erik – (CC BY 2.0); Dark Dwarf – (CC BY 2.0)