Horse Riding & Experiences

Horse Riding

Human history has been shaped through our relationship with the horse. These powerful and graceful beasts have helped build up cities, and take down enemy armies. They have shaped our land through their use in farming, and provided entertainment in the form of dressage and racing.

Today, these majestic animals provide a popular way of exploring the Lake District, with many equestrian and activity centres offering the opportunity to spend a few hours riding through the countryside.

What Horse Riding Involves

In the Lake District, you can participate in various forms of horse-riding, whether it be a lesson, either under the cover of a large arena or in an open field, a lead walk, where a staff member leads the reins as you ride, or a hack, where you go out for a few hours along the bridleways, lanes, and beaches.

Beginners will typically get some basic tuition before they start any ride, and as you grow in confidence you may want to progress up to a trot, or even a gallop. Some centres also offer riding holidays, where you can spend a few days in the saddle with accommodation provided at various points.

What to Wear and Bring

Horse Riding

Some centres will provide hats and boots, others expect you to bring your own, so do check in advance of your booking. If you are not using riding boots then shoes with a low level heel are best in order to get a good grip on the stirrups. You should wear thick leggings or trousers, but not jeans as these can cause chaffing. You should wear weather appropriate clothing on top, including a waterproof jacket if needed. If the weather is cold then gloves are a necessity as your hands will be exposed throughout.

Where to Go Horse Riding in the Lake District

There are a number of equestrian and activity centres around the Lake District that offer various types of horse and pony riding.

Rookin House

The equestrian centre at Rookin House is home to around 35 horses and ponies, and they cater for all abilities and ages from 2 years up. In addition to treks, lessons, and lead walks, dressage lessons are available.

  • Address: Rookin House Farm, Troutbeck, Ullswater, Penrith, CA11 0SS
  • Tel: 01768483561
  • Website:

Cumbrian Heavy Horses

The UK’s only specialised heavy horse riding establishment, Cumbrian Heavy Horses offers you the chance to ride on a Clydesdale, Shire, or Ardennes heavy horse breed, famed for their power and role in the industrial revolution. Either sign up for a half day, or full day of riding, or take part in a week long riding break.

  • Address: Baystone Bank Farm, Whicham Valley, Nr Millom, LA18 5LY
  • Tel: 01229777764
  • Website:

Bigland Hall Equine Group

Offering horse and pony riding lessons and treks, Bigland Hall is located in south Cumbria. Riding holidays are available for experienced riders that take in much of the Lake District.

  • Address: Bigland Hall, Backbarrow, LA12 8PB
  • Tel: 01539530333
  • Website:

Murthwaite Green

Specialising in beach rides, Murthwaite Green takes riders of all abilities from age 4 and up. Ride along Silecroft’s sandy beach or over the summit of Blackcombe Fell.

  • Address: Murthwaite Green Trekking Centre, Silecroft, LA18 5LP
  • Tel: 01229770876
  • Website:

Pony Trekking Ullswater

With their base at the edge of Ullswater, Pony Trekking Ullswater avoid all roads altogether to take you and your horse or pony straight up onto the fells, giving you the opportunity to enjoy splendid views in this picturesque part of the Lake District.


Holmescales Riding Centre

Holmescales have a large indoor riding centre, so you can enjoy horse-riding whatever the weather. Lessons and treks are available with all abilities accepted from age 4 and up. Professional tuition is offered, tailored to your needs.


Witherslack Hall Equestrian Centre

This large equestrian centre is located within the grounds of a 17th century estate with accommodation available in a character property for riding holidays. Lessons, treks, and pony parties for children are amongst the services available.


Full Circle Experiences: Meditate with Horses

Please note that this company does not offer horse riding, but rather an experience to connect with horses through meditation. 'Meditate with Horses' has become an popular experience in the Lake District and was even featured on the BBC, ITV and the Sunday Times. Be sure to get in touch with Full Circle Experiences for further details.