British team event rider and Dartmoor Derby Ambassador Lucy Wiegersma finally gets to explore the moor she sees from home each day.. in some style I work in my outdoor school for around six hours a day, and we have a view across the valley to the north west of Dartmoor. We watch the seasons changing and I am fascinated by it, but I never really have had the chance to explore it. I grew up in Cornwall, and did not spend my holidays roaming this region as a child. So I was thrilled to be asked if I would be an Ambassador for the Dartmoor Derby, and take part in the Pilot Event. Here finally was a first chance to take on Dartmoor with abandon — lthough I was quite sure it would be rainy and foggy when I did! Pony Club camp — but rather more swanky Our overnight in the specially built 'glamp-site' was great. It took me right back to Pony Club camp days, albeit considerably smarter! No stone barns here but ornate swanky yurts, complete with lamps, flowers, mattresses, duvets and chocolate on our pillows. But I still had my crash hat by my bed and reverted to that old childhood trick of warming up my breeches under the duvet before climbing into them. After a hot breakfast in our lovely riverside 'dining yurt' we were off for our day's ride. The others in my group were really nice, from all walks of like and very easy to talk to, with a common interest in riding and exploring the countryside. It was amazing being out on the moors beneath such vivid blue skies. We crossed the terrain at a faster [...]
How did BBC Two Radio Presenter and DJ Sara Cox get on covering 25 miles of diverse moorland terrain on the first day of the 2015 Dartmoor Derby pilot event? Here she gives her account When I signed up to ride the Dartmoor Derby pilot event, I suppose I was hoping to regress to being 15 again, out on my pony all day on sandy lanes and stopping at the chip shop for lunch — but with better scenery! I hadn't predicted how spectacular Dartmoor would be. The views and scenery are incredible and we haven't seen any road or sign of life for mile after mile. Apart from Dartmoor ponies scattering in front of you, and occasional herds of Galloway or Highland cattle, or the odd roe deer, it's just you and your horse; you really feel you can breathe better up on the moors. Why Tetley's just my cup of tea I've ridden a variety of horses over the years, from my farm pony when I was a teenager, to racehorses — I have twice ridden in the ladies charity race at Goodwood, the Magnolia Cup. But I am now officially in love with Tetley. Our group's horses, fit local hunters, arrived for us. Then off the lorry came this huge, gorgeous piebald hunk, Tetley — and he was for me... His name — apparently given because he was born at teatime — was a good sign because I do like a good cup of tea! I'm quite long-legged so I feel a bit odd on some smaller horses, but Tetley was a big old unit, and felt like an armchair. He's very sweet natured, but he's also a machine. On this sort [...]
Our camp is constructed, the horses are gleaming, the champagne is on ice and even the weather is behaving... Finally, we are on the brink of starting the Dartmoor Derby Pilot Event. It feels a little surreal finally to have reached this stage. I began formulating the idea for a Dartmoor Derby in the summer of 2014. Having ridden many miles across Dartmoor in recent years accompanying guests from around the world to my established adventure riding business Liberty Trails, it often struck me how certain places on the moor would lend themselves brilliantly to hosting a luxury camp. With undulating, unspoilt vistas, and total peace - apart from the occasional contribution from resident wildlife - there is much in common with African bush camps that riders have loved for years. Dartmoor is such an amazing place to ride, yet very few people have the opportunity to explore it comprehensively because of the logistical support required to do so. Widespread support I began sharing my vision for a Dartmoor Derby - loosely inspired by the African riding safari format, and the success of the more rough and tumble Mongol Derby - to Liberty Trails clients. The idea received an emphatically positive response from everyone. The time had come to do something about it! The next step was to speak to Dartmoor National Park, Uk Trade and Industry, the Duchy of Cornwall and other stakeholders, and I am very grateful for the immense support they, and other organisations, have given. From the outset the idea was to create an event that celebrated the region, involved local suppliers, businesses, hotels and farmers, but had no negative environmental impact. In an in-depth feasibility study, we spoke with [...]
Was there ever an area more suited to exploring on horseback than Dartmoor? Sian Lewis from BBC Country File Magazine took to the saddle for a 22-mile (35km) adventure with Liberty Trails. Here's what she says Countryfile Magazine Editorial Feature Feb 2015
If you’ve heard of Dartmoor National Park, you’ll know it is southern England’s highest and least spoilt region with an expanse of heather-clad hills, historical legends, granite tors and wild river ways. Filmed throughout 2014, the beauty of Dartmoor has been captured using state of the art aerial camera technology. This digital postcard encapsulates the stunning scenery and suggests some of the landscapes you could experience on a Liberty Trails horseback adventure holiday. Discover Dartmoor by clicking here Our two and three day exclusive riding safaris give you the opportunity to experience Dartmoor from the back of a horse with just your friends and your guide for company. Wish you were here? To reserve your dates for 2015 visit www.libertytrails.co.uk
Horseback adventure Freedom – 368 square miles of breath-taking scenery to enjoy peaceful and meditative days in the saddle, surrounded by wildlife, rivers and world famous granite tors. Real adventure – Dartmoor is one of England’s last remaining wildernesses. The terrain ranges from marshland to gravel paths and everything in between. Our exclusive local guides know their patch of the moorland and share their knowledge with you. Everything is included – We look after every little detail so that you can truly relax on your horse riding holiday. Our attention to detail is second to none and you’ll be in very good hands. Our horse riding holidays are truly all inclusive from the moment you enquire. Five star accommodation – for you and your horse! Our accommodation partners have been hand-picked because they share our high standards. Tailor made – we tailor make every adventure to make sure you have the best possible horse riding holiday. If you’d like an afternoon in a kayak or a morning playing golf – we can do this. We can even cater for the non-rider in your life. We handmake one booking at a time to ensure you're getting the best experience possible.
Highly acclaimed journalist Simon DeBurton has written a very special piece about our Horseback Safari and Gastronomic Adventure at Gidleigh Park. You can read the full article by clicking here: LBOW -Wild West Feature.
Luxury Travel Blog author Paul Johnson shares his thoughts about Liberty Trails. You can read the article here. Liberty Trails Luxury Horse Riding Holidays in The Luxury Travel Blog
Luxury Travel Blog author Paul Johnson shares his thoughts about Liberty Trails. You can read the article here.
Lucy Higginson, Editor of Horse & Hound tells of her Liberty Trails experience earlier this year. Click here to read the full article: Horse and Hound Editorial