Liberty Trails is fast converting adventurous types from around the world to the wonders of riding through the unspoiled wilds of Dartmoor in south west England. The Dartmoor National Park can be reached by train from London in just two-and-a-half hours - yet it offers more than 350 square miles of largely unrestricted access to walkers and, more excitingly, riders. The packages typically last three nights and two days with rides taking up to five hours and covering up to 25 miles per day- although, since the service is entirely bespoke, any aspect of the holiday can be tailored to individual requirements. Clients can either bring their own horse or, for no extra charge, ride one of the company’s American Quarter Horses. It has to be emphasised that this is not something for novice riders, but for confident horsemen and women who are looking for the opportunity to really escape out in to the wild in the company of guides with considerable experience and extensive local knowledge. Elaine Prior, who grew up in the area on her family's stud farm and has spent decades riding across Dartmoor is now offering her wealth of experience to others through the high-end Liberty Trails vacation packages. "We have welcomed clients from around the world, and even those who are lucky enough to live in the open spaces of Africa or America have been left amazed at the beauty of Dartmoor and the incredible freedom provided by its vastness and the variety of its landscape, which includes valleys, forests, grassland, rivers and, of course, the towering rock formations known as tors" A typical package of three nights and two days starts for a party of five booking together [...]
Liberty Trails specialises in providing luxury holidays on Dartmoor with unrivalled riding, luxurious accommodation and sumptuous food its speciality. It has partnered with some of Dartmoor’s most idyllic and well known places to stay and eat to offer a range of horseback riding holidays tailor made to the finest detail to meet individual needs. Passionate about everything Dartmoor has to offer, founder Elaine Prior explained: “Dartmoor is a magnificent area in Great Britain and there to be savoured and enjoyed. We’ve found that by creating individual itineraries and taking care of every single detail our guests really get the best out of Dartmoor“ As a team we’ve focused on providing guests with the riding holiday of a lifetime and we are gradually proving that Dartmoor can compete world wide as a destination for horse riding holidays. We’ve hand picked some exceptional local guides and are partnering with the very best hotels in the region. Stabling is another priority and for people wishing to bring their own horses it is top class, while those wishing to ride hired horses, can relax on high quality, foot-sure and experienced horses. Liberty Trails has five very different packages to suit every horse rider’s dream of riding across magnificent landscapes in the company of their horses. The ultimate gastronomic and equine indulgence is the company’s Horseback Safari and Gastronomic Adventure. Staying at the world-renowned Gidleigh Park, this superb package is for seasoned riders who adore great riding, love fantastic food and understand the importance of luxury. Horse Parties at Saddletor Cottage are the perfect escape for small groups of friends who want to combine riding on Dartmoor with luxurious accommodation and food prepared by an in-house chef. Horses are [...]
Paraplegic rider and former leading lady jockey Sarah Gaisford, from Buckfastleigh in South Devon, is asking riders to join her on an historic journey as she embarks on the Liberty Trails Dartmoor Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys’ Fund. The ride takes place on Saturday, April 12, and Sarah will attempt to ride as far as she can to raise awareness of the work of the IJF in recognition of its 50th anniversary celebrations. Joining her will be racing legends John Francome, MBE and Richard Pitman. The IJF proved instrumental in Sarah’s rehabilitation following her life changing accident in 2007 and still provides ongoing support. To help repay them Sarah is asking people to either sponsor her, or raise £500 in sponsorship for the IJF and ride across Dartmoor too. Since her accident, Sarah has refused to turn her back on the horses she loved, and has held on to a dream that one day she would be able to ride across Dartmoor again. Liberty Trails, which specialises in providing luxury riding holidays on Dartmoor, made this possible in 2012 and its founder Elaine Prior is now organizing the Liberty Trails Dartmoor Challenge. Elaine said: “Sarah is so inspiring in that she always has a smile for everyone and yet has had to overcome some incredible difficulties. With Liberty Trails expertise in providing riding holidays on Dartmoor it seemed a natural thing for us to do.” Sarah added: “It is incredible what Liberty Trials has done for me, not least helping me enjoy Dartmoor’s wonderful landscape again from the back of a horse. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I no longer had the use [...]
Gidleigh Park links up with Liberty Trails to provide a horseback safari and gastronomic adventure on Dartmoor Liberty Trails and Gidleigh Park have teamed up to provide an unforgettable experience on Dartmoor which combines two days of adventure riding across magnificent scenery with a luxurious three night stay and dining experience in a world class hotel Gidleigh Park is in a stunning location on Dartmoor and is home to the much loved two Michelin starred celebrity chef Michael Caines MBE offering one of the finest dining experiences in the UK. Staying there is also a five star experience of exceptional luxury. Liberty Trails specialises in providing guided riding adventures on Dartmoor where there are breathtaking views in every direction leaving guests wide-eyed and inspired. Guests can either ride beautiful, quality, sure footed American Quarter Horses with western saddles. Alternatively they can bring their own horses if preferred, and enjoy the peace and seclusion of a secure privately owned purpose built stable yard in the middle of Dartmoor. Each riding package is bespoke and tailored to suit individual riders and different ride lengths are available for those wanting shorter relaxing days. For those wanting more of a challenge and to experience more of Dartmoor, a two-day ride of up to 17 miles per day with the horses spending one night in an ‘out post’ is offered. Groups are exclusive, taking a maximum of four riders at a time and are specifically for experienced and confident riders wanting to ride over wide- open spaces and varying terrain at differing speeds. At the end of each day’s ride guests will be taken back to Gidleigh Park to enjoy three different dining experiences including a light supper, à [...]
A former jockey who was left a paraplegic following a hurdles race fall at Exeter Racecourse achieved a long held ambition when she rode the War Horse Ride on Dartmoor. Accompanying her was her lifelong racing hero Richard Pitman, a former jockey who recently donated a kidney to a complete stranger. Sarah Gaisford was left paralysed from the waist down when she fell during a race at Exeter Racecourse in 2007. Before her accident, she was a self-confessed equine addict and lived and breathed horses. Altogether she rode 50 point-to-point winners and 14 under Rules, but following her accident she thought her life in the saddle was over. This year, however, Sarah started riding regularly again, and on October 20th embarked on the War Horse Ride with Richard Pitman, thanks to Liberty Trails who provide Dartmoor Riding Adventure Holidays. Founder of Liberty Trails Elaine Prior said: “I’ve always had the deepest respect for Sarah. Her courage is astonishing and when I heard she was riding regularly again, I wanted to offer her the chance to do the ride, as it’s an incredible experience, across the same stunning scenery made famous by the film War Horse.” Sarah said: “Just to be back riding again on the open moors is something I never thought I’d be doing. Being on a horse gives me a sense of utmost freedom which is food for the soul when you are confined to a wheel chair. It was just amazing to be back on Dartmoor riding where they actually filmed War Horse. To do the ride with Richard Pitman was incredible. He’s someone I really admire and I can’t thank Liberty Trails enough for providing me with the experience.” Richard [...]
It’s a Right Old Carry on as Matt Johnson and Johnny Robinson from ITV This Morning put on their tuxedos – as you do - and head to Dartmoor to try their hand at wild camping, in a two-part special. It all started with a phone call from a programmer researcher saying that Matt and Johnny’s trip to Devon needed to include the stunning scenery of the Dartmoor National Park where they wanted to lose themselves in nature for a few days. More specifically, they wanted to experience a Liberty Trail’s War Horse Ride and see for themselves the incredible scenery captured in the making of Steven Spielberg’s epic blockbuster, and they fancied camping ‘ Wild’. It was agreed we would organize a combination of the two which they rightly believed, would provide them with the ultimate experience of Dartmoor. However, unlike most of our guests, the pair can’t ride, and they didn’t have their own horses. So we sourced two exceptionally quiet horses, and with help from their experienced helpers and after a lot of laughter from all parties, we got them on board and set off into the wilderness. It wasn’t long before they were saying, “I’m actually really, really enjoying this, its brilliant,” and “I’m doing fine. I’m a happy man.” After a break for lunch at one of the remotest places on the moor, the intrepid adventurers had a go at abseiling at the Dewerstone Rock where Johnny literally pushed Matt over the edge. It was wonderful to have been a part of the program and great fun working with Matt and Johnny.