Go on a Haunting Horseback Safari on the English Moors A horseback riding holiday in England's Dartmoor National Park reveals the area's ancient secrets... We had been riding our horses hard for six hours across Dartmoor National Park, in southwest England, when we came upon a circle of standing stones, one of 18 such enigmas scattered across the park’s 368 square miles. Not much is known about their purpose, but this one was assembled by the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age people a few millennia ago. Other, even older stone tableaus on Dartmoor are tombs that predate Stonehenge, England’s iconic megalithic site, by 2,000 years. And while Dartmoor’s circles, hewed from local granite, aren’t as large as Stonehenge, they are more atmospheric. A busy road runs right past Stonehenge, but Dartmoor’s circles are silhouetted against nothing but silent, fenceless bog and umber hills. I picked up the history from books, but it was only when I walked around the park one spring that I felt the ancient texture of Dartmoor in my bones. The land has been worn by centuries of storms, trodden by sheep and wild ponies. Spring, summer, winter—on Dartmoor, the English weather is even more unreliable than elsewhere in the country. When the mist comes in, or the mizzle as it’s called there, the moor becomes as disorienting as it is haunting. If you see a rare daffodil, in a distant churchyard or beside a road, it’s like seeing a beacon out at sea, the yellow cutting through the mist and lighting up this landscape with its otherwise moody palette of heathery purple and peaty greens. “I’ve been out riding on this moor and not been able to see past [...]
Here's what Sally Shalam had to say about Liberty Trails: Take the ride of your life... After three days in the (comfortable, Western) saddle with Liberty Trails, riders depart bewitched and becalmed by Dartmoor. "It has a special energy", says company owner, Elaine Prior, about the domain she's ridden since childhood. Prior takes proficient riders across rivers, scrambling up banks, and cantering over limitless miles of heather on English hunters and American Quarter Horses. Twice yearly there is even a chance to join cattle drives, when livestock is moved from summer or winter grazing. And you thought you had to go to the USA for such equine excitement. To read the full article, head here.