Horsing Around the Highlands

About the Experience

Gallop along a deserted beach, and look out at the coast with its floating mist-covered lochs…this is horseback riding in Scotland. Wild rides past the purple heather in bloom under big blue open skies. 

Watch the horses grazing in the fields below from the window of a 150-year-old stone farmhouse tucked into the Scottish countryside. Explore the old Scottish way of the women and learn to sing Scottish songs whilst you spin some wool from a flock of Shetland Sheep.

We’ll ride through the ancient forests and rivers inaccessible to the automobile, but discovered by the horse. We’ll climb hills along majestic mountain ranges and sea cliffs with shimmering views over the Atlantic. Learn how to navigate by the plants under our hooves, and picnic by hill lochs rich in history that tell a tale of legends.

Let the ‘sea salt spa’ of wind in your face and sand in your hair make your morning. Explore the fascinating history of castles and rock and roll. Ride your way through the wild landscapes of Scotland’s highlands.

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Horsing Around the Highlands

About the Experience

Gallop along a deserted beach, and look out at the coast with its floating mist-covered lochs…this is horseback riding in Scotland. Wild rides past the purple heather in bloom under big blue open skies. 

Watch the horses grazing in the fields below from the window of a 150-year-old stone farmhouse tucked into the Scottish countryside. Explore the old Scottish way of the women and learn to sing Scottish songs whilst you spin some wool from a flock of Shetland Sheep.

We’ll ride through the ancient forests and rivers inaccessible to the automobile, but discovered by the horse. We’ll climb hills along majestic mountain ranges and sea cliffs with shimmering views over the Atlantic. Learn how to navigate by the plants under our hooves, and picnic by hill lochs rich in history that tell a tale of legends.

Let the ‘sea salt spa’ of wind in your face and sand in your hair make your morning. Explore the fascinating history of castles and rock and roll. Ride your way through the wild landscapes of Scotland’s highlands.

 

 

DAY ONE: ARRIVAL

Arrive in Campletown, and at Glen Kerran Farm to meet your hosts Cara, Nikki and the Herd. Check-in any time after 3 pm and before dinner at 7 pm.  Settle into your room and have a quick tour of the yard, before sitting down to a delicious home-cooked meal in the farmhouse with the whole group.

We’ll have dinner overlooking the horses grazing in the fields below. Afterwards, we will run through the itinerary and talk though general housekeeping so that we can get going in the morning.

 

DAY TWO: HORSEMANSHIP 

After breakfast, we’ll start the day with some horsemanship training. We will play a game to explore the concept of communication without words, before heading out on the yard to put this into practice with some horses. This groundwork allows you to better understand your own ‘energy’ presence and precision and to bond with the horses over some tricks and games. By the end of the session, you should be able to control your horse with a slight nod of the head or waggle of your finger. This will set you up well for the week ahead!

After lunch in the farmhouse, we will head out to enjoy our first afternoon of riding. This ride is designed to let you get to know your horse over different terrain and paces as we ride through the forests and rivers of our ‘back yard’. From here we will head to the northwest toward the hills where the horses will stay the night at a local farm.

 

DAY THREE: MOUNTAIN RIDE

This is the day for steep climbs, navigational skills and big views. A whole day spent in the hills to test the bond between you and your steed over wide-open landscapes. We will learn how to navigate by the plants under our hooves and will picnic by hill lochs. The Scottish lochs are rich in history and tell a tale of legends and landscapes.

This will be a demanding day for horse and rider but within the kind of natural space that just makes your heart sing. We will end this day with the horses staying out near the coast.

 

DAY FOUR: BEACH RIDE

Let the ‘sea salt spa’ of wind in your face and sand in your hair make your morning.

We’ll ride on the beach today with stunning views out to the Inner Hebrides or “isles at the edge of the sea”. We’ll play on the sand dunes and enjoy the surf and a bit of speed. If the weather and tides allow, we will even enjoy a wee swim with the horses. Again, the horses stay overnight on the trail.

 

DAY FIVE: ISLAND TOUR

After an early breakfast, we will be picked up by minibus en route to the Island of Gigha, a small idyllic island off the west coast. The bus will take you by ferry where you will spend the day learning about the history of this community-owned; renewable energy powered island.

Enjoy Scotland’s inspiring scenery and spot wildlife along the way! We’ll meet many wonderful female entrepreneurs on this island. Visits will include the ‘Wee Dairy’ who make their own ice-cream, Achamore Gardens, the Wee Gift She and Gigha Gallery, where you can not only admire the vast and innovative array of local produce (Living Tree Orchid Essence, and Natural Skincare products) but can also turn your hand to a spot of music or jewellery making.

Lunch will be at the Boathouse Restaurant and afternoon tea on the island before catching the last ferry. We’ll grab dinner in a restaurant on the way home to the farm.

 

DAY SIX: COASTAL CLIFFS

Feeling refreshed, we’ll kick off with another big riding day through the hills and along the sea cliffs today. Enjoy epic shimmering views over the Atlantic. We’ll ride through a nature reserve and will be spotting for wildlife and sea birds along the way.

This day will see us bring the herd back home to their own field for the night.

 

DAY SEVEN: HOME ON THE RANGE RIDE

Your last day of riding is closer to home and is the ‘warm and fuzzy’ day to play with your horse. We start the morning mastering natural horsemanship games from earlier in the week and then head out to ride our own ground and a neighbouring farm, playing in rivers and enjoying a good gallop to finish.

 

DAY EIGHT: CASTLES AND ROCK AND ROLL

After breakfast, you will be picked up by minibus and taken on a magical trip up the east coast of the Kintyre peninsula for some history and highlights. Our wild women guide will show you points of interest on your drive up Saddell Estate for a walk along the very beach where the Beatles Mull of Kintyre music video was shot! Your guide will explore the fascinating history of Saddell Castle and Abbey before walking out to see the Anthony Gormley Statue, if the tide permits.

We will then be met at Torrisdale Castle by the current chatelaine, Emma Macalister Hall who will serve us coffee in the drawing-room and talk about the history of the castle and the family. After visiting the castle grounds and beautiful arboretum, you will add to the history, by planting a tree for future generations to enjoy, as part of the estate’s sustainability programme. We will lunch at the distillery café after a tour of the gin distillery. Head distiller, Su Black will talk about the processes involved in making Kintyre Gin and there will be plenty of opportunities for tasting.

A two-course dinner will be provided at the Ardshiel Hotel in Campbeltown. This award-winning whisky bar has been run by proprietors Flora and Marion for many years and is the perfect place to end the day.

 

DAY NINE: HIKES AND HISTORY

Today we take you on a cultural and natural history tour of the Mull of Kintyre to give you a real sense of where you have been during this trip. The morning will be spent exploring some of Kintyre’s rich history, including walking the route of the Battle of Dunaverty, a massacre of 3000 and visiting the site of Dunaverty Castle where Robert the Bruce stayed in 1306. We’ll also Discover Keil Caves, which were occupied for centuries. Nearby you’ll find St Columba’s Chapel, St Columba’s Well and St Columba’s Footprints, which are carved in stone, a reminder that this is where he landed in Scotland in 563.

Your guide Nikki is a botanist by trade, having surveyed most of the Scottish uplands and coastline over her 25 years in the business. She will take you on a hike along the stunning sea cliff of the Mull of Kintyre, dipping into some hidden trails and coves to find natural treasures and teach you about the vegetation under your feet and even what you can forage for dinner. Kintyre is a great natural resource and has plenty of ingredients growing naturally.

We will picnic near the Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse, with views across the Atlantic and out to Ireland and the Isle of Islay. On return to the farm, we’ll team up with our hosts and create a hand foraged, home-cooked meal for the whole group to enjoy as their finale supper.

We’ll make bread in the farm Aga, collect vegetables from the garden to make soup, forage seaweed from the shores to accompany locally sourced fish, and even collect berries and nuts for dessert.

 

DAY TEN: DEPARTURE

After the last breakfast together you will say goodbye to your beloved steed and head home. Depart out of Campletown en route to Glasgow and beyond.

 

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