Posts Tagged ‘Short Breaks’

Romance in Italy

Friday, April 30th, 2010

I fell in love on a horse riding holiday… I went alone, needing to get away from my work, and just to give myself a break. I decided on Italy, the country of love! Beautiful valleys sweeping away into the distance, the sound of running water from my Juliet-style balcony, the warmth of the sun on my face, and a waiter at my door with a large bottle of Dom Perignon (courtesy of the man in room 42).

Not to far from the castle at all

A beautiful Italian afternoon

I am not normally in the habit of accepting champagne from random men, but what the hell, I was on holiday, alone, and I wanted to let my hair down. The telephone on the side table started ringing and stopped as I gingerly picked up the receiver. “Hello?” Something swept over me as I heard this deep and husky voice from the other end of the line and butterflies flitted in my stomach. My breath quickened. I put down the phone slowly, all the while smiling to myself. The man from room 42… Hector, we arranged to meet just before sundown to ride out to the large lake at the bottom of the valley. He assured me the view would be breathtaking, and he would organise a picnic supper together by the lake. It all sounded very romantic! I decided that such an occasion meant a hair wash and tore into the bathroom to explore the soaps and other perfumed goods that you find in swanky hotel bathrooms.

Slightly tiddled from the champagne that I had managed to consume single handed, and nervous about my appearance as I made my way down to the stables. A little early, there was no one about apart from the grooms and I helped to tack up the dark mare that I was to ride. Over my shoulder came a dark shadow and I spun around to find myself gazing into deep hazel eyes, with gentle crow’s feet framing his lashes. I was shocked, stunned, and knew I should have shaved my legs! A basket picnic hamper, as promised, was saddled up with us, as well as deep red tartan rugs and some oats for the horses.

Hector was right, the scenery was spectacular and even to this day I remember every minute detail as we trotted down to the vast grey lake. The sun was setting, but the air was light with a slight breeze that played with my fringe. He commented on it, and carefully swept my hair back and behind my ears. I thanked him, but still he lingered close to me. At that moment, both of us astride gleaming dark mares, we shared a moment that will stay with me forever. And for our twentieth wedding anniversary next year, we are going back to Italy, back to the country of love, back to the many sweeping forests, back to the vast grey lake, back to the gleaming horses, and back to where I fell in love with my Hector.

Summer Shudders

Monday, April 19th, 2010

What is it about the English as soon as the sun comes out?  They slap on their factor fifty, roll up their sleeves to reveal pale and pasty bingo wings, and get all excited about the countryside!

Well, that was me, except I got REALLY excited.  On a whim I took my wife’s laptop into the garden and started surfing the internet for horse riding holidays.  The web pages were endless and I didn’t know where to begin!  Being almost computer illiterate I looked for something respectable, easy and accommodating – and there it was; Equestrian Escapes.  As I navigated my way through their clearly thought out website looking at the endless opportunities I could embark on, imagining myself in these beautiful pictures, I breathed a sigh of relief as my face began to spread into a grin.

There was Andalucía.  And Seville it would be!  The idea of a horse-drawn carriage showing off the city of Seville to me was the real clincher.  But, the Spanish country home, the inviting olive groves, the Spanish food as well as beautiful beaches needed little persuasion.

I am booked to go in a couple of weeks, and cannot wait!  Equestrian Escapes made a holiday made just for me, and I was able to choose from their many luxurious choices in order to make a holiday perfect for me.  I’ll let you know how the tapas tasted!

Ron Howarth

A long baking road

Yet another stunning day in Seville, Andalucia

Ron kindly gave us this article after becoming aware of our blog here at Equestrian Vacations for Equestrian Escapes. Soon after he wrote this and emailed it to our staff (know how you can find on our Contact Us page) he phoned up and arranged a holiday, within two weeks he was sat in Andalucia eating tapas for lunch after a great mornings riding. Now that is a good example of what we at Equestrian Escapes aim to achieve when delivering fantastic landscapes and scenery to our beloved customers. We’re here for you.

Searching, far and wide…

Friday, April 16th, 2010

A gentle walk through Cheshire

As a girl, I was always one for fairytales.  At a young age it was the dream of living in a castle, locks of blonde hair down to my waist, the perfect complexion with no freckles, pretty pink flowing dresses, and a Cinderella-style horse and carriage as my favoured mode of transport

I soon grew up.  But with this, the dream never really went away.

My mother was born and brought up in Africa, and upon moving to England at an early age, soon became obsessed with the horse.  She used to spend hours showing me how to check their feet; ways of running ones hand down their legs to feel for any lingering trouble, and always to avoid ragwort!  These have stuck with me, somehow, and by puberty my interest was huge, among other aspects.

When it was time to leave home and ‘find myself’, and I decided to combine my Mother’s favourite things; Africa and horses.  I knew that I had to go to the Masai Mara, to experience that life, and to try to see what my mother loved.

It was booked, my mosquito repellent was packed, and I was away! 

What first struck me was the heat, and I marvelled how these beautiful, healthy horses could bear it as they whisked at the flies with their tails.  They moved so elegantly, and the sound of their hooves on the famously red African soil was enchanting.  As we rode over the Masai plains, dust flew up behind us, in a dream world that was such bliss and could not be further away from the world I lived. 

In the evenings, the Masai would dance to us as we sat around a large log fire, watching the embers crackle as their feet hit the ground to the rhythm of the beat.  The horses took no notice, and went about their grazing business nonchalantly.  

At sunrise we prepared our horses and set out at a gallop to watch the sun come up and slowly touch the landscape with her white light.  The beauty was utterly enthralling, and the sheen on my horse was breathtaking.

My Mother was right.  Her fairytale had come alive before me.

I became obsessed with my experience, and addicted to finding such beauty again.  I rode out in Peru, New Zealand, Ireland, Tuscany and even The Road of Bones in Far East Russia, but nothing met my expectations.

 It was not until I found Equestrian Escapes and their Cheshire Horse Riding Holidays that I was satisfied.  The horses gleamed, and their friendly faces shone out from the pristine stables that were their home.  Who would have thought I would find what I was looking for almost on my front door step? A UK riding holiday!  I was amazed, and entirely impressed.  Never had I seen such care given to these beautiful animals and from this a kind of mutual respect between the horse and the rider united us together.  The rolling green hills and wonderful sounds of the birds made me feel like I was in a bubble, like Africa, and so far away from everyday life.

Launching a brand new riding holiday to Madrid

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

The staff of Equestrian Escapes have been slaving away behind the scenes with three new riding holidays being scouted by our managing director in just under three weeks. This is not to say that the holidays or managing of the business will have suffered, but with a great employee out of action indefinitly and new staff being trained up to help, Equestrian Escapes is jumping fences like never before. The latest strain has proved we can work at one hundred and one percent when one hundred just won’t cut it.

Madrid is a splendid city which plays the integral role of the capitol of Spain and capitol of Spanish polotics due to it being the home to both the Spanish monarch and seats of government. It is Spains largest city and has been built on the river Manzanares which has been canalised before entering the city providing aesthetically pleasing sights and scenes. The Puerta del Sol is one of Madrids many defining features, it plays home to the most popular newyears celebrations in the country and has been broadcast live since 1962. Puerta del Sol means Gate of the Sun, due to the east facing city gate which used to stand there. Now however amoungst the mouth watering architecture blending hudreds of years of culture, is the kilometre zero. The center of the Spanish road network from where distances are measured. Other landmarks worth visiting when you go to Madrid include the Teatro Real or Royal theatre, the National Library and the Royal Palace of Madrid.

The architecture of The Post Office is well respected

Expect itineraries featuring Madrid in all of its glory within the coming weeks straight from Equestrian Escapes.Alternatively if you would like to experience the Spanish coastline, why not holiday to Barcelona or perhaps the stunning region of Andalucia which plays host to the Costa de la Luz, or Coast of Light named aptly after its golden beaches.

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Posted in horse riding holiday Europe, Horse Riding Holiday Madrid, Horse Riding Holidays Spain | 2 Comments »

Happy horse riders compliment Equestrian Escapes

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

The following three testimonials were all recieved within shorst distance of each other and prompted me to write a quick article featuring their words of praise.

Horse Riding Weekend, Cheshire

The accommodation was excellent. The whole place was spotless, the riding was also excellent. We both enjoyed all of the riding experience. We didn’t want to come home and we have reccomended it to our friends.

Thankyou, Joan

 

Epona Trail and Train Riding Holiday Spain

 The service was excellent as all questions were answered promptly and in detail. The rooms were also excellent and were comfortable, homely, very clean. Excellent lessons gave me lots of help with riding skills and the horses provided for lessons and trail rides were fantastic. Overall Experience – I loved my week riding in Spain it was a great combination of lessons and trail rides and also got to experience a little of the culture through flamenco show and a visit to the Jerez royal riding school. Local cuisine was provided for meals and the hosts were lovely. Horses were gorgeous and lovely to ride. Would love to go back again. I will definitely reccomend this to my friends. Epona was an amazing experience my 2 horses were beautiful and taught me a lot, Fernando made sure everyone was happy and kept us all amused with his jokes. The chance to learn through lessons and trail ride was a great combination. I would definitely go back. Thanks for a great week.

P.Meyers

 

A sunny day for learning

A happy customer taking instruction from a trainer

Tarporley Cheshire

The room and service were excellent and the beds, very comfortable. We were impressed with the quality of the private lessons, the hacks were good fun and useful for putting the techniques that we learned into practise. We really enjoyed our experience, can think of nothing that would have improved it. Brilliant weekend. By far the best horse-riding experience I’ve had, the teachers were patient and knowledgeable and I felt I learned a lot. The hacks were great fun and were a good opportunity to put the techniques we learned into practise, as well as a brilliant way to see the countryside.

Thankyou

More reasons to enjoy a riding holiday in Cheshire.

Equestrian Escapes has an expansive archive of information on all of our packages and holidays, please go to our site and find the perfect Horse Riding Holiday for you!

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Posted in beach riding, Cheshire Countryside Ride, children's horse riding holidays, childrens riding holidays, Equestrian Escapes, equestrian holidays, family horse riding holidays, family riding holidays, horse riding, horse riding adventure holidays Spain, horse riding breaks, Horse Riding Holiday, horse riding holiday Europe, horse riding holiday Italy, Horse Riding Holiday Spain, Horse Riding Holidays, Horse Riding Holidays Spain, Horse Riding Holidays UK, horse riding weekend, horse riding weekends, horseriding holidays, Horses, riding holiday Spain | 2 Comments »

Self Catering Cottage – Destination Relaxation

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
The cosy dining room

Inside the cottage

Some people might look at the words self catering and think, Cook for myself? I however, take pride in my culinary skills and jump at the chance to prove my ability in the kitchen. That and the fact that I can eat whatever I desire. No holds barred, self indulgence. This was one of the key factors in which holiday I was to choose because I knew what I wanted. Often I holiday in southern spain and sometimes I venture futher, Florida, Peru. But this time I decided the key to pure unfiltered relaxation is stick to what you know best. That and of course the oh so necessary change of scene which I had been internally craving for quite some time.

So, the decision was made. One week in the cheshire countryside, for Relaxation, Reading, a couple of good movies and lets not forget what’s best! During my seven nights stay, five hacks out in the nearby countryside. And five riding lessons to improve my already admirable (if I must say so, and I must) cunning competance in the equine department.

The Cottage

The outside of the cottage is a subtle hint of the inner beauty

The day I arrived in Cheshire I alighted from the train in Crewe Station and took a taxi to the delightful village of Tarvin. Upon arriving I dropped my bags off at the cottage I was so dying to inspect and went for a quick pub dinner accompanied my a smooth pint of the local larger, Cheshire Cat. After what wasn’t a hard day of travelling and eating I returned to my new housing and settled right in. The cotage is, to say the very least, a beautiful little corner of the world. I popped my shoes off and made myself extremely comfy whilst browsing the video library. Embarrasing as it is I must admit that I haven’t yet got the hang of those new DVD players.

After a good sleep I nipped out to the shops and collected a haul of foods to last me the duration of my stay. The shopping list included, one cake (a slice of self indulgence), bananas, apples, some bran flakes and a few baskets of everything that appeared in my minds eye as I browsed. I stocked up on energy in the form of a hearty full English breakfast and proceeded the short distance to the stables for my first lesson. They were very kind at the stables and really made me feel at ease. I was introduced to my steed, a fine creature of a particularly muscular disposition. And after a speedy briefing, off I went! I can tell you this, I have never ridden in Cheshire before. But I most certainly will ride there again. What more could a man want than a beautiful place to ride a steed, with the wind on his face and a canter of pace! I will confess to indulging my poetic side in the form of many a scribble whilst, as my grandchildren say these days “kicking back”. I’m not quite sure what the kicking is a reference to exactly, probably some rap pop song of sorts. But I can assure you that this holiday kicks lots of back! (Fear not, the horses don’t kick)

A cosy garden

David Payne was asked by the staff at Equestrian Escapes to relive his glory days as a wordsmith and write a short article on his recent Riding Holidays. He kindly delivered this insightful article the day he was due to depart Cheshire (as we are based a five minute drive from Tarvin).

The holiday Mr Payne enjoyed so much was the extended Horse Riding Weekend in the lovely village of Tarvin, Cheshire.

If however you would like to set your sights much further away from home, expand your horizons and ride the unspoilt beaches of Portugal, or try a Medieval Castle Tour. These holidays are prime examples of the fine Horseback Riding Vacations that Equestrian Escapes offers.

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Posted in Cheshire Countryside Ride, clothes for riding, Equestrian Escapes, equestrian holidays, family horse riding holidays, horse riding breaks, Horse Riding Holiday, horse riding holiday Europe, horse riding holiday UK, horse riding holidays Cheshire, Horse Riding Holidays England, horse riding holidays in the UK, Horse Riding Holidays UK, horse riding weekend, horse riding weekends, horseriding holidays, Horses, Learn to horse ride, riding breaks, riding holiday, riding holiday in UK, riding weekends, short break riding holidays, Speciality Riding Holidays | 2 Comments »

Beginners Beach Ride in Andalucia

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

This Weekend Beach Riding Holiday on the stunning beaches of southern Spain is one not to be missed. A chance to see first hand the beauty of La coasta de la Luz and soak up the culture of the near by towns. This area is close to Tarifa and you will arrive after a car journey or transfer from either Gibraltar or Malaga airport.

On your first of five days in this (totally flexible) £495 holiday your will arrive at your four star hotel from the airport and be introduced to your new steed. This holiday caters for all ages and abilities which makes it perfect for families and groups of friends. Fear not if your loved one is more advanced than you, or the other way round! There are horses suitable for all.

La Costa de la Luz means The Coast of Light, a reference to the amazing way the suns rays play with the sand to produce a golden colour which lines the shores. When I was sat on my horse on this very same stretch of coast I couldn’t help but let it remind me of the quality of Equestrian Escapes’ Horse Riding Holidays. They never cease to impress me, time and time again.

Throughout day two, three and four I reccomend you try to have at least 6 hours of riding. This will give you the optimum amount of riding both on the fabulous beaches and in the national park. It will also allow you time to check out the local towns, go shopping in the Zoco (market) and purchase some souvenirs. The range of optional activities during this holiday include:

Costa de la Luz

The Coast of Light

Sad as it may be, day five is the day you depart. Check into the airport and hop on your plane home. Or if you’d rather skip the planes and have no check in then check out the open planes of Cheshire in another ideal short break for you and your family.

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Posted in beach riding, children's horse riding holidays, Equestrian Escapes, equestrian holidays, family horse riding holidays, family riding holidays, horse riding, Horse Riding Holiday Spain, Horse Riding Holidays Spain, horse riding weekend, horse riding weekends, Horses, Learn to horse ride, News, riding holiday, riding holiday Spain, Riding Holidays, riding horses, riding horses Andalucia, riding lessons, Ridng Holiday, short break riding holidays, Speciality Riding Holidays | 3 Comments »

An Ideal Short Break For You & Your Family

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Take your children with you to the open planes of Cheshire and enjoy a chance to improve your riding and learn a bit more about stable management. It’s often the case that we hear all about families which have been long considering purchasing a horse of their own but they aren’t quite sure and don’t know where to begin. Here is a chance to try you hand at what it’s like to care for a horse.

This is probably one of our best Childrens Riding Holidays but this is not to say that it is just for the children. More so that it is child friendly.

You arrive into Cheshire and settle into fantastic hand picked accommodation, we do after all know Cheshire very well as it is the home of Equestrian Escapes and we have now been offering Horse Riding Holidays to all who seek them for well over three years.  After settling in you have a number of options, dine out in any of the nearby pubs or restaurants, go for a ride if time permits or simply relax for a few hours.

Throughout this four night package there will be a 10am – 1pm riding/tuition session at the stables. This is split up into three parts. Starting with a lesson, followed by learning about stable management. This is essential knowledge that you should find both interesting and invaluable. These sessions carry on every day during your stay and by the end you will have a clear idea in your head about whether having a horse is for you.

A gentle walk in the paddock

Green pastures and white horses

Another great idea for your whole family would be to take them on a real adventure, the Medieval Castle Tour in Tuscany is dressed to impress. It’s one of the best horse riding experiences I have ever had.

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Posted in Cheshire Countryside Ride, children's horse riding holidays, childrens riding holidays, Equestrian Escapes, equestrian holidays, family horse riding holidays, family riding holidays, horse riding, horse riding breaks, Horse Riding Holiday, horse riding holiday Europe, horse riding holiday UK, horse riding holidays Cheshire, Horse Riding Holidays England, horse riding holidays in the UK, Horse Riding Holidays UK, riding holidays UK, riding horses, riding lessons, riding out, unaccompanied children's horse riding holidays | 2 Comments »

Equestrian Escapes

Friday, January 29th, 2010
Another sun soaked day

Almeria coastline

With 2010 well underway and a wider list of destinations available for Portugal, Equestrian Escapes has embraced the new year. We have high hopes for the coming months, with plans to add a list of riding holidays and short breaks to France in the near future.

We still aim to deliver a tailor made experience, focused around riding, involving equestrian culture and breathtaking scenery. Our Riding Holidays have already won the acclaim of more than happy customers. Horse enthusiasts return time and time again to experience what they have already learnt to be a reliable source for new and exciting breaks, short trips and full blown holidays.

If you would like to plan a longer vacation abroad, we recommend adding two trips together and we will create a new combined itinerary just for you.  For example, take the Short Break Mountain Trial Ride in Spain. A four night, three day exploration through the forest tracks, ravines, valleys and bridle-paths of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. And following straight after, either drive or take a two hour train to the Epona Equestrian centre near Jerez. The Epona Trail and Train Riding Holiday is a great chance to hone your skills in both riding and dressage. Remeber this is an example, you could switch these around, use completely different holidays, in different countries if you wished.

Check out our other recent news article on New Year Horse Riding News 2010

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Posted in beach riding, castle tour, children's horse riding holidays, family horse riding holidays, horse riding adventure holidays Spain, horse riding holiday Europe, Horse Riding Holiday Spain, Horse Riding Holidays Spain, Learn to horse ride, mountail trail ride Spain, new riding holidays 2010, News, riding breaks, riding lessons, riding out, Ridng Holiday, Speciality Riding Holidays, trail riding holidays | 3 Comments »

Memories of a warm Tuscany, prompted by the big chill…

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Seven days in the sun seems like a far and distant time from our little frozen island. However, the trip left such a firm imprint on me that I can recall it clear as day. A Medieval Castle Tour of Tuscany! I remember stepping off the plane into the warm nostalgic atmosphere of Tuscany. This same relaxing ambience is responsible for that special place where I hold Tuscany in my heart. A trip I shan’t forget soon, nor willingly.

The Adventure Begins

On the first day we were transferred to the magnificant castle in which we were due to stay for the start of our holiday adventure. The food there was sublime, and accompanied by a fine red wine which complemented the meat well. As we had spent the majority of the day travelling I was extremely tired and retired early, keen to be well rested to make the most of the next day.

After a hearty breakfast we set out on our first ride, destination Lake Bolsena! Having heard about the lake’s particular beauty, the way it rests in the heat of the land, a hub of life and ripples, I was keen to get going and arrive already! But the wait was far from lenghty and my impatience soon quashed. They say time flies when you’re having fun, but I don’t believe the heat permits this rule in Tuscany. Everything’s a little slower and you have time to really soak in your surroundings. We trotted along some ancient tracks trodden by many a steed and these old routes led us to the lake… and it was not a disappointment. To the extent that I acutally stripped down to just my shorts and swam for a while. What a nice change it was from my life at home. Drifting in a lake in Tuscany!

Time Flys By Once Your Settled In

The very next day we visited another lake, this one formed inside a volcanic crater with traces of human settlements from the pre-etruscan era. Having passed the lake we cantered up a tree lined path which later revealed some stunning views over the land. Having completed another great day of riding we returned to the castle for some serious chow.

Over the next three days we toured Sorano, every moment viewing scenery that stands as a testament to the sheer age of the land. For instance the paths weaving their way through the towering ancient rock. Cut by ancient man in a time long forgotton.

The path less trodden

All this was broken into perspective by a few healty picnics and the occasional rest stop. Each night staying in an ancient castle or fortress. The castles were really a highlight of the trip, their architecture was astounding. I couldn’t help but think back to my first trip to Portugal, an expertly planned venture organised for me by Equestrian Escapes who later became my standard go to tour operator whenever I wanted a mixture of relaxation and riding.

All Good Things…

Having departed Sorano, we moved down and up the other side of the Stridolone Valley, past an ex-convent and into the heart of the Tuscany countryside where we spotted pheasent, deer and the occasional wild boar! With that we returned to our proud castle for a final meal and good nights sleep. Departing in the morning was ever so painful and I’ve felt a longing to return ever since. Truely a favourite of Castle Riding Holidays, a unique and timeless trip.

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Posted in Horse Riding Holiday, Horse Riding Holidays, horse riding holidays Italy, Horse Riding Tuscany, horse riding weekends, Horses, riding holiday Italy, Riding Holidays, riding holidays Italy, Ridng Holiday, trail riding holidays | 1 Comment »

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