When it comes to scenic bridleways, the UK has countless to offer, whatever your ability and trail preference.
From laid-back rides to more challenging terrain, forest tracks to coastal paths, popular stretches to more secluded spots, our list of top UK bridleways gives you a mixed bag of routes to explore or revisit this summer. You can read our related bridleways blog here.
- The Cotswold Hills – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds provides the perfect backdrop for that spring/summer hack. With an endless choice of routes - whether you want quiet country lanes that can be explored leisurely, or more hilly terrain and open spaces for a lengthy canter - the Cotswold Hills is the ideal setting for enjoying the great outdoors. Take ancient paths through grassy fields, and enjoy breath-taking distant views of the Brecon Beacons.
- Totternhoe Knolls, the Chilterns – starting at Stanbridge Ford, the network of bridleways that make up Totternhoe Knolls are perfect for an open ride on a clear day. Saddle up and enjoy the real variety on offer – from nature reserves and endless fields, to ancient monuments and scenic paths. Ideal for experienced or novice riders, the Totternhoe Knolls is a gentle, rolling landscape that makes for a relaxed group or solo hack.
- Great Windsor Park – it might only be accessible with a permit, but the enchanting trails of the Great Windsor Park are well worth the expense. Here you can enjoy woodlands that are over 800 years old, as well as stunning views across historic Windsor and Eton. From the Deer Park to Queen Anne’s Ride and Swinley Forest, there is ample to explore on the estate (4,800 acres to be precise), which is picturesque come rain or shine.
- Holy Island, Northumberland –lying just off the Northumberland coast, the white sandy beaches of Holy Island can be explored at a gentle pace - taking in the vibrant scenery and teeming wildlife - or at exhilarating speed with the wind in your hair! With the impressive backdrop of Lindisfarne Castle, there really is nowhere more historic or picture-perfect for a summer ride. (Note: be sure to check for safe crossing times as the causeway disappears twice daily).
- Monsal Trail, Peak District – found in the heart of the Peak District National Park, the trail runs for 8.5 miles through some of the region’s most spectacular limestone dales and disused railway tunnels, and offers exciting views for miles around. If you’re looking for somewhere unique to explore, then the Monsal Trail ticks all the boxes. Perfect for both novice and experienced riders.
- Studland Beach, Dorset – another stunning seafront offering an unforgettable experience, Studland has three miles of sandy beaches and is a popular location year-round. Perfect for a quick run out or a longer amble, the glorious backdrops will have you revisiting time and again. You can also enjoy Studland from a higher vantage point as there are cliff top rides overlooking the striking Dorset coastline.
- Carmarthenshire – its long coastal stretches and beautiful forests are well known, and you’ll find no shortfall of things to see and do in this wonderful part of the world. Horse riding is welcomed and well catered for, with plenty of riding routes to explore.
- Gallow Hill, Stranraer, Scotland – perfect in the spring and summer months, Gallow Hill offers magnificent views out to sea from the top of the hill and plenty of open space for a gallop. Explore the network of paths through pretty woodland and blossoming countryside, but make sure your mount is fully fit as there is lots of hill work involved.
- Murthwaite Green, Lake District – close to the beach of Silecroft, which offers 5 miles of golden sand and shallow water, this is a great place for both the first-time and more experienced rider. Here the beautiful Lake District is showcased, so saddle up and don’t forget your supplies!
- The Coleridge Way, Exmoor – spanning 4 picturesque miles, the Coleridge Way bridleway combines various different terrains and landscapes, including farmland, countryside, wooded valleys and moorland. You’ll feel at one with nature as you ride this well-trodden path on a sunny spring day with the sound of skylarks in the air. Take a pit-stop at one of the historic villages enroute and then pick up the trail where you left off.
As always, we’d love to hear your feedback, so feel free to comment below with your own suggestions!
Written by: Hannah Dyball