While London and horse riding might not be words you would normally associate together, living and working in the city doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of becoming a horseback rider as there are plenty of places you can go.
From gentle hacking trails to polo teams, there is plenty of equestrian action to be had in London if you know where to go – here’s a guide from Equi Supermarket to the best places to go horseback riding in the capital.
- Wimbledon Common
The Wimbledon Village Stables have been delivering riding experiences to Londoners for over a century thanks to the 3,000 acre setting of Wimbledon Common and nearby Richmond Park. They offer hacking, riding workshops, dressage lessons, horse riding camps in the holidays and sponsored rides, among their services.
- Hyde Park Stables
Hyde Park is a 350 acre green oasis right in the middle of London and home to the Hyde Park Stables which offers all kinds of riding experiences in the city for all levels and ages. The park has many riding paths throughout the acreage offering lots of opportunities for hacks through the grounds, from the stables. They also offer riding lessons in their outdoor paddock and can offer children’s events and hen parties as well.
- East London
The Lee Valley Riding Centre can be found in Leyton, East London and you can’t fail to be impressed by the amazing facilities. Lee Valley has an indoor arena as well as two outdoor areas with flood lighting.
They also have show jumping facilities along with cross-country courses on the premises. For those who prefer to watch, there is a spectator zone and a café to chill out while you wait for your horse-loving friends.
This centre has something for everyone, running a full programme of events and activities including horse ball, pony days and evening riding classes –it’s a real equestrian haven in the middle of the capital city.
- Richmond Park
At the Robin Hood Gate entrance to this park you will find the Stag Lodge stables. You can access the park from here without needing to go onto the road. They offer pub rides through the park and Ham Common in the summer months. For those looking for a challenge you can take part in their intensive one-day course or sign up for a block of lessons to help get your experience levels up.
- The Riding Club, London
The Riding Club, London, acts as a bespoke service for equestrian events. It will help to arrange your horse riding tuition at some of the best venues in the city, organise hacks in the Royal Parks, set up country weekend escapes and also hosts a wide variety of social evenings. Events they offer include dressage training weekends and drinks events.
- North London
If you head up to Mill Hill, North London, you will find Belmont Carriage Driving School which is the city’s only horse carriage driving school and is based in broad parkland. They teach the basics from harnessing up; driving a single turnout and you can also undertake a theory-based course on the history of the sport of carriage driving as well.
- The Pony Club
For children growing up in the city, going pony riding could seem impossible but thanks to The Pony Club, it’s now easy for city kids to take part in all the joys of the club. They have Pony Club Centres across the capital where children without ponies can take part in all the activities including camps and competing for badges.
They can be found across the city, including at the Hyde Park Riding School, Deen City Farm, Vauxhall City Farm and the Lee Valley Riding Centre.
- Ham Polo Club, Greater London
If you are an established horse rider looking for an equestrian event with a difference then head to Ham Polo Club, just eight miles from Hyde Park Corner. It’s the last polo club in Greater London and has been in place since 1926. You can come along and have a go, or if you prefer to spend the afternoon watching a match on a Sunday, you can do that too.
If you thought city life meant giving up your love of horses and horseback riding hopefully this quick guide will help to reassure you that you can still enjoy and take part in many equestrian activities even while living or working in the capital city.
From Pony Club to Polo, from gentle hacks through the parks to fancy dress sponsored rides and the thrill of learning carriage driving, there really is a huge variety of opportunities to take part in horseback riding lessons and events no matter which part of London you live in.