One thing is for certain in Scotland – it is beautifully green because it rains. A lot. While researching the Scottish Highlands, an advertisement for trail riding caught my eye. Photos of beautiful horses and ponies roaming through gorgeous lush green paddocks looked like an experience that couldn’t be missed.
Borlum Riding Centre is located in Drumnadrochit, the small village at the heart of Loch Ness. Inverness is a short 25-minute drive, which is where most people stay when discovering the Scottish Highlands.
We arrived on a predictably rainy morning, 15 minutes early as described in the booking confirmation. It was recommended in the high tourist season to pre-book on the website for the relevant ride. Secure payments can be made on the website once the ride is confirmed. Rides ranged from one to three hours, however the hour long ride is suggested for beginners.
Along with the four others on our ride (including a young girl aged around 8 or 9) we were promptly mounted on our steeds and set out at exactly 0930. Trail rides are available to children aged seven and over. Younger children are able to have pony rides at the stables. The rain persisted; however it didn’t appear to dampen any spirits. We all talked about it being more of an authentic experience in the Highlands.
All of the horses in the group were well behaved, well looked after and all of the gear was in good repair. There were two guides for the group, the lead trail guide in front and another to the rear. Both provided instruction during the ride for the complete beginners on how to control their horses, and also helped when some of the horses decided it was time for a meal break halfway through the ride.
The one hour long ride took us through the paddocks seen on all of the advertisements, where spring lambs were still on their mothers. The little girl in the group particularly enjoyed seeing all of the lambs running around the group of horses. Eventually we made it up to a lookout over Urquhart Castle, which was unexpected and it was wonderful to see it from another angle.
Our horses took us over the hill and back down through the paddocks to return us to the stables. There was only a short period of crossing back over the same path, meaning there were breathtaking views and scenery throughout the whole trail ride. As the ride had mixed abilities, it was restricted to a walk but this gave everyone ample time to sit back, relax and take in the beauty while the horses did the hard work.
Don’t miss out on a highly memorable experience for the whole family! Don’t forget to pack a rain jacket!
Tips for your trip:
- Borlum Riding Centre website
- Worth noting – there is a weight limit of 200lbs per rider
- Other things to do in Scotland
- Other things to do in the United Kingdom and Ireland
+44 1456 450358
Peak season (1 July-30 August)
0930 & 1630 – 1-hour trail ride
1100 – 1 ½ hour trail ride
1415 – 2-3 hour trail ride
1530 – 2 hour trail ride
Low season (September – June)
Times by arrangement
Open 7 days a week
1-hour ride – £30 (~$47 USD)
1 hour 30 minutes ride – £37 (~$58)
30-minute child lead rein – £18 (~$28) for 1 child, £14 (~$22) for 2 or more