Is this the best place to live for Britain’s prime hacking routes?

  • Space, peace and stunning views are three of the main ingredients required to enjoy breathtaking hacking with your horse. Property expert Carla Passino explains why Devon has all there is to offer if beautiful rides are what you are looking for

    Why is Devon the jewel in the British hacking crown?

    Devon takes the crown for sheer variety. Choose from the open expanse of Dartmoor; spectacular heath and woodland of Exmoor; rolling countryside of the Taw Valley Ride; verdant trails through Cookworthy Forest, and the beach rides at Wonwell, Exmouth or Woolacombe.

    “Vast expanses of sand when the tide is out make for a good ride,” enthuses Tanya Bedford of Marchand Petit.

    Who can you celeb spot while out on a ride?

    Mary King and her daughter, Emily, are based in Sidmouth, and often offer clinics in the area, while Lucy Wiegersma is in Beaworthy.

    When you fancy a change in pace, where can you train?

    Bicton Arena in Budleigh Salterton has a cross-country course, plus dedicated dressage and showjumping arenas for hire. It also holds regular training clinics with top riders, as does Coxleigh Barton Equestrian Centre in Shirwell.

    When can you satisfy your competitive spirit?

    Bicton runs showjumping, dressage and horse trials. For those with stamina, the Golden Horseshoe Ride takes place on Exmoor, across the border between Devon and Somerset, although its future is uncertain.

    Hunting is also exceptional, with both foxhound packs, such as the Exmoor Foxhounds and the Dulverton Farmers, and staghunting with the Devon & Somerset Staghounds.

    What are the property prices like?

    Prices depend on location in Devon. As a guideline, Marcus Lucock of Marchand Petit says you’re unlikely to find an equestrian property below £500,000 in the sought-after South Hams.

    Don’t miss our 11-page property special in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (28 May 2015).

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