12 of the best ways to enjoy horse riding in London

  • Horse riding in London has never been more popular and for city-dwelling equestrians there are more opportunities than you might imagine to enjoy some time in the saddle amidst the concrete jungle.

    Whether you’re a rookie rider looking to learn the ropes in a safe environment or an experienced equestrian looking for fast-paced thrills, there are stables to be found nestled in the shadows of the city’s skyscrapers, and some of London’s vast and plentiful green parks are best explored on horseback.

    You may not always be able to escape the constant drone of double decker buses and beeping horns, but horse riding in London is one of the greatest escapes from city living.

    Where to go horse riding in London

    1. Hyde Park Stables

    Where: 63 Bathurst Mews, London W2 2SB
    You can’t find a more central location than Hyde Park Stables, one of the last standing mews with horses in Central London and an equestrian venue for over 300 years. You can ride out, escorted by an instructor, into the 350-acre Hyde Park, down the world famous Rotten Row and beside the beautiful Serpentine lake, or stick to the outdoor arena if you prefer. All levels of horse riders, both adults and children from the age of four, are catered for and you can choose from either private or semi-private options all year round.
    Prices: from £115 for a 1hr semi-private arena lesson or lesson ride in the park, Monday to Sunday.

    2. Wimbledon Village Stables

    Where: 24a/b High Street, Wimbledon SW19 5DX
    Experienced equestrians wanting to go horse riding in London should set off to SW19 and make the most of 3,000 acres of beautiful hacking through Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park. Wimbledon Village Stables (WVS) is a members’ riding club, although experienced non-members are also able to ride on weekdays (Tuesday to Friday) on one of their beautifully schooled horses. As well as offering arena lessons and idyllic hacking with an expert team of instructors, the yard boasts a fully interactive horse simulator in their Equicise studio – a great training aid for riders of all standards. Livery services are available for any city-living horse owners and there is also a busy social calendar to enjoy with lecture demos, guest speakers, competitions and parties.
    Prices: from £80 for a 1hr ride on Wimbledon Common, Tuesday to Friday. Membership starts from £450 per year for occasional riders.

    3. Stag Lodge Stables

    Where: Stag Lodge 1, Robin Hood Gate, Richmond Park, London SW15 3RS.  Stage Lodge 2, 197 Robin Hood Way, London, SW20 0AA
    Split between two locations, Stag Lodge 1 is situated at the Robin Hood Gate entrance of Richmond Park and offers direct access for spectacular hacking for all abilities and pony park lessons for three to six-year-olds. Meanwhile the 11-acre site just down the road at Stag Lodge 2 boasts several large floodlit outdoor arenas and is the place to go for riding lessons. There are courses available to book for children and adults, including the hugely popular pony weeks during school holidays, and a thriving Pony Club. There are over 70 horses of every shape and size at Stag Lodge Stables and they offer various livery services if you want to keep your own horse in the city, too. Such is the venue’s popularity, however, there’s currently a waiting list for under-16s wanting to register.
    Prices: from £30 for a half-hour pony park lesson (Mon-Fri). 1hr private lessons start at £65 and adult group hacks from £45

    4. Lee Valley Riding Centre

    Where: 71 Lea Bridge Road, London E10 7QL
    Head to Lee Valley Riding Centre in Leyton where you can enjoy a wealth of fantastic facilities — an indoor arena, two floodlit outdoor arenas, showjumping and cross-country courses and spectators’ area. It offers horse riding lessons for beginners through to more experienced riders, livery and its programme of activities includes pony days, have a go sessions, birthday parties, school groups and training courses.
    Prices: From £22 for a 30min junior have a go lesson, off-peak riding lessons start from £45 for 30min

    5. The Pony Club

    Growing up in central London does not rule out the joys of Pony Club — from camps and water fights to tests and badges. There are Pony Club Centres — where children without a pony can take part in Pony Club activities — across the capital, including Lee Valley, Ealing Riding School and Stag Lodge.
    Prices: membership from £37 per year

    6. Vauxhall City Farm

    Where: 165 Tyers Street, London SE11 5HS
    A farm in the middle of London? Yes, really! Just a short stroll from Vauxhuall tube station and within earshot of Big Ben, you can find an oasis of animal heaven, with a small selection of horses and ponies available for a limited number of lessons for adults and children, as well as the RDA. There are stable management lessons available at Vauxhall City Farm, too. Supporting children and disadvantaged people is key to Vauxhall City Farm’s ethos and they also offer a range of educational, recreational and therapeutic support programmes and activities. Even if you just want a horsey fix without getting in the saddle, entry to the farm (Tuesday-Sunday) is by donation, where you can also meet the farm’s huge menagerie of other animals.
    Price: from £40 for 45mins lesson

    7. Dulwich Riding School

    Where: Dulwich Common, London SE21 7EX
    Waiting lists at riding schools are becoming more and more common – not just for those wanting to go horse riding in London – and Dulwich Riding School’s is lengthy, but these popular stables are worth the wait for riders aged six and over. They offer group, private and semi-private lessons from complete beginners to novice dressage in their covered indoor arena or outdoor ring, going into the evening on Mondays and Fridays. They are also available for birthday parties and school bookings, plus the all-important “own a pony for a day”.
    Prices: from £30 for 1hr group lesson

    8. London Equestrian Centre

    Where: Lullington Garth, Woodside Park Finchley, London N12 7BP
    Set in 34 acres of green belt land and just a short walk or bus ride from Mill Hill East tube station on the northern line make these friendly stables a perfect commute for north Londoners. London Equestrian Centre offers a variety of horses and ponies to accommodate all standards of riders – children can start at the age of four, or keen three-year-olds can take part in 15min “tiny tot” rides. Pony and young rider days take place during school holidays, where children learn how to groom and look after the ponies as well as taking part in group lessons. They also have a select number of livery places available and a welcoming cafe to enjoy after your exertions in the saddle.
    Prices: from £50 for a 30min private lesson or 1hr group lesson (£25 for tiny tot rides)

    9. Ealing Riding School

    Where: 17-19 Gunnersbury Avenue, Ealing, London W5 3XD
    Hop on the district line underground to Ealing Common or the Piccadilly line to Acton Town where you’ll find the small, friendly stables of Ealing Riding School. They welcome complete beginners from the age of four to experienced riders, all of whom can enjoy lessons in outdoor arenas from an experienced team of instructors on one of their 28 horses ranging from 11h to 16.2hh. Choose from private, semi-private, group or jumping lesssons and there is BHS stage one and two training, plus limited disability rides. There’s a fantastic range of activities for children to take part in, plus competitions, a vibrant Pony Club and even a reading group.
    Prices: from £33 for a 30min children’s group lesson or £49 for a 1hr group lesson for adults.

    10. Docklands Equestrian Centre and Newham Riding School

    Where: 2 Clapsgate Lane, Beckton, London E6 6JF
    Nestled just off the A13 in Beckton, East London, you’ll find 22 horses and ponies stabled at Docklands EC in an open-plan American style barn next to a 20x60m indoor arena and a floodlit 20x40m outdoor arena where lessons are available to riders of all abilities. There are regular competitions and clinics, as well as the ever-popular range of children’s activities. For riders over the age of 12 who want to gain experience in stable management, there is a points-based volunteers programme leading to free riding lessons.
    Prices: pony rides for tiny riders start from £1.50 per lap while a 1hr adult group lesson is £35.

    11. Trent Park Equestrian Centre

    Where: Bramley Road, London N14 4UW
    Escape the city’s hustle and bustle at this vibrant riding school just five minutes walk from Oakwood tube station on the Piccadilly line, offering a wealth of options for horse riding in London. From group and individual lessons, to livery services, BHS training, showjumping and cross-country lessons to exhilarating hacking through the stunning surroundings of Trent Country Park for competent riders and three-hour pub rides, plus pony days for children, Trent Park Equestrian Centre has something for all horse-mad Londoners.
    Prices: 1/2hr private lessons for children start at £35, 45min group lessons for adults start at £53

    12. Deen City Farm

    Where: 39 Windsor Avenue, Merton Abbey, Nr Wimbledon, London SW19 2RR
    A five-acre slice of the countryside in south-west London, Deen City Farm is one of the city’s oldest urban farms with a riding school offering affordable lessons to the local community. Run as a charity, there are 12 horses and ponies stabled on site, all of whom can be sponsored, and are available for pony rides or adult lessons in the floodlit outdoor arena, or you can book a simulator lesson on “Robohorse”. The “own a pony” days for children aged eight or over during school holidays are extremely popular, too.
    Prices: from £29 for half-hour lead rides for children, adult lessons start from £39

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