Put the concrete jungle of Canary Wharf or The City to one side — London is one of the greenest capitals in the world, which is good news if you’re in need of an equine fix and fancy horse riding in London.
From gentle hacking to fast-paced polo, London has it all, and a city job doesn’t have to mean waving goodbye to your country dream.
How to go horse riding in London
1. Hyde Park
You can’t miss the all-weather paths snaking their way through this 350-acre park slap bang in the middle of the capital. And some of the hoof prints and horse dung can be traced back to Hyde Park Stables, which offers hacks through the park and lessons in the outdoor arena, as well as hosting hen parties and children’s camps.
Prices: £95 for a 1hr private lesson Monday to Friday. £105 at the weekend
For more information visit: www.hydeparkstables.com
2. Wimbledon Common
Set off to south-west London and make the most of 3000 acres of beautiful hacking through Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park. Wimbledon Village Stables — which has been offering riding in London for more than 100 years — organises everything from workshops and fancy dress sponsored rides to dressage competitions and holiday camps.
Prices: £85 for a 1hr private ride or lesson Tuesday to Friday. Priority at weekends is given to members
For more information visit: www.wvstables.com
3. Richmond Park
Stag Lodge stables is situated adjacent to the Robin Hood Gate entrance of Richmond Park — meaning you can access the park without going on the road. You can fully unwind after work during the summer with one of its popular pub rides through Richmond Park and Ham Common. Or if you’re looking for something more strenuous sign up for a 1-day intensive course. Make the most of this yard’s special offer of a free lesson when you buy a block of 10.
Prices: £50 for a 1hr private lesson or hack. £65 at the weekend
For more information visit: www.ridinginlondon.com
4. East London
Head to Lee Valley Riding Centre in Leyton where you can enjoy its fantastic facilities — an indoor arena, 2 floodlit outdoor arenas, showjumping and cross-country courses, a cafe and spectators area. Its programme of activities includes pony days, horseball and evening classes.
Prices: From £61 for a 1hr private lesson
For more information visit: ww.visitleevalley.org.uk
5. The Riding Club London
Looking for a bespoke equestrian concierge service? The Riding Club London is the answer. It will arrange tuition at top venues in and around London, hacks through the captial’s Royal Parks, weekend breaks away in the countryside as well as hosting social events from lectures to cocktail parties. Upcoming diary dates include a group lesson on the Isle of Dogs near Canary Wharf, expert dressage tuition in Surrey and a drinks evening at The Fox Club in Mayfair.
Prices: £370 for town membership per annum
For more information visit: www.ridinglondon.com
6. 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 Vauxhall City Farm, Hyde Park Riding School, Lee Valley Riding Centre and Deen City Farm.
Prices: £24 per annum for centre membership
For more information visit: www.pcuk.org
7. Play polo
Why not give polo a go at Ham Polo Club — the last remaining polo club in Greater London. Established in 1926, it is only 8 miles from Hyde Park Corner and prides itself on its family atmosphere. And if you’d rather just enjoy an afternoon relaxing in the sun you can watch the action on a Sunday for just £5.
Prices: £100 for a 1hr private lesson Tuesday- Friday. £120 at the weekend
For more information visit: www.hampoloclub.com
8. Go carriage driving
Belmont Carriage Driving School, based in extensive parkland within Mill Hill, north west London, is the city’s only school of carriage driving. You can pick up the basics of harnessing up, putting to and driving a single turnout, or experience the fast and furious “hurry scurry”. And if you’re feeling really keen you can develop your understanding of the sport on a theory-based course.
Prices: £60 for a 1hr lesson
For more information visit: www.belmontcarriagedriving.co.uk
For a full list of BHS approved riding centres in London visit www.bhs.org.uk
Looking for something further afield? Take a look at all our latest riding holidays