DAY RIDES IN DEESIDE
6 hours of riding
We always try to tailor our rides to the specific abilities of our riders and can offer something for everybody whether you would like a beach ride or would prefer tranquil forest trails, stunning hilltop views and lazy lochside picnics - or even a ride that incorporates all of these! Booking is essential for all day rides.
For those of you who love riding but also have a healthy appetite, this is the ride for you! We want to show you (and feed you) the best that Ballogie estate has to offer. Come along with us on this ride n' dine experience that traverses through the iconic Scottish countryside before indulging in a hearty lunch at our local restaurant.
Our ride starts at our premises which is set in the heart of Royal Deeside, nestled in a secluded and idyllic location amongst the trees. We head off into the forest where there are some great opportunities for canters on the grassy tracks between the trees and heather. Keep an eye out for red deer prancing through the heather and Capercaille (the Gaelic name for this species, capall-coille, means ‘horse of the forest’) - extremely rare and iconic big game birds of the grouse family with stunning feathers. We catch a glimpse of Ballogie house before continuing our journey towards the River Dee. We will ride on a small trail amidst the bracken and trees before coming to a small cairn. A few more opportunities for some canters on grassy sections before we arrive at The Potarch. Set alongside the roaring river Dee and the iconic Potarch bridge, this Ballogie restaurant and cafe is the highlight of any visit to the estate - featuring fresh, seasonal produce from our local farmland. Here we will tie the horses up outside for them to enjoy their lunch and we will head inside to enjoy ours! After a leisurely break and a quick visit to the 'Dinnie stones' and down to the Dee, we re-mount our steeds and begin our ride home. We briefly pick up the Deeside way before joining a different route through the forest that will take us back to Murley.
£100 per person (lunch not included)
OPTION 1: RIDE TO THE POTARCH
5 hrs riding, 1.5hrs lunch break
OPTION 2: CARNFERG AND THE FUNGLE ROAD
6hrs riding, 45min lunch break
This day ride is for those who want to experience adventure, excitement and feel the true remote and wild nature of the Cairngorms. Our ride starts at our premises which is set in the heart of Royal Deeside, nestled in a secluded and idyllic location amongst the trees. We begin in the forest and there are some fantastic opportunities for breath-taking canters on the grassy tracks through the trees. We gradually climb higher and higher before the trees give way to stunning views over Glencat and beyond. The rolling green hills and lush greenery that we began our ride with quickly give way to rough but beautiful heathery slopes as we climb higher and higher to reach the summit of Carnferg (525m). Here we reach the memorial cairn at the summit which is over 100 years old and take in the panoramic view that surrounds us. Red kites and eagles soar overhead and on a clear day, you can see Morven, Mount Keen, Mount Battock and beyond into the heart of the Cairngorms. As we descend the hill, we pick up the Fungle road which is an ancient right of way that connects Aboyne to the Angus glens. It was one of the most important mounth roads in the area and was frequented by cattle drovers and whisky smugglers alike. After a few miles, we leave this track and turn towards home, passing the stunning Birse Castle on the way. Built in the 1600's, the castle was burnt and ruined only 40 years after it was built. It was restored in 1905 and is now a stunning feature in the landscape. We are on the home stretch as we ride on a small track that winds through the Calendonian forest.
£130 per person (lunch not included)
Things to Note:
Day treks are not suitable for the first time rider, as we ride over rough terrain. However, we offer options suitable for novice and experienced riders and parties with mixed experience can be catered for. We provide saddle bags and water bottles - you just need to bring your own lunch.
Our ride-outs are always accompanied by at least one ride leader and there will never be more than 8 guests on a ride unless specifically requested for example a large family group or group of friends.
Riding hats up to current British safety standards are provided free of charge. Please wear sensible footwear! Our stirrups are fitted with toe covers as a safety measure to stop your foot from slipping through, however open-toed sandles and shoes with a heel over 2 inches are not allowed. For rainy days you should bring a waterproof jacket - we can provide waterproof over trousers if needed. Sections of the trail on the hill are exposed and we strongly recommend all riders bring at least on extra mid layer as well as a waterproof layer as here in Scotland, you can have 4 seasons in one day.