The Only Cattle Drive in the UK

5.0 (5)
4 days 3 nights
United Kingdom
Difficulty
Challenging
Comfort
Midscale
Weight limit
95 kg / 209 lb

Cattle driving is slow, with minimal galloping, but requires riders to handle challenging terrain independently.

Cattle respond well to being moved by horses, as they are used to them and feel naturally respectful but not threatened. Horses move at a similar speed to cattle and can anticipate their movements. Riders work as a team, with positions based on ability, flanking the herd's sides, rear, and head.

A lead cow, usually an older matriarch, guides the herd. In spring, calves learn their grazing areas, water sources, and how to return home. On Dartmoor, these grazing areas are called "lears," with each herd having its own.

Cattle driving is a traditional, rewarding practice that spans diverse landscapes, including woodlands, valleys, steep inclines, rivers, and rock-strewn areas, offering stunning views from hilltops.

from US$ 1 533 US$ 1 808
per tourist for 4 days
Departing from
England, Devon County, Okehampton
Available dates
Date of travel
Number of individuals
Only in the Horse Tours Club
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Photo Phil H.
Phil H. is the provider and guide of this trip
The provider speaks: English
Farmed on Dartmoor all my life, using horses to gather and move the cattle and sheep. started doing tours of Dartmoor 12 years ago. Riding in the spectacular open spaces Dartmoor offers.

Tour highlights

Authentic Cowboy Experience
Embrace the role of a cowboy for a few days, moving, mustering, and checking cattle on horseback.
Unique Cattle Driving Tradition
Participate in the only cattle drive in the UK, preserving a tradition that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.
Enjoy Spectacular Views
Traverse diverse and stunning terrains, including woodlands, valleys, steep inclines and declines, rivers, rocky areas, and hilltops.

Route details

Day 1
Arrival

Arrival to the Exeter Airport.

Check-in after 3.00 pm Hotel or shepherd hut (glamping).

Cattle driving year

  • May: Spring cattle turn-out - The cows and autumn-born calves are moved from their winter quarters up onto the moor for the summer, a distance of about 8 kilometers.
  • June: Bulling cow muster - Some spring-calving cows need to be brought down to the farm to run with the bull for the summer.
  • July: Calf weaning muster - The cows and calves need to be brought back to the farm for weaning.
  • August: Late summer turn-out - The cows that have been running with the bull, for the summer are driven back to Dartmoor.
  • Sept: Cow and calf muster - The freshly calved cows need to come down to better grazing near the farm as winter approaches.
Day 2
Ride across Dartmoor
Day 3
Catle Drive
Day 4
Departure
Difficulty
Challenging
Tour provider's comments

"If you climb in the saddle, be ready for the ride!" The style of riding is very much akin to "Natural Horsemanship". We like riders to be relaxed and ride with soft hands. We are not a riding school and do not give tuition, the horses are fit, forward-going, and sure-footed.

For the rides, you need to be an intermediate or better. The programs are not suitable for novice or inexperienced riders.

Age limits are discretionary depending on rider fitness and experience.

horse

Accommodation

Comfort
Midscale
Hotel / Tent
3 nights

Our accommodation is usually at the ‘Castle Inn’, Lydford and we use them first if they have room, however we have a selection of other local Inns we use.

 

Tour price depends on the accommodation type

Hotel option:
£1,170 based on 2 sharing
£1290 for single occupancy

‘Glamping’ option (limited numbers):
£1100 per person

3 nights
The Castle Inn

Our accommodation is usually at the ‘Castle Inn’ and we use them first if they have room, however we have a selection of other local Inns we use:

The Dartmoor Inn is very friendly with excellent food.
The Bearslake Inn is an old Devon Longhouse with low cielings, great beer garden and excellent restaurant.
The Lydford House Hotel is also a favourite.

All accommodation is on a half board basis, arranged by us.  

Breakfast will either be at the Inn or the farm. Guests will be collected and returned from the hotels in our courtesy vehicle. Lunch will either be at the farm, a packed lunch or en-route at one of many fabulous local pubs.
Breakfast and lunch are all included in the package. 

Unfortunately we do not do an evening meal. Guests are free to make use of the Castle’s excellent restaurant or eat out elsewhere in the evening.

Another option
3 nights
Shepherd Hut Glamping

Tickets to group meeting place

Group meeting place
England, Devon County, Okehampton
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Weather during the tour

Weather conditions along the route
You will get a weather forecast for this tour’s route based on
  • the forecasts for this season
  • the statistics from previous years’ trips
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Tour conditions

Included

  • сattle driving session;
  • western horse riding;
  • breakfast, lunch, after-ride tea, and cakes daily;
  • 3 nights' accommodation.

Extras

  • airfare;
  • transfers to and from airport/station etc (available at nominal charge);
  • evening meals (where you stay has a restaurant);
  • protective wear, i.e. boots, hard hats (mandatory), back protectors (optional);
  • chaps, waterproof coats;
  • extra night stay;
  • single occupancy.

Group size

up to 10 tourists

Duration

4 days
3 nights

It's important to know

Personal equipment you need for the tour

Our Farm sits at 800 ft, we rise to 2,000ft where it can be quite a bit cooler than at the farm, we strongly recommend warm riding wear and good riding waterproofs, a long slicker type is usually the most practical

  • Riding hat, mandatory;
  • Boots with heels are also mandatory;
  • Comfortable warm riding wear, jeans, polo shirts, jumpers, fleece shower-proof coat etc.
  • Chaps full or half. (optional)
  • Waterproof coat, ‘Drizabone’ slicker type is recommended
  • Lip balm and sun cream
  • Casual evening wear
Cancellation of booking

Tour reviews

5.0
Based on 5 reviews
  • T
    Tracy
    1 Sep, 2023
    about provider
    I cannot speak highly enough of this place. It was an absolute dream of a day. The horse enthusiasts were incredible, the horses themselves were magnificent, and it was the most enjoyable experience EVER! Thank you 🙌
    1 Sep, 2023
  • N
    Natasha
    3 Jun, 2023
    about provider
    Today, I participated in a Western Experience Day and had an absolute blast! The horses were stunning and impeccably cared for, the facilities were fantastic, and the attention to detail was exceptional. The instructors were wonderful, ensuring our safety while allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the action-packed, fun-filled day. The food provided throughout the day was delicious, and I highly recommend paying a visit here.
    3 Jun, 2023
  • A
    Amy
    19 Jul, 2022
    about provider
    Excellent place, great location, friendly people!
    19 Jul, 2022

Dates and Prices

  • from US$ 1 533 US$ 1 808
    29 Apr – 2 May, 2025 4 days 3 nights
    Book
  • from US$ 1 533 US$ 1 808
    20 – 23 Jul, 2025 4 days 3 nights
    Book
  • from US$ 1 533 US$ 1 808
    28 Sep – 1 Oct, 2025 4 days 3 nights
    Book

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