One of Scotland's best long-distance rides is the coast-to-coast trail from Sutherland's Brora to Lochinver, around 70 miles away on the west coast. Suitable for experienced riders, the journey takes you through quintessential Highland scenery, incorporating gallops along sandy beaches and across luscious moorland. Stables near both Brora and Lochinver also offer shorter rides for less experienced riders.
A ride through Tollymore Forest Park in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains provides the perfect combination of scenery and exhilaration. Several stables in the area cater for experienced or competent novice riders, making it easy to ensure that your rides are not held back by beginners.
What it lacks in mountains, the South Downs more than makes up for in gallops through long grass and long views across the chalk downlands towards the English Channel. The park's 750 miles of bridleways include quiet country tracks, as well as the famed South Downs Way. As most of the park is farmland, you need to watch out for farm animals as well as dog walkers.
Although nearby Snowdonia is highly rated for riding holidays, the Llyn Peninsula arguably offers more variety. As well as impressive views to Snowdon and the surrounding mountains, it also allows you to ride along beaches, over heather moorland, and you can trek up the Llyn's own mountains, such as the Iron Age hill fort of Carn Fadryn.
Follow in the hoofprints of the eccentric Regency horseman, Jack Mytton, by riding the long-distance Jack Mytton Way through mid and south Shropshire. It takes around a week to complete the full ride but you can choose to enjoy a number of shorter rides instead. Bear in mind that shorter does not always mean less challenging: the circular ride from Wyre Forest via the Long Mynd, and Offa's Dyke to the Welsh border are definitely not for novices.