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Luxury Riding In Wiltshire

Just 2 hours outside London and 1.5 hours from Bristol and Bournemouth you will find the breathtaking Rushmore Estate. Ride through the spectacular Beech Avenues, observe the deer in the valleys and absorb the stunning views across the Cranborne Chase. The estate woodlands contain one of the largest blocks of semi-natural broad-leaved woodlands in the South England, and in the last 10 years has seen a major restoration programme and the woods are now recognised as a wildlife site of national importance. King John House offers accommodation for up to 11 people whilst the the Butler's House attached to the main house can accommodate a further 6 people. Another luxurious double room is hidden away in the Pavilion overlooking Japanese water gardens, with en suite and sauna. To stay in this extraordinary, historic, Grade II* house is a unique experience. Deeply atmospheric, the principal rooms exude a tremendous sense of history and contain many fine examples of period features. Set in superb grounds King John’s House is perfect for a special celebration be it a ‘milestone’ birthday, important wedding anniversary or a large family reunion.

What's Included:

  • From 2 nights accommodation
  • 2 x 1/2 day ride
  • all abilities welcome
  • large and small groups
  • dog friendly

Price: from £450 pp

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Sample Itinerary and prices – scroll down for more details

Sample itinerary

Day One

Groups of 2 - 4 can choose to stay in The Butler's House whilst larger groups up to 11 will stay in the main house - King John's. It is also possible to hire both the main house and the Butler's House and Pavilion for groups of up to 17 people. Dogs welcome.

Arrive and settle into your accommodation set in the grounds of the Rushmore Estate. We cater for riders and non-riders, the estate is a wonderful place to relax and unwind far away from the hustle and bustle of modern day life. 

This afternoon the riders will be meeting their horses, the stables are a short walk from the apartment. Once comfortable you will be taken for your first ride out through the estate, we cater for all levels of riders. All the riding is private and accompanied by a guide. After the ride relax and enjoy the tranquility of this beautiful location - what better way to start your trip! Golf is available for non-riders.

For private parties staying in the main house dinner can be included, please ask for prices.

Day Two

This morning you may choose to head back to the stables to be reunited with your faithful steed, half day or full day rides may be arranged. Rides head through the estate up to the hills of the Cranborne Chase to take in the spectacular views. You will be riding across King John’s hunting ground and over ancient Roman roads, and if you are lucky Angie might take you into the famous ‘circle’. A circle of beech trees that King John planted to mark the crossroads of four Roman roads. You will also view ancient Saxon burial mounds that are situated on the estate.  As you are the only riders permitted on the estate this really is a truly exclusive trip never to be forgotten. There are no cars allowed in this area and you will hardly meet a soul apart from the wonderful wildlife, lose yourself in the peace and tranquility of this stunning landscape. You will continue on your journey passing by the local village inn where fires roar in the winter and all the food is homemade and locally sourced. For non riders there are many areas of interest just a short drive away including Salisbury, The New Forest or The Jurassic Coast.

Day Three

Riding is available this morning, hopefully you will catch a glimpse of the wild deer in the ancient valleys and see the stunning view once more across the Cranborne Chase.

Rushmore Estate really is something straight out of a Jilly Cooper novel, you need to see it to believe it!

* Please note 50% deposit is required to secure the booking for the Manor House.

Further Information

The medieval entrance hall of the main house provides a wonderful reception area and guests will be able to dine in style in the Tudor panelled dining room (ask for dinner prices).The Rushmore Estate lies within the larger area known as the Cranborne Chase, once a royal hunting ground, and perhaps one of the best examples of a typical ‘English’ landscape anywhere in the country. The higher ground affords wonderful views as far as the Isle of Wight and there are superb walks in the area including a number of ‘droves’ – green lanes where once oxen and cattle were herded to market. Comprising 7,000 acres in total, the estate contains one of the largest swathes of broad-leaved woodland in southern England and is a wildlife site of national importance.

The estate includes the Larmer Tree Victorian pleasure gardens, a 15 minute walk from the house while for keen golfers, Rushmore Golf Club, an excellent 18 hole parkland course, is a few minutes’ drive. In Tollard Royal itself, The King John Inn serves mouth-watering food, a good selection of ales and fine wines.

Further afield, the Saxon hilltop town of Shaftesbury, the cathedral city of Salisbury and the New Forest National Park are all easy destinations for a day’s exploring. The beautiful Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site, is an hour’s drive and richly rewards a visit.

The original building on the site of the house was a hunting ‘box’ used by King John in the very early years of the 13th century. He held a ‘knight’s fee’ through his second wife Isabella, and would meet the other huntsmen under the nearby Larmer Tree, originally a wych elm which was later replaced by an oak (the name is thought to mean a boundary marked by bulrushes, possibly separating Saxon from West Welsh territory). Later they would eat at the lodge.

The central part of the current King John’s House was built in 1240, shortly after the King’s death in 1216; and this is where guests will enter, into the medieval hall with its huge fireplace, long stone-mullioned window overlooking the garden and water feature, and very unusual small ‘loophole’ window. Further rooms lead from the oldest parts of the house to the Tudor additions where some of the original fine panelling still remains.


Ground floor: entrance through ancient oak door from courtyard into the medieval hall with its huge open fireplace and flagged floor. Impressive, oak-panelled dining room in the Tudor addition to the house with original fireplace now containing a gas fire. Large, well-equipped kitchen with breakfast table. Outer room incorporating a big walk-in larder, utility area and secondary entrance at the side of the house. Study on other side of hall with flat screen, wall-mounted TV. Inner hall leading to a shower room/wc and connecting door to the annexe. Main, wide oak staircase to landing and inner lobby. 1st floor: Large, beautiful drawing room corresponding to the hall below in the original part of house with large window overlooking the garden below and open fireplace. From inner lobby, two bedrooms, one double with half-tester canopy and one with twin beds; both with an en suite shower room/wc.Further twin bedroom with Tudor panelling and decorative, herringbone brick fireplace. Separate bathroom/wc with shower over bath (adjacent to the bedroom but also accessible to others). Master bedroom with kingsize bed, dressing area and luxurious, contemporary shower room/wc. On landing, cupboard containing a small ‘bar’ with sink. Further narrow stairs to landing. 2nd floor: bathroom/wc with separate shower cubicle. Single bedroom leading to a further large attic room with twin beds. Butler's House: (accessed from main house or from outside via courtyard): large sitting room with view over the garden. Two bedrooms, one double and one with twin beds. Shower room/wc. Small fitted kitchen with electric oven/hob. Pavilion: Luxurious double room overlooking Japanese water gardens, with en suite shower room/sauna and separate wc.


Open fires. Oil/Gas Fired Central Heating.

Logs, Oil, Gas, Electricity, Bed Linen, Towels & Welcome Pack included in Rent.

Large Screen TV’s in Study, Drawing Room Freeview TV’s in Bedrooms

Wi-Fi/Broadband and Sonos Music System.

Automatic Washing Machine & Tumble Dryer, Dishwasher, Gas ‘Range’ Style Cooker with Two Ovens, Microwave, Fridge/Freezer, Additional Drinks Fridges.

Catering or hire of a Chef can be arranged for special celebration meals. Ample Parking. Excellent Pub (The King John Inn) a few minutes’ walk. Local Shopping in Shaftesbury 8 Miles away or Blandford 10 Miles. Pets by prior arrangement. Non Smokers Only.


The beautifully maintained gardens at King John’s House are enchanting. Laid out in a formal manner close to the house, further away they blend seamlessly into the surrounding countryside. A long vista at the rear of the house leads the eye past a series of ascending rectangular pools and a fountain to a folly in the far distance.The long grass pathways passing through avenues of pleached hornbeam and cypress trees are a wonderful way to explore this imaginatively landscaped outdoor space. One of these walkways leads down to the exotic ‘Japanese’ garden where a pavilion overlooks a series of ornamental ponds containing Koi carp and various aquatic features. Inside the pavilion is a double bedroom – perfect for a bridal suite.


Based on 4 people staying in the apartment or 10 people staying in the house the price to include 2 nights accommodation for non riders will be in the region of £295 per person and for riders including 2 x 1/2 day rides the price will be £450 per person. Meals may be included, additional riding, high tea, golf course fees and pets are accepted at a small additional fee.

How To Book

  • Flexible start/finish date
  • 2 - 14 night stay
  • 50% deposit to secure booking
  • Final balance 6 weeks prior to holiday
  • Book On-line by filling in the booking form below and pay deposit via WorldPay
  • or Book by phone on 01829 781123

Optional Extras

  • Extra nights
  • Extra rides
  • Dog £15 pn
  • Transfer services
  • All meals