It is from the top of Dorset’s famous Cranborne Chase you can look down on the rival estate land where the Kings of England practiced deer stalking for hundreds of years. Ride through a series of interlocking hills, valleys and dense woodland on our fantastic Wiltshire Riding Holiday. Amongst the trees and hills you can often see roebuck and fallow deer roaming the land and huddling in fields enjoying the warmth of the heard. Untouched by modernity it’s hard to imagine the treacherous battles that took place on the empty and picturesque landscape. This is an area that has seen many battles. The Civil War devastated Dorset as the land was so evenly divided between Royalists and Roundheads.
Much of the present day character of the Rushmore Estate was shaped by Lt General Pitt Rivers who inherited the Estate in 1880. He created a deer park and ornamental parkland which you can now experience on horseback. You can also view the spectacular Folly that has been recently built by a millionaire landowner. The lavish structure is thought to be the tallest folly to be built in Britain in over 100 years.
Just 2hrs outside London and 1.5hrs from Bristol and Bournemouth it is easy to travel to the beautiful Rushmore Estate. Ride through the spectacular Beech avenues, observe the deer in the valleys and absorb the stunning views across the Cranborne Chase. You may even spot a celebrity or two as this is the former home of Guy Richie and Madonna. 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.
The Wiltshire Break was voted one of The Telegraphs 10 Best Riding Holidays in the UK and Ireland
‘Their three-day Wiltshire break is based on the private 8,000-acre Rushmore Estate, the former home of Guy Ritchie and Madonna. There are spectacular views from Cranborne Chase as you cross King John’s hunting ground - riding down great beech avenues and past Saxon burial mounds. No cars are allowed on the estate land and you’ll be the only riders. From £275 per person (beginner level, half-day rides), staying in a b&b on site. Longer rides for more experienced riders and a choice of self-catering or hotel accommodation are also available (01829 781123; www.equestrian-escapes.com)