I have been desperate to gallop along the sandy shores of the Northumberland Coast ever since I moved to the North East, pangs of jealously kicking in every time I spotted a hoof print in the sand on one of our many coastal walks.
My bessie friend Grace coming up for the weekend and the discovery of Slate Hall Riding Stables were reason enough to get up in the saddle and give it a go one sunny Saturday in June.
The drive North (approx 1 hour) took us from the drizzle and rain in Newcastle to glorious sunshine in Seahouses – result! We arrived at Slate Hall and mounted up; Grace on Ice and me on Trojan.
Not knowing what to expect I was actually a little nervous as we descended through the dunes towards the beach. We began meandering up the beach towards Bamburgh Castle with the scenic Farne Islands in full view to our right. Enjoying the views and quickly feeling comfortable with our horses we kicked it up a gear and cantered along the vast beach, wind in our hair and sun on our cheeks; it was all very poetic!
The hour ride (£30 for those interested in giving it a go) took us about half way up the beach towards the iconic castle. The riding stables do offer longer treks that take you right the way to Bamburgh Castle and Holy Island as well.
Turning around we galloped back down the beach towards Seahouses, speed tears streaming down my cheeks. This was my favourite part of the ride as I gave up the rein and let Trojan power down the beach, his big cobby feet pounding the sands. I absolutely loved it, you couldn’t wipe the grin from my face. You just can’t beat that feeling of freedom you get when horse riding along the beach.