EQUESTRIAN DAYS OUT IN LONDON

With spring showing signs of life, summer holidays are being booked and days out with friends and family are being organised. London is a diverse city with easy travel links making it a great place to visit. If equestrianism runs through your veins, London has tucked away some interesting places to visit making sure you are getting the horse fix on a day away from the stables! Samantha Hobden highlights the top places to visit in Britain’s capital that has the horse theme in abundance.

Horse Guards Parade

Horse Guards Parade

This ceremonial parade ground in St James’s Park, Horse Guards Parade is the scene of Trooping the Colour on the Queen’s official birthday in June. It also remains the official entrance to St James’s and Buckingham Palace, together with being the home of the Changing of the Queen’s Life Guard. This takes place daily at 11.00am on weekdays and 10.00am on Sundays. This ceremony is not as well-known as Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace but there are no railings between you and the men and horses taking part. This gives you a close-up view of the horses and how well they work in a military environment.

www.householddivision.org.uk/queen-life-guard

Hyde Park Stables

Hyde Park Stables

Situated in Hyde Park, the stables offer adults and children all year-round horse riding in groups or private rides out around this famous park. You can also have lessons in their arena with horses and ponies chosen to suit the rider’s ability. Who would have thought that hacking out can be enjoyed right in the heart of the capital! With the stables open seven days a week, a ride around five miles of bridleways within the park grounds will thrill any horse lover when visiting London.

www.hydeparkstables.com

The Royal Mews

The Royal Mews

The home of historic royal carriages, The Royal Mews is one of the finest working stables in existence. Situated close to Buckingham Palace, you can see all the royal historic vehicles on display from the Golden State Carriage to the Diamond Jubilee Coach. You can also witness the daily work of the Royal Mews staff from feeding, exercising, mucking out to training the famous Windsor Greys and Cleveland Bays. Any equestrian enthusiast would find a visit here interesting seeing how the royal stables work.

www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/royalmews

Equestrian Art at the National Gallery

Whistlejacket

Horses have been depicted in paintings for centuries. Most horse owners love to see horses in art and there is nothing more special than to see original famous paintings. With its free entry, restaurant and shop, the National Gallery is definitely one place to visit when arriving in the capital to see equestrian art at its finest. George Stubbs Whistlejacket really takes your breath away in size and stature to then more sophisticated paintings such as the Horse and Cart by a Stream by Aert van der Neer or The Horse with The Saddle Beside It by Abraham van Calraet. These famous paintings are among many other pieces of equestrian art which are all on view in the gallery. 

www.nationalgallery.org.uk/

Stunning Horse Statues

Still Water

There are numerous equestrian statues standing proud among the streets of London. From Jacob the Cart Horse in Queen Elizabeth Street, Nic Fiddian-Green's 'Still Water' at Marble Arch to the Animals in War Statue in Upper Brook Street, these are among many equine sculptures the capital has to offer.

www.stylereins.com/five-favourite-london-equestrian-statues/

Equestrian Shopping

Harrods

Shopping is essential when visiting London and to find equestrian style right in the heart of the city will make any horse rider happy. Harrods, famous as London’s most luxurious department store has equestrian country wear on offer that would look right at home at any stable yard. Alternatively, off New Bond Street, Schiender Boots sell over two thousand pairs of riding boots for all equestrian disciplines. Together with equestrian clothing and working with W & H Gidden who hold the Royal Warrant as saddlers to the Queen, this makes a fascinating equine shop to visit.

www.harrods.com/en-gb

www.schniederboots.com/