In the hills
Some of the best riding country in the UK but the area is dominated by large sporting and agricultural estates who to varying degrees wish to control access for horse riders. Rights of way are presently under consideration in land reform legislation before the Scottish Parliament. Until these are settled in law those wanting to ride independently should always seek local advice and be prepared to negotiate with estate offices or land agents most of whom will give consent provided no disruption is caused to estate activities. This area will become part of the Cairngorms National Park by early 2003. The implications, if any, for horse riding are not yet known.

In Woodland
Forestry Commission land also offers good riding away from roads. Most is permit free but you need to check with the local District Office.

There are four riding establishments which take parties out, and all cater for beginners as well as more experienced riders. Some have age and weight limits. None would allow a rider to go out alone. For further details see below. In addition, Highland Horseback offer's Britain's longest trail ride, from the Cairngorms to the West coast.

Riding Establishments

Balmenach Pony Trekking
Pass of Ballater, Ballater, Aberdeenshire
Tel: 013397 55660

Balmoral Estate Pony Trekking
Estate Office, Balmoral, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5TB
Tel: 013397 42334 Fax: 013397 42271

Glen Tanar Equestrian Centre (BHS approved)
Glen Tanar, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, AB34 5EU
Tel: 013398 86448/87042 Fax: 013398 87391

Tomintoul Riding Centre (BHS approved)
St Bridgets Farm, Tomintoul, Ballindalloch, Banffshire, AB37 9HS
Tel: 01807 580210

Highland Horseback
Easter Bodylair, Glass, Huntly, Aberdeenshire, AB54 4XR
Tel/Fax: 01466 700304

Endurance riding for horse owners
The Grampian branch of the Scottish Endurance Riding Club (SERC) organises cross-country rides including short pleasure rides of about 10 miles, open to non-members. Temporary membership can be arranged and an entry fee is charged.

British Horse Society (BHS) Grampian Region

BHS access representatives:
Molly Atkinson
Beech Cottage, Drumoak,
Banchory, Aberdeenshire, AB31 3AL
Tel: 01330 811363

Roger Searle
Birnam Cottage, Golf Road
Ballater, Aberdeenshire, AB35 SRU
Tel: 013397 55520

Anne Fraser
BHS Access Officer (Scotland)
Overwells, Jedburgh,
Roxburghshire, TD8 6LT
Tel: 01835 863020 Fax: 01835 864334

SERC Branch Secretary:
Katie Keith
15 Nellfield Place,
Aberdeen, AB10 6DE

Forestry Commission
Kincardine District Office
Tel: 01330 844537

Maps and Guides
There are no specific guides for horse riding in the area, but for general maps and guides which have much useful information about the area click here.

Upper Deeside Access Trust · Unit 1, Aboyne Castle Business Centre, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, AB34 5JP
Tel: 013398 87777 · Fax: 013398 87785 · Email:

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