Healing Arts

Think about introducing your group to any one of the healing arts – massage, yoga, meditation, foot massage, reflexology, etc – and the younger the better. You could try contacting your local practitioners to see if they would come and lead your group through a session, or teach your young people some basic massage moves.

Try contacting your local natural health clinic for names, look on the board of your local health food shop or flick through the Yellow Pages.


Hill Walking

Walking can be incredibly exhilarating, even in the wind and rain - though sun is obviously preferable. Take plenty of drink, sunscreen and high-energy snacks to keep a flagging group going.

For day-long walks with a ranger, a chance to explore Cheddar Gorge and a walk across Blackdown to the highest point in the Mendips, contact Charterhouse Centre. Or drive to Hay Bluff, near Hay on Wye, Herefordshire – it takes about 1½ hrs from Bristol and has a view – and a windswept tranquility - that is hard to beat.


Horse Riding

You can go on treks or have lessons, ride in town or out of town through forests and along ridges. Treks tend to be less challenging but you get to go for a ride for 1 to 2 hrs – best for large groups. Lessons are more expensive.

To ride in Bristol itself, contact the following folk:

St Werburgh’s pony and trap rides - A small farm tucked behind St Werburghs City farm has a pony and trap, and will bring them out to your group for £80 a day. They can also bring other animals to your event – turkeys, sheep, etc, for a bit extra. 

Kingsweston Stables has more than twenty horses in the riding school, which is set in beautiful wooded countryside just 10 minutes drive from the centre of Bristol.

Avon Riding Centre, Henbury, is a leading charity dedicated to the provision of riding tuition and therapy to adults and children with all kinds of disability in a purpose built Centre, nestled in 100 acres of pasture and woodland within the City of Bristol.

Oak Tree Equestrian Centre, Whitchurch, offers a range of lessons and riding opportunities.

For a ride outside Bristol, try:

Llanthony Riding and Trekking is situated in the middle of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. It offers a choice of riding experiences from simple trekking for novices, to hacking for the confident rider.  Treks are £30 for two hours, £50 for full day (adult prices) and take you up into the stunning Black Mountains. The riding centre is located in a picturesque valley next to the atmospheric ruins of Llanthony Priory, an early 13th Century Augustian church and there is a basic campsite and camping barn (sleeps 16) if you want to stay the night.

Tynings, Mendips – Treks are £20 for an hour, £35 for two hours (adult prices) and they will do group bookings at a discount. The treks take you through beautiful forestry scenery. It is worth booking at least two weeks in advance.

Free Rein at Clyro, near Hereford – offer two, three, four and six day rides for both beginners and more competent riders.

For an index of riding schools listed by region visit the UK Ponies web page.

Also check out Equine Tourism for a huge range of riding holiday opportunities in the South West

And if your young people are interested in horse whispering, get them to do a websearch via Google (or equivalent) under Natural Horsemanship.