Best hacking in the UK?

cobmum

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Sep 13, 2009
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Middlewich
I currently live in Cheshire and there are some off road hacking places near to me such at the Whitegate Way, Delamere Forrest but a lot of places that used to be good hacking routes are now extremely busy.

Where have you found great hacking? Do you live somewhere or been somewhere with amazing hacking?
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I moved to where I am for the hacking, Thetford forest, on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, is 58,000 acres of open access woodland. With Sandy soil it’s good going year round and the forest is not open to motorised vehicles (except for a few byways that run through it or specially organised events a few times a year) so it’s hard to beat and I can ride a different route every day of the year if I want. It’s a working forest (timer is a crop) and it’s laid out in blocks so is easy to navigate and has plenty of wide paths (fire breaks) which are well maintained. We’ve got a river to cool off in summer too. Some bits are busy; the river is heaving in the summer holidays but like I did for Niko’s first experience you go early or late to miss it, and there’s lots of large areas that you’ll rarely see another soul even at peak times D26199CC-BB33-4506-A50E-FCE1A28960D4.jpeg 250735FF-3779-406E-964B-228FA7E1A0E8.jpeg
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Surrey Hills
I live only about 30 miles from London in the Surrey Hills. 250 m in one direction and 450m in the other direction I have access to a network of bridlepaths over Blackheath, Farley Heath, Newlands Corner, St Martha's Hill, and all the way down to the South Downs Way if I want.

Unlike @Jessey's spectacular hacking, there are lots of people, and there are few places to gallop because of that. But it's sandy and pretty and I feel very blessed to have it!
 
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Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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I believe that one is allowed to gallop on Epsom Downs in the afternoon when the race horses are not exercising. I hacked there once and turned down the opportunity as it was my early days and I could barely canter. On the other hand I was in forward seat and may have galloped. When learning I went to RS s all over Surrey to hack in different places.

I had thought of doing that again, but when one is old and getting weary, one settles into the partnership with the horse one already knows. Jane is right, one can ride for miles but my current share is only allowed and insured within a small area and I love her too much to break the rules.
And that small area is one of the best places I know of to hack and the most varied.
 
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chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Years ago people used horses as transport. So they used the tracks and footpaths to get from a to b for there daily business and commute. Now there are so many people that say horses are not allowed to ride on footpaths blah blah. So routes and rides are now made inaccessible.
Theres a field near me. Used it for 15 years to ride to access the hill. To access the field it is a footpath. Nobodys said anything for years. Field has now been sold, new owners have gone to the council and asked for signs to be put up stopping horse riders and cyclists. Now to do a loop from my house i am forced onto the main road which is very busy. Nowhere to now canter and give the horse a blow out. Its rubbish and a far more dangerous route.
The more they build these new housing estates on the edge of towns, the more of the countryside and hacks will be lost. Whilst i consider myself lucky having good hacking. There is sod all places to actually canter.
Theres a massive park 20 miles away from me. They use it for funrides and anyone living near it had excellent hacks and canters. I had some fabulous funrides there. People use to trailer to it, park and hack. Now you have to pay for a yearly hacking license if you want to go use it.

I often see people looking for beach hacks and Breen Sands crops up loads.
 
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Skib

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The BHS has for years asked riders to report and list all bridle paths in their area so that the right to ride there can be maintained. There is a BHS rep for each area and they keep an eye on the need for pegasus crossings too. But the BHS are of course dependent on riders reporting to them and keeping in touch, Please do this if you have lost a track on which you previously rode.
My experience of this was the setting up of a pegasus crossing, which ironically I have not used lately because my current share is not allowed by her owner to cross it.
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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The New Forest is wonderful. Acres upon acres of riding land as far as the eye can see. However it does get very boggy if it rains a lot - but I suppose anywhere would. Lots of tracks and greens for whatever pace you choose to go. We used to go out for 2-3 hours 3 and 4 times a week, and never cross the same path or route.
 
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Huggy

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I had to look up the size of the forest - shock - 71,000 odd acres. Didn't realise it was so big.
 
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Jessey

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I do miss hills and views here for sure, it’s very flat and trees block the views unless I ride out to one of the heaths, which are all quite a trek for me.
There a lot of places I’ve been that I think would be incredible to keep a horse because of the scenery and remoteness, but when you actually ride there it’s quite limited by private land and minimal bridlepaths.
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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Isnt Dartmoor quite flat? My daughter just walked the 2 Moors way and we hope to go to Dartmoor next Spring as I am descended from families in Widecombe.
There are short hills where I ride. Yesterday I made Ella trot up a hill as we headed home. I told her that at her age and fully fit she was quite able to trot up a hill and it was good for her.

But was it good for her? Or was I being mean? Due to Bank holiday crowds on the first part of our track, I had had to walk most of the hack and needed the exercise.
 

Jessey

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Dartmoor is hilly. Our tallest hill is only 105 meters at the summit. We have wolds to one side of us (slightly hilly, more gentle slopes really) and fens the other (reclaimed sea so totally flat) and the brecks and forest in the middle.
 
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Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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I’d love to keep Belle near to me on one of the yards around here who have easy access to the National forest (plenty of hills too) but sadly no vacancies as everyone who is on one of those yards isn’t moving anytime soon (can’t imagine why 🙄) most have long waiting lists too. ….
 
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Huggy

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I wish I'd had a horse when we lived in Rannoch. The riding there would have been fabulous. We lived in the edge of the black woods, and about a quarter mile from the loch edge - Hogan would have been in his element.
 
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