Hyde Park Stables offer riding all year round on Horses and Ponies chosen for their safe temperament. The stables cater for riders of all abilities, both adults and children. Beginners are very welcome and riding hats and boots are provided free of charge. Click here for more information about riding
Horseback Riding in Hyde Park Rotten Row in Hyde Park Rotten Row in Hyde Park Rotten Row in Hyde Park Rotten Row in Hyde Park
Venue: 63 Bathurst Mews, W2 2SB. Tel: 020 7723 7813. <>Access: 7:15am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Riding Charges: $120.48 per hour, 2013-April, 2014. Prebooked voucher. Nearest Tube: Lancaster Gate.
Hyde Park Stables cater for the needs of all riders regardless of ability. Private individual and group lesson s are also available. Minimum age for riders: 6. Maximum weight: 175 lbs. Rider hats and boots provided free of charge. Advance booking voucher.
Lancaster Terrace, Bayswater, W2 2TY. 4-Star comfort in this immaculate modern hotel with truly breathtaking views over Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens from the en-suite rooms, just five minute's walk from the riding stables. Relax after a bracing canter in the Park over a drink in the Lounge Bar before sampling the award winning Thai cuisine, or dining in the super-chic Island Restaurant overlooking Queen Victoria's Italian Gardens.
London is my delight at Easter. The Spring Holiday is a signal for a mass exodus out of town that leaves us with an uncluttered, traffic-free West End; the perfect backdrop for a Happy Easter, whether you are resident or visitor!
Now we can throw off our wintered look to face the world with a smile on our face and a tune on our lips. With a new jauntiness in our step we take to the Royal Parks to ride, walk the dog, feed the ducks, tryst our beloveds, make new conquests, and enjoy the scents and colours of London's burgeoning spring.
Hyde Park and the more formal Kensington Gardens overlooked by Kensington Palace, together with St. James's Park and Green Park, are the green lungs of London's West End. They provide residents and visitors with gracious walkways that meander through meticulously maintained vistas of floral banks and shrubberies, past impressive bronzes and marbles commemorating people and past glories, and peaceful stretches of water which double as the Queen's London Swanneries. These graceful royal birds are nesting now and will be hatching broods of up to six fluffy cygnets.
Hyde Park is a perfect pivotal point from which to enjoy Easter in London. It is at its most beautiful now, its lawns at Hyde Park Corner, where the sandy Rotten Row bridleway meets Park Lane, are now richly caparisoned in purple and gold from the carpet of crocuses and banks of daffodils that scent the air with their subtle narcissus fragrance. Royalty, nobility, their ladies and courtesans, congregated each morning and afternoon on Rotten Row to see and be seen throughout the 19th century, parading on horseback or in open carriage in their fashionable finery to see and be seen.
The bewitching Lillie Langtry first burst upon the London scene here, catching a princely eye, later to be triumphantly paraded on the Row as a prize trophy by her royal paramour, the future King Edward VII. There are some five miles of bridleways in Hyde Park's 750 acres, of which Rotten Row, (a corruption of the French route de roi), is the most famous.
Kings and courtesans, princes and paramours, together with their horses and escutcheoned carriages are just a memory now, but Hyde Park still provides the finest equestrian exercise in any capital city of the world. If you are in town over Easter, (and I strongly recommend it as an option), venture into the Park on a sunny morning from the Grand Entrance at Hyde Park Corner, or one of the Gates lining the southern aspect of Hyde Park and watch the horses and their mounts on Rotten Row. If you are early enough, you will see a troop of The Queen's Household Cavalry exercising their mounts or possibly training for a royal event.
I ride in Hyde Park on a horse hired from the Hyde Park Stables in Bayswater. This long established British Horse Society approved riding centre is tucked away in one of the many picturesque mews streets hidden behind the leafy squares that sprang up around Hyde Park when Regency London expanded west of Park Lane. These little streets tucked behind the Grecian porticoed residences in the squares were originally built to house the elegant carriages, horses and their grooms that served the gentry. Few stables remain in central London now other than Hyde Park Stables, the neighbouring Ross Nye Stables and Pony Club, and The Queen's stables in the Royal Mews behind Buckingham Palace. All have been converted into expensive 'bijou residences' with sleek automobiles behind the stable doors rather than Noddie and nosebag.
Equestrian wear on Rotten Row is more casual since Lillie's time, when top hatted Victorian ladies rode side saddle with their chaperone escort. But the age of elegance is not yet dead on Rotten Row, though I have yet to see a lady riding side saddle there, and an obligatory riding helmet has superseded the top hat. The appreciation of the televised Olympic equestrian events at Greenwich Park last year however, has ensured the fortunes of British equestrian outfitters who now offer bespoke and ready to wear clothing online to an international clientele.
Visitors wishing to ride in Greenwich Park, which hosted the Olympic equestrian events will be disappointed. The cross country course, stables and equestrian facilities were temporary and have since been removed. However Wimbledon Village Stables offer superb hacking and trail riding during the week on the 3000 acres of Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common. Prices range from $82.50 per hour. Stable membership provides a number of social and equestrian benefits for long stay London visitors, including the weekend riding facilities, which are much enjoyed by my young grandsons who live nearby.