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Horse riding for everyone

Derbyshire is the perfect place to explore on horseback and if you're interested in finding out how to get started we've got plenty of suggestions.

Horse riding on the High Peak Trail

Traffic-free trails, bridleways and byways connect beautiful countryside and quiet villages through green hills and rugged open moorland.

Whether starting out on a new hobby, searching for new riding routes or looking for a riding adventure, you'll find the right path in Derbyshire.

Horse riding is a great activity to improve your fitness, get active and enjoy the countryside.

People of all abilities can have a go, just book a lesson at one of Derbyshire's many riding schools, or why not book a guided ride for a holiday activity or a birthday treat.

The British Horse Society or the Association of British Riding Schools have lists of approved riding schools in Derbyshire.

Derbyshire also has 3 Riding for the Disabled groups.

National network - Pennine Bridleway

The Pennine Bridleway is a 205 mile (330 km) long National Trail running through the Pennine hills from Derbyshire to Cumbria. It has been specially designed for horse riders and it's also a fantastic trail for mountain bikers and walkers.

Start from Hartington Station on the Tissington Trail - this is the promoted start point for horse riders. There is dedicated horsebox parking with a turning area, shelter, muck heap and picnic area. A small kiosk is available for refreshments during busy periods.

The route heads north from here along the Tissington and High Peak trails, and further north on bridleways and quiet roads over the high moors of the Dark Peak to Hayfield and Glossop.

The route takes in spectacular views over 48 miles through Derbyshire before heading into the northern counties.

The National Trail website has detailed route mapping, accommodation and a holiday guide.

Regional network - Greenways

More than 200km of off-road greenways now weave across Derbyshire for you to enjoy quiet traffic-free countryside on horse back.

Many of these routes follow old railway lines, some line Derbyshire's reservoirs and waterways, and others meander through the rich tapestry of stunning landscapes along upgraded bridleways and byways.

New routes are being developed all the time.

Community circuits

Riding circuits between 5 and 15 miles in length are available across Derbyshire.

Some suggestions are shown in the Horse Ride Derbyshire leaflet attached to this page.

Horse Ride Derbyshire

Our Horse Ride Derbyshire leaflet attached to this page gives tips on how to get started and where to get advice.

The map shows the best of the county's riding routes, locations of approved riding schools, horse box or trailer parking, and the leaflet information provides lots of contacts for different routes and organisations and tips for safe riding.

If you want a copy of the Horse Ride Derbyshire leaflet please call Gill Millward tel: 01629 539656.

To request further information or to send us your comments, please email:

Horse riding in countryside sites and trails

We politely ask that riders refrain from cantering and galloping in our sites, except at the canter track at Tibshelf. Only walking and trotting is permitted on the trails and our countryside sites.

Horse box parking scheme

Our countryside sites in North East Derbyshire and Bolsover have introduced a scheme to allow riders coming to our Greenways with a horse box or trailer access to designated parking areas.

These areas are kept locked and members (on payment of a fee) are given a key to access the parking areas, maps showing where they are and highlighting any space or turning restrictions.

You can then park and ride, secure in the knowledge that your vehicle is in a locked car park, not obstructing other users and not likely to be blocked in by other cars.

Contact Tapton Lock Visitor Centre for an application pack, tel: 01629 533020.

Horse box parking scheme terms and conditions

Conditions of parking permit:

  1. The parking permits need to be renewed annually in April.
  2. Application forms are attached to this page or available from Tapton Lock Visitors Centre.
  3. Each vehicle is to display a valid parking permit at all times.
  4. The parking permit and key are for a specific applicant and are not transferable. Please inform us immediately if you lose your key or parking permit.
  5. These are high security locks and keys must not to be replicated or distributed.
  6. Parking permit holders must park sensibly so that others can park easily, and access is available to all gates at all times.
  7. Parking permit holders must ensure gates are locked correctly on entry and exit.
  8. Owners park at their own risk and Derbyshire County Council will not be held responsible for any damage or losses incurred.
  9. Parking spaces will be on a first come, first served basis.
  10. Derbyshire County Council reserves the right to terminate the agreement or scheme at any time.
  11. Upon the termination of this agreement any keys and passes should be returned immediately to the Tapton Lock Visitors Centre and your deposit refunded.
  12. It should be noted that the sites vary in numbers of spaces, size of area, accessibility. It is recommended that a parking location is checked before a visit is made.
  13. Only walking and trotting is permitted on the trails and within all countryside sites. Cantering is only allowed on the Tibshelf canter track.
  14. Please show courtesy to pedestrians, cyclists and other riders.

Other considerations:

  • it would be helpful if you could let us know if a number of people intend to use the parking at any one time so that we can advise other users if need be
  • take all rubbish and horse droppings home with you
  • inform us if you have a problem on site or need to report an incident
  • we would welcome feedback on how the system is working

Horse box parking site information

Tibshelf Ponds

Locked barrier, 4 spaces, 440m2. Separate horse box parking. The approach road is unadopted lane with uneven surfacing and overhanging trees. Cars parked on the lane may make access for large lorries difficult. Reversing may be required.

Timber Lane

No barrier, 1 space 290m2. Small shared car park accessed via a narrow lane. Not recommended for lorries. Reversing required.

Holmewood car park

Locked barrier, over 6 spaces 1000m2. Large shared car park in the centre of the village, tarmac surface.

Poulter Country Park

Locked barrier, 2 spaces, 540m2. Separate horse box parking. Reversing required.

Peter Fidler Reserve

Height barrier, 2 spaces, 600m2. Small shared car park. Time limited to 3 hours. Reversing required.

Grassmoor Country Park

No barrier, 2 spaces, 700m2. Handy mounting block. Large shared car park with designated horse box area.

Westthorpe Hills

Locked barrier, 8 spaces, 1,200m2. Large car park with tarmac surface and turning area.