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Operation Centaur - Carriage Rides

Features Animals
Richmond-upon-Thames, United Kingdom
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About Operation Centaur - Carriage Rides
Enjoy Richmond Park from the back of a four-person horse drawn Landau carriage. This 90 minute experience begins at Holly Lodge, Richmond Park, where you'll be treated to a unique behind-the-scenes visit of the working stables. You will then take your place in the carriage embarking on a 60 minute magical ride through the Park.
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Operation Centaur - Carriage Rides
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FoxVoyage wrote a review Jan 2020
London, United Kingdom143 contributions67 helpful votes
My husband and I did this yesterday. It was romantic, special, beautiful. This leisurely ride around a magnificent setting gives you an instant immersion into the past in a very beautiful and peaceful way. The Shire horses are a very old breed, with few left, and the proceeds go to conservation. They are beautiful and massive, with flowing forelocks and immense power. Bred originally for both heavy farmwork, and also as war horses (they were the "tanks" of medieval wartime) they now alternate this carriage ride and tasks of maintaining Richmond park. Deer abound in this serene setting, peering up at you curiously but without alarm. We loved this. It doesn't happen at all times of the year, so plan carefully. And dress warmly for your winter ride. They provide blankets but we wore long underwear, scarves, gloves, and hats and were glad we did.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Wig_Traveller wrote a review Jun 2018
Croydon, United Kingdom198 contributions84 helpful votes
My fiancee wanted to see some shire horses up close, so I trawled the internet and found Operation Centaur. They offer shire horse carriage rides at times throughout the year. At the moment you can book rides in June on certain days/times. When we arrived we were given ice cold Pimms, and then introduced to the team. Our coachmen were Coral & Ed and the horses were called Murdoch & Joey. When you are in the carriage you are much higher than a car, so we saw lots of Red & Fallow deer with fawns. We also saw many birds including a small owl, Jay, pied wagtail, jackdaws & many others. We had a fantastic time, riding round the park on a warm summers day, going off track where you wouldn't walk. Afterwards you get to see the horses up close. They ARE magnificent, with huge hooves (maybe 8 inches across) and are so docile my fiancee could stroke them and scratch behind their ears. Watching a horse drink half a bucket of water in 10 seconds is amazing. I would recommend this ride to anybody. The UK Rare Breeds Survival Trust considers shire horses to be "at risk", meaning that world population numbers are estimated to be under 1,500. There are more giant panda's left in the world than shire horses. Book a ride, and help these magnificent animals survive. We will do it again.
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Date of experience: June 2018
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Liz B wrote a review Dec 2015
Burgess Hill, United Kingdom28 contributions28 helpful votes
An amazing experience, quite magical. The carriage and staff were fabulous, the horses gorgeous and the scenery just superb. A must for anyone and all ages.
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Date of experience: December 2015
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rebexlaw wrote a review Jul 2015
London, United Kingdom8 contributions7 helpful votes
I was lucky enough to get a ticket for a carriage ride in Richmond Park on a summer Sunday evening. I understand that these rides book up fast and I can see why. Meeting up at Holly Lodge we were offered tea and biscuits in the stable yard whilst the carriage was brought round. The horses, carriage, and coachmen were immaculately presented and you were instantly made to feel like this was a special occasion. Richmond Park is a beautiful setting and you are always guaranteed stunning views and the possibility of spotting some of the resident red and fallow deer. As mentioned in previous reviews these horses are extremely well looked after and part of a larger herd that carry out various tasks as working horses in both Richmond and Hampton Court. I would highly recommend this activity to anyone - especially as a romantic trip for a couple or a family
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Date of experience: June 2015
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Catriona P P wrote a review Jul 2015
London, United Kingdom7 contributions3 helpful votes
My wife and I were privileged enough to take an open top carriage ride through Richmond Park, London yesterday evening (04/07/15) and I must say that it was excellent. I cant think of a more pleasant and relaxing way to spend an evening. The staff were fabulous and attentive. I understand that they provide this service at Christmas as well and although my wife and I went for a romantic couples ride they also do family bookings so you could take the kids. They also do other events so check out their website. I would highly recommend this experience to anybody (whether couples, friends or family) FANTASTIC!!!
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Date of experience: July 2015
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