If you love (i) riding beautiful thoroughbred horses that are willing and able to do your bidding, even on the most challenging of terrain; (ii) laughing with people who feel like friends from the moment you meet them; (iii) having a drink (whether it's a lovely cold glass of white wine on arrival, a pint mid-ride on Exmoor, or perhaps just a thirst quenching ribena after a hard day out); and/or (iv) riding over some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain, then Longham Farm is the place for you.
We first visited 2 years ago, and have been regular visitors ever since. What makes this place brilliant is that you spend your time in the company of like-minded souls (the hosts, and 9 times out of 10, the other guests) who all share a love of horses and in getting out and about in the beautiful English countryside. If you're lucky, you'll also share a sense of humour and the taste for a good glass of wine!
The farm house itself is warm and homely, with the kitchen forming the heart of the house. We've listened to many of Dave's stories whilst warming our bottoms on the Aga after a hard day in the saddle(!). The rooms are spotless, yet cosy, and the beds so comfortable that you'll have a great night's sleep. You'll go to sleep in silence and wake up to the sound of birdsong, and perhaps the odd crow of a cockerel. The meals are delicious and hearty - just what you need before or after a day on Exmoor. They even have a resident tart on hand, in the form of Pebbles the cat, who will charm the least cat-friendly visitor into a feline fan before the weekend's out.
The horses are loved and beautifully looked after by Dave, Ellen and their wonderful groom, Jemimah, who treats each horse as though it were her own. There are some non-Thoroughbreds for the bigger bloke, or those who have less of a "need for speed". I cannot speak highly enough of the horses, and their wonderful natures. For all those who've been away on a riding holiday and been disappointed by the horses, look no further. I have a couple of personal favourites, but I'm not going to dishonour the others by naming them, as they are all lovely and I would be happy riding any one of them - and that's saying something!
Best of all, you'll feel like part of the Longham family from the moment you arrive. There's no question that we'll be back - soon!