Beach break for horse and rider
Every horse rider dreams of cantering along a golden beach, with the wind in their hair and the waves crashing on the shore beside them – and one family in Lincolnshire tell Kate Chapman how they are helping turn these desires into reality for equestrian fans.
Field Farm, in Mumby, lies between Chapel St Leonards and Anderby Creek on the county’s East Coast where riders of all abilities can take their horse on holiday with them.
Owned and run by the Simpson family, Field Farm offers families and groups a choice of accommodation including cottages, caravans and camping facilities for short breaks and longer stays.
As well as the chance to gallop along the golden sands at Wolla Bank Beach, holidaymakers also get unlimited use of the farm’s other equestrian facilities, which include indoor and outdoor sand schools, a 1.2-mile cross country course, showjumping paddock and livery yard. Field
Farm also offers a separate livery service, DIY, part or full livery to people within the local area.
“There are lots of people for whom bringing their horse on holiday is a dream, but it also makes sense and makes things so much easier,” explains family member Danielle Robinson. “By the time they’ve got someone to look after their animals and the cost that involves they might as well bring them with them.
“We aim to treat the horses and their owners like family. Our equestrian centre has facilities that are designed to provide horses and riders of all ages and abilities the opportunity to develop their skills.
“And we’re far enough away from the traditional East Coast holiday destinations to offer peace and tranquillity, yet close enough to them that they can be visited should you want to.
“We have people who bring their dogs and other pets too – it’s great, everyone is so relaxed and has a wonderful time.”
The family decided they wanted to focus on equestrian holidays and opened Field Farm around ten years ago after converting a derelict dairy farm, which had belonged to the Hill family for several generations.
“We are not farmers at all, we’re originally from Nottingham and have had horses all our lives.” explains Danielle.
“We were just looking to move into Lincolnshire and all of the buildings here were very, very derelict when we bought the farm.
“With it being so close to the beach, it was the ideal location – we just thought it would be brilliant for people to be able to bring their horses here and enjoy the surrounding countryside too.”
The family started by offering their guests camping facilities and hardstanding for their own caravans, lorries and motorhomes or the option to stay in one of their static caravans on site. As time has progressed they have converted some of the farm’s old barns into cottages, which are available as holiday lets and sleep between four and eight people.
A catered package with meals included can also be provided for groups larger than ten, while Danielle adds there are also other B&Bs in the surrounding area where customers can stay too. As well as offering holidays, Field Farm is also open to day visitors too.
“We have people come and stay with us from all over the country, especially a lot of people from London, and also a number of riding clubs and pony clubs come and use our facilities too,” says Danielle.
“We have twenty-nine stables here now, which are all well lit, well ventilated barns fitted with large IAE internal stables, large secure tack rooms and livery.
“As well as being able to bring their own horses, experienced adult riders can also use two of our horses which are available for hire.”
Undoubtedly the big draw for visitors to Field Farm is the exhilarating opportunity to ride their steed along Wolla Bank Beach, which is located between Anderby Creek and Chapel Point. This unspoilt stretch of sand runs for several miles and is the ideal spot for many riders to realise their dream.
“Lots of horse riders dream of riding on the beach and when they’ve done it once, they just keep coming back,” says Danielle.
“The beauty of our location is that there’s no re-boxing or transport required to actually get to the beach – the nearest one is less than a mile away, at the end of a green lane which starts at the top of our drive.
“So it’s just a case of wake up, have your breakfast, tack up and away you go!
“There are no restrictions on this section of the sands either and it’s not used by many dog walkers or pedestrians at all, and we provide all the riders with lots of information about safe riding and the tide times.
“It’s amazing as the horses literally just go for it – the riders can really see what they are capable of. Many come back saying they didn’t realise just how fast their horses could go!”
Field Farm is open all year round apart from in March, when general maintenance and painting work is undertaken. Other facilities available to guests include sixty acres of well-maintained grass paddocks, countryside hacking, stables, private post and rail paddock, hay, straw, showjumping paddock, indoor/outdoor manège and cross country course.
The site is also home to a two-acre lake for fishing enthusiasts, which has been developed from a former draining dyke. It is stocked with almost 6,000 roach, rudd, bream carp and tench. There’s also plenty of opportunities for other country pursuits including walking, cycling and wildlife spotting.
“We try to offer something for all budgets, and as we get many people returning, we try to keep adding new things and make sure there is something fresh each year,” adds Danielle.
“It’s been absolutely lovely as we’ve made some wonderful friends over the years and it’s always great when people come back to stay with us year on year.”
To find out more about Field Farm and its facilities visit www.field-farm.net