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Porlock Vale

From: Dany

Dear Jessica, I hope you will be able to answer this as it is a question that has been on my mind for some years now. Many years ago, I read a wonderful book called "Horse Masters" which was all about the program of training for young riding instructors in England. It was a wonderful, wonderful book and I read it until it fell to pieces. A few years ago, I read an article that mentioned this book. It said that the setting, the place where the young instructors had their training and adventures was a real place called "Porlock Vale". Next August, my husband and I will be going to England. We will be separated for two weeks while he does a business training course, and I would dearly love to find this place and see it for myself. Of course I know that it may not exist anymore or may never have looked like the description in the book! Do you know about this place, and can you help me find it?

Thank you, Dany

Hi Dany -- you're in luck. Porlock Vale is very real, does look just like the description in the book, and you can go there if you like, and even ride there. ;-)

It has changed ownership several times since that book was written, but until recently it was still a riding school. Now it is something even more useful for your purposes: a country house hotel!

There are still horses there, and the indoor schools and outdoor arenas and cross-country course are still in place. They keep horses and can offer riding instruction or a riding holiday -- whatever you want to do there. The sea is still on one side and the moors on the other.

I haven't been there in several years myself, but I can give you the address and telephone number of the present owners. You'll probably want to book your stay well in advance. ;-)

The owner's name and address are:

Helen Youd
Porlock Vale House
Porlock Weir
Somerset TA24 8NY

And the telephone is 01643 862338

Have a wonderful holiday!


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