Having experienced two of the other trail rides from Argyll Trail Riding I was eager to try the Loch and Forest Trail, developed by manager Chris Hall. The advantage of this particular trail is the small groups size, governed by the fact that the horses are transported back to base each evening. For riders, the best feature is that you stay each night in the same guest-house and don't have to pack and un-pack at regular intervals. Also as there are myriads of track and trails in this part of Argyll the route is designed to vary and evolve over time. We started from Brenfield on the Kintyre peninsula with basic instruction about our tack and tying up etc and were introduced to our mounts. My horse Bragi (Norwegian god of poetry) was an experienced TREC horse and like all the horses at Brenfield was responsive, well trained and a great ride. A new innovation recently introduced, by Chris, a western enthusiast, were the lightweight synthetic western endurance saddles with were very comfortable for horse and rider.

We set off up the hill and were soon able to see over Loch Fyne with the isle of Arran in the hazy distance. We would stop and get off every so often to stretch our legs and give the horse a breather. Our splendid picnic lunch was by a reservoir and the horses snoozed in the sun. Over the next four days some picnics, carried with us in saddlebags, were in the rain but we still enjoyed them! As we rode toward the coast we looked over to Jura and all the many small islands off the coast – just beautiful!

Our trail took us over grassy tracks, up and down mountains, through forests and by the lochs – hardly another person was seen – just the wildlife – buzzards, deer and midges!! Our party was a very international one – made up of French, Scottish, English and Australian so we had lots to talk about and horsy tales to tell. Each night we returned to the lovely Allt Na Craig guest house run by Hamish and Charlotte Nichol. Charlotte is a horse rider herself so was keen to hear all about our days exploits.

We had a choice of evening meal options, as this is not included in the price, ranging from sea front café to up-market seafood restaurants for which the area is famous.

On our last day we rode back to Brenfield alongside the Crinan canal and after saying a fond farewell to our mounts had tea and cake in the farmhouse and received our certificates of completion. This has to be the best way to see Scotland. Despite some rain we all had a great time, were well looked after and entertained by our leader Chris, who looked after everyone's needs and, of course, the horses were just the best.

Back.....The holidays