Introducing Slades Farm Equestrian
"Slades Farm is an equestrian centre offering cross-country riding and horse trekking in the stunning Surrey Hills near Guildford.
Guests can also stay in luxury accommodation, relax, enjoy and escape in true country style."
Only 30 miles from Central London, Slades Farm is a perfect, tranquil rural retreat. Lulu and Edward Hutley have lived at Slades Farm for over 25 years. "As a family we have enjoyed a lifetime of riding ponies and horses. The horses have kept the family grounded and given us many hours together in the outdoors. Caring for the horses, the land and the wildlife has taught us to be mindful and appreciate everything that we have here at Slades Farm. We now feel the time has come to share our home with others, and have set up Slades Farm to do just that."
I was delighted to be invited to attend the launch of Slades Farm trekking centre earlier this year. On a bright, fresh morning, I arrived at the stable yard where horses were patiently waiting. I was shown to the club house where we were allocated our horses for the very first trek from Slades Farm. I felt most appreciative and lucky to be a part of this experience. Polo pony, Bodge was my partner for the trek. We mounted and gathered in the stable yard. Faith is important to the Hutley family and the local vicar, John, also a keen horseman held a blessing prior to our trek.
Slades Farm is part of the Wintershall Estate; one thousand acres of beautiful, serene Surrey countryside. Road work was almost non existent and we made our way up to the top of a hill, stopping to take in the stunning scenery. The rolling hills of the estate are dotted with dramatic equestrian sculptures created by incredibly talented British sculptor Nic Fiddian Green. Take a visit to his website here. Speaking of his work and a passion for the horse, Nic states "As far as I'm concerned it [the horse] is the greatest animal that ever walked on the planet" - I couldn't agree more with this statement!
"As far as I'm concerned it [the horse] is the greatest animal that ever walked on the planet" - Nic Fiddian Green
"Our aim on each and every trek is that you feel that you have got away from it all, listened to, seen, and felt the natural beauty that exists at Slades Farm. We can sometimes forget to appreciate it all, with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We hope you will feel refreshed, revived and ready to go back to the real world."
I certainly enjoyed the natural beauty throughout my trek, Bodge did a perfect job and we had some lovely canters. We made our way back to the stableyard where a in the club house, a rustic lunch had been prepared and chilled champagne was waiting.
Slades Farm Club House
View from the Club House The hospitality was superb and attention to detail was impressive. Lunch was delicious and home made chocolate brownies are always a winner! Even the beers were a match for the occasion!
Even the beers were a perfect match for the occasion
Home made chocolate brownies - always a winner!
Following a long lunch chatting with other guests, we were shown around the accommodation at Slades Farm. Accommodation includes The Granary, Owl Barn and Garden Barn. Each unique and decorated so very thoughtfully. I fell a little bit in love with The Granary - a wonderfully converted grain store featuring mezzanine floor.
"Whether it’s a day away from it all with the horses or a weekend in our boutique barns, we want Slades Farm to provide an experience that they will want to repeat, share with their friends and remember forever."
Mezzanine floor in The Granary - a converted grain store.
I left Slades Farm that day with the feeling I would be back again soon!
....And i was! Slades Farm XC course opened not long after. Uniquely designed by Eric Winter (Badminton and Blenheim course designer) and built to the highest standard by Dominic Moore, Slades Farm XC has over 60 inviting fences ranging between 50cm and 100cm, ditches, steps and a water complex. I have photographed both Lucinda Green XC Clinic and Hollie Swain Clinic at the venue so far and hope to photograph more clinics at this fantastic venue in the coming months.
Water Complex Lucinda Green Clinic, August 2018
Lucinda Green Clinic
Spectators were welcomed to Lucinda Green's Clinic, there was of course, tea and delicious home made cake!
In this blog
Slades Farm Equestrian Website
Slades Farm Equestrian Facebook Page (XC and gallops)
Slades Farm Equestrian Facebook Page (Luxury Trekking)
Hollie Swain Eventing Website