Horse-riding restrictions on Holkham beach to continue

The Household Cavalry training on the beach at Holkham. Picture: Ian Burt

File photo of the Household Cavalry training on the beach at Holkham. - Credit: Archant

Increasing numbers of visitors at to Holkham beach have led to restrictions on horse riding.

The rules - which were introduced last year - mean horses can only be taken onto the beach for several hours in the morning and evening during 'busy' days including weekends and holidays.

A spokesperson for Holkham Estate said it was not their intention to ban horses from the beach.

Holkham said: "The timed restrictions for horse access to Holkham Beach, which were introduced last year, will continue this year.  

"The reason for these restrictions is purely for the safety of all concerned – riders, horses and pedestrians.  

"We know how much riders and their horses enjoy the wide, open stretches Holkham Beach offers, and we therefore have no intention of banning horses.  

"We have a duty of care, and the timed access offers a pragmatic solution. One that allows everyone to benefit, whilst limiting risk by avoiding the problematic mix of horses and high volumes of traffic at the peak times of day." 

Soldiers and horses from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery exercise in the sea at Holkham in No

File photo of soldiers and horses from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery exercise in the sea at Holkham in Norfolk. - Credit: PA

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The rules mean that for a morning ride, horse riders have to arrive between 6am and 9am and leave the parking area no later than 11am. For an afternoon ride, they should arrive from 4am and leave the parking area no later than 7pm.

The rules will apply on the following dates: May: 1-3, 29-31; June: 1-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27; every day in July and August; September 1-5, 11-12; October 23-31; December 18-31.

The beach is loved by horse-riders including the Household Cavalry and the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, who often visit during summer camps in Norfolk, but Holkham Estate said they did not expect these units to be affected by the rules as they visited the beach in the mornings anyway.

Soldiers and horses from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery exercise in the sea at Holkham in No

Soldiers and horses from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery exercise in the sea at Holkham in Norfolk. - Credit: PA

Stricter rules regarding dogs on the beach came into effect earlier this year - another response to the growing popularity of Holkham beach.

Under the rules, dogs must be kept on leads on a 90-hectare section of beach around Holkham Gap between April 1 and August 31.

Horse riders can access the beach from Lady Anne’s Drive.