Photo Gallery and Video: Household Cavalry cool off at Holkham beach

The Household Cavalry on their annual visit to Holkham Beach. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Household Cavalry on their annual visit to Holkham Beach. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew usher

The thunder of hooves on the sand and in the surf could be heard as one of the British Army's oldest regiments enjoyed sunny Norfolk.

The Household Cavalry's Life Guards unit took to Holkham beach to carry out an exercise and give their horses a change from city life.

Normally based in Knightsbridge, London, the corps is enjoying a break at Bodney Camp, near Swaffham.

The mounted soldiers wheeled along the beach in formation before taking some of their horses for a swim in the sea.

Life Guards squadron's Capt Jack Campbell said: 'We come up here and relax a bit, do some regimental training and have some down time.

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'It is good for the horses and the soldiers enjoy it too.

'It gets them out of London where it is all concrete and gives them some different ground.'

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While most horses were happy to cool off, a few of the newer mounts shied away from the waves.

Capt Campbell added: 'Some of them love the water, others are not so keen. We have some new horses who haven't been here before.

'The guys know the better swimmers and have tried to bring those here.'

Each year members of the Household Cavalry Regiment comes to Bodney Camp for a change of pace.

Among those taking to the beach was Lance Corporal of Horse Tim Baker who comes from Caistor St Edmund, near Norwich.

LCoH Baker, 27, overcame serious back injuries sustained in a blast in Afghanistan to be able to ride again.

He said: 'It's nice to be back in Norfolk, it is always a nice change from routine here. It's something a bit different.

'I have been on a riding course and it hasn't really stopped since then so it is good to have some down time.

'Because of my injury they weren't sure I'd be able to get through the course, which was really tough, but I did it which is great.'

The Household Cavalry has a long tradition dating back to 1660 and has two units, the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals.

It serves in both a ceremonial role and in a front line capacity with most soldiers performing both roles during their careers.

The Household Cavalry will be holding an open day at Bodney Camp on July 20. Tickets cost £5 for adults and £2 for children and OAPs.

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