What better way to take in the spiky summits, sprawling beaches and rolling hills of Wales than from the saddle!

You might even find that four legs are better than two! Even if you’re a complete beginner, there’s a course out there for you. The Welsh countryside is dotted with horse riding stables offering lessons for people of all ages and abilities. What better way to see the Welsh landscape than on horseback!

An hour of horse riding can burn over 400 calories and is particularly effective at improving posture and toning the legs, arms and thighs. It’s also a good way to relax, unwind and beat stress.

And you don’t need any special equipment to get started - just a sturdy pair of shoes. The riding school will provide you with a riding helmet. Make sure you choose a riding school that is approved by the British Horse Society (BHS) or the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS). An experienced instructor will allocate a suitable horse or pony according to your height, weight and ability.

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CONTACT: Look in Yellow Pages for details of riding schools in your area. Alternatively, visit the British Horse Society web site at www.bhs.org.uk or contact them on


A foray on the fairways provides a refreshing alternative to pounding the treadmill at the gym. A game of golf is perfect for blowing the winter cobwebs away and getting plenty of outdoor exercise and has been proven to be physically, mentally and spiritually good for you!

Catherine Zeta Jones

The sport has also achieved its highest profile ever in Wales since the announcement of Wales hosting the Ryder Cup in 2010 and there are more than 160 courses in Wales just waiting to be discovered.

On a physical level, the brisk walking involved is known to increase cardio-vascular capacity and reduce cholesterol. For every round of golf played, you will walk between four and eight miles and burn approximately 1000 calories. The simple action of swinging your club or bending down to pick up your ball helps to keep your joints supple. With golfers striking a ball an average of 30-40 times a round, you will work as many muscles and burn as much energy as in sports such as football and martial arts.

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CONTACT – Golf Development Wales - the promoters of grassroots golf in Wales – is offering schemes that expose golf as a fun, friendly and affordable sport for all to play.

They also offer female beginners the chance to develop a new skill for life by organising Golf Taster Days, inviting women and girls of all ages to attend a free introduction to golf.

For more information about clubs in your area, visit the GDW website www.golfdevelopmentwales.org or call .