Horse and carriage rides roll into Hayling Island for seaside visitors

ATTRACTION Havant Borough Council has given the go-ahead for a horse drawn carriage service on Hayling Island
ATTRACTION Havant Borough Council has given the go-ahead for a horse drawn carriage service on Hayling Island
Portsmouth Guildhall Picture: Garth Groombridge

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TOURISTS will be able to enjoy horse and carriage rides along Hayling seafront for the first time.

Havant Borough Council has issued a licence to Kent- based James Carriages to take passengers on the 16-seater carriage throughout the summer to enjoy the view of the sandy beach.

Ben Taylor, the owner of the firm, decided Hayling would be the perfect place to expand his business having spent many happy summer holidays there.

‘I’ve been going to Hayling for long weekends and summer holidays for years. I sort of grew up there,’ said Mr Taylor.

‘It’s a lovely location and hopefully there will be plenty of customers throughout the summer season for us. With the funfair and the other attractions it is the ideal place.’

Two trial weekends proved a success with lots of interest in the old-fashioned carriage and the Percheron horses.

Mr Taylor has been put in touch with a local stables to keep the horses on the island.

He is looking at up to seven other locations across the UK for the horse and carriage rides and is hoping to make Hayling a success.

He added: ‘It has been a bit quiet but everyone says what a good idea it is.’

The rides will take place at the weekends until the season comes into full swing during the summer holidays.

David Harris, economic development officer for the council, took a ride in the carriage with other officers and councillors before deciding on whether to issue a permit to the firm.

He said: ‘We were impressed by the comfort of the carriage and the very professional way in which the company operates the ride and the control they had over the horses.

‘We hope the rides prove popular with visitors and indeed residents of Hayling Island and that the service brings more trade to local businesses.’

The horse and carriage journey begins at the funfair and takes 20 minutes to travel to the Inn on the Beach pub and back. Rides cost £6 for adults and £4 for children.

A family ticket for two adults and two children costs £20 and children under two go free.

For further information about the service contact James’ Carriages Company 01474 812534 or email jamescarriages@gmail.com.