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Riding Good Hope Estate in Western Jamaica

Listed under Horse Riding in Jamaica.

Photo of Riding Good Hope Estate in Western Jamaica
Photo by Hal Peat
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The sugar barons of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century western Jamaica resided in solitary splendor on their expansive estates in the hills and interiors behind the north coast. Nowadays you can catch glimpses of some of that period and lifestyle while on horseback at the estate called Good Hope as you pass along some of the existing coconute groves and citrus groves that became a crop alternative after the market for sugar collapsed around 1838.

Good Hope Stables offers rides around the estate that encompasses trails that skirt other on-site points of interest. An old water wheel, for instance, and other trails that go by farm lands. Perhaps the most magical for many will be the trails that run for a while along the nearby Martha Brae river, and pass through routes lined with tall bamboo. These are guided rides, but as Good Hope's co-owner Blaise Hart explains it: "We're flexible - but we do some sunrise -- typically out in the fields between 7:30 and 4:30 but if we have other requests we try to accommodate it. It's not like the tour companies where they have to travel from point A to point B and have the last group at a certain time. So there's a chance to stop and take pictures when you want." A ride at Good Hope is a chance to connect to both a period and also the timeless side of western Jamaica's landscape, an elegant Georgian mansion dominates behind you while before you the early morning mist over the Queen of Spain Valley below slowly melts away before the sun rising across the island.

Good Hope Estate.

Written by  Hal Peat.

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