Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331 133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) is a new look collection of dedicated walking holidays from the original experts, who have been offering small group guided walking holidays since 1946.
Encapsulating the essence of what has made Ramblers Holidays so popular and well loved for the past 70 years, the first new season Summer 2017 portfolio offers a superb selection of over 110 inspirational itineraries to destinations around the UK, Europe and worldwide. From coastal ambles to challenging hikes and from iconic walking routes and continuous walks to intrepid mountain hutting, all holidays are enjoyed in the company of like-minded companions, led by trusted Leaders.
Alongside classic favourites such as the Mont Blanc Hotel Trek; Las Alpujarras in mainland Spain and a number of holidays based at the company’s own Hassness Country House on the shores of Buttermere, there are also some exciting new additions. These include a dedicated ‘Hutting’ section, with hutting holidays to the Balkans, the Stubai Alps and Alta Via 1, ancient historic trails covering the undiscovered areas of Portugal’s Alentejo and the path of St Ignatius’s pilgrimage through the Basque Country. There are also island escapes on Corsica and the Cyclades as well as a long-haul adventure to the mountainous kingdom of Swaziland. Closer to home, four new itineraries in the Cotswolds, Peak District, Somerset and the Yorkshire Dales complement a comprehensive collection of breaks in the UK.
Kathy Cook, Joint Managing Director commented: “We are delighted to be introducing our new look Ramblers Walking Holidays collection as we celebrate our 70th anniversary. Featuring the very best walking holidays from around the world, for passionate walkers of all levels of fitness, ability and experience, we have cherry-picked the best and enhanced the collection with a selection of new individually researched itineraries, to ensure that our clients always have something new to look forward to.
‘For us, the ability to create amazing journeys, which become the stories our clients love to reminisce about and share, is at the heart of what we do. Amongst my personal favourites have to be the incredible walking holidays we offer in South Africa – these combine beautiful mountains with stunning coastline and great wildlife viewing, as well as currently offering particularly good value for money. But there is also definite appeal in the chance to experience the classic Swiss Alps in a bit more comfort on our new Haute Route Hotel Trek… a new year challenge?”
To help clients choose the right holiday to suit their preferred walking pace, ability and/or fitness, there is a continuum of walking grades which range from ‘Leisurely’ to ‘Moderate’ and ‘Challenging’.*Many holidays feature two leaders and two different grades of walking meaning that clients travelling together with differing walking abilities and preferences can have the perfect solution. Styles of holidays are also indicated using a simple icon system, including such categories as ‘Pioneer’ for the more adventurous traveller, to ‘Flora and Walking’ holidays; ‘Birdwatching and Walking’ and ‘Lifestyle, Culture and Natural History’.
Highlights of the new brochure include:
Described by Rambler’s Holidays Walking Holidays Ambassador Julia Bradbury, television presenter and former President of the Ramblers Association as “a hub for both the adventurous and creative alike’, the South Dales has inspired artists, writers and composers alike – from Tolkien to Turner and even Edward Elgar. An area of sheer geological beauty - moulded by the ice age, its rolling hills, moorland, deep eroded limestone pavements, high escarpments, waterfalls and wild valleys make it a top attraction on the Pennine Way. Taking in many natural highlights on the way to Settle, such as Catrigg Force waterfall and the huge rock amphitheatre of Malham Cove, the trail is punctuated with dramatic panoramic views stretching as far as the Lancashire Forest of Bowland and famous Pen Y Ghent ‘Hill of the Winds’. In addition, a ride on the Settle to Carlisle Railway showcases the remarkable feats of Victorian civil engineering whilst providing another relaxing way to enjoy this slice of Yorkshire countryside.
Malham Cove & Ribblesdale 4 night break starts from £399/person including half board at the newly refurbished Falcon Manor as well as local travel to and from the trailheads.
Following the pilgrimage of Ignatius, a great knight whose religious atonement saw him journey 340 miles from his birthplace to Montserrat in Catalonia, the St Ignatius Way takes in the first 70 miles of this lesser trodden Spanish ‘camino’ from the Holy sanctuary in Loiola, through spectacular areas of the Basque countryside, to the medieval walled town of Laguardia in the Rioja Alavesa region. Merging history with legend, the trail traverses ancient mountain paths through the meditative limestone landscapes of Aizkorri-Aratz National Park, oak forests and serene meadows, before navigating the heady Biozkonia Pass (1200m) and crossing into the lush Cantabrian Mountains. Culminating in the vineyards of Rioja Alavesa, uplifting walks are well rewarded throughout with hearty Basque cuisine and delicious local wine.
St Ignatius Way one week holiday starts from £1275/person including flights from Heathrow to Bilbao with British Airways, ensuite accommodation on a half board basis, local guide, daily baggage transfers and all transport costs.
Undiscovered Trails of Alentejo – The land beyond Tagus (Moderate)
Exploring the lesser known and sparsely populated region of Alentejo, this tour follows remarkable traces of the ancient cultures that once dominated this part of Portugal. Walking alongside vast wheat fields and vineyards where intense green and golden colours characterise the plains, prehistoric megalithic stone tombs, Roman and Arab vestiges and impressive medieval castles (a remnant of the Christians) provide an evocative reminder of the country’s rich and colourful past. Travelling from the fascinating riverside hamlet of Alcacer do Sal with its towering castle to the foothills of Sao Mamede, highlights include the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Évora, walled city of Marvão perched upon a jagged crag of granite and the carpets of wildflowers which adorn the trails during Spring.
Undiscovered Trails of Alentejo, 11 day, 3 centre holiday starts from £1485/person including flights from Heathrow to Lisbon, ensuite accommodation on a half board basis, local guide, daily baggage transfers and all transport costs.
Sifnos & Milos – Islands of the Western Cyclades ( Moderate)
Situated on the western most edge of Cyclades, the peaceful islands of Sifnos and Milos both offer the quintessential Greek experience - white cubist villages, spectacular coastline vistas, bleached sand beaches and invitingly azure seas- yet set against very different terrains. Mountainous with fertile green valleys of olive trees and vineyards, Sifnos is conveniently crisscrossed with wondrous cobbled footpaths and dry-stone walls linking small clusters of white washed houses with idyllic churches and ancient ruins to a backdrop of breath-taking views. Famous for the statue of Aphrodite ‘Venus de Milo’ (now in the Louvre), Milos’s extraordinary volcanic landscape provides a complete contrast to its neighbour with walks leading past colourful rock formations, into caves and eerie catacombs and along craters sheltering rare cedar trees. Further excursions to the small island of Kimolos reveal more geological delights in the form of Skiadi - strange mushroom shaped rock formations, whilst exploring the coastline on a private yacht provides a less energetic opportunity to soak up the landscape.
Sifnos & Milos two week half board holiday starts from £1599/person including flights from Heathrow to Athens/Milos, B&B en suite accommodation, dinners at local tavernas, local guide, transfers and all local transport costs.
One of the world’s great long distance paths, the Haute Route stretches from the Chamonix Valley to Zermatt providing magnificent mountain vistas of the area’s highest peaks including Mont Blanc, Grand Combin, Weisshorn and the Matterhorn. Tough but extremely rewarding, this adventurous alpine trek has for many years been the preserve of hardened ‘hutters’.Lightening the load and making it a considerably more comfortable journey, the route can now be undertaken staying in hotels (except the two nights crossing La Chable to Arolla) with luggage transported between accommodation. Reaching heady heights of nearly 3,000m at mountain passes, through remote glacial landscapes and rugged terrain, the trek also includes less challenging yet equally stunning pastoral sections through flower covered meadows and small rural villages.
Haute Route Hotel Trek two week half board holiday starts from £2,225/person including flights from Heathrow to Geneva, half board hotel accommodation, baggage transportation between hotels and two nights at the Cabane de Montfort and Cabane Prafieuri.
Secret Swaziland & Panorama Route – an African Adventure in Swaziland, Hazyview (South Africa) & Kruger National Park (Moderate)
Combining walking with spectacular game viewing, this is a truly memorable holiday. The oldest mountain kingdom in the Southern Africa and home to one of Africa’s last remaining monarchs, Swaziland encapsulates the best of the region with blockbuster scenery and an impressive selection of wildlife despite being the smallest country in the Southern hemisphere.With a diverse landscape of rugged mountains, volcanic hills, waterfalls and wild gorges, it provides an impressive introduction to walking in the African wilderness before heading westwards to the open grasslands, steep cliffs and river valleys that surround Hazyview. In addition to seeing animals such as zebra, rhinos, impala, kudu and warthog whilst exploring on foot, there is the opportunity to spot the ‘Big Five’ on an optional Game Drive at Kruger National Park.
Secret Swaziland & Panorama Route 17 day holiday starts from £2,899 and includes return flights from Heathrow to Johannesburg, internal flights and transfers, accommodation, breakfasts and dinners mainly taken at hotels, all local transport and activities.
Ramblers Walking Holidays: (01707 331 133)www.ramblersholidays.co.uk
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Ramblers Walking Holidays is one of two new holiday brands from RWH Travel Ltd (formerly known as Ramblers Worldwide Holidays), the experts in guided walking adventures.Celebrating its 70th Anniversary this year, with the launch of two new programmes, other brands within the group include the newly launched Chapters Experience Holidays – memorable experiential holidays around the world; Adagio Holidays – leisurely walking and cultural holidays at a gentle pace; Load Off Your Back – a self-guided UK walking programme and Cruise and Walk – Walking Holidays in association with Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines.
For its walking holidays the company is the proud holder of Which? Recommended Provider status – ie companies which are highly rated by Which? Members and reach the exacting standards of Which? Researchers.
*Each of the Ramblers Walking Holidays has been graded to help clients choose their preferredpace, with categories ranging from Grade 1-3/Leisurely (usually two hours walking); to Grade 4-6/Moderate (a combination of full and half day walks); and Grade 7-9/Challenging (full day walks where stamina is key).
To help clients choose the type of walking holiday that will appeal to their interest, Ramblers Walking Holidays also uses symbols that depict the main interest on the walks. Categories include:Pioneer; Continuous Walks; Flora & Walking Holidays; Bird Watching & Walking; Lifestyle, Culture & Natural History; Hutting; Rail & Walk; Sightseeing.
The company’s mission is to generate funds for walking charities by the provision of outstanding outdoor activity holidays worldwide.
With its not-for-profit philosophy, the company contributes monies to the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust which supports walking related and environmental projects in the UK. The company also funds Heart & Sole - an initiative managed by company staff, with the aim of reaching into the heart of the communities visited both in the UK and overseas.
RWH Travel also runs The Walking Partnership - an initiative which champions walking at the 'grass roots' level by providing funding and support to walking groups and clubs throughout the UK.
Ramblers Walking Holidays is the Walking Holiday Partner of the Ramblers, Britain’s walking charity which drove the recent Big Pathwatch project, and has been pioneering and championing walking and ‘rights of way’ for over 70 years across England, Scotland and Wales.
Customers travelling on all holidays operated by RWH Travel Ltd are fully protected via the company’s membership of ABTA & ATOL. RWH Travel Ltd is also a member of AITO.