• The Spring Edit

    9th April, 2018

    A walking break is the perfect way to settle into Springtime, to get invigorated and out and about this season. After eating our way through mounds of chocolate eggs, it is time to get outdoors and get excited about 2018. These are our choices for late Spring and early Summer, we’ve highlighted our favourite parts of these trips to help you find the perfect little holiday!

    For history and heritage

    • England is well-known for its rich history, and we know the way around some of the country’s best kept secrets. One of our longer walks, the Cotswold Way, gives you a little taste of everything; there are Roman ruins, Iron Age forts, Civil War battlefields, Medieval Churches, Jacobean Palaces, and Georgian gardens, all in the very heart of England. We will guide you through the rolling hills and little rivers, for a relaxing but rewarding walk.

    • Outside of England, A Potter through Provence is one of our finest. This is a feast of French heritage – sample rare wines and classic cuisine, explore medieval hilltop villages and picture-postcard market towns, and ramble through the ancient forests of the Luberon valley. This is the perfect choice for those seeking culture, and wanting to explore at their own pace.

    • Another favourite for Spring is the new Authentic Algarve, bringing you incredible food, rural charm and stunning scenery. Spring is the perfect time to explore the Algarve, as the weather is warm, but not so hot that all you'll want to do is sunbathe! Get immersed in the unhurried and relaxing local way of life, journey through little villages and hillscapes by day, then unwind in the evening and watch the sun set over the hilltops.

    For landscape

    • It doesn’t get more stunning than Scotland - our West Highland Way walk is the top choice for those wanting to be immersed in the wild, rugged and sublime. Get away from the trappings of modern life and wander the ancient paths of the Highlands, journey around the famous Loch Lomond and through the glens and see wild deer, mountains and heaths. Coupled with luxury boutique hotels, this trip is one of our most special – a walk in the wild that you won’t forget.

    • Of course, if landscape is what you want, the list would be incomplete without the Lake District. Our Quintessential Lake District has a bit of everything – from sweeping valleys and deep, tranquil lakes up to some of the highest peaks in England. There is plenty of history here too, with both Wordsworth’s and Beatrix Potter’s homes open to visitors. As the newest World Heritage Site, the Lakes make for the perfect time away.

    For sun and sea

    • Although not strictly all seaside, our Seashores and Moors tour is still definitely a top choice. From the rich Jurassic coast of Devon up to the wild moors around Exmoor, this tour gives you the chance to explore the rural West Country at its best. From the gentle Lynmouth seaside, to the Cliffs of Lynton, to the inland moors with the world-famous wild Exmoor Ponies, this is a truly spectacular tour of this corner of England.

    • Wales is one of the United Kingdom’s lesser known gems – its peaceful Ceredigion Coast offers stunning scenery, wildlife, historic villages, and the chance to truly relax. Get a taste of Welsh seaside charm with our handpicked hotels, and sample the local food (and ice cream). This is the ultimate classic UK seaside holiday.

    For the serious explorer

    • For those seeking a challenge, there is the enduringly popular Hadrian’s Wall Walk. Trekking along this ancient monument is a must for serious walkers – with wild landscape and history all around, you will trace the footsteps of the ancient Britons from one coast to the other.
  • 10 great UK castle stays

    3rd March, 2018

    It has long been said that an Englishman’s home is his castle, and for some that is quite true. Many of these ancient royal homes have been converted, so that you too can make them your home for a night or two. Here are our picks of the best in the UK; from grand to small, from hotel to private – all are historic buildings just waiting for you to visit.

    • Thornbury Castle near Bristol, on the edge of the Cotswolds, is a Tudor hall converted to a hotel. It was built in 1511 for the Duke of Buckingham, and was intended as a fortress for his safety. Henry the VIII stayed in the castle for a short time in 1535, with his then wife, Anne Boleyn. It comes with a vineyard, kitchen garden and dungeon dining if that's your thing.

    • Eastnor Castle is a 19th century revival building near Hereford, is lived in by the current owner and is gothic, grand and imposing. It has 12 bedrooms but only serves corporate, wedding or private stays. The grand state bedroom is just that, otherwise try the turret suite. The deer park also hosts two music festivals, Lakefest and the Big Chill.

    • In Sussex, you will find Amberley Castle, a 12th century fortification. This is a traditional medieval castle, with two towers and a great gateway. It was attacked during the Civil War by the parliamentarians, and lost nearly 20 feet off of the walls. The Castle was restored and is now a luxury hotel, with 19 wonderful historic rooms.

    • The northern Langley Castle, near to Hadrian’s Wall, is the ultimate fairy-tale castle. Built in the 14th century, with four proud turrets and ten acres of parkland, there aren’t many hotels like this one. Live like a King in the luxury rooms, decorated in a traditional English style. This grand Castle is where our guests stay on the Hadrian’s Wall walk, which takes you through some of England’s most ancient heritage.

    • Fonab Castle in Pitlochry is where our luxury Lochs and Glens cycling holiday guests stay. It is an ancient castle converted into a hotel with a contemporary twist. Set in the Scottish Highlands, on the lochside, views from Fonab are quite phenomenal.

    • Inverlochy Castle, Fort William, is a 19th century baronial mansion two miles from the ruined 13th century original. Queen Victoria famously remarked ‘I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot’, and that definitely still applies today. This is where our West Highland Way walkers stay, and our Coast to Coast cyclists.

    • Glengorm Castle, on the Isle of Mull, (pictured above) is still lived in by the family. It’s a remaining example of the Island’s long history, and the lifestyle of the people who used to rule over the area. Stay in the tower rooms, and have breakfast served in the castle dining room.

    • The 12th century Roch Castle in Wales is small and authentic. It was converted to a six-bedroom luxury hotel in 2008, and has been named the best 5-star hotel in Wales. Did you know, there are more castles per square mile in Wales than anywhere else in the UK?

    • Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara, where you stay on our Jolly around Connemara trip, is one of Ireland’s greatest. Set on the shores of a lake, between mountains and forests, the views are beyond compare. It was built in the 17th century, and is today a fine hotel.

    • Rincolisky Castle in County Cork dates back to 1495, and is set on a bay on the wild Irish coast. Rincolisky is a little different to other castle retreats, and is self-catered. If you want the chance to escape the rat race and experience life in medieval Ireland, then this is it!

  • Notes from Andalucia

    5th February, 2018

    We like to keep you updated on our travels, so here's the latest from our trip to Cadiz in the South of Spain. The region around Cadiz, along the Costa de la Luz, faces the Atlantic rather than the Mediterranean. This part of Western Andalucía is cooler in summer than other parts of southern Spain, giving travelers a chance to avoid the intense heat common so far south. Music to the ears of cyclists and walkers! It also means that the area enjoys fewer tourists and is less busy in the summer months. The comfortable climate is all due to the Levant wind that blows through due to the funneling effect of the Strait of Gibraltar to the east.

    • Take a walk along glorious Conil de la Frontera beach (lying between Cadiz and the Strait of Gibraltar) which runs for more than an amazing eleven miles to Cape Trafalgar. Here, you will find an unspoilt, dune backed beach – one of Spain’s best and you will also be able to spy the waters where, in 1805, Nelson defeated Napoleon in the Battle of Trafalgar.

    • As well as panoramic beaches, there are endless cosy coves backed by cliffs. The coastline is unique - with some stunning rock formations, in places encrusted with beautiful fossilized shells. Much of the coast of Cadiz is unspoilt, and inland there are deep, wild valleys with exotic birds for you to spot and a number of large natural parks to explore.

    • There‘s a glorious cycle path that runs along the coast from Huelva in the west, near the Portuguese border, past Cadiz to Tarifa at the Strait of Gibraltar. It’s not signposted or suitable for the lycra brigade but is wonderful to amble along on board walks, pavements and minor roads as it weaves through dunes, across estuaries and past the many watering holes in which to wile away the day.

    • Once in Tarifa take the ferry across the Strait for a day trip to explore the exciting Moroccan city of Tangier with its American Legation - the first American public property outside the US.

    • Andalucia is known for its mishmash of Moorish majesty and Roman relics and this area is no exception. Head inland to the hills to Midena Sidonia and view the medieval walls and Moorish cobbled streets with its three gates before taking an extraordinary walk through the Roman sewers and along an immaculately preserved Roman street where even a child’s game is still visible, etched on to the pavement. Rows of reja-fronted houses with interior courtyards, an elegant plaza where the locals gather in force to chat, and restaurant La Vista de Medina with its fabulous terrace and amazing view are all to be discovered in this little-known gem of a town.

    • Eat at Venta La Duquesa just outside the town if you like great service. Vejer de la Frontera is another hill-top historical delight with El Jardin del Califa, a wonderful hotel setting, serving fantastic Moroccan food in a small place that abounds with smart 2nd homes. Every town has its pastry shops – the selection of local light pastries with almonds are to die for. For savoury delights it doesn’t get much more local than Restaurant El Pastore down on the harbour front in Cabo Roche, where the catch of the day is served simply and cheaply before you climb to Roche lighthouse and take the coast path beyond through the wild landscape of pines.

    • Cadiz itself has an extraordinary setting on what is a very long spit with a fine fort and small beach at its promontory. Its city walls encase a fascinating medina with interesting shops and a vibrant market. It also remains an important port, protected by over a hundred watch towers. If that were not enough, it is also considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe – founded 1100 years before Christ.

  • New Year, New Tours

    8th January, 2018

    2018 is here at last and we’re welcoming in the year with many new holidays to help you make the most of it! We’ve been expanding in the UK, and adventuring abroad, with great tours from the cosy Cotswolds to the awesome Algarve. Here is a brief insight into our very newest…


    Electric Lakes

    The Lake District finally received its long-deserved position as a World Heritage Site last year, and so to celebrate we’ve developed a tour with a little twist to help you get the most out of this extraordinary area. For those wishing to experience the wonder of the lakes in a new way, we are offering a tour with electric bikes – the chance to see more, do more, and to coast down the slopes without the struggle the other side! While still challenging for the passionate cyclist, this is also the perfect chance for those with a little less experience to have a real adventure. We are very proud of the route, which offers incredible views over the greatest mountains and lakes in England, vibrant villages with rich culture (Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth, John Ruskin etc.) and so much more. This is England at its wildest and most un-tampered. Visit our site to learn more about our new favourite…

    The Cotswold Way

    The Cotswold Way weaves from picturesque Chipping Campden to historic Bath, and the journey is quite spectacular. The area boasts history like no other - we will take you through ancient woodland, Civil War battlefields, castle gardens and market towns, past ruined abbeys, Jacobean manors, Iron Age forts and so much more. For those wishing to immerse themselves in the rich history of rural England, it doesn't get much better than this. We've chosen elegant and unique boutique hotels to ensure you get a real taste of Cotswolds charm - see all the details here...


    The Awesome Algarve

    Portugal’s southernmost region is known for beautiful beaches and superb sun – easy to fall in love with if you’re seeking that perfect summer holiday. We’ve carefully designed this trip to give you a taste of the authentic Algarve, giving you the chance to see the stunning vistas from the clifftops and the Natural Parks, to experience the culture of the ancient towns, and the unforgettable local cuisine. This is a cycling holiday like no other. Our handpicked hotels promise luxury and style, together with an unforgettable setting. Find out more about the Awesome Algarve here…

    Everything Netherlands

    We have actually put together a trio of tours in the Netherlands this year – A Grand Tour of the Southern Netherlands, Dutch Tulips in Spring, and Hidden Gems of Holland.

    The first of the three, A Grand Tour of the Southern Netherlands, offers rural charm and local intrigue alongside spectacular landscape - those on the hunt for something a little different should definitely take a closer look. There’s history throughout; in the Burgundian villages, in the classic windmills and ancient towns. Every one of the towns you pass through has its unique style, art and culture.

    Dutch Tulips in Spring is the perfect tour to welcome in the new season; we invite you to come cycling through the tulip fields of Holland, the Botanical Gardens, picturesque villages and of course, the famous Flower Festival Week. This tour only runs from March to May, so take a peek at our website now…

    Last but definitely not least is our Hidden Gems of Holland tour. Starting in Amsterdam and taking you through the Golden Age museums, local towns with staggering Gothic Churches, the Hoge Veluwe National Park, the Baroque gardens of the Loo Palace, and on to Giethoorn, the ‘Venice of the North’. The area oozes history and culture, and with our expertise, you won’t miss a single gem.

  • Winter Warmers

    30th November, 2017

    Our little island tends to get progressively colder from October, with the days growing shorter and the constant threat of snow. However, winter does bring forth some bonuses - the Christmas spirit begins to blossom just after Halloween, and throughout the country people come together. We've chosen some of our favourite winter treats and activities to share with those outside of the UK...

    For the Foodies

    Mince pies, an English tradition since the 13th century, are a season staple. These days, mince pies usually hit the shelves around September, although some will admit to hoarding them to be enjoyed all year round. Made of minced dried fruit and spice and covered with rich buttery pastry, these pies are usually served with thick brandy cream or custard, and are simply delicious. St. John’s Bakery on the South Bank regularly rank in Londoner’s Top Five for mince pies, with another indie baker, Covent Garden’s Bread Ahead, coming close behind. Bread Ahead offers the most traditional pies of all, made to the more savoury recipe that dates back centuries. Even out of season, we highly recommend them – the head baker, Justin Gellaty, made the sourdough for Will and Kate’s Wedding! Of course, no Christmas treat is complete without a glass of something warm. Mulled cider is particularly in vogue at the moment, and most Christmas markets will give you the chance to sample some interesting varieties. Of course, the classic choice is mulled wine – rich red wine brewed with seasonal spices – that really hits the spot. Hot Chocolate is also a good way to warm up after a hard day shopping or sledding. Own of our favourites is Rumsey's - the finest place for chocolate in the Chilterns - and there selection of drinks are to die for. There are some great flavoured versions out there (a personal favourite is Costa Coffee’s Black Forest Hot Chocolate – heaven), but making your own is easy. Add a shot of Baileys for a real taste of luxury.

    For the Active

    Just because the sun stays in, it doesn’t mean you have to! There are plenty of activities to keep you busy even through the winter months. Ice Skating in front of the Natural History Museum is an unforgettable experience – skating doesn't get more sophisticated than this. The rink is open from October to January, and must be booked online. The health benefits of the fresh winter air are usually overlooked in favour of warm hearths, but walking in the brisk British winter can be surprisingly invigorating, and a walk can always be adapted to end at a particularly nice pub as that extra reward. We suggest walking the Thames Path; a scenic jaunt along the river, giving you the chance to soak up history, culture and cuisine whatever the weather. Winter wildlife can also be quite spectacular; if you are in Scotland this season, keep your eyes out for red squirrels in the snow, seals on the shores and red deer in the highlands. Eagles are also known to swoop low in search of prey at this time of year. As snow is more of a guarantee in the Highlands, we recommend that those looking to do more intense snow sports, such as ice-climbing or dog-sledding, look to the north.

    For the Festive

    Christmas Markets are one of our favourite ways to get into the Christmas spirit – fairy lights and the smell of food in the air. While travelling the UK will take you to some superb markets – we suggest Manchester and Edinburgh in particular – and it’s also a good excuse for a weekend break in Amsterdam or Paris. The market in Amsterdam runs from November through to February and has everything from an ice rink to a circus. The Light Festival also brightens up this miniature village through December and January.

    For the Not-so-Festive

    If Christmas isn’t your thing, you can always get away, travel somewhere nice and warm and wait until it’s all over – see here for our suggestions.