• The Lake District tops poll of most instagrammed region in UK

    28th April, 2021

    A recent study has found that The Lake District is officially the most Instagrammed nature spot in the whole of the UK!

    This probably (definitely) isn’t a surprise to locals, or holiday makers that have found beauty in the vast and remote expanses of the area. With lots of tough competition including Loch Ness, Ben Nevis and Stonehenge, The Lake District beat many of the other glorious spots that the United Kingdom has to offer.

    With many holiday makers returning to the areas in and around Cumbria every year, there is a clear desire for walking and cycling holidays that offer incredible scenery, and a lovely change to the everyday hustle and bustle.

    The Lake District is also officially the UK’s largest national park so it makes sense to see its beauty recognised in posts on Instagram. Containing 16 lakes and more than 150 high peaks, this popular nature spot is a favourite beyond the UK with international tourists too.

    Be sure to check out one of England’s highest and most prominent mountains based within the Lake District - Helvellyn - if you’re up for a 5 mile walk and climb with our recommended guide.

    As well as the scenic views, there are clear benefits of outdoor holidays to both physical and mental health,and if there is one positive to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s our reconnection and rekindling with the great outdoors. The contrast could be especially beneficial to residents of cities, where there is a constant hum of public transport and activity.

    Just 30 minutes or one hour walking outdoors each day, breathing in fresh air and getting exercise is a sure-fire way to feel refreshed and grounded (so imagine how amazing you will feel after a week of walking in The Lake District!)

    Because hiking holidays are often enjoyed in small groups of friends and family, they have significant links to happiness levels and endorphins associated with laughter and human interaction.

    The study of Most Instagrammed Nature Spots was conducted by Absolutely Bear, a sustainable men’s clothing brand based in the UK. By combining data of exact match and associated hashtags of the top 100 beauty spots, they discovered the top 15, and surprise surprise we have trips to most of them - see links above!

    Walking has been one of the few safe and social activities we have been able to do over the past year in the pandemic. In fact, there have been over one million people searching for “walks near me” in the UK alone in the last year!

    As we look forward to the easing of restrictions and the impending opportunities to meet more friends and family outdoors, taking a trip to The Lake District should be definitely something to consider

  • Life in lockdown - guilt free viewing

    18th March, 2021

    As we sputter on through what we hope are the final days of lockdown in Britain we are all looking forward to a more normal life and to taking trips and holidays that invigorate and restore us. We hope that the projected May 17 date for the opening of hotels in Britain will mark the start of the holiday season for us this year. We have many tours already booked and we welcome fresh enquiries.

    In the meantime, here are some guilt free viewing ideas, all available on Amazon Prime - hopefully some a little less known than others...


    What better excuse than lockdown for a Harry Potter marathon! All 8 films with so many iconic moments from the flight of the Ford Anglia over Glenfinnan; stunning views of Glencoe; Hogwarts Dining Hall at Christchurch Oxford and many more culminating in the Warner Bros Studio Tour. Take a look at Highland lochs and isles for a ride on The 'Hogwarts Express' alias The Jacobite seen steaming over Glenfinnan Viaduct in the picture above or contact us to design the perfect tour for you.


    An apt title for this period - this 2015 film adaptation of Thomas Hardy's wonderful novel, tells the story of Bathsheba Everdene's struggles in Victorian England to run her farm and choose between 3 very different suitors. Take a peek at the film trailer then plan your own escape from the crowds with a cycling trip in Doset and the New Forest - click here for more information.


    Renee Zellweger plays the part of Beatrix Potter as her childhood stories and paintings are brought to life and become some of the best loved stories of all time, and allow her to indulge her love of the Lake District; buy Hill Top Farm and save some of its treasures for us today. See the film trailer then plan a walk in her footsteps on our Quintessential Lake District holiday


    This feelgood film will make you laugh and cry as two young soldiers return from Afghanistan to pick up the threads of life and love in Edinburgh. Weaving the songs of The Proclaimers throughout it ends with a raucous finale near the castle. Even if you don't watch the film, listen to the music and you will want to add an extra day to our Lochs and Glens to Edinburgh cycle tour!

  • Spotlight on Suffolk

    5th March, 2021

    Here is a county well worthy of a spotlight! We love it for its unspoilt coast with a slightly old fashioned air, the mix of reed beds, sandy heaths, woodland and sinuous estuaries, a slower pace of life, timbered buildings, arty finds and a landscape enabling marvellous flat cycle rides and fascinating walks.

    In the wider world, Suffolk is also known for its music and literature links, its foody ethos of farm shops, relaxed pubs with quality offerings of local foods and drink and the medieval town of Lavenham.

    The charming coastal spots of Orford, Aldeburgh and Southwold are linked with Woodbridge on our gentle cycling holiday A Suffolk seaside jolly. With a day off in each place, you can chill out, walk or enjoy various boat trips too -a perfect mix for a family holiday. Pick the luxury version if you want gorgeous boutique hotels and the classic choice for handpicked charm.

    Our Suffolk coast walking holiday enjoys the same lovely overnight stays with the option of alternate days off if that's your pace. There's magnificent variety in the walks and in discovering Suffolk's other gifts.

    A heart in the arts

    Harry Potter's fictional birthplace of Godric's Hollow was inspired by Lavenham and its magical streets. Benjamin Britten is linked with Aldeburgh where you can visit his house and Snape Maltings where he founded a music venue. Suffolk is synonymous with artists so for a great gallery check out Southwold's Co-op on our Suffolk coast walking holiday.

    Stars of food and drink

    No Michelin stars in the county, but little gems galore. Try The Unruly Pig in Woodbridge, Orford's artisan Pump Street Bakery, Aldeburgh's fish and chips and the Pinney family's locally reared oysters at The Butlery Orford Oysterage. And of course, Southwold brewed Adnams beer and brewery tours are not to be missed. See our Suffolk seaside jolly.

    Quirky buildings

    It doesn't get more quirky than the House in the Clouds in the mock Tudor holiday village of Thorpeness. Not far away is one of the unusual Martello Towers built to defend the coast. And the Tidemill in Woodbridge is a rare example of a mill still working today. Spot all these on our Suffolk coast walking holiday and our Suffolk seaside jolly cycling holiday.

    Unspoilt coast

    Unspoilt it is - an area of outstanding natural beauty where the heaths, woodlands, beaches and estuaries are all protected. Enjoy a river boat foray or paddle a canoe on the Alde, guided walks through reeds and lagoons at RSPB Minsmere or sit in the dunes at Walberswick. Take tea as you sail on a 19th Century rigged barge or love the colours on Dunwich Heath. Enjoy all these on our tours!

  • 5 Safe and wonderful places to go now

    6th July, 2020

    With quarantine arrangements refined and Foreign Office advice now allowing holiday travel to defined countries, we can all gear up and book a holiday with some certainty. And boy are we all looking forward to one after lockdown!

    With safety very much at the top of the list, our suppliers checked for cleaning and social distancing measures, we think our self guided walking and cycling holidays are the perfect getaways, full of fresh air and away from the crowds in rural areas. Don’t be daunted by cycling – E bikes, are widely available and we are the home of gentle cycling with short distances and holidays that are relaxed.

    Here are our 5 top suggestions for safe and wonderful places to holiday this summer:

    Provence, France

    Provence offers that magical combination of a sunny clime, rural backdrop and marvellous food and wine. If you don’t fancy flying or arriving by train, then driving is a realistic option and we can arrange parking for the duration of your tour. With a choice of luxury and classic hotels, the walking is stunning yet leisurely with picturesque mountain villages, the scent of cedars and landscapes beloved by Cezanne. If you prefer to pedal, we’ve sorted a gentle route that weaves through the lovely rural landscape and into the wilds of the Camargue. This is a gem of a trip!

    Emilia Romanga, Italy

    If you want seaside coupled with time for pampering and a very leisurely cycling holiday, then head to Emilia Romanga to find our clutch of family owned, luxury hotels that we link together with fascinating yet flat rural cycling and the historic gems of Ravenna. We have already had clients holiday here since lockdown and customer feedback for this trip is always exemplary.

    Connemara, Ireland

    This area on the west coast of Ireland is another rural beauty – sometimes referred to as ‘the western wonderland of Europe’ with its stunning Atlantic beaches and rugged mountains. Here we focus on luxury hotels only and a choice of gentle walking or gentle cycling through this far from the madding crowd territory. Inbuilt in the itinerary is plenty of time to relax.

    The Cotswolds, England

    The gorgeous Cotswolds are a really good option for your summer holiday this year and always a favourite of international visitors for obvious reasons. But this year, tour groups (along with seaside crowds) will be absent. So with endless chocolate box villages set in a rural idyll and hugely characterful small hotels, both luxury and classic, its no surprise we have plenty of walking and cycling holidays here. Most cycling is not hilly as we have carefully designed our routes; but E bikes are available. Our walking trips take in the hills with their amazing views but most have relaxed distances. For 2020, this is a winning area.

    The Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland, England

    Our final top pick is the north of England for fabulous, ‘blow the cobwebs away ‘ walking. Choose the world class historic gem of Hadrians Wall for a vast and beautiful landscape peppered with Roman remnants and enjoy luxury hotels along the way. Or discover the idyllic rural valleys and villages of the Yorkshire Dales where in a week’s walking you will see barely a modern day development. We can eulogise about this area forever, but you need to go and find out for yourself!

  • Moving Towards a 'New Normal'!

    15th May, 2020

    As the UK begins tentative steps to relax the lockdown we are starting to think about how we will move forward in a responsible way that protects our clients, our partners, our environment and our business and still allows us to organise exciting and authentic holidays which introduce our clients to the hidden gems and local secrets that even the locals may not know are on their doorstep.

    We will miss many of our international friends this summer – but as they say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ – and we will have a very warm welcome waiting for you next spring!

    And while we trust that our fellow Brits will remain aware and alert and take steps to avoid a second wave of the pandemic, we recognise that many are in need of something to look forward to, and a much needed holiday as soon as it is sensible to do so – and we think we have just the thing! Our holidays, by their very nature are a chance to get away from it all – cycling or walking off the beaten track, discovering quiet routes and tiny villages, boutique accommodation and special foodie stops, avoiding the crowds and popular honeypots in favour of the lesser known and unspoilt treasures. But we have also put our heads together to tweak some of our trips to make them even more ideal getaways for the ‘new normal’

    Skip the Cities

    While Oxford is one of our favourite places and the hub for many of our walking and cycling tours, we are relocating our starting point to a lovely hotel on the river outside the city. Anyone who still wishes to visit the wonders that Oxford has to offer can still do so with a short walk or cycle along a quiet stretch of the river without being based ‘in the thick of it’. Similarly on our Lochs and Glens to Edinburgh tour, we are now offering the option to skip taking the train to Edinburgh and adding an extra day’s cycling along the river and through the Pass of Killiecrankie to Blair Atholl Castle. (If you follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook you will have seen some of our experiences from a brilliant trip in May 2019). We are looking at all our holidays to see where it may be appropriate to re route around busier areas – but as ever if you have any questions, please ask.

    Arrive by car

    We are also aware that our guests may be more likely to be arriving by car than train or plane for a while so we are making arrangements for guests to park their cars for the duration of the trip and transferring passengers either to the start of their adventure or back to their cars at the end. For example our Devon Coast to Coast is an essentially rural and traffic free cycle from the north coast of Devon down to Plymouth and we will meet you at the end to take you back to your starting point near Barnstaple and your car or onward journey. As ever we will be asking how you plan to arrive for your holiday so we can make the best arrangements for you.

    Family Friendly Holidays

    We have a selection of Family Friendly Holidays which generally have shorter distances and very traffic free routes and are ideal for children (and parents!). We have also put together a new ‘Chiltern Traffic Free Jolly’ which we think is a perfect short break for seven year olds and up, with glorious cycling along canals and woodland trails with exciting stops at 2 very special museums and a chocolate shop! Have a look at our ‘Inspire Me’ section which features some of our favourite family holidays for more ideas or ask us – we can often adapt other trips to suit your requirements.

    Terms and Conditions

    Please continue to look at our website and dream of better times and if you would like us to prepare you an itinerary, do get in touch. We have amended our Terms and Conditions in this unique period so that when you book, your deposit is fully refundable if the government advice is that it’s not safe or possible to travel. We will request the balance payment just 30 days before your trip and again if government advice changes between then and the start of your trip, this will be refundable. We do recommend you take out travel insurance to cover any other circumstances.

    At this point we are unsure when hotels and other hospitality venues will be available but we are hoping that the phased opening through July will mean we can operate from August – and we are also unsure whether at that point demand will exceed supply so if you are seriously considering a getaway later this summer we would love to hear from you.

    We look forward to the day when we have lots of explorers ‘out on the road’ but in the meantime we’ll keep planning ahead! Stay safe and keep well!