National News

Ramblers Walking Holidays Introduces 2020 Programme

Walking holidays and adventures in Armenia, Everest, Ethiopia and Iran are just some of the 55 exciting new itineraries that have been added to the Ramblers Walking Holidays’ (www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) Summer 2020 brochure, which launches today.

The latest programme from the original small group, guided walking holiday experts features over 180 amazing journeys in 60 countries across five continents. It caters for complete beginners through to more seasoned hikers and offers an incredible range of some of the most captivating guided walking experiences both on and off the beaten track.
 
Commenting, Kevin O’Regan, Managing Director says ‘We’re hugely excited about our new programme, which features more new holidays than ever before.  We’ve worked hard to ensure that we have adventures to suit most walking levels and abilities, delving beneath the surface of an array of wish-list destinations, many of which are only accessible on foot.  The experiences that can be enjoyed on our holidays are fantastic – from local specialities such as learning to make pasta in Abruzzo to catching your first glimpse of a sloth bear in Sri Lanka, and from bagging that sought-after peak to truly epic moments such as watching the sun rise behind a Mayan ruin or over the Himalayas.  I’m a firm believer that ‘the world’s more beautiful on foot’ and with these inspirational itineraries led by talented leaders with a shared passion for exploring there is a fantastic array of opportunities to choose from.’
 
Highlights of the new programme in Europe include hiking through the continent’s deepest river canyon, sometimes referred to as ‘The Grand Canyon of Provence’, on Gorges du Verdon in France; following in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims in Turkey on the little frequented St Paul’s Trail & the Taurus Mountains and wandering through the heart of Portugal’s wine growing region as part of Portugal’s Ribatejo & Silver Coast. 
 
Further afield are more new adventures including wildlife-rich holidays such as Walking & Wildlife in Costa Rica, Yellowstone Snowshoeing & Winter Wildlife and Canadian Wilderness & Heli hike, the chance to experience some of the world’s finest ‘peak viewing’ hutting on the world-famous Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire, trekking through the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia and hiking to Everest Base Camp.  Other highlights also include the choice of two new holidays in China - Walking the Great Wall of China and Yunnan’s Ancient Tea Horse Trail - as well as the opportunity to see one of the wonders of the world and lesser-known Incan city on Choquequirao & Machu Picchu.
 
There are also a number of new dual destination holidays that offer a rich insight into the culture and history of each country, giving the chance to contrast and compare them en route. These include Armenia & Iran Unveiled, Guatemala & Mexico, Thailand & Myanmar and Vietnam & Cambodia.  In addition, a selection of one week holidays have been paired together to make back-to-back, more extensive, two week breaks such as The Stubai and Brandenberg Alps, Italy’s Upland Wilderness and Ancient Cities of the Adriatic.
 

The brochure also features an expanded range of UK holidays, with three new Lake District holidays – The Cumbria Way, The Cumberland Way and Walking the Ullswater Way - based from Ramblers Walking Holidays’ Hassness Country House on the shores of Buttermere. These complement activity-based favourites such as Navigation & Hill Skills and a Women’s Activity Week.  Adding to the stable of Continuous Walks, which features iconic trails such Wainwright's Coast To Coast and Hadrian’s Wall, is a new The Wonders of Snowdonia which explores the mountain and its valleys through forests and open moorland.   With the other categories UK Islands and Classics featuring destinations such as the Isle of Man, the Orkney Islands, Jersey and Guernsey and a good choice of quintessentially British walking holidays, there are also plenty of options for exploring beaches and coves in the Coastline section, including a new South West Dorset & Jurassic Coast five-night break.
 
Kevin O’Regan adds “By booking through Ramblers Walking Holidays which continues to operate as a not-for-profit social enterprise, there is also the added satisfaction of helping to give something back with the company providing support to the places and communities where we operate and by financially supporting walking groups through The Walking Partnership and the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust.”
 
Ramblers Walking Holidays offer exceptional value for money with many of the costs such as half board, meals and any transfers included.  In addition, there are holidays for solo travellers with no single room supplements and discounts for private group bookings.  
 
Further details on some of the itineraries are as follows: 
 
Back to Basics Hutting

White Mountains - Appalachian Hutting (grade 7, challenging) – new for 2020
Walk deep into the vast wilderness of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, exploring one of the most impressive sections of the world-famous Appalachian Trail.   Accompanied by specialist Appalachian mountain guides, on a ratio of 1:6, accommodation is in remote mountain huts surrounded by pristine alpine scenery.  Bagging four Presidential peaks along the way – Mount Pierce, Mount Eisenhower, Mount Franklin and Mount Monroe, the backbone of the Presidential Range provides another opportunity to summit more peaks, before settling in for the night at the Madison Hut, from where wonderful reflections of Mount Madison in Star Lake can be enjoyed. Descending with great views along the King Ravine Trail, the hike returns to Boston to walk the Freedom Trail.   White Mountains - Appalachian Hutting holiday from £2,495/person including flights & airport transfers, accommodation, specialist Appalachian mountain guides and all local transport costs.  Departs 29 August and 12 September 2020.
 
Contrasting Dual Country Break
Armenia and Iran Unveiled (moderate, Grade 4) – NEW for 2020
Delve beneath the surface of these two beautiful and visually opposing countries, exploring their culture, history and landscapes on a mix of locally guided city walks and hikes through the lush countryside of Armenia and Persian cities which have arisen out of the vast desert landscape.  Visit Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, where grand Soviet-era architecture sits alongside hipster hangouts, before venturing further afield. Hike through river gorges, on Armenia’s highest peak and along the world’s longest rope walkway, visiting Hellenistic ruins, early century monasteries and ancient fortresses along with the cave village of Khndzoresk and the magnificent monastic ‘Wings of Tatev’ on a soaring cable car ride.  Crossing the border, discover modern day Iran, with its fascinating heritage, visiting tea gardens, tombs, mosaics and bazaars.  There will also be the chance to wander around the country’s most impressive sights including Yadz’s Towers of Silence; Nasir Almolk’s stained glass illuminations; the Persian city ruins of Persepolis; and Tehran’s UNESCO listed 18th century Golestan Palace.  Armenia and Iran Unveiled 15-night trip starts from £2,749/person including flights, airport transfers, en suite accommodation, full board, local guide throughout in Armenia and Iran, all local transport costs and RWH leader throughout.
 

Pilgrim’s Trail
St Paul's Trail & the Taurus Mountains (grade 6, Moderate) - New for 2020
As the apostle Paul would have done nearly two millennia ago, explore deep canyons, historic sites and ancient villages, hiking beside river courses and along deep forest tracks through dramatic and varied scenery.  Follow Turkey’s wild and little frequented St Paul’s Trail – the country’s second long-distance trail at some 500km, which winds from Perge (near the coast and Antalya) through the Anatolian wilds to an elevation of 2,200m and culminates in the city of Yalvaç.  Accompanied throughout by a local specialist guide, follow the course of Köprülü Canyon taking the opportunity to swim in deep river pools, hike across spectacular limestone ridges, through indigenous oak forest, and meander through the ancient ruins of the Pisidian city of Prostanna before entering Yalvaç along the ruins of the Roman aqueduct just as St Paul would have done.   St Paul's Trail & the Taurus Mountains 14-night trip starts from £1,999/person, full board en suite accommodation with dinners at the hotel or local restaurants, picnic lunches, English speaking guide, local transport and an experienced leader.  Departs 27 March, 15 May, 4 September and 18 September 2020.
 
‘Gorge-ous’ Natural Wonder
Gorges du Verdon (grade 5, moderate) – New for 2020
Just as impressive as its big cousin in Arizona, albeit on a smaller scale, Gorges du Verdon is Europe’s deepest river canyon and one of its greatest natural wonders.  Stretching 17 miles between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, and plunging 2,300 feet, appreciate its grandeur walking its heady ridges before descending into the depths.  Here, follow a riverbed flanked by towering vertical drops etched out by the River Verdon over millions of years.  Based in the small town of La Palud sur Verdon, explore different sections of the gorge each day, including an exhilarating hike, negotiating ladders and tunnels, along the jaw-dropping Martel Trail to Point Sublime – a definite highlight to the trip.  Gorges du Verdon one-week holiday starts from £1,449/person including half board en suite accommodation, lunches made from local produce, English speaking walking guide, transfers and an experienced leader.  Departs 9 May, 13 June, 12 September and 26 September 2020. (NB flights not included).
 

Classic Lake District
The Cumbria Way (Moderate, Grade 5) - New for 2020
2020 will mark 250 years since Wordsworth’s birth, and what better way to celebrate it than on a classic Lakeland walking holiday.  With high passes and remarkable views of Lakeland peaks, walk from Ulverston in south Cumbria north to the historic city of Carlisle following a 74-mile linear trail over six days.  The itinerary travels through the popular towns of Coniston and Keswick and the Langdale and Borrowdale valleys to a changing backdrop of pastoral and dramatic fell vistas.   Highlights include crossing the low southern fells with views of Morecombe Bay; the ascent to Tarn Hows, watched over by Coniston Old Man; the old packhorse route over Stake Pass, descending into Borrowdale with its spectacular rocky crags; and an amble along the shore of Derwent Water.  One of three new holidays based from Ramblers Walking Holidays own property - Hassness Country House - a comfortably inviting bolthole on a secluded edge of Buttermere.  The Cumbria Way one-week holiday starts from £715/person including en suite accommodation at Hassness Country House, all meals except for dinner on Tuesday, transport for walking and an experienced leader.  Departs 1 August 2020.
 

For further information, contact Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) or View the new brochure here.

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