Walking, also commonly referred to as rambling, is an activity that people of all ages can enjoy on a cottage holiday. If you enjoy walking you may want to think about a self catering walking holiday.
If you adore being amongst nature, walking along and experiencing new scenery along the way, then a self catering rambling holiday could be a great choice for you. When it comes to walking holidays, some people enjoy going away as part of a group whereas others prefer to holiday just with their partner or family.
The type of holiday that will suit you may well depend on your own likes and dislikes and also on your level of fitness. It can be helpful to holiday with those with a similar level of fitness so you are comfortable with the amount of walking you do on holiday. You want your rambling holiday to be enjoyable and not too tiring so always be realistic when planning your trip. Holidays are to be enjoyed so it’s important to not over do it or be over ambitious. Remember to take in to account everyone’s level of fitness. If you are travelling as a group or family you may well need to be flexible to take in to account everybody’s needs.
Also remember to plan for appropriate places to rest. After a long walk you may well want a sit down at a café or a pub. Doing research in advance is important to make sure that you aren’t left high and dry. Do check out what facilities are available where you plan to walk. It is important to know whether there will be a café or loos. If not, you will need to plan to take a packed lunch and appropriate drinks. It’s important to stay well fed and watered when enjoying an activity holiday.
When it comes to finding appropriate accommodation for walking holidays, always check how near the property is to your planned route. Some cottages are within national parks or near marked walking trails so do check out what opportunities there are for walking before booking a cottage.
If your budget stretches to it, you may want to consider booking somewhere with extras like a hot tub or sauna. Staying in self catering accommodation with extras like a hot tub or sauna can be wonderfully relaxing after being out and about walking. If your budget is more limited, you may want to ensure you book somewhere with a powerful power shower which can help with soothing aching muscles.
The UK is a country which is well equipped when it comes to walking holidays. There are an extensive number of walking trails within the UK and Ireland. Facilities can vary. If you are walking one of the bridleways or public rights of way, facilities tend to be very limited. Whereas, if you are going to an established tourist destination such as Snowdonia you should find much better facilities. Facilities also tend to be good within forests that are cared for by the Forestry Commission. Many of the Forestry’ Commission’s forests benefit from walking trails, parking, cafes and toilets. Areas that are cared for by the National Trust, very often incur a charge for visiting or parking, but do benefit by and large from cafes and toilets. Similarly, the Wildlife Trust also takes care of a number of nature reserves where you can usually enjoy good facilities. Fees are not always charged but donations are always welcome.
There are lots of different options when it comes to walking holidays in the UK. Read our free destination guides for inspiration.
When choosing where to visit, you may well want to consider visiting one of the areas of outstanding natural beauty or one of the national parks. One thing is for sure, you have lots of choice with 46 areas of outstanding natural beauty and 15 national parks, the UK and Ireland certainly have their fair share of beautiful places.
Opportunities for walking holidays vary country by country. Some countries have better paths than others. When walking abroad remember that health and safety signage and considerations are not always given the same prominence as in the UK. Very often the standards abroad do not match what you would expect to find in the UK. When walking abroad you will have to be aware, alert and make sure that you take sensible steps to safeguard your own health and safety. Remember paths can have steep drops without barriers and warnings may not always be apparent. You can help yourself by doing your research before doing walks on the trails and also make sure you have appropriate walking boots and a walking stick. If walking with children do research in advance and make sure that any trails are suitable for children.
Germany is known for walks around the river Rhine and the Bavarian mountains. Madeira is a country well known for levada walks. These levada walks are along marked trails and can involve spectacular scenery and fascinating Laurel forests. There are many steep drops through along these walks in Madeira so care must be taken and it is not somewhere recommended for children or dogs due to health and safety reasons. In Poland there are trails in the beautiful Tatra mountains, which are best enjoyed in summer time when there is no snow. A reasonable level of fitness if required for exploring the mountain trails of the Tatras.
Wherever you decide to go on your self catering walking holiday we hope you have a great time.