Planning a sojourn with extra strolling this year? Check out these exciting breaks available in the UK, Europe and beyond
Burley Park charity walk, The New Forest, Southern England
If you want to add extra incentive to your walk, join this sponsored 10 or 20-mile challenge, which is a scenic stroll to support people who’ve survived or been diagnosed with cancer. Stay at the four-star Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst, which has a spa, restaurant and microbrewery to enjoy.
- The walk takes place on 10 June, £20 entry. Twin rooms at Balmer cost £189 B&B, see balmerlawnhotel.com for information.
BEST FOR: Woodland walks.
Hardy Way walk, Dorset
Walk along Britain’s first literature-themed long-distance path – the backdrop to many of Thomas Hardy’s tales of rural England. Retrace Tess of the d’Ubervilles’ footsteps to Win Green, visit Shaftesbury – or Shaston as Hardy called it in Jude the Obscure – and see the gardens Hardy called ‘the prettiest sight I ever saw in my life’.
- Various dates until 31 October, from £645pp including six nights’ B&B accommodation, plus one dinner and two picnics. See inntravel.co.uk.
BEST FOR: Literature lovers.
Talgarth Walking Festival, Brecon Beacons
The ancient market town of Talgarth, which forms the ‘Gateway to the Black Mountains’, is an ideal base from which to explore the Brecon Beacons National Park. This year the town is hosting its walking festival for the sixth time, to enable new visitors to discover the high peaks and lush green valleys of the Beacons. There are
a variety of walks over the weekend, starting at just over an hour, up to one day, with different levels of difficulty. Why not stay at Charity, a remote mountain retreat in the Olchon Valley, which has a wood-fired hot tub, cinema barn and a sauna.
- The festival is from 4-7 May, with individual walks priced £3-£10. See the programme at talgarth walkingfestival.org. A stay at Charity costs from £1,995 for up to 10 people, see uniquehomestays.com.
BEST FOR: Beginners to walking.
The Low Tide Event, Bryher and Tresco, Isles of Scilly
Tresco, in the Isles of Scilly, is a car-free island, making it a wonderful place to explore on foot. The landscape is stunning all year round, and its red squirrels are a highlight for visitors. Then, on three separate nights over the summer, the low tides reveal a sandbank, which becomes home to pop-up festivities including a barbecue, bar, live music and games. It connects Tresco to the nearby island of Bryher, where you can stay at luxurious Hell Bay Hotel, which is tucked away in a secluded cove with unspoilt Atlantic Ocean views.
- The Low Tide Events are free (just bring money for the food and drink stalls) on 15 July, 13 August and 10 September. Hell Bay Hotel is available from £140pp, inclusive of a three-course dinner, bed and breakfast. See hellbay.co.uk.
BEST FOR: Racing the tide.
Hotel Quelle, South Tyrol, Italy
The Quelle hiking package at this award-winning nature spa includes shuttle transfers to your walking points, a detailed map, three weekly guided trips, three 2-3 hour walks,
a Nordic Walking tour, picnics and gear hire. The hotel hosts cycle hire, fitness classes and a gym as well as plenty of pampering and relaxation opportunities in the spa.
- Various packages and offers available such as €1,078pp when you book for an eight-night stay between 18 May and 17 June. This includes excursions, fitness classes, full spa access, breakfast, light lunches, afternoon snacks, 5-7 course à la carte gourmet dinner, wine tasting and evening entertainment. See hotel-quelle.com.
BEST FOR: Dramatic Dolomite views.
Guided Walking at Lake Bled, Slovenia
The tiny nation of Slovenia is bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, and the Adriatic Sea, providing a unique contrast of landscapes and climates. Nowhere is this more evident than at the beautiful Lake Bled and Triglav National Park, the site of many of the walks in this seven-night trip.
- Departs 26 May, from £1,159pp on a half-board basis. Price includes return flights from Stansted, options of different guided walks and all transport to and from the walks. Other breaks are available, visit hfholidays.co.uk for more information.
BEST FOR: Varied scenery.
Cliffs of Moher Retreat, County Clare, Ireland
The Connect to Nature weekend is a perfect contrast of adventurous hiking, soothing Vinyasa yoga and mindfulness meditations. Your walk will take you to the charming town of Doolin, the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre, and the wild and windy rock formation known as Hag’s Head. The retreat itself has beautiful views over the Atlantic Ocean, which you can admire from the wood-burning hot tubs. Nourishing food and restorative massages are also available.
- 18-20 May, prices from €370. Other packages are available, see cliffsofmoherretreat.com
BEST FOR: Stunning clifftop scenes.
Explore the Foothills of the Himalayas, India
Beneath the towering, snow-capped Himalayas, not far from the borders of Nepal and Tibet, lies a hidden India of small traditional villages, deep wooded valleys and high, wide ridges. This unique holiday takes you to the heart of the region, allowing you to explore the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in the remote Kumaon Hills while staying in authentic village houses and using local guides. You’ll gain insights into the traditions and culture by joining local families for meals.
- Various dates up until 15 May, then between 15 September and 30 November. Prices from £1,955pp, including transfers and return flights from London to Delhi, based on two people sharing. It includes 10 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation, seven lunches, eight picnics and the services of a local guide. See inntravel.co.uk.