FREEDOM to Enjoy
Welcome to COUNTRY WALKS
Who are we? We are a small family venture committed to providing you with a delightful walking holiday, whether a short break in the UK or a week’s holiday in Europe. We have been established since 1995 and have built our reputation on delivering the highest quality walking experiences, meticulous attention to detail and dedicated customer service. We’re proud to have inspired thousands of people from countries around the world to enjoy the pleasures and benefits of walking in the country.
Aubrey & June FOUNDERS
“Just a line to thank you once again for a marvellous weekend. Not only were the walks in the beautiful South Downs a delight, but the chance to learn about and see some of the works of art and haunts of the Bloomsbury set added much interest and enjoyment.” Claudia Schiebek, London
What can you expect? You’ll be immersed in the world of nature, enjoying the sense of freedom that a selfguided walking holiday provides. You’ll relax in the knowledge that we have taken care of every detail; as our clients tell us: “We don’t need to worry on your holidays!” You will return home re-energised and refreshed. Our self-guided walking holidays use the same routes, commentaries and quality accommodation that have been delighting Country Walks clients in our guided groups since 1995.
What makes us different? We’re small enough to care, small enough to treat you as an individual, and small enough to tailor your holiday to your needs. You can relax, knowing that we personally research each and every walk to provide you with the best possible experience. We plan every detail and write all route notes ourselves. You won’t just follow the crowds on national trails or have to puzzle over translations. We supply proper maps for people who enjoy using them and they are always marked up
with the route. But you don’t have to be able to read a map, as we provide accurate and regularly-updated directions. We avoid busy roads, seeking out ancient routes well off the beaten track. We’ll guide you through unspoilt villages and breathtaking scenery to enjoy the hidden sights, sounds and scents of the countryside. With our unique commentaries, you’ll learn of the history and rural traditions, culture, nature and literature of the land you’re exploring.
Self-Guided Walking Breaks & Holidays If you enjoy the freedom of exploring at your own pace with a partner or friend, our independent walking holidays give you the flexibility to choose your own dates, set off each day at a time to suit you and digest the background commentaries that highlight features of interest. You’ll be able to stop whenever you like and visit the places that most interest you. We offer a range of short breaks and one-week holidays in Britain and Europe, walking in the finest landscapes. For up-to-date information on our various destinations and prices, please see our website at www.country-walks.com. Wherever you travel with us, our carefullycrafted routes will guide you along the most scenic paths. You’ll stay at hand-picked character inns, quality guesthouses and hotels with award-winning food. Our UK self-guided walking breaks offer car-free options which include transfers from the nearest railway station to your holiday accommodation. So if you prefer not to travel by car or if you are visiting from overseas, you can still enjoy an independent holiday.
Included in your self-guided holiday: • Excellent en-suite accommodation and breakfast • Recommended restaurants • Detailed driving directions to the start of the walk (or pre-paid taxi for car-free options) • Detailed route directions in an easy-tohandle A5 format • A proper large-scale detailed map fully marked up and numbered to correspond with the route (not necessary but included for people who enjoy map reading) • A waterproof map case to protect the map • Uniquely comprehensive and valuable information and commentaries on the area, including culture and customs, art, literature and history, flora and fauna of the landscape • A handy pocket book to help you identify common wild flowers, trees, animals • Useful tips and checklists • Recommended country inns for lunch and, where available, tea and coffee shops • Details of places of interest to visit en route
Guided Walking Holidays We continue to offer a small range of guided walking breaks and holidays in the UK and Europe to meet the requirements of our regular clients. Please visit our website at www.country-walks.com for details. Our guests comprise a mix of couples, friends and singles who enjoy the spirit and camaraderie of our like-minded, friendly groups.
Barley Field - Wiltshire
Hidden Mallorca - Tramuntand Mountains
Villa Rufolo - Ravello
Masons Arms - Devon
Algarve Beach - Portugal
â€œThank you once again for the magic moments you gave us in East Sussex. We were very happy with everything: quality of the hotel, food, walks and well documented and interesting commentariesâ€?. Marie-France & Josiane, France
Typical Accommodation & Food We choose only quality en-suite accommodation, ranging from small, family-owned hotels of distinction to atmospheric old inns and luxurious guesthouses awarded Silver or Gold Awards by the local tourist board. You can be sure of a really special stay, whatever your choice, with little touches of luxury. All have been extensively researched and personally inspected and tried and tested by us. Whether you stay by the sea, in the mountains, in the heart of a city or in a country retreat, you can relax and enjoy wonderful food and wine followed by a good night’s sleep in a comfortable room. Our clients often ask us how we manage to find such lovely places to stay. This is achieved by in-depth research – and we never compromise on quality. For your evening meal, we select only restaurants, hotels and inns recognised for the quality of their cuisine. Many have been awarded AA rosettes or similar accolades.
“The hotel was excellent and beautifully positioned and the walks and trips were outstanding. It was fun to try so many different restaurants. The restaurant I loved the best was the one in Montepertuso – the antipasti and fresh pasta, combined with the terrace setting, views and local red wine were a combination made in heaven!” Cynthia Frazer, London W4
Responsible Tourism We are committed to protecting the environment and, in recognition of this, our holidays are promoted by ‘Responsible Travel’ and ‘Our Land’. You can read more about our policies and the measures we take to implement these policies on our website at www.country-walks.com.
You too can make your own contribution to responsible tourism: • Use email wherever possible rather than post • Travel light! It’s surprising how much more you can fit in by rolling rather than folding clothes. Avoid laundry services by washing out light, quick-drying clothes • Consider travelling by public transport wherever feasible
• Use local companies for all transfers to and from walks • Use routes which are as much as possible off the beaten track, avoiding tourist ‘hot spots’ • Opt for small, family-owned hotels, inns and guesthouses employing local staff • Conserve water by taking showers rather than baths and re-use towels • Switch off lights and air-conditioning and don’t leave devices on ‘stand-by’ • Use local restaurants employing local people and sourcing locally-produced food • Buy ‘local’ to support local craftsmen, village shops and local food producers • When buying souvenirs, buy local produce to help support local economies • Use environmentally-friendly re-usable water bottles or a re-usable hydration system rather than ‘throw-away’ plastic supermarket bottles
Sample Itinerary : The Cotswolds, England Three to five days exploring the Cotswolds, based in either the beautiful village of Kingham or in the ancient little town of Winchcombe. Best of all, combine the two, spending two days at each. In Kingham there’s a hotel, wonderful old inn or top-notch B&B to choose from; in Winchcombe, a 15th century former merchant’s house with an excellent menu or the newly-refurbished inn with fabulous rooms.
Enjoy a short, 2-mile walk before dinner to stretch your legs and learn something of the centre’s history.
A moderately easy walk along ancient tracks that combine splendid scenery with outstanding historic appeal. Features include the lovely town of Winchcombe, Hailes Church and Abbey and Sudeley Castle. This walk takes place in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds in contrast to those centred around Kingham in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds.
From Kingham or Winchcombe
Adlestrop Remembered (from Kingham)
A moderately easy 8-mile walk encircling the villages of Cornwell, Chastleton, Adlestrop, Lower Oddington and Daylesford. It features four historic churches, four grand houses, parkland designed by Humphrey Repton and a village designed by Clough Williams-Ellis as well as beautiful Cotswold countryside. The route is mostly across fields and on quiet country lanes with no steep climbs.
Bourton-on-the-Water (from Kingham)
Often said to be England’s most beautiful village, the ‘Venice of the North’. A moderately easy walk with a remarkable range of interesting features, including the enchanting villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter and Bourton-on-the Water as well as attractive rivers and lakes and some grand houses. Other highlights include ancient sites and wonderful views.
Hailes Abbey (from Winchcombe)
Stanton, Stanway & Snowshill (from Winchcombe)
Visiting three of the most beautiful villages in the Cotswolds, all delightfully unspoilt, the first two tucked away in the valley while Snowshill is one of the highest villages in the Cotswolds and one of the most picturesque. You’ll enjoy varied walking interspersed with features of historic and architectural interest and, throughout the day, the stunning views to be gained from walking in high wold country.
“Thank you for introducing us to the pleasure of walking through the English countryside. This is quite a change for us Americans. We truly enjoy the history and poetry along the way”. Deirdre & John Kraimer, Connecticut, USA
High summer - Cotswolds
Cottages - Cotswolds
Stanton - Cotswolds
Landscape - Cotswold Hills
Market Hall - Chipping Camden
Sample Itinerary : The Amalfi Coast, Italy Eight days on the Amalfi Coast, one of the world’s most celebrated landscapes, a land renowned for bright azure skies, white limestone cliffs, dizzying terraces of green lemon groves, all lit by a dazzling Mediterranean sun. With its wild mountain scenery, the Amalfi coast is a walkers’ paradise and each day there is a choice of easy 3-4 mile walks or more demanding treks in the mountains of 7 miles.
Day 1 Arrival
At Naples airport then transfer to a 4-star hotel, Amalfi, wonderfully located facing the sea.
Day 2 Amalfi
From the cathedral of Sant’Andrea with its brilliant facade through medieval whitewashed passages to a former paper mill, followed by lunch at a favourite restaurant. A paved panoramic path gently winds above the harbour with breathtaking vistas of an azure sea below. Time to relax, absorb the wonderful atmosphere in the cathedral piazza or take a swim before dinner. For the 7-mile option, follow ancient mule tracks through a magical valley of sylvan glades and cascading streams to superb viewpoints. After lunch high above Amalfi, return through terraces of lemons and figs to delightful Atrani.
Ravello – ‘Where poets go to die’ – frequented by artists, musicians and celebrities
At 1,000 feet above the Bay of Salerno, where the sun shines faithfully and serenity reigns, Ravello has, arguably, vistas which are among the most sublime in Italy. After a relaxing lunch, choose to continue exploring this enchanting
place and visit its famous villas. Or, for a complete contrast, continue walking in the afternoon into wild countryside, contouring in and out of the head of the valley to Minuta and medieval Scala. Descend to Amalfi either on foot or by bus before a swim on the beach opposite the hotel. (3 - 7 miles)
Day 4 Capri
A jet boat ride to picture-postcard perfect Capri, once the ‘City of Sweet Idleness’ of the Emperor Augustus and a ‘must see’ for its breathtaking scenery, soaring cliffs of limestone overlooking turquoise coves, pastel-stuccoed houses and colourful gardens. Explore the narrow paved lanes and stepped alleys, and visit the impressive Roman ruins of the Villa Jovis, before taking the Arco Naturale coastal path to spectacular rocks jutting out of the sea. Time to explore further, visit fashionable boutiques or relax at a harbourside cafe before taking the boat back to Amalfi. (3-4 miles)
“Thank you for all you did to make our walking week so, so brilliant . . . We enjoyed visiting the area for the first time and the company, scenery and walking were all absolutely outstanding.” Stan & Beryl Moore, Sutton, Surrey
Day 5 Free Day
Today you may elect to visit one of Campania’s ancient sites such as Pompeii, Herculaneum or Paestum. All are accessible by public transport or, alternatively, you can join an excursion whereby you will be picked up by coach from the hotel. For beach lovers, this is your opportunity to sunbathe and swim in a warm sea, perhaps taking a boat to a nearby secluded beach. Or simply spend the day exploring Amalfi itself, visiting the Cathedral or museums or relaxing on the hotel’s terrace overlooking the sea.
Valle delle Ferriere
By bus to Scala in the heart of the wild Lattari Mountains for a walk into a different world, through a rugged hinterland of high pastures and remote woodlands. A more energetic walk, perhaps the most beautiful of all, past waterfalls until finally you reach the hill-top village of Pogerola. You may then elect to descend to Amalfi on well-made steps cut into the hillside, or take the bus. The shorter walk is to Minuta where, with luck, you will encounter the burros, still used to transport goods and materials up and down the mountains. This easy route traverses remote woodlands, crosses streams and offers wonderful panoramic views across the valley.
Day 7 Positano
blending them into delicious dishes which, along with the local vino will linger long in the memory! Return by bus to Positano or descend on steps, magnificent views all the way. The 7-mile option takes you to Monte Pertuso on the celebrated and spectacular ‘Pathway of the Gods’ high above the sea. Positano, an amphitheatre of villas and Moorish-style houses painted in every hue, will delight with its fashionable boutiques and delightful little beaches. Return to Amalfi by boat.
Atrani & Departure
A final 2-mile walk to the picturesque fishing village of Atrani where you’ll love soaking up the atmosphere while sipping a favourite drink; a memorable finale to your week’s walking. Return to Amalfi along sinuous medieval alleys, or, less energetically, simply walk back through the pedestrian tunnel.
View from Ravello - Italy Above Ravello - Italy
For the easy option take the jet boat to Positano then a local bus up to the charming mountain village of Nocelle where the views between the sea and the sky along this stretch of coast are unsurpassed. On to Monte Pertuso for an authentic and memorable lunch high up above Positano. Here there is no menu: ‘mama and papa’ prepare freshly-picked ingredients from surrounding vegetable beds, Atrani - Italy
Where else can you go? Our walking holidays are in areas of outstanding natural beauty, within the UK and Europe. Please visit our website for more information about the holidays we offer in each location.
North Atlantic Ocean SCOTLAND
Peak District ENGLAND
Shropshire Hills Suffolk Coast
Chiltern Hills Thames Valley & London
Wiltshire Surrey Hills Stourhead Downs White New Cliffs Quantock Hills Forest Hardyâ€™s Strait of Dover Sussex Downs Wessex Jurassic Coast Isle of Wight
Norwegian Sea White Sea
ICELAND SWEDEN Gulf of FINLAND Bothnia
North Atlantic Ocean
BELARUS UNITED NETHERLANDS KINGDOM
Austrian Tyrol Bay of Biscay
Algarve Andalucia Strait of Gibraltar
SPAIN BALEARIC ISLANDS
CROATIA Ligurian Sea
TUNISIA LEBANON ISRAEL
Country Walks offers you the freedom to enjoy the many benefits to be gained from walking in some of the world’s areas of outstanding natural beauty.
Our philosophy is well expressed by W H Davies in his poem, Leisure. Leisure What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare? No time to stand beneath the boughs, And stare as long as sheep and cows: No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass: No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night: No time to turn at Beauty’s glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance: No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began? A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. W. H. Davies
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Contact us JUNE ZAFT
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Postal Address 1 Ambrosden Avenue, London SW1P 1QQ