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Spring Walking Holidays Independent (self-guided) walking holidays South West England

Refresh, Rejoice for Spring! Spring sets forth an explosion of colour that is dramatic and refreshing. We love seeing everything slowly wake up. Starting with the bulbs and woodland flowers, which take their chances to shine before the tree canopies steal the show. We weave all these natural goodies into our Foot Trails, so you can enjoy them too. Come and explore the English countryside this Spring.

Contents A Song for Spring


Journey, Real, Handcrafted


Where you stay (accommodations) p10 Experience Springtime


Holiday Ideas

p13 - p34

How to book


What's included




A Song for Spring Springtime is an indulgence for the senses with colour, scent and soft textures, Hail bounteous May! A Song On May Morning by John Milton

Now the bright morning Star, Days harbringer, Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her The Flowry May, who from her green lap throws The yellow Cowslip, and the pale Primrose. Hail Bounteous May that doust inspire Mirth and youth, and warm desire Woods and Groves, are of thy dressing, Hill and Dale, doth boast thy blessing. Thus we salute thee with our early Song, And welcom thee, and wish thee long.

Simple, Handcrafted, Authentic Simple – Life is hectic enough. We like to make things simple for you. We will learn your wishes and work with you to create a trip that suits your needs and experience. Where can you eat? Park? Need an airport transfer? No problem. We'll take care of the nitty gritty so you can focus on creating long lasting memories.

Handcrafted – It takes years and tremendous knowledge to learn how to craft something properly. Something lasting. This is our passion and everything about your Foot Trail is deliberate, organised, chosen with care and intent, for you.

Authentic – To discover what's real, honest and authentic about rural Britain we have to get you off the beaten track. We work with local people who share this ethos. We use our expertise in local places to guide your choice of itinerary, trail, walking route and location.

Where you stay personally chosen Every one of Foot Trails choice of country inns and accommodation is unique, characterful and charming, and personally chosen by our founder Alison. Expect a warm country welcome. Often centuries old, each building provides a historical setting with modern comforts in which you can relax, eat and then sleep at the end of your day on the trail. Our guests love the peaceful locations and the opportunity to support our great country pubs by enjoying a pint of real ale or glass of wine at the bar before dinner. You will receive full details and website addresses of our suggested accommodation with your itinerary when we confirm availability of your trip.

“The inns were charming and quaint – just what we envisioned.” Trip Advisor May 2019

“Every inn was amazing and the food was excellent – breakfasts and dinners.” Trip Advisor June 2019

Experience Glorious Spring From early March to early June it is a season of transformation, a feast for the senses. The lengthening days, the warmth of the sunshine and the promise of the coming summer encourages new life, new growth and blooms a plenty. March is all about the bulb flowers; daffodils, crocus, the awakening after winter, oh and primroses too. The trees are yet to leaf, some burst to blossom, other stand like statuesque sculptures. As April gather pace, its the time of the woodland flowers, bluebells, garlic, yellow archangel and for the keen eyed, orchids. Towards the end of April the trees are bursting to life too, the freshness of the first leaves is a hard thing to beat. May is springs crescendo. Woodlands carpeted with flowers and fresh green of new leaves, wonderful colours and scents. As May ends and summer beckons its green and lush, the meadows full of the joys of new life.

Self-guided (independent) walking Self guided; you walk independently but benefit from the expert planning, pre and mid trip support and specialist materials we provide at Foot Trails. Our local know-how, earned out on the trails themselves, means you can walk with confidence, and relax and enjoy your adventure, knowing you are exploring the best of the area which we have mapped. We have thought through each aspect of your day including where you can have lunch and taken care of these details for you. This brochure features a choice of breaks & walking trips ideal for spring. These amazing adventures give you a real sense of journey as you walk from place to place, village to village, enjoying stories and histories on the way, or stay in one place and enjoy restful evenings and adventurous days. If you would like to stay for longer, our full range of trips is also available throughout the spring.

An Inn to Inn Trail “Wessex Ancient Kingdom” Style? Inn to inn (village to village) Where? Wiltshire & Dorset Duration? 6 nights Miles? 45 miles / 72 km

Trail overview Your trail starts in the river valleys to the west of Salisbury. It has a distinctly medieval feel, you can just sense the history. Here all is lush and watery, the white creamy stone of the cottages blends perfectly in the landscape. There’s a 14th century castle to explore, charming villages and a wealth of history. Your trail then leads up onto the chalk downs of the Cranborne Chase. Such a contrast to where you have been exploring. The Cranborne Chase is one of England’s ‘areas of outstanding natural beauty’, idyllic countryside, beautiful and peaceful. Your daily itinerary Day 1 - Arrive and Relax Arrive today, then maybe take time to do a short walk, enjoy some fresh air, and discover the village around you. Return to the inn to enjoy the evening. Day 2 - Knights & Castles! (Drop off service included). Stride through charming hamlets with old manor houses and thatched cottages before arriving to a 14th century castle ruin.

Once a magnificent, partly destroyed during the English civil war, it stands as quite possibly the most romantic ruin in Southern England. A short walk to a picturesque, the setting and ancient manor house a joy. Return to the inn on foot. Day 3 - Out on the Chase! (Luggage transfer service included). The Chalk downs provide a real contrast to the valleys offering some sensational walking, surrounded by sweeping views and curvaceous downs. A former hunting ground of King John, and once notorious for smugglers and poachers you can enjoy far reaching views. Pass through a string of medieval villages, picturesque with their flint cottages and fascinating stories. Arrive to your next inn on foot! Day 4 - Rural Dorset Set out from the doors of the inn and explore the 'Chase'. This is the highest part of the chase with big views, from here on a clear day you can make out the Isle of Wight. It’s the cottages that make this trail, typical of the area, flint, red brick, thatch and some plaster fronted. Ancient churches, babbling chalk streams, tales of smugglers, vampires and strange occurrences! Day 5 - A poets Inspiration (Luggage transfer included). Enjoy the beautiful Dorset landscapes and scenes that inspired English author Thomas Hardy to write.

From the top (optional) the views become 360 degrees, an on top of the world feeling Breath-taking sensation as you pick out villages, a derelict church, hamlets and Dorset's curvaceous landscapes. Arrive to your next inn on foot. Day 6 - A slow day on a hill top! (or longer river walk if preferred) (Drop off service included). Enjoy a slow start to the day then enjoy some time in the ancient country town. Saxon in origins, Shaftesbury is a delight, from the town the views across and over the Cranborne Chase are some of the best in Dorset. The old abbey ruins and the much famed Gold Hill with its cobbled street and not forgetting the cake shops and cafés! Day 7 - Depart at your leisure At the end of your Foot Trail it's time for your onward travel, full of memories and tales of your adventures. Price & trail detail: Best start day: Daily miles: Grade: Price:

Tuesday 3 – 9.5 – 11 - 11 - 9 – 2.5 – depart Moderate, walking with some ascents & descents Standard - £890 p/p // Superior - £995 p/p

Prices based on two persons sharing a bedroom, see 'what's included?

An Inn to Inn Trail “Bath & The Avon Valley” Style? Inn to inn (town to city) Where? North Somerset Duration? 4 nights Miles? 35 miles / 56 km

Trail overview Enjoy a little cosmopolitan culture with your walking! Bath needs little introduction, a worthy world heritage site, but the surrounding countryside is a joy too. Start in the River Avon valley and enjoy a journey to the city. Many superlatives have been used to describe the valley, the river loops around, wildlife and green pastures. There are delightful villages to find along the way too, with charming stone cottages. Bath has a wealth of history from Celtic times to the Romans, and then of course as one of the finest examples of 18th century architecture. Day 1 - Arrive & explore! Arrive today, settle in and enjoy the atmosphere of the setting. If you wish take a walk around the local area, there's a Saxon Chapel, ancient tithe barn, river & canals to enjoy, as well as Georgian architecture and cafes (cake!). Day 2 – Drama! (Drop off service included) There's a humble feel to today's trail as you explore along the River Frome valley.

Along the way time to pause at a 14th century castle, Then it's to the tranquil setting of Iford, passing sites of abandoned monasteries and the finery of the 18th century. Today finishes with a walk along the canal and arrive back to your inn. Day 3 - Along the Avon (Luggage transfer included) Many superlatives have been used to describe this part of the Avon Valley, due to its intense natural beauty, and it is truly marvellous. The river loops around whilst the canal cuts across the valley by two aqueducts. Beautiful coloured barges can be seen drifting along the canal. There are delightful villages to find along the way with charming stone cottages and tucked away spots. Arrive to your hotel on foot. Day 4 - Priors & Canals (Drop off service included) A delightful wander through the valleys and back to the city. Along the trail you will find the abandoned ruins of an 18th century canal. Through the valley and then over the hill to some of the best views of Bath in the gorgeous Prior Park (entrance required). Then wander by the canal and through the parks back to your hotel. Day 5 - Explore the city! Before heading home To help you really explore Bath we have created a trail especially to include both the famous and well known sights as well as the lesser known. You can either enjoy it during a morning or if you have time we do recommend taking the day to enjoy it.

At the end of your Foot Trail it's time for your onward travel, full of treasured memories from your adventures we hope. Price & trail detail: Best start day: Daily miles: Grade: Price:

Monday (weekend supplements apply) 3 – 8.5 – 11 - 8 – 4.5 & depart Moderate, walking with some ascents & descents Standard - £795p/p // Superior - £895 p/p

Prices based on two persons sharing a bedroom, see 'what's included?

Bookings & information Enquire@FootTrails.co.uk

An Inn to Inn Trail “Journey Across The Cotswolds” Style? Inn to inn (village to village) Where? Gloucestershire & Oxfordshire Duration? 6 nights Miles? 51 miles / 81.5 km

Trail overview Your trail starts in the spiritual heart of the Cotswolds, Northleach. In the 12th and 13th centuries Cotswolds wool was famed for its quality but the best wool, that came from here . Then leads into the Evenlode valley, this is classic Cotswolds country. Stow town sits on the hill above the valley, the countryside around undulates with farms and old villages dot the landscape. Onward towards the eastern edge of the Cotswold's, a land of village greens, brooks and sheep. A daily outline Day 1 - Arrive & Relax Arrive today, settle in and enjoy the atmosphere of the setting. We'll include a short walk so you can get to know the area. Day 2 – Roman Cotswolds (Drop off service included) An historic hike that will connect you with the Romans and enable you to tread in their footsteps.

Explore one of the county's best loved Roman villas, built over 2000 years ago as a place of Roman wealth, luxury and comfort. Your trail also includes little Cotswolds stone villages, tumbling streams, cottage gardens, this is what the Cotswolds is all about! Day 3 - In the Meadow (Luggage transfer included) Full of contrast and diversity this trail is a real treat. There are views, and views! And charming villages. Tales from the ironage and the prehistoric. Find yourself amongst some wonderful Hay Meadows, being restored and full of wild flowers (especially in spring). A little tale about the composer Holst and then more of those views! Day 4 - A 17th century spectacular! (Drop off service included) Picking up the trail you will notice the wonderful atmosphere of this corner of the Cotswolds. Little known, and blissfully crowd free, you are in an area once inhabited by our bronze age ancestors thousands of years ago. On to a fine Jacobean house, admire the house, its setting, the 12th century church. Day 5 - Onward to your next country inn (Luggage transfer included). Moving into the River Windrush valley the countryside opens up into a huge wide expanse, there are far reaching views and quiet valleys before arriving into a picture perfect Cotswolds village.

The village was known for its stone, quarried for some very famous English buildings. On to the banks of the River Windrush with views of Burford spire. Time to explore the shops & cafes and many historical tales. Day 6 - Drama at the edge of the Cotswolds Set out from the doors of the inn. Humble Cotswolds stone cottages, the meandering river and reminders of history make this a joyous little ramble in Old England. Two family histories are entwined with the area, the 'Fettiplace' family who, having arrived with William the Conqueror by 1215, were Mayors of Oxford and the other family, the Mitfords', famed for the Mitford sisters and some rather challenging family politics. Day 7 - Time to depart At the end of your trail, it's time to travel onward full of memories and tales from your trails. Price & trail detail: Best start day: Daily miles: Grade: Price:

Tuesday (weekend supplements apply) 2 – 11 – 9 - 10 – 12 – 7 - depart Moderate, walking with some ascents & descents Standard - £995 p/p // Superior - £1120 p/p

Prices based on two persons sharing a bedroom, see 'what's included?

Stay in One Plane Break “Somerset Knights Quest � Style? Stay in One Place Where? Somerset Duration? 4 nights Miles? 27.5 miles / 44 km

Trail overview Somerset Knights Quest is set on the Somerset / Dorset borders, not far from the ancient country town of Sherborne. Somerset, land of the Summer people, is steeped in history and a little legendary mystique, from beautiful villages to dramatic castle ruins, big views and tales of knights. On your walks you will enjoy some wonderful contrasts and variety. You will walk on pastures, through villages and explore ancient hill forts. Woodlands, babbling brooks and sweeping curving hills, there's a peace and tranquillity of the landscape to enjoy. Your daily itinerary Day 1 - Arrive & Relax Arrive in Somerset and your Foot Trails adventure! Take a little time to settle in and for those that wish take today's short introductory trail to get to know the local area. Day 2 - On a Quest! Walking filled with pastoral views of rural England.

Up on the ridge the vistas stretch dreamily for miles across the Yeo valley. You can explore historic ham stone Somerset villages with their gorgeous cottages and wander inside the rare 13th century church. At the hill fort the views from the top extend all the way across Somerset to a distant Glastonbury Tor. Is this Camelot? Day 3 - To the heart of Wessex (Drop off service included) There are great views, rolling hills and tales of two castles on this trail. You will arrive into the old market town where you can explore and enjoy the cafes if you wish to! Visit the deli and pick up a picnic to enjoy at the Old Castle. Then it’s across the countryside, curving hills and gorgeous views. Day 4 – Legend of the Holy Cross (Using of your own car) Discover the legend of he holy cross, a mythical religious stone unearthed from the hill. Your trail leads to a charming 'Ham Stone' village with pretty cottages and a medieval feel. Return to Montacute and take time to explore the gardens. Day 5 - Depart at your leisure At the end of your Foot Trail it's time for your onward travel, full of memories and tales of your adventures. If you would like a walk today we can include one for you.

Price & trail detail: Best start day: Daily miles: Grade: Price:

Tuesday (weekend supplements apply) 2 – 9 – 8.5 - 8 - depart Moderate, walking with some ascents & descents Standard - £400 p/p // Superior - £445 p/p

Prices based on two persons sharing a bedroom, see 'what's included?

Bookings & information Enquire@FootTrails.co.uk

Stay in One Plane Break “Devon Seaside Escape ” Style? Stay in One Place Where? Somerset Duration? 4 nights Miles? 35 miles / 56 km Trail overview Explore south Devon and the picturesque area of the 'South Hams'. This area of Devon affords the most picturesque coastal walking, with little or no development there are views and vistas that delight, always changing with a twist of direction. You will explore coast, creek, cove and cliff as well as wandering along green lanes, through charming villages and of course time on the beach! Your daily itinerary Day 1 - Arrive, relax and walk to dinner Arrive to your hosts, settle in and then set out on a walk for some fresh air after your journey and get to know the area. Enjoy views over the village as well as your first glimpses of the sea and coast. Time your walk to arrive to the village inn for dinner at the pub! Stroll back to the hotel at dusk. Day 2 - Out on a Devon trail (Drop off service included) An inspiring day exploring an area named Slapton. Its unusual sounding name doesn’t do full justice to its depth of history and beauty.

The impressive ruined tower in the village dates to 1347. Explore the shores of one of the South West’s largest fresh water lakes and shingle bar. The lake has many habitats including reeds and marshes as well as fen and woodland and is home to otters and rare birds. The shingle bar is so thin that one day the sea will reclaim the freshwater lake. With the sea so close you’ll also enjoy walks to the coast with its pebble beach and picturesque views. Day 3 - All the joys of the Coast! (Drop off service included) Be intrigued by the story of the "lost village", with both sad and inspiring elements. Walk this sea filled landscape, there are cliffs, lighthouse, the sounds of waves and sandy coves. At the village of Beesands, linger and take supper at the inn or freshly caught fish 'shack' then a dusk time walk back to your hotel. Day 4 - Around the headland! (Drop off service included) The small town of Salcombe is full of charm with its sandy beaches beside the wide estuary (although technically it is not an estuary, it is a ria, a drowned valley caused from rising sea levels after the last ice age!). After exploring the town start your walk with a ferry ride over the estuary giving you great views from the boat. Follow the coast path with sensational views then turn inland to find creeks and green meadows and delightful villages.

Day 5 - Depart at your leisure At the end of your Foot Trail it's time for your onward travel, full of memories and tales of your adventures. Price & trail detail: Best start day: Daily miles: Grade: Price:

Tuesday (weekend supplements apply) 3 – 13 – 9 - 10 - depart Moderate, walking with some ascents & descents Standard - £420 p/p

Prices based on two persons sharing a bedroom, see 'what's included?

Bookings & information Enquire@FootTrails.co.uk

Booking your trail If you would like help choosing the best trail for you then call us on +44 (0) 1747 820626 or email us at Enquire@FootTrails.co.uk. We plan, write and create all our own walking trails and are here to offer you our expert advice. If the trails featured, arrival days or lengths of stay are not right, you can choose your preferred dates and start on any day of the week. We will create an itinerary for you based on on your preferences. Prices for custom trips are quoted per trip and vary from the prices quoted in the brochure. To make your booking by calling us on +44 (0) 1747 820626 or if you prefer you can email us at Enquire@FootTrails.co.uk. We will ask you a few details to enable is to make a reservation for you. We will then be able to confirm the availability of your trail. Due to the crafted nature of our trails there may be a day or two's wait while we contact our inns and hosts. We will email you with confirmation of your itinerary, accommodations and details for your deposit of ÂŁ125 per person. Payment of your deposit will confirm your booking. Balances are due 4 weeks before arrival. We accept all major credit cards, PayPal and bank transfers.

Included in your trail * Our services in creating and arranging your itinerary * Our guest support in preparing for your trip and on call support during your trip * Accommodation for # nights - bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms * Country breakfast to set you up each day * # days of independent walking with a tailored itinerary to suit you and the season * Transport drop off services if required for your itinerary * Luggage transfers between your country inns * A comprehensive Walk and Explore box, posted to your home address) Including: * Local maps with your trails clearly marked (on our fully waterproof paper) * Innovative trail cards, one for each day, with clear easy to follow directions in word (on waterproof paper) * Trail cards also include local histories and stories to enjoy and read as you explore * Suggested departure times so that you don't miss lunch, recommended lunchtime stops at country pubs or cafes (lunch not included) * Foot Trail’s famous fortifying sweets, nature guide, guest booklet, local information and more Prices based on 2 persons sharing a bedrooms. Twin (2 x single bed) bedroom options available. Solo's welcome, solo supplements for your own double bedroom. Group discounts and returning guests thank you discounts offered.

Guest Testimonials “I was incredibly impressed by Foot Trails. The passion for and expert knowledge about this corner of England shows through in everything you do. Everything from the organisation and booking, to the easy to follow walking routes and itineraries, to the inns where we stayed, was spot on. I have been on several walking trips with different companies and none has matched the personal touch that you provide. This trip made me fall in love....with Wiltshire and Dorset...and I can't wait to return there. Thank you so much.” Kay, August 2020 “From the moment I spoke to them I felt welcome, cared for. And well informed. Communications about transportation, accommodations, appropriate clothing were timely and thorough.” Trip Advisor May 2019 “I took a walking holiday in The Cotswolds with Foot Trails, I can't express how good the experience was. The team at Foot Trails were great they listened to what we wanted to do and the sort of places we'd like to stay and the planned the perfect trip for us." Trip Advisor May 2019 Read more guest comments & reviews on our trip advisor page www.tripadvisor.com/foottrails

Bookings & contacts Call +44 (0) 1747 820 626 with your chosen date, we will then confirm your place for you upon which a £125 per person deposit will be payable. Bank transfers, PayPal & all major credit & debit cards accepted.  +44 (0) 1747 820 626 (landline)  Enquire@FootTrails.co.uk  www.FootTrails.co.uk www.facebook.com/FootTrails www.instagram.com/FootTrailsUK

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Spring Walking Holidays