Alpine Walking in the Haute Savoie

Alpine Meadows near Morzine

Why I love Alpine Walking in the Haute Savoie   This summer I explored the wild alpine country on the border between France and Switzerland. Here I spent memorable days alpine walking in the Haute Savoie at high altitude in fresh mountain air, listening to the tinkling of cowbells. Surrounded by spectacular snow-covered peaks, including […]

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Wonderful Wessex Weekend

Hardys-Cottage

Ten of us gathered at thatched Yalbury Cottage in Lower Bockhampton, Thomas Hardy’s birthplace, for drinks and a briefing on the weekend ahead. We were offered a glass of wine and delicious canapés whilst we introduced ourselves and chatted through the arrangements for our walks through Hardy’s Wessex. We enjoyed a superb dinner in the […]

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The Thrill of the Train

Thrill of the train August 17, 2015 by June Zaft We’ve just arrived at the Costa Brava in north-Eastern Spain for our family summer break. As we sat on a sandy beach, surrounded by verdant cliffs, the sun not too baking hot, soothed by the crisp sounds of breaking waves, we reflected on our journey […]

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Rye & Winchelsea Walks

Fourteen of us gathered in early June at the George Hotel in Rye for a welcome drink, introductions and a chat about the coming two days walks of Rye & Winchelsea Walks. We then walked up to the beautiful church in the centre of Rye to meet our Blue Badge Guide Jane for a tour […]

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Hardy Fever

Hardys-Cottage

You may have had the chance to see the new film Far From the Madding Crowd. And it may have inspired you to dust down your Hardy novels (or indeed download them on your e-reader).   Putting the obvious romantic appeal of Hardy aside for a moment, there are some beautiful shots of the bucolic […]

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Cowslips: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Nature is entertaining us with wonderful displays of wild flowers this spring – some of the best we have seen in recent years. I particularly love to see the cowslip which always reminds me of a wonderful play William Shakespeare wrote, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’,  and, in particular, that exquisite  scene  in the wood near […]

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Why I Love Walking the Sussex Downs

I’m not surprised the Sussex Downs has now joined the hallowed list of the UK’s fifteen National Parks. Now it is part of the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA), which spreads across East Sussex, West Sussex and Hampshire. Personally, the heritage coast between Eastbourne and Seaford is the part I know and love best. […]

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How to buy the right walking boots

The question I’ve been asked most often over the 20 years I’ve been organising and leading walks is: “what sort of walking boots should I get?” To enjoy walking it’s essential that you have the right footwear. Ill-fitting boots can cause all sorts of problems, including bruising, sore ankles, blisters – even the loss of […]

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A glimpse into the first few hours of our Paris Versailles and Chevreuse Valley 3 night break

This short break is a walking discovery tour with a difference: a new concept that combines city and country where you walk your way around city sights and historic monuments as well as the surrounding countryside.  You savour the unique cultural experience of the City of Light, followed by a visual history lesson in Versailles, […]

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Walking in North Cyprus: Where to Stay

Where to Stay: The Best Centre We have explored much of North Cyprus and undoubtedly the best centre is Kyrenia, or Girne as it’s known in North Cyprus. Since the borders were open, the most convenient arrival airport is Larnaca in the south of the island. There are direct flights from 18 UK airports and […]

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Walking in North Cyprus: When to Go and How to Get There

Walking in North Cyprus: When to Go and  How to Get There Have you thought about taking a walking holiday in North Cyprus this spring on the hottest, driest island in the Mediterranean? Here’s what I love about this beautiful island: the warmth of the sun for 9 hours daily, 340 days per year breathtakingly […]

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How to enjoy self-guided walking holidays

Self-Guided  & Guided Walking Holidays: the Difference   We are often asked how self-guided walking holidays differ from guided walking holidays. If you’ve only ever been on guided walks, you might feel a bit daunted by the idea of guiding yourself! So we’ve written the following guide if you’re considering self-guided walking holidays but need […]

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Walking Technique

How to Walk We all think we know how to walk: we’ve been doing it for long enough – some for longer than others! Children naturally know how to walk but over the years it’s likely that we develop undesirable or even harmful habits. The illustration opposite, courtesy of the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education […]

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Step-changing with my Mother

Anemone

Last summer my mother, June Zaft, asked me to help her in developing her business, Country Walks, and I was happy to be in a position to devote some time to this mission. And, if you know June, a mission it certainly was – and still is! June approaches all her goals with nothing short […]

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Walking in North & South Cyprus

It is not generally known that you can now enjoy the best of both the north and south of Aphrodite’s beautiful island in one holiday. It may still be divided politically but now it’s easy to travel to both although when you’re in the south, you may be encouraged to believe it’s difficult to cross […]

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Walking the Amalfi Coast: a most celebrated landscape

In October 2014 we return to one of our favourite walking destinations: the magical Amalfi coast. I can’t wait! Where else can you walk on ancient mule tracks under permanently blue skies while gazing down on an azure sea. Below are some typical scenes. Why we choose to stay in Amalfi Many holiday companies stay […]

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The Hidden Algarve: a walker’s paradise

Solitary-walker-Algarve-Portugal

Where to Stay All who have joined us on our guided walking holidays in the Algarve have enthused about the wonderful walks. They were also full of praise for the Estoi Pousada. It’s rare to find a hotel where all the staff, from the management to the chambermaids, are so committed to ensuring their guests […]

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Walking in Majorca

View-from-coastal-path-majorca

Majorca is a paradise for walking, particularly around the Soller Valley, a world away from Magaluf and the high rises of the south coast. Here is tranquillity, stunning scenery and, for us Brits, the wonder of guaranteed blue skies and sunshine! Our favourite time of year is May when it’s warm enough to walk unencumbered […]

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Fun and Sun in the Austrian Tyrol

Valle-del-Ferriere

In March we were back in the beautiful Leutasch Valley. The location, surrounded by snow-covered mountain peaks and alpine meadows, is perfect. The hotel is surrounded by tracks for cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and walking and from nearby Seefeld (20 minutes on the bus which stops outside the hotel) there is alpine skiing. Swimming is another […]

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White Cliffs Country

Old-Harry-Rocks

Country Walks along a spectacular stretch of Kent coast If you have not yet discovered the delights of White Cliffs country, we can highly recommend it as a spectacular stretch of heritage coast where butterflies dance over multi-coloured carpets of flowers, where the only sound is of skylarks singing above, where your feet gently tread […]

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Walking in Sussex

Climbing up to the Long Mynd

Alfriston Have you discovered Alfriston, a beautiful downland village nestling in a fold in the Sussex Downs? It’s a wonderful base for a walking holiday as well as a charming place to stay with its narrow streets, quaint historical buildings and fascinating shops. For hotel accommodation we recommend 14th-century Dean’s Place Country Hotel. It is […]

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