Travel: Walking the latest UNESCO World Heritage destination

Ennerdale is picture perfect
Ennerdale is picture perfect

Britain's stunning Lake District gained UNESCO World Heritage status just a couple of weeks ago which positions it with other ‘must see’ iconic outdoor destinations such as the Grand Canyon and Great Barrier Reef. So why not actively seek out the joys of its lakes, mountains and fells on a Chapters Experience Holiday?

Specialising in experiential travel with a variety of active experiences, ranging from Navigation & Hill Skills to Mindfulness, map your own route through this pristine landscape with a new awareness as to what makes this one of the world’s most inviting destinations.

Throstle Garth's packhorse bridge

Throstle Garth's packhorse bridge

Lakeland Explorer - Walking

The majestic fells and tranquil waters have attracted lovers of magnificent scenery for more than two centuries with walkers and writers alike rejoicing in its romantic vistas.

Based on the shores of Buttermere with lakeside views to Red Pike – some of the finest in England, this week long holiday explores the best of the Lake District on half day walks into the fells and cultural outings to areas frequented by Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.

With visits to Borrowdale and Eskdale, the Honister Slate Mines and the gardens of Muncaster Castle punctuated by traditional creams teas or a Cumbrian pint, any excesses are easily walked off on quintessential ‘lake’ trails around Buttermere, beside Derwentwater, Rydal Water and Windermere.

Herdwick sheep are a familiar sight in Lakeland

Herdwick sheep are a familiar sight in Lakeland

In addition, a ride on the Eskdale Railway (known locally as the La’al Ratty) and a ferry across Windermere provide the ideal opportunity to relax, sit back and drink in the views.

Chapters Holidays' Lakeland Explorer seven night break starts from £619 including accommodation as Hassness House, all meals except dinner on Tuesday, transport as necessary, entrance fees and one cream tea. Departure 26 August 2017.

Navigation & Hill Skills

Navigating your way through the hills, when the likes of modern technology fail, can be quite liberating and what better way to do it than in a newly listed UNESCO World Heritage area with some of the UK’s most enticing countryside literally on your doorstep.

Staying in Hassness Country House on the shores of Buttermere - a tranquil area of dramatic fells, farms and woodland, beginners and more skilled navigators alike can get to grips with interpreting maps and the intricacies of a compass as they wander through superb Cumbrian countryside.

Aligned with the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS), it is a great way of getting up to speed and ensuring safe walking with the added benefit of picking up your NNAS Bronze or Silver certificate. Based on leisurely walking, days out are well rewarded with locally sourced home cook meals and the promise of resident cook Ruby’s freshly baked cakes.

Chapters Holiday' Navigation & Hill Skills three or four night break starts from £199 including full board accommodation, tuition with maps, equipment and optional assessment for NNAS. Three night departures: 4 November 2017, 14 April 2018, 16 May 2018. Four day departures: 7 November 2017, 17 April 2018.

Mindfulness in the Mountains

Away from everyday distractions, where being stressed  has so often become the norm, escape to the newly accredited UNESCO World Heritage Lake  District to  replenish diminished energy by giving yourself time to contemplate life  and develop some tried  and tested coping strategies. 

On the shores of  Buttermere with immersive lake and mountain views, Mindfulness in the Mountains provides the opportunity to live  in the moment through  a programme of walking and reflection in restorative  countryside.

Following trails such as Haystacks  and Rannerdale knots, some walking  will be in silence with targeted  activities to help connect with the surroundings and yourself.  With resources  to help familiarise yourself with techniques  and theoretical concepts, there will also be gentle yoga and short meditations sessions.

Chapters Holidays' Mindfulness in the Mountains four night break starts from £299/person including half board accommodation (except dinner on Tuesday), packed lunches on three days, meditation, yoga and transport for activities. Departures: 7 October 2017, 6 October 2018.

Women’s Activity Week

Staying in Hassness Country House on the shores of Buttermere with one of the best round-the-lake walks in the Lake District right on the doorstep, Women’s activity week is the perfect antidote to modern city living. 

\Designed to get some of that refreshing Cumbrian air into your lungs, relax with other like-minded women and perhaps try out something new, the week takes advantage of the superb setting with a daily selection of hill and Nordic walks and the optional promise of a bracing morning dip.

Interspersed with yoga and pilates to restore and unwind, days hiking with some added circuit training or aerobics, are well rewarded with locally sourced home cooked meals.

Chapters Holidays' Women’s Activity Week seven night holiday starts from £510/person including accommodation, meals except one dinner, activities and transport for activities.  Departures 12 August 2017 and 16 September 2017.

For more details, call Chapters Experience Holidays on 01707 246666 or check out www.chaptersholidays.co.uk

We all know what Prime Minister Theresa May decided last time she went on a walking holiday in Wales… this summer she’s set her sights on an Alpine holiday instead.

Nothing quite matches the feeling of wellbeing and adventure you get exploring on foot, and the health benefits of walking are manifold – both physically and emotionally.

The original walking experts, Ramblers Walking Holidays – 01707 331133, ramblersholidays.co.uk – and their sister companies Adagio and Chapters Experience Holidays have a few suggestions for those who want to escape from it all and recharge their batteries... but their advice is to be careful not to make any snap decisions!

The Lazy Alps with Adagio

This seven night alpine walking holiday is based in the beautiful village of Wengen, high in the Bernese Oberland. It’s perfect for those who want to enjoy the views but with slightly less of the hard graft of the ascents as you start your walks at a high level. Only accessible on foot, by train or cable car, it is surrounded by views of glaciers tumbling off the Jungfrau and other 3000m plus mountains.

During the week, a superb network of trains and cable cars ease the way to exploring paths high above the valley floor with relatively little effort.

Itinerary includes the outskirts of Wengen, cable car to the Männlichen ridge, Lauterbrunnen valley for an easy panoramic walk from Grütschalp to Mürrencogwheel, train up to Schynige Platte, the valley around Grindelwald with a walk through meadows and woods between the Holenstein cable car station and the mountain café at Brandegg and the train to Eigergletscher.

Adagio Holidays (01707 386700, www.adagio.co.uk) offers a seven night Lazy Alps holiday from £1335/person including flights, half board accommodation and transport as outlined in itinerary. Departures throughout August and September.

Walking the Trail of the Bernina Express

Walking in the Alps offers some breathtaking views with fabulous routes to choose from. This eight night holiday follows Switzerland’s most scenic train journey through alpine meadows dotted with ‘flower box’ villages against a backdrop of snowy peaks.

Walking the Trail of the Bernina Express offers the perfect balance of exploring on foot and by train. Walking amongst towering glaciers and dramatic mountain scenery and covering five small villages over nine days, the journey takes in the stunning UNESCO World Heritage area between Thusis and Tirano – a landscape of waterfalls, gorges, lakes, towering rock walls, alpine farmland, bridges and viaducts – as well as the village of Latsch where the first Heidi was filmed.

Culminating in a ride on the Bernina Express, the walk is retraced with magnificent views from the train. With July and August departures offering wonderful high alpine flora within the mountain meadows, September is equally enchanting with the cooler days and early autumnal panoramas.

Ramblers Walking Holidays offers an eight night Walking the Trail of the Bernina Express holiday from £1,599pp, including and includes return flights and airport transfers, half board accommodation, a Swiss rail pass and travel on the Bernina Express. Departure 4 September 2017.