Discover challenging and dramatic walking trails shaped by the footsteps of traders, smugglers, saints and pirates. Cornish walking trails will reveal ancient tin mines, clifftop castles, timeless fishing villages and wild moors as you travel through a landscape of huge cliffs and hidden coves that goes back to the depths of time itself. In between the coastal drama, iconic harbours such as St Ives and Padstow give walkers access to some of the UK‘s best restaurants and coastal hotels. A county encircled by the wild Atlantic ocean, there is over 330 miles of spectacular world class coast path here taking you around the farthest corners of England - put simply it feels like walking on the edge of the world.
Stretching from coast to coast across the southwest of England, Devon is a richly diverse county with rugged shores and cliffs in the north, and classic Victorian seaside resorts in the south. In between you'll find tranquil green pastures, wooded gorges and the two dramatic wild moors in the National Parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor. Choose Devon for its walking variety, and you'll find that the popular image of cream teas and thatched cottages is true - but that Devon is so much more once you explore it on two feet. Coast to coast routes like the Two Moors Way will offer a journey through it all from the wild northern shores that inspired the Romantic poets to the maritime ports of the south coast.
Free your soul and clear your mind! Walking on the wild moors of these National Parks is a wonderful antidote to modern living. England's last true wilderness, Dartmoor offers 365 square miles of virtually uninhabited freedom with high moors and twisted dramatic granite tors a land of myths, ghosts and legends. Exmoor, its smaller and more gentle neighour, is 250 Square miles of near perfect and unique beauty, with high uplands swathed in heather and steep, wooded gorges and rushing streams. See Dartmoor ponies and Exmoor stags in these wildlife rich areas, home to 30 species of mammals and over 240 types of bird. The moors offer a unique opportunity for more challenging walking where the only human sound you will hear is the rhythm of your own breath.
Avoid the crowds and discover “Secret Somerset” missed by so many rushing headlong for the far South West. The 'land of the summer people' was named in a time when this area could only be visited in the summer months as the sea receded. Today its a rich, fertile and 'for real' landscape crowned by the fine walking ridges of the Mendip and Quantock Hills both protected areas of outstanding natural beauty. Rising up over King Arthur‘s Vale of Avalon along with the magical Tor at Glastonbury, walkers will find hidden gorges, wooded combes and the best inland panoramas of the South West. Also boasting its own Jurassic Coast Path, providing a gateway into the wilds of Exmoor National Park, Somerset offers walking routes without the crowds for those who want to find..... what the rest miss.
Dorset has a comfortable old world “English” feel to it and its walking routes traverse a rather more green and agricultural land of thatched cottages, cream teas.... and fossils ! Walkers here will find the more gentle rolling farmland, pretty villages and chalk ridges beloved by Thomas Hardy that sweep down to end abruptly at the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Here, alongside the sea, those after more challenging routes can take a walking holiday through time itself amongst the dramatic chalk stacks, cliffs and arches of the Dorsetshire fossil coast. An area that can be very busy in high season but often suits walkers looking for more gentle and less exposed walking than the far west of the region.
Wales offers some of the best walking and outdoor activities to be had anywhere in the world. The 870-mile Welsh Coast Path was only fully opened in 2012 and is the world's first walk along the entire coast of a nation. The terrain is on an equally grand scale with towering cliffs, vast stretches of unspoilt golden sands, imposing castles, offshore islands and to the north there is the backdrop of Snowdonia National Park with its stunning mountains. Wales in general offers walkers great value for money compared to more popular areas like Cornwall with walking options to suit everyone, from those who want the cosmopolitan restaurants and facilities of towns like Tenby and St Davids, through to isolated and remote forests and coastal hills that sit on the very cusp of the Snowdonian Peaks. Bursting with confidence and pride in its “Welshness”, its Celtic history, language and culture there has never been a better time for walkers to enter Wales.
The South West Coast Path is the UK's longest National Trail and one of the top ten walking routes in the world. It snakes, dips and rises continuously on its way through a staggering 1014km (630 miles) of pristine coastline, 450 miles of which is through nationally protected areas. It's a challenge too; walking the entire South West Coast Path is the equivalent to scaling Mount Everest four times! From towering cliffs to hidden coves, ghostly tin mines to lush subtropical wooded creeks. One minute a dramatic rock theatre hewn out of the cliffs, the next a prehistoric fossilized forest or a 20thC Art Deco Island Hotel. What sets The South West Coast Path apart from other trails is that around almost every corner is yet another surprise as you retrace the footsteps and histories of the tin miners, fisherman, smugglers, wreckers and the customs men who chased them.
With years of experience of planning and delivering group walking holidays for friends - talk to us about your next group walking holiday whether it's just two couples or a party of 15 from your local walking club. We specialise in getting groups onto the walking routes they want, when they want, usually where others have failed! In general we can deal easily with groups up to around 10 walkers with options for larger parties up to 20 - Click here to read the Frequently Asked Questions' information on Group Sizes.
With Encounter Walking a group booking discount will apply as soon as you become 'four or more' - so if you can get together with another couple you will find bigger discounts in your walking holiday price as well as the chance to share the experience with your friends.
Because we work on an actual cost price for every walk we can pass on all the discounts to your walking group. Luggage transfer costs, admin charges, transfers to the trail etc. are all split between the number of people walking when we price your walk, so if there are more than 3 walkers then you will all benefit from significant price discounts.
With more of you to share costs, the more walkers there are then the cheaper it gets.
Unlike competitors, we are independent and can deal with all the accommodation options along our walking trails. So whether your group wants basic B&B’s or luxury hotels we can build this in – even where some of the group want one thing and the rest want to stay close by but in something else.
One of the main problems in isolated areas is finding accommodation for walking groups at busy times. As the largest operator of walking holidays in the South West of England, with our contacts, experience and reputation we have the best chance of getting you all staying together, in the best places on the route.
Remember too that by booking with Encounter Walking, we keep no secrets! You will be able to visit the websites of the accommodation we offer on your original quote - in other words before you commit to any booking.
This allows you and your group to review our suggestions, make changes, upgrades or request other options if need be - meaning no nasty surprises at the end of a long day's walk.
Organising a group walking trip can be hard work – we know as we do it every day! We take this work away from you and are happy to deal with the individual questions and queries from members of your group. Everyone walking can have access to our walking advisors expertise. We can also take individual payments from each walker in your group, saving you from the time of having to collect separate payments. We are also always happy to deal with things out of the ordinary, such as individual walkers within your group walking booking who only want to go part of the way, skip days or need to do something slightly different from the rest of you.
As with all our customers, we will help advise on the best way for your group to travel to the region and we assist with information on booking trains, planes or buses. We can also source and book competitively priced transfers using our regular operators, to get your walking group to and from the trail - arranged for you and included in your overall price.
Once again, as a group of four or more, its the cost price of these transfers we use to work out your price. So the group will see discounts and special deals on the prices of much more than just the accommodation. If some of the group are arriving by car and need parking while others are on the train - no problem - we will build all this into your itinerary so everyone has the information and support they need.
Unlike other Walking Holidays companies, ALL our routes are open for group walks. Sure, some work better than others due to the available accommodation options, but we specialise in providing solutions and in getting you onto the walking route you want to walk. We like a challenge and with our experience and flexibility we can fit groups in (with a bit of work on our behalf) to whatever you want to do.
Remember Group Walking Holiday bookings don’t just benefit from a big discount in price but also a big reduction in your organising – you can help design and build your itinerary with our assistance but sit back and leave the organising and administration work to us!
Get a full and detailed quote for your Walking Group with no obligation.
- Email a quote request if you know the walk you want.
- Visit our UK Walking Map to see the walking route options.
- Use the Recommended Walk pages to read a brief overview of the main walking holidays & narrow down your choices.
Still not sure where to start? - Then make use our expertise – it costs nothing to ask! Email us now and tell us what your ideal group trip would be and how many of you there are. One of our advisors will come straight back with some walking route suggestions and links to more information to get your group walking holiday plans underway.
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